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can't find compost in italy

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can't find compost in italy

Post  alanlu on 3/19/2014, 11:10 am

alanlu Today at 2:56 pm


Hi,
I'm setting up my first Square Meter Garden. I live in Italy and I'm finding lots of difficulties in finding Mel's Mix components. At the end I found Vermiculite (medium size 2/5 mm) and Sphagnum peat moss, compost is impossible to find in Italy!!
My questions are:
1) vermiculite 2/5mm should work?
2) sphagnum peat moss seems to be acid, very acid, ph 2,5 - 3,5 (CaCl2) .... I'm not sure my vegs will love it! shouldn't be the soil ph 6 more or less?
3) compost is unfindable, vermicompost is available but it's very expensive, 16eur for 25kg, could I use something different?
4) a gardener told me a "pre-mixed" soil should work better... is that true?
thank you.
bye!

[size=15.6]alanlu[/size]
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alanlu

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Re: can't find compost in italy

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/19/2014, 12:42 pm

WELCOME, what a delight it is to have people from around the world join us here.  I have some questions for you:
Are you able bodied enough to turn a compost pile and do you have room to make your own compost?  

If so, can you round up some horse, rabbit, cow or other manures?

Can you gather old produce that has gone bad from a grocery store, market or farmer's market?  This can be a great way to gather materials quickly.

Can you gather coffee grounds from a cafe or bistro near you?

Can you gather your own kitchen waste and yard waste such as grass clippings, prunings and old plants?

If so, you can create your own compost in under a month using the "Berkeley Hot Composting" method.  You can google that term and find information on line.  It's amazing how quickly all of that can turn into rich, black compost that will feed your Square Meter Garden.

The pre-made potting soils might grow for a season, mainly because they put timed-release chemical fertilizers in them.  However they do not have the nutrients and composition to plant as tightly and efficiently as Mel's mix.  You can't plant that closely without the nutrient dense soil - it simply won't work for you.

I would encourage you to search the forum for Mel's mix topics and for composting topics.  There is a wealth of information in past threads.
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audrey.jeanne.roberts

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Re: can't find compost in italy

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2014, 3:33 pm

Hi, I agree with everything that Audrey said! Do you have any shellfish (shrimp, crab) shells available? Any farmers' markets where you can take their trimmings and "rotten" veggies and fruits off their hands? I take buckets to our local outdoor market to gather their discards, telling them that it is for the garden compost, not for free food!!  Very Happy 
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