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Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  mikki777 on 3/20/2016, 2:02 pm

I mixed mine yesterday. I did have one that was too 'woody' for forest compost so I ended up not using it at all. Is there any cause for concern if any bugs are still alive in any of the composts (saw a few maybe 'roly poly' types and maybe few earthworms here and there. Do you guys ever put the garlic / pepper mix on the soil itself to help with bugs? Or is that strictly for the leaves of the plants as they grow?

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  camprn on 3/20/2016, 2:09 pm

Bugs live in the garden. Not all of them are bad.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  mikki777 on 3/20/2016, 2:13 pm

And here's a pic of my container. I'll wait a week or so to plant as it'll get cold tomorrow night but after that looks all clear for warm weather. 

My father-in-law built it for me. I haven't gotten my insect screen or tarp cover yet but built the PVC part of it so I could measure how much I need.  I can't seem to find a good, reasonable price on the right size for a 'greenhouse' style cover to protect it and yet not have to replaced every year. I ordered a 10' by 20' insect type screen cover. 


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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/20/2016, 2:31 pm

It's perfect, Mikki! Can you tell us more about the insect barrier that you ordered? Or maybe post the website for it?

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/20/2016, 2:52 pm

Mikki, Nice box! An insect barrier will keep away the really destructive pests like tomato worm, cabbage moth and grasshoppers. A few roly poly shouldn't be a problem. Hold off on any "pesticide" unless the plants indicate they need some help. I wouldn't put any pesticide or repellent on the soil as the micro- and macro- life that lives in the soil is what helps feed the plants. The only exception for me is a few grains of Sluggo Plus against slugs/snails. As I have table tops, also, these have become less of a problem in the boxes.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  mikki777 on 3/20/2016, 3:28 pm

Here's what I ordered: 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014KMP49A?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

I hope it works. My container needs about 8 by 8 around with the PVC taken into account but goes 3 feet to the ground so it's too shot to brick on the ground, but I may try to rig some velcro or use bricks on the sides of the container. 

I really wanted to find 14 by 14 but no one had it.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/20/2016, 3:37 pm

I leave bugs alone unless they are eating my plants or destroying them. Even then I proceed cautiously, and try to be as minimalist as possible to achieve plant health and production.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/20/2016, 4:01 pm

Minimalist - I like that.

You can secure the netting to the PVC with large binder clips or Snap Clamps.   http://www.snapclamp.com/ It's actually a good thing to have the netting over-sized because certain plants get much bigger and push out the netting.  


Last edited by sanderson on 3/20/2016, 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/20/2016, 4:08 pm

NICE set-up, Mikki!

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  YorkR88 on 3/20/2016, 4:25 pm

@sanderson wrote:Oh, also mix the 5 composts together and then measure the blend.

Here is how my MM turned out! I think is looks and feels like great soil. Dont have grid in yet but drew some lines to see. Came out to 24 sq/ft.

I get Full sun from sunrise to mid-afternoon then is shaded as the sun sets. I think that will be good in the hot Texas summers. Going to trellis along wooden fence and short side at bottom of pic ( Backwards L shape)

Any other plant arrangement ideas?

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/20/2016, 6:23 pm

York, looks great.    Afternoon shade is bonus. You may still find that mulch also helps keep the roots cool in the heat of the summer.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/20/2016, 10:07 pm

@camprn wrote:Bugs live in the garden. Not all of them are bad.

These have some good info on bugs...very interesting also.


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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  mikki777 on 3/21/2016, 7:41 am

If you know you're going to get a lot of rain, do you put a tarp on your container?  And do you know where to get a good 'greenhouse' white cover that is okay in the sun for more than one season, to drape over Mel's PVC dome shape like I made? I couldn't find one.. so far or not that I was willing to spend the money on. 10 by 10 would work.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/21/2016, 7:57 am

@mikki777 wrote:If you know you're going to get a lot of rain, do you put a tarp on your container?  And do you know where to get a good 'greenhouse' white cover that is okay in the sun for more than one season, to drape over Mel's PVC dome shape like I made? I couldn't find one.. so far or not that I was willing to spend the money on. 10 by 10 would work.
I don't cover my beds or containers for rain or snow. One good reason is, rain, lightning, snow, etc all add nitrogen in it's purest state to all growing life. Ever notice how fresh everything smells and feels after a rain ?  Plants feel that also and love it..Now your Mel's Mix must have good drainage also.

