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Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/25/2016, 7:11 am

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

Amount of holes on bottom isn't a concern as long as there is some sort of barrier keeping the mix contained.
I have 1/4 inch spacing in my beds flooring with five 1/4"  holes in each square..better to have to much drainage than not enough
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 10:40 am

@jimmy cee wrote:Amount of holes on bottom isn't a concern as long as there is some sort of barrier keeping the mix contained.
I have 1/4 inch spacing in my beds flooring with five 1/4"  holes in each square..better to have to much drainage than not enough
That's a good point. If the beds were on the ground, I guess most of the water would seep into to soil beneath the MM anyway, right? So extra holes really shouldn't matter.

JC, I know you didn't use plywood, what size 2x's did you use?
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Windmere on 3/25/2016, 11:55 am

Hello Mikki,

I've read through all of this thread and I want to say that you've done some amazing work!  I noticed some talk about chicken compost.  First, it really should have an "earthy smell" and not a "stinky smell."  That's pretty much true of any compost.  Second, I agree with yolos about the EB Stone chicken compost that Pike used to sell.  I miss that stuff.  However, at the feed store yolos also goes to, they sell a pretty good substitute.  It's Farmer's Organic brand.  I just checked with the store, and they sell 20 quarts for 5.99.  If you ever get to the Jonesboro area, you might want to think about stopping at Swint's.

Here's a photo of a bag I have laying in my messy garage (notice that in the gold star it saws "pleasant earthy smell.")



Last edited by Windmere on 3/25/2016, 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 2:06 pm

So, the bagged stuff from Black hen and Black cow, isn't really compost?
Can/should it be added to the compost pile to break down?
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Windmere on 3/25/2016, 2:12 pm

@ralitaco wrote:So, the bagged stuff from Black hen and Black cow, isn't really compost?
Can/should it be added to the compost pile to break down?
No. no, Black Hen and Black Kow are definitely compost.  Yeah, they sometimes have an odor.  However, they are hit and miss.  I've never had consistently odor free bags.  You can still use them.  Just beware of a super sharp smell (don't know how to exactly describe it).  If there's that sharp smell, roots could get burned.
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Windmere on 3/25/2016, 3:20 pm

@Windmere wrote:
@ralitaco wrote:So, the bagged stuff from Black hen and Black cow, isn't really compost?
Can/should it be added to the compost pile to break down?
No. no, Black Hen and Black Kow are definitely compost.  Yeah, they sometimes have an odor.  However, they are hit and miss.  I've never had consistently odor free bags.  You can still use them.  Just beware of a super sharp smell (don't know how to exactly describe it).  If there's that sharp smell, roots could get burned.
I was vacuuming right now and I remembered the word I was looking for:  Ammonia!  If you EVER smell ammonia, keep moving... it will severely damage you plants.
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 4:26 pm

Thanks Windmere, I definitely know that smell. I used some last season, maybe that's why my cukes got...dang, can't remember...maybe I should go vacuum. Very Happy

If there is that smell or if I just have extra, throwing it in the pile would be fine, right?
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2016, 4:32 pm

rofl

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/25/2016, 7:20 pm

@ralitaco wrote:
@jimmy cee wrote:Amount of holes on bottom isn't a concern as long as there is some sort of barrier keeping the mix contained.
I have 1/4 inch spacing in my beds flooring with five 1/4"  holes in each square..better to have to much drainage than not enough
That's a good point. If the beds were on the ground, I guess most of the water would seep into to soil beneath the MM anyway, right? So extra holes really shouldn't matter.

JC, I know you didn't use plywood, what size 2x's did you use?
If you mean the bed floor ? I used deck planking...
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 8:11 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:If you mean the bed floor ? I used deck planking...
Yep that's what I meant. Thanks
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Mellen on 3/25/2016, 8:16 pm

Would this count as 2?  This is what I can pick up at our local biomass facility in Visalia:  "...a blend of Dairy Manure Compost and GreenWaste Compost. "


I'm having trouble determining what are "5 parts".  Worm castings & mushroom compost:  is this different than "compost" or included under that umbrella?  One of the items Sanderson lists is family compost.  I don't have any yet, having just built (from pallets) my compost enclosure a couple of weeks ago.  I don't have anything dry this time of year so am going to purchase a shredder and start adding the paper to the pile.  Sigh....so many details about which I know NOTHING!  Has anyone ever heard the expression "shoot & holler...."   Very Happy
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 8:41 pm

@Mellen wrote:Would this count as 2?  This is what I can pick up at our local biomass facility in Visalia:  "...a blend of Dairy Manure Compost and GreenWaste Compost. "


I'm having trouble determining what are "5 parts".  Worm castings & mushroom compost:  is this different than "compost" or included under that umbrella?  One of the items Sanderson lists is family compost.  I don't have any yet, having just built (from pallets) my compost enclosure a couple of weeks ago.  I don't have anything dry this time of year so am going to purchase a shredder and start adding the paper to the pile.  Sigh....so many details about which I know NOTHING!  Has anyone ever heard the expression "shoot & holler...."   Very Happy
I am no expert but I would say yes, that counts as 2 - manure is 1 and the green waste is 2. Then the mushroom would be 3 and the worm poop 4. If that is all you can find, you will be good to go. And if you find another source later, all the better.

The idea for the 5 parts is to get a variety of nutrients based on the various compost ingredients. e.g. - the nutrients in cow manure are going to be different that the nutrients from the green waste (plants).

btw - JimmyCee says Teaming with Microbes is a must read if you are doing your own composting.
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2016, 9:41 pm

Mellen, I'm agreeing with ralitaco that you have 4 sources of compost. Your Home Depot should also have Ecoscraps Compost that has a veggie source. Also, Whole Foods occasionally has a veggie based compost - and the price is reasonable!!

