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Amount of Vermiculite

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Amount of Vermiculite

Post  Bobbi on 4/25/2014, 10:33 am

I wondered if anyone has reduced the amount of vermiculite when making Mel's mix.  I have 4 raised square foot garden boxes and they are competing with the underground lawn sprinkling system.  We have turned the heads on the sprinklers as much as we can but it is not possible to keep them from reaching my boxes.  We have just made new boxes and I am tempted to cut down on the vermiculite to reduce the amount of water retention in the new mix I will make. Any comments would be appreciated.

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  camprn on 4/25/2014, 2:01 pm

Hi, If I were you I wouldn't fret about the amount of vermiculite, just make the recipe as described. All will be well once the plants get bigger.

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  PVPind on 4/25/2014, 2:04 pm

Hello Bobbi. Do you know what kind of sprinkler heads you have? Some have changeable nozzles, others have adjustments beyond just your horizontal but require a special tool. I used to install irrigation systems for around 10 years.

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  rabbithutch on 4/25/2014, 2:30 pm

@PVPind wrote:Hello Bobbi. Do you know what kind of sprinkler heads you have? Some have changeable nozzles, others have adjustments beyond just your horizontal but require a special tool. I used to install irrigation systems for around 10 years.

Mike

Or, you could turn the beds into TTs.  Rolling Eyes

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  PVPind on 4/25/2014, 2:33 pm

That is another option. I would imagine they would rather spend between $2.50- $5.00 on a nozzle vs. all the work it would take to raise your beds up.

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  rabbithutch on 4/25/2014, 2:40 pm

@PVPind wrote:That is another option. I would imagine they would rather spend between $2.50- $5.00 on a nozzle vs. all the work it would take to raise your beds up.

I agree, PVP.  I was just cracking wise a little because I've gone the TT route.  I didn't do it because of sprinklers but because I'm old and can't get up very well when I have to get down.   Sad

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  PVPind on 4/25/2014, 3:10 pm

Gotcha Rabithutch.

I'm going to be leaving work here in a few and won't be by a cpu for a while. I do want to share this site with Bobbi though. I've never used it myself but they have a good selection of nozzles and pretty good descriptions of what each one is for. If you can find out the type of head you have and replace the nozzle with one that won't spray directly in your SFG it might be the cheapest and easiest fix for you. Only other option I can think of is move the head, which is actually pretty easy depending on how the are hooked into the supply line.

Irrigation Supplies

Good luck Bobbi and have a good weekend.

Mike

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  Turan on 4/25/2014, 10:01 pm

Use perlite instead. Besides not holding as much water it is cheaper.

Both perlite and vermiculite are great at retaining water, but vermiculite retains much more water and offers a little less aeration than perlite. Vermiculite literally acts as a sponge that will retain water to the point of saturation. Perlite holds water by having a large amount of surface area within the nooks and crevices of its vast pores. But being porous and made of volcanic glass it allows excess water to drain much more readily than vermiculite.
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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  Bobbi on 4/25/2014, 10:53 pm

Thank you Mike, for all your information on the sprinkler heads. I will definitely take all your advice into consideration.
Turan's comparison of vermiculite vs. perlite and the websight she took it from was very enlightening.  I referred back to Mel's SFG book and read again his choice of the vermiculite over the perlite and with the information you sent, feel confident in leaning more towards the perlite.  I have one large bag of vermiculite, need 3 more that I could substitute with the perlite instead. So maybe a mix of the two would be the way to go.
Can't thank you both enough for such good and speedy information. I can relate to the comment from Rabbithutch. I too am a "senior" with two replaced knees. My boxes are raised up on concrete blocks. Not sure what TT's meant....tabletops? But loving the raised box idea which I saw in Mel's book.

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  Kelejan on 4/26/2014, 2:17 am

Hi Bobbi. You got it.  Very Happy 

Yes, TT = Table Top.

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Re: Amount of Vermiculite

Post  sanderson on 4/26/2014, 3:41 am

Perlite floats up to the top when watered.  This bothers some folks.  You will have to remix it in when you add compost when replanting. My first round of boxes were with perlite. Second round with coarse vermiculite and the third round with medium vermiculite.

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