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Does MM improve with age?

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Does MM improve with age?

Post  countrynaturals on 10/14/2017, 2:57 pm

My OSFG is much better this year (2nd year). I'm sure it's due to all the added, aged organic matter over the past 12 months. Does MM do the same or is it great from the very start? geek
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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/14/2017, 3:14 pm

CN,

It depends on the quality and number of your composts, whether any contain additional peat moss, fluffing the peat moss before measuring and mixing it in, and watering the mix in thoroughly before planting.  

And yes, MM does improve as one adds additional compost.
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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  sanderson on 10/14/2017, 3:33 pm

Ditto. The quality of the compost blend is the most important ingredient when starting out. The Mix does improve over the first season as the microorganisms get established. (and worms Very Happy )

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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  countrynaturals on 10/15/2017, 11:42 am

AHA! I forgot about the wee beasties.  Rolling Eyes
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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  sanderson on 10/15/2017, 11:59 am

Very Happy

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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  plantoid on 10/15/2017, 2:58 pm

The original MM breaks down over several years ,  the vermiculite granules turn to a fine powder but still attract water tainted with plant nutrients from the compostable components of the original mix .

 As you add compost you " build the soil " so , after say SEVEN  years there will be very little left of the original MM & that's how it should be  . 
So long as you replenish as you harvest each square with well made compost you won't need to buy any more peat or vermiculite at all . Most folks also cease buying in compostable components .



 However if you want you can add a little of some of the five different dung based manures  in