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Storing extra MM?

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Storing extra MM?

Post  TXNovice on 1/19/2015, 12:15 am

I just built my bed this weekend!!!!  2'x8' alongside my greenhouse (which I installed last spring on the windiest day of the year and still does have a door that shuts or installed windows... Embarassed )  Anyway, carefully measured the ingredients for MM and have "extra" of the 5 types of compost, etc.  I was thinking of mixing up the rest until I run out of vermiculite, which I have the least of.  That way I can add to the bed as it settles and also use to refresh an older 4'x4' bed I have.  Anyone have a good way to store it cheaply?

Also, once I run out of vermiculite I was thinking of mixing just the compost for adding to plantings per instructions in The Book.  Same question...what is a good way to keep it..."fresh"??  Don't want it filling up with ants or molding or whatever other potential problems I might run into.  Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  walshevak on 1/19/2015, 3:21 am

I use the 18 gal plastic bins.  Others have used left over kitty litter pails.  Mel says open your plastic compost bags carefully so you can store excess in them.  

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  sanderson on 1/19/2015, 4:00 am

Once you build a bed, fill it with MM, and water well, you never add more MM.  Only add more compost blend because that it what is shrinking.  You can go ahead and mix up and store your compost blend so it is ready for amending the MM in the boxes before you replant, and also for top dressing during the growing season.

I use lidded, 33-gallon garbage cans, with wheels, to store extra ready compost and extra MM.   I use extra stored MM for the following:  filling a new bucket or large pot for planting, up-potting to a larger pot, making another box, when I add another layer of wood to a bed to make it extra deep for carrots, turnips or potatoes, and when I fill my 2" seed pots for starting seedlings.  I keep the extra vermiculite and peat moss closed tightly against the rain until it's needed.  I try to store the compost garbage cans in the shade and open and stir a bit once in a while.

This late fall, I ran of room for more garbage cans to store the ready compost so I piled it high on un-planted beds and loosely tented against the rains. (All 2 rains! rofl ) If you make your own compost in a compost bin, you can cover the top against the rain. It won't protect against invading ants but it is used by some for storage until they are ready to top off all their spring beds. Don't worry about mold. It's okay.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  camprn on 1/19/2015, 1:48 pm

Put it in the empty compost bags.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  sanderson on 1/19/2015, 3:40 pm

@camprn wrote:Put it in the empty compost bags.

+1   The empty compost bags are stronger and last way longer than regular black or white garbage bags.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  has55 on 1/19/2015, 3:55 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@camprn wrote:Put it in the empty compost bags.

+1   The empty compost bags are stronger and last way longer than regular black or white garbage bags.
+1

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  yolos on 1/19/2015, 4:22 pm

Do you have to allow the compost to dry out before you store it, or should it remain slightly moist to keep all the microbes alive??

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  TXNovice on 1/19/2015, 5:21 pm

thanks
Thanks for the ideas.  With my crazy ants the open bags aren't going to work.  My entire bag of potting soil was literally filled overnight with fire ants last season.  I think I'll try the garbage can idea or a small storage container so I can keep it sealed.  Thanks for the tips about when to add MM and when not to.  You guys are great!

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  steve638 on 1/19/2015, 10:27 pm

Blue plastic recycling cans large ones.  I can write on the lids with a permenent marker so I know what's in them.  I drill holes near the top and have lids on them.  No water get's in and there's air circulation.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  has55 on 1/20/2015, 2:32 am

@TXNovice wrote:thanks
Thanks for the ideas.  With my crazy ants the open bags aren't going to work.  My entire bag of potting soil was literally filled overnight with fire ants last season.  I think I'll try the garbage can idea or a small storage container so I can keep it sealed.  Thanks for the tips about when to add MM and when not to.  You guys are great!
this resolved my fire ants problem.

Fire Ant Control Video

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  sanderson on 1/20/2015, 3:16 am

Interesting video. I can't imagine sharing your yard with these ants.

What can be spread under a container, or around footings keeping the container off the ground, to prevent the ants from getting into the container through drilled holes or poor seal of the lid?

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  TXNovice on 1/20/2015, 11:50 pm

@sanderson wrote:Interesting video.  I can't imagine sharing your yard with these ants.

