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How do I get to Mel's mix from here?

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How do I get to Mel's mix from here?

Post  ohill on 5/2/2010, 7:38 pm

Hello,
I am new to SFG. I have 2 beds. One with Dr.'s Q filthy rich
soil with includes Sphagnum peat moss, compost, forest Humus, earth
worm castings and perlite.
the other has the Dr Q's herbs and
vegetable mix that includes Composted soft wood bark, peat moss,
compost & coir (coconut fiber pith). It said to fertilize using
these mix.

How do I get to Mel's mix from here? Should I add vermiculite in with this mix?

Thank you,
Oanh

ohill

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Re: How do I get to Mel's mix from here?

Post  Lostmommyof4 on 5/2/2010, 7:47 pm

I'm a newbie to the forum, but I do understand soil. What you have is already a mix, you cannot turn it into Mel's mix Mel's mix is simply 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite (pearlite is similar) and 1/3 pete moss. In the book the importance of using Mel's mix is stressed. Can't be a SFg without it. Can you return what you already have and start over?

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Re: How do I get to Mel's mix from here?

Post  camprn on 5/2/2010, 8:06 pm

Good for you for taking the gardening plunge. Nothing is written in stone... only on paper. There is an art to gardening as well as science. Additionally I believe it is a process not an event. I did not adhere to the exact recipe of Mel's Mix as I could not come up with the exact ingredients, so I punted with what I had. For example, there was absolutely no vermiculite to be had in my town when I was making my mix, so I used seed starter mix, I added the only 3 sources of compost I could find at the time. I also understand soil and it sounds like you have some nice mix there to start with. You will not have Mel's Mix, but If you can get a hold of some vermiculite and another compost to add to all that, I bet your veggies would grow fabulously in the 4x4 square boxes. I would also encourage you to start your own compost to add to the mix in the fall or the spring. This is just my $0.02. Best of luck! Cheers! flower
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How much vermiculite/compost to add?

Post  ohill on 5/2/2010, 8:26 pm

Hello,

Thank you so much for your reply!!! I was a little bit discouraged and feel a bit lost because I do not have the Mel's mix recipe. I can't return what i have already purchased and put in the raised bed. My boxes are 4X8 and 3X8.

How much vermiculite/compost should I add to my current mix as described in my original post? Do I need to fertilize it often? or just add more compost each time I re-plant a square foot per SFG.

Thank you all for your advice!

ohill

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Re: How do I get to Mel's mix from here?

Post  camprn on 5/2/2010, 8:47 pm

O Hill, If you have not gotten a copy of Mel Bartholomew's All New Square Foot Gardening book, I would encourage you to pick one up. It has all the basics of SFG, lots and lots of info, planting guides, etc. Also, you will be able to find lots of great info and anecdotal advice on the forum using the search feature. I am not sure how much vermiculite you should add, perhaps someone else will give you a suggestion of volume.
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camprn

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Re: How do I get to Mel's mix from here?

Post  WardinWake on 5/3/2010, 6:11 pm

@ohill wrote:Hello,

Thank you so much for your reply!!! I was a little bit discouraged and feel a bit lost because I do not have the Mel's mix recipe. I can't return what i have already purchased and put in the raised bed. My boxes are 4X8 and 3X8.

How much vermiculite/compost should I add to my current mix as described in my original post? Do I need to fertilize it often? or just add more compost each time I re-plant a square foot per SFG.

Thank you all for your advice!

Howdy: You have the basics for a good mix, not Mel's, but it should be OK. When you replant you will need to mix in one trowel full of compost in your harvested square. You should not need any chemical fertilizer.

One of the characteristics of perlite is it is light and over time will float to the top of your mix where it will be of minimal benefit. Because you already have perlite in your mix I would wait until you complete your harvest in the fall and then remove all of your mix and add about 1/4 by volume of vermiculite and mix it well. At the same time go ahead and mix in additional compost. If you do not expand your garden use the excess mix for indoor plants or to fill in your boxes if they settle over time. You will have a great garden this year.

God Bless, Ward.
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Still not sure what to do

Post  ohill on 5/3/2010, 10:24 pm

Hello,

I put together the first raised bed 6 months ago and put in the Filthy Rich soil which has the perlite. I planted cabbage, brussel sprouts,, red &white onions bell peppers from store bought plants. They didn't grow very well. The cabbage is about the size of the small grapefruits and tasted not very good. I dig them all out.....

I can either add the vermiculite plus 2 more types of compost or take out 1/3 of this mix and Mel's mix from Lowe's?

The other bed, I have composted soft wood bark, peat moss, compost & coir by Dr. Q's herbs and garden mix. Should i do the same as above?

I am sorry for being so confused!!! I have never done this before and trying to understand everything. i have Mel's book now but I still need to help to recondition the beds with enough nutrients to grow somewhere closed to Mel's mix.

Thank you for your patience and help. God bless!
Oanh

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