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Windmere on 3/25/2016, 10:48 pm

@ralitaco wrote:Thanks Windmere, I definitely know that smell. I used some last season, maybe that's why my cukes got...dang, can't remember...maybe I should go vacuum. Very Happy

If there is that smell or if I just have extra, throwing it in the pile would be fine, right?
That vacuum comment made me chuckle.  Yes, I think it would be fine to put it in your pile (just be sure it's fully composted before using it).
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/26/2016, 12:15 am

Walked past the vacuum...it was damping off
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/26/2016, 8:02 am

@Mellen wrote:Would this count as 2?  This is what I can pick up at our local biomass facility in Visalia:  "...a blend of Dairy Manure Compost and GreenWaste Compost. "


I'm having trouble determining what are "5 parts".  Worm castings & mushroom compost:  is this different than "compost" or included under that umbrella?  One of the items Sanderson lists is family compost.  I don't have any yet, having just built (from pallets) my compost enclosure a couple of weeks ago.  I don't have anything dry this time of year so am going to purchase a shredder and start adding the paper to the pile.  Sigh....so many details about which I know NOTHING!  Has anyone ever heard the expression "shoot & holler...."   Very Happy

When I first started SFG 33 years ago, I knew absolutely nothing about composting, ( gardening ) also for that matter.
I decided the  best way to learn is by reading, studying, and doing...
I will suggest this book, or others similar for information that some may not be aware of.. I'll never know it all, however, after reading a few times it does sort of sink in with me..
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/26/2016, 9:40 am

Thanks Jimmy, I will have to look for that book too.
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/26/2016, 10:54 am

@ralitaco wrote:Walked past the vacuum...it was damping off
Shocked
Never saw a vacuum do that. Wish mine would.
Do they keel over?
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Windmere on 3/26/2016, 9:34 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@ralitaco wrote:Walked past the vacuum...it was damping off
Shocked
Never saw a vacuum do that.  Wish mine would.
Do they keel over?
Oh dear, what have we started?  Ha ha.
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Windmere on 3/26/2016, 9:35 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:
@Mellen wrote:Would this count as 2?  This is what I can pick up at our local biomass facility in Visalia:  "...a blend of Dairy Manure Compost and GreenWaste Compost. "


I'm having trouble determining what are "5 parts".  Worm castings & mushroom compost:  is this different than "compost" or included under that umbrella?  One of the items Sanderson lists is family compost.  I don't have any yet, having just built (from pallets) my compost enclosure a couple of weeks ago.  I don't have anything dry this time of year so am going to purchase a shredder and start adding the paper to the pile.  Sigh....so many details about which I know NOTHING!  Has anyone ever heard the expression "shoot & holler...."   Very Happy

When I first started SFG 33 years ago, I knew absolutely nothing about composting, ( gardening ) also for that matter.
I decided the  best way to learn is by reading, studying, and doing...
I will suggest this book, or others similar for information that some may not be aware of.. I'll never know it all, however, after reading a few times it does sort of sink in with me..
Jimmy, a friend of mine got a first edition of this book after his grandmother died.  It is indeed amazing and I'd like to get my hands on a copy.
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  ralitaco on 3/26/2016, 10:47 pm

@Windmere wrote:
@CapeCoddess wrote:
@ralitaco wrote:Walked past the vacuum...it was damping off
Shocked
Never saw a vacuum do that.  Wish mine would.
Do they keel over?
Oh dear, what have we started?  Ha ha.

lol! funny post
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  sanderson on 3/27/2016, 1:52 am

Razz

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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  Mellen on 3/12/2017, 12:07 pm

So...I've been re-reading ALSFG for Mel's Mix info because I can NOT find 5 different composts in my area.  I have the ECO compost, manure (I believe any manure is counted as one...I can't get 5 different manures), and that's it.  I could get mushroom compost from Amazon but the cost is prohibitive.  I can't find anything online for Pasadena either.

After reviewing the MM part of ALSFG I realized that Mel is saying if you have home-made compost + some manure, it is good?  Homemade compost is comprised of plant matter, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc.  So if I have the ECO compost + the manure...that should be good, right?

I was in a hurry last year & did this without the vermiculite & peat moss.  Everything grew but.....?  I need to empty those beds & mix those two items in.  Will that be enough (just to add the two parts to complete the MM)?

Even after all this time I'm really confused & any quick advise would be appreciated.  (& Yes, I have checked the other MM Topics here.  Very Happy)
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/12/2017, 1:06 pm

@Mellen wrote:After reviewing the MM part of ALSFG I realized that Mel is saying if you have home-made compost + some manure, it is good?  Homemade compost is comprised of plant matter, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc.  So if I have the ECO compost + the manure...that should be good, right?
I want to know the answer to this, too, as it was also my interpretation...
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Re: Mels Mix shopping list. Help?

Post  llama momma on 3/12/2017, 2:04 pm

Beetles and Mellen, that  sounds like 5 ingredients to me.  Note that before using fresh manure it should be aged.  You will hear that llama and rabbit manure can be used fresh as it does not burn, but I still age it anyway. 

In his book, Mel says coffee grounds should not be more than 10% of the mix but I can't say it harmed my compost when I used more..  The simplest way is to use the most variety of sources as possible. Please Don't fret over perfection.

Regarding worm castings, to me it is such a supreme product that I add it  individually to plants rather than dilute it out among all of Mels Mix.  My personal preference so as to make the most out of my supply.

Do the best you can and if you keep a garden notebook go ahead and note what you used.  If you journal a lot or a little I think it will help you to compare and learn what worked well. You can always adjust next time.
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