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Making a small amount of Mel's Mix.

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Making a small amount of Mel's Mix.

Post  wulfae on 5/27/2014, 10:45 am

I managed to finally get everything together for my two 4x4 raised beds on Sunday, but I completely forgot to calculate in how much extra I'll need for the 6 6" top hats I'll need for all the amazing multi coloured carrots I want to grow.

I need 3 cubic feet of mel's mix. Anyone know how much vermiculite is in one of those little bags? I hesitate to spend another forty dollars on a big bag that I'll have to store.

This also means I'll need .2 cubic feet of five different types of compost. I'm currently renting, and can't make a compost pile... Which means I need to source a small amount of multiple types... Argh.

I looked on craigslist and kijiji to see if there were small amounts available, but the only thing I found was fresh rabbit pellets.

Any ideas? I really would like to get this mixed so I can get everything in the ground. It's so late!
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Re: Making a small amount of Mel's Mix.

Post  camprn on 5/27/2014, 11:19 am

How deep are your regular bed sides? Have you already planted the bed?

Here is my suggestion: 
If you have not yet planted anything, get 2 more bags of compost and mix it into what you already have. Level the bed and MM, reserve the extra MM for bed settling and top hats.
 This is a perfectly acceptable solution, simple and sweet.

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Re: Making a small amount of Mel's Mix.

Post  walshevak on 5/27/2014, 11:35 am

How willing are you to have your mix a very little off.  I would buy two 1 quart bags of vermiculite,  a  bag of NOT compressed peat, and an extra two bags  of your composts. Mix this with what your already have.  I doubt this will throw your total mix off by that much and should give you enough extra to fill the top hats.  Choose the composts that you feel have the best nutrients.  You will be heavy on compost, but that is where I would go outside the recipe.  After all in some countries compost is all they have.

Fresh rabbit pellets do not have to composted and are a good choice.  They don't burn, but somebody else jump in here to advise if there is a problem if there is a  lot of bedding with the pellets.

Ignore what I said if the 2 small bags of vermiculite cost more than the big bag.  Get the big bag because SFG is so addictive you will probably be needing more.  Vermiculite also is good for starting seeds.

Kay

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Re: Making a small amount of Mel's Mix.

Post  wulfae on 5/27/2014, 1:18 pm

@camprn wrote:How deep are your regular bed sides? Have you already planted the bed?

Here is my suggestion: 
If you have not yet planted anything, get 2 more bags of compost and mix it into what you already have. Level the bed and MM, reserve the extra MM for bed settling and top hats.
 This is a perfectly acceptable solution, simple and sweet.


The sides are about six inches deep, and I've put in my four poor tomatoes that needed to be in the ground that minute or they would just give up the ghost. (It was the saddest thing) Other than that though, they are clear.

This sounds like a do-able solution! What kinds of compost are good for this? I had a bag of mushroom compost, a bag of worm castings, a bag of this three in one that I counted for my manure, a bag of shrimp compost and a bag of seaweed compost. I added already an extra bag of just sheep manure, to try to get the volume to include the high hats.

I can get more of any of this stuff, with the manure and strangely the mushroom stuff being the closest to me/easiest to get.


@walshevak wrote:How willing are you to have your mix a very little off.  I would buy two 1 quart bags of vermiculite,  a  bag of NOT compressed peat, and an extra two bags  of your composts. Mix this with what your already have.  I doubt this will throw your total mix off by that much and should give you enough extra to fill the top hats.  Choose the composts that you feel have the best nutrients.  You will be heavy on compost, but that is where I would go outside the recipe.  After all in some countries compost is all they have.

Fresh rabbit pellets do not have to composted and are a good choice.  They don't burn, but somebody else jump in here to advise if there is a problem if there is a  lot of bedding with the pellets.

Ignore what I said if the 2 small bags of vermiculite cost more than the big bag.  Get the big bag because SFG is so addictive you will probably be needing more.  Vermiculite also is good for starting seeds.

Kay

I am willing to have it off, I'm already sliiiightly light on the vermiculite. Q __Q I was just googling a 'quart' of vermiculite to try to get the size... Would a size like this one do? It's five litres.

Oh man, Home Hardware also has non-compressed peat! Happy days!

Are there any suggestions on a good compost? I don't want to burn my plants, and I'm worried about throwing more manure on there. I can get mushroom compost pretty easily, at the Loblaw's grocery store down the street.


The hesitancy with the rabbit pellets is more that I don't really want my hands in with rabbit poop... P:

As to the vermiculite... XD I do want the big bag, it is definitely a better value for my money. I just have no place to store it! And I have a supplier about a ten minute walk away! It kills me a little, haha.

Thank you both for the responses!
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Re: Making a small amount of Mel's Mix.

Post  walshevak on 5/27/2014, 3:29 pm

The only reason I mentioned the quart size is because I have seen it on garden supply shelves.  Looks pretty tiny to me.  I would say look at the size of the bag compared to a bag of compost, not weight.  If close, then get one on one.  I like mushroom compost and either of the sea composts sound interesting and may add some essential minerals that the others do not have.  So 2 of your 5 liter bags plus 2 bags of compost plus a bag of peat and you should be ok.  If that's not enough add another bag of compost.

Kay

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Re: Making a small amount of Mel's Mix.

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/27/2014, 4:30 pm

When you say sheep manure, do you mean composted manure? With rare exceptions like rabbit and llama, you're not supposed to add manure directly to the garden.

Re vermiculite, could you split a big bag with someone? Or sell off the remainder on craigslist? The small bags are terrifyingly expensive compared to the big bags!

I know you say you live in an apartment, and storage space is usually very poor in apartments. But I think you might even come out ahead if you bought a big bag and threw most of it away rather than bought little bags!
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