This is what I've been using to cover my beds from pests, not as tiny as some, however, it keeps many away and it has lasted me 3 years so far without any negative affect.
http://www.joann.com/mesh-white/1948439.html

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  mikki777 on 3/21/2016, 8:01 am

I have 20 holes in my container and will check drainage this week when it rains to see how it's doing before I plant next weekend. I have 16 in that are in the middle of each 4 by 4. And then 4 random holes that are a big bigger (it came with those 4). 

That fabric since it's 4 feet by however many yards you get, I would have needed 8' width. Can you effectively merge two pieces and still keep some insects out? I already bought one on amazon that is 10 by 20.... but if it doesn't last I'll try Joann's.  I'm also looking for a greenhouse one for fall.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/21/2016, 5:30 pm

Mikki, The clear plastic 4-6 mil rolls in the paint dept of Home Depot, Lowes, etc., work fine for 2 seasons if you store it when not used. Jimmy Cee just bought reinforced plastic. See "Hot house..Square house.. or just a 4 X 4 house." thread.

I thought I read somewhere (?), one hole in a plywood bottomed box in the middle of each square and one in each corn of the box. I can't locate where I read that. Embarassed

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  yolos on 3/21/2016, 7:11 pm

@mikki777 wrote:Here's what I ordered: 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014KMP49A?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

I hope it works. My container needs about 8 by 8 around with the PVC taken into account but goes 3 feet to the ground so it's too shot to brick on the ground, but I may try to rig some velcro or use bricks on the sides of the container. 

I really wanted to find 14 by 14 but no one had it.
I put a 2 x 2 on top of the netting or plastic and lay the 2 x 2 on the sides of the bed.  Another thing I have done is to cut the pvc poles down just a bit so a 9 or 10 foot wide piece of plastic/netting will work.

You can see the pieces of wood resting on the top of the sides of the bed in this picture.  This is a 3 x 8 bed.  I use the same type set up when I put plastic over the bed to try to extend the season a bit.  If it is real windy you might need a 2 x 4 laying on the side of the bed.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  mikki777 on 3/22/2016, 7:41 am

Awesome. Thanks for sharing the picture! Very helpful. My netting comes today. I guess it's not as important with the greenhouse stuff that every piece completely close like the netting to keep out birds and insects. You can overlap. My clips will arrive tomorrow. Then hopefully some planting this weekend! Smile

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/22/2016, 6:58 pm

@sanderson wrote:Mikki, The clear plastic 4-6 mil rolls in the paint dept of Home Depot, Lowes, etc., work fine for 2 seasons if you store it when not used. Jimmy Cee just bought reinforced plastic. See "Hot house..Square house.. or just a 4 X 4 house." thread.

I thought I read somewhere (?), one hole in a plywood bottomed box in the middle of each square and one in each corn of the box. I can't locate where I read that. Embarassed

Mel has that hole spacing in ANSFG, 2nd Ed. Can't remember what page...

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/22/2016, 9:16 pm

Marie, so I'm not just imaging something! Shocked I can't find the 2nd Ed. Still lots of "stuff" to go through and put back in the bedrooms/office.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/22/2016, 10:42 pm

I can't find my 2nd edition either, but I did find it in the ANSFG book.
It is in the Chapter 4 Building Boxes and Structures on page 58.
There is a sub-section called "plywood bottom"
It states just what you said: a 1/4" drain hole for each square and one each corner.
(I recall several folks saying they used bigger holes)
It also suggests using 5/8 or 3/4" ply.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/23/2016, 3:28 am

RT, thank you! I knew I read it somewhere.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/23/2016, 8:57 am

glad you\'re here

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  reynajrainwater on 3/24/2016, 11:10 pm

I knew I should have read the book before setting up my box. I put 5 holes in each square. 
study

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/24/2016, 11:37 pm

@reynajrainwater wrote:I knew I should have read the book before setting up my box. I put 5 holes in each square. 
study
TskTskTsk...I think the biggest you issue you may have is the MM drying out faster than you would like. It would depend on the size of the holes too, if they are smaller then it probably won't make any difference. Worst case, you can plug the holes or cover them I suppose.

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

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