What can be spread under a container, or around footings keeping the container off the ground, to prevent the ants from getting into the container through drilled holes or poor seal of the lid?
The little ants can crawl up, so putting the container on something won't keep them away.  You must seal it or it won't keep them out.  Also, placing it someplace you aren't likely to find ants will help, such as a garage.  If you have a sealed container in the garage it should be safe, but a container with holes on a stand in the backyard is not safe from the ants.  My previously-mentioned bag of potting soil was on a wooden platform on top of a slab of concrete in the backyard.  But it had air holes and had been opened to take out 3 cups of soil.  No good.  No

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  sanderson on 1/21/2015, 12:48 am

What I'm thinking is that I have raised beds on 4x4 legs. I can sprinkle Sluggo Plus around the legs to keep slugs and pill bugs out of the raised beds. I will very shortly be adding DE, cinnamon, chili pepper, something, around the legs to keep Argentine ants out of my beds. I was wondering if something can be done with containers in fire ant country. Set them up on 4 common bricks with stuff sprinkled around them.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  has55 on 1/21/2015, 1:26 am

@sanderson wrote:What I'm thinking is that I have raised beds on 4x4 legs.  I can sprinkle Sluggo Plus around the legs to keep slugs and pill bugs out of the raised beds.  I will very shortly be adding DE, cinnamon, chili pepper, something, around the legs to keep Argentine ants out of my beds.  I was wondering if something can be done with containers in fire ant country.  Set them up on 4 common bricks with stuff sprinkled around them.

try my solution"the fire ant video"

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  yolos on 1/21/2015, 1:59 am

What about setting the legs in buckets of water.  Of course that would rot the legs pretty fast.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  sanderson on 1/21/2015, 2:00 am

[quote="has55"]
@sanderson wrote:What I'm thinking is that I have raised beds on 4x4 legs.  I can sprinkle Sluggo Plus around the legs to keep slugs and pill bugs out of the raised beds.  I will very shortly be adding DE, cinnamon, chili pepper, something, around the legs to keep Argentine ants out of my beds.  I was wondering if something can be done with containers in fire ant country.  Set them up on 4 common bricks with stuff sprinkled around them.

Note: Has55 posted the link to the video above.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  has55 on 1/21/2015, 8:05 am

@yolos wrote:What about setting the legs in buckets of water.  Of course that would rot the legs pretty fast.

good idea. there are plastic containers that you can get from container store that the legs can sit in. placed them in a bucket and fill it with water. should keep ants out. well done young yolos. Smile

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  has55 on 1/22/2015, 3:35 pm

@has55 wrote:
@yolos wrote:What about setting the legs in buckets of water.  Of course that would rot the legs pretty fast.

good idea. there are plastic containers that you can get from container store that the legs can sit in. placed them in a bucket and fill it with water. should keep ants out. well done young yolos. Smile
what I left out: this will prevent the legs from rotting., since the water will have no contact. you can put vaseline on the outer perimeter  of the container near the top. if the ants climb over the bucket into the water, the vaseline will stop them at the container.

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  plantoid on 1/22/2015, 4:29 pm

@yolos wrote:What about setting the legs in buckets of water.  Of course that would rot the legs pretty fast.

 Set the legs in cans a bit bigger than the leg foot print with a few inches of dirty engine oil in each can . The ant's don't like that , keep the cans topped up as some oil will also soak into the wood and also evaporate very slightly but no where as much as water . Plus the oil stops the cans rusting through .... unlike water .

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Re: Storing extra MM?

Post  has55 on 1/22/2015, 5:15 pm

@plantoid wrote:
@yolos wrote:What about setting the legs in buckets of water.  Of course that would rot the legs pretty fast.

 Set the legs in cans a bit bigger than the leg foot print with a few inches of dirty engine oil in each can . The ant's don't like that , keep the cans topped up as some oil will also soak into the wood and also evaporate very slightly but no where as much as water . Plus the oil stops the cans rusting through .... unlike water .
actually, I think plantoid idea is simpler and better. but for the bucket why not use 5 gallon plastic paint bucket with the oil inside or will the oil hurt the bucket? thus no rusting.

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