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Using Mel's Mix for potting soil

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Using Mel's Mix for potting soil

Post  cynthiajordan on 4/12/2017, 1:27 pm

My kids and I have started our own backyard nursery, and we're getting ready to pot some seedlings.  I was going to buy some bulk potting soil in my area.  Would Mel's mix work for potting plants?  Want to be sure it's not too heavy for pots.

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Re: Using Mel's Mix for potting soil

Post  Banned Member on 4/12/2017, 2:10 pm

I have used it for some container gardening in the past.  I would recommend going with a high-grade potting mix that basically has the ingredients of Mel's Mix in the contents.

We purchased an organic potting mix that had peat moss, coconut coir, perlite*, and many different blends of compost, including quality worm castings.

I have seen elsewhere that if you go with 2/3 Mel's Mix and 1/3 quality compost, it does great with containers.  The key is to go with a large enough container for your chosen vegetable.  If you go with a tomato or squash, you really need to be liberal in your container size, especially if you have hot and dry summers.

* I have heard that a lot of the vermiculite in bagged forms actually contains quite a bit of asbestos, while perlite does not.  For this reason, we have stopped using vermiculite because it is too expensive to get an assay every time we buy vermiculite. 

Here is the potting mix we used before--we are not doing any containers this year.

Organic Potting Soil

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Re: Using Mel's Mix for potting soil

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/12/2017, 2:16 pm

I use Mel's Mix all the time for potted plants.


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Re: Using Mel's Mix for potting soil

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/12/2017, 3:11 pm

Welcome to the forum, Cynthia!

I've used MM in 5 and 7 gallon buckets. A potting MIX would also work fine, though I find that products labeled as potting SOIL tend to be heavy/goopy.

I completely agree with TNG's recommendation of going with larger containers for tomatoes and squash. In the summer I sometimes had to water those more than once a day to keep them from wilting.

Current vermiculite should not contain asbestos. The mine that had asbestos-contaminated vermiculite was shut down in 1990. Contaminated vermiculite purchased before/around then may still be out there inside the walls of homes (as insulation - so if anyone's got that, get it tested before doing those renovations, and don't just put it in your garden!), but shouldn't be on the shelves anymore.
Here's more detailed information: http://www.schundler.com/verm-asb.htm
(Mind you, I'm not suggesting breathing the dust -- I don't recommend breathing any solids except those prescribed to you by a doctor.)

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Re: Using Mel's Mix for potting soil

Post  sanderson on 4/12/2017, 5:23 pm

Hi Cynthia, Welcome to the Forum. I use Mel's Mix in every type and size container.


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Re: Using Mel's Mix for potting soil

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/12/2017, 7:39 pm

Not only do I use Mel's mix but I use '' used" Mel's mix. The seeds don't need the nutrients until their first true leaves show up at which time I bottom feed them with Neptune or up pot them into compost.

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