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Garden update!

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Garden update!

Post  CNida89 on 3/7/2016, 2:18 am

Got my lazy bones moving this weekend and actually mixed up my Mel's Mix and filled the beds. What I ended up with wasn't exactly what Mel suggested, but it is about 95% Mel's Mix. I made some small addendums/changes due to a lack of being able to get a diverse enough compost mixture.

Here's what I used, in each bed:

4 cubic foot of coarse vermiculite
One 3 cubic foot bale of peat moss
3 40lb bags of cow manure compost
2 cubic foot of cotton-bur compost
1.5 cubic foot (or 60 pounds) of mushroom compost
.5 cubic foot of gypsum pellets

Per the formula Mel gives in the book, I actually calculated that I would need 6 cubic feet of everything... vermiculite, peat moss, and compost... but as I went to add more vermiculite and peat moss, I noticed that my beds were already close to overfilling. I knew I didnt calculate it wrong, at least I feel like I didn't, so I am thinking that the peat moss must have extra extra fluffy, or something. That, or some of those bags of cow manure compost had peat moss in them.

I made the mistake of mixing it all myself, and when you are trying to fill a 4ftx8ftx7in bed it ends up being a LOT of mel's mix. So much that I could just barely lift the tarp to pour the mix in...

I met with other troubles, too. I wanted compost from a local city recycling center, but they were giving me the runaround, and were acting lazy and providing horrible customer service overall, so I decided to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, there just isn't a diverse amount of compost that can be easily obtained, so I resorted to store-bought options.

The cow-manure compost had lots of chunks of wood in it. Not huge chunks... none of them were much bigger/thicker than an inch. I picked as many as I could but it was just so many... there's no way I could have got them all. The cotton-bur compost looked nice, but it also had an occasional small piece of wood.

The gypsum pellets. How did those end up there? Well, as I was at a local garden store, the kind ladies recommended it to me. I told them how adamant I was on trying to stay all organic, and that I wanted to avoid fertilizers altogether but I realized that my compost mixture may not add enough of what my plants will need. They brought me a bag of these gypsum pellets and swore up and down that if I mixed it into the mix, I would have amazing results. It was quite cheap, and it appeared to be all natural/organic (at least from what I could read on the bag, but I am not terribly knowledgeable on these things). Thus, I mixed about half of a 40lb bag into both of my beds.

I also bought a bottle of fish emulsion, just as a backup. I don't want to use it until I absolutely need to, because apparently, once I do use it I will be committed to using it every couple of weeks. I am holding on to hope that my plants will actually be able to thrive with whats in the beds...

Oh. And I planted some broccoli and cauliflower starter-plants. 6 each, to be exact. They looked a bit dry when I bought them, but the leaves were still green and lively looking, so I am hoping I can get them growing.
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CNida89

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Re: Garden update!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/7/2016, 7:36 am

Good for you, CNida! And you're off! Whatever you have got going is what you are going to have for this year anyways! Sounds like it will be fine. I ended up with not so great compost last year and everything did fine, except my peppers, but that had nothing to do with the compost....

And you have some plants in! cheers
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Scorpio Rising

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Re: Garden update!

Post  landarch on 3/9/2016, 5:35 pm

It's been a while since I bought cotton bur compost...but I remember it not really being finished compost, but dried brown material that had not yet broken down into compost.  Here in the Midwest it is used to loosen heavy clay soils...I just remember it being an issue when added to my Mels Mix a few years ago.
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Re: Garden update!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/9/2016, 6:37 pm

@landarch wrote:It's been a while since I bought cotton bur compost...but I remember it not really being finished compost, but dried brown material that had not yet broken down into compost.  Here in the Midwest it is used to loosen heavy clay soils...I just remember it being an issue when added to my Mels Mix a few years ago.

Honestly, I have never heard of cotton bur compost!
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