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Easy way to get Mel's Mix in a raised bed

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Easy way to get Mel's Mix in a raised bed

Post  TNGeezer on 4/19/2017, 10:11 am

I am sure this is not original, and this may have been posted before in the same or similar manner, but here is how I easily filled our last 4x4 raised bed.

1. Gathered the peat moss, vermiculite (and perlite), and our compost.  I wheelbarrowed the compost to within a foot of the bed, and had the other bags immediately adjacent.

2. Opened the bags of peat, vermiculite, and perlite wide enough to fit a shovel inside.

3. Brought my garden hose and sprayer to the box with the water turned on and hose in the shower setting.

4. Took the shovel and applied 3 shovels full of compost into the middle of the raised bed.  Then, took a scant shovel full of vermiculite and one of perlite and deposited it on top of the compost.  Then, took 2 shovels full of peat moss and did the same.  This equals 7 shovels full of Mel's Mix.

5. I repeated the process until I had done this 7 times.  After 7 rounds, I took the back of our rake and spread it across the raised bed.

6. The garden hose sprayed water on the 7 rounds of 7 shovels full.

I repeated this again and again until the bed was full.  This eliminated having to put it all on a tarp, mixing and bringing to the raised bed and then removing from the tarp and having to fill the bed.

The mix actually looked more mixed than doing it the other way.  Old backs tend to take shortcuts when heavy lifting comes into the equation.

My big problem has been with weeds.  It didn't take a week for weeds to start poking through the new Mel's Mix.  I just noticed this AM that some of our containers that are on the top shelf of our outdoor storage now have weeds growing in them.  

It would be a lot easier to just grow weeds.
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Re: Easy way to get Mel's Mix in a raised bed

Post  trolleydriver on 4/19/2017, 10:51 am

@TNGeezer wrote:
4. Took the shovel and applied 3 shovels full of compost into the middle of the raised bed.  Then, took a scant shovel full of vermiculite and one of perlite and deposited it on top of the compost.  Then, took 2 shovels full of peat moss and did the same.  This equals 7 shovels full of Mel's Mix.

5. I repeated the process until I had done this 7 times.  After 7 rounds, I took the back of our rake and spread it across the raised bed.


...

My big problem has been with weeds.  It didn't take a week for weeds to start poking through the new Mel's Mix.  I just noticed this AM that some of our containers that are on the top shelf of our outdoor storage now have weeds growing in them.  

It would be a lot easier to just grow weeds.

Why 3 of compost and 2 of each of the other components? Why not follow Mel's formula of 1/3rd of each component. I find it easy to mix up small batches on a tarp using a 5 gallon bucket to measure out each component. I have to keep the batches small for the same reason you mention TNG ... bad back. As for weeds, maybe I've been lucky but I have never had a problem with weeds in the MM. Cheers.  Very Happy

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Re: Easy way to get Mel's Mix in a raised bed

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/19/2017, 11:24 am

I also use five-gallon buckets to measure the ingredients for MM.

The most I can mix on a tarp is about two cubic feet; I prefer to have a helper.  Otherwise, I measure and mix tiny amounts in the pails themselves, or in a wheelbarrow, which then can be wheeled directly to a bed, dumped, then watered a bit at a time.
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Re: Easy way to get Mel's Mix in a raised bed

Post  TNGeezer on 4/19/2017, 2:34 pm

I should have posted the reason for the different amount of compost.   I forgot to mention that I found it very hard to not pick up a heaping amount of vermiculite and peat moss, while the compost tends to be level.  Therefore, to get close to 1/3 of each, you need an extra scoop of compost.

I will add that before we had enough compost, I used to take 5 shovels full of peat, 5 of vermiculite and then 1 each of the 5 composts.  I made a semi-circle around the squares, with the composts on the inside and the peat and vermiculite on the outside.  Me being crazy in the head, I had to call out the next compost and repeat it so I would remember which one was next up.  Back then, I had chickedy doo dah, mushroom compost, lobster compost, and 2 types of worm castings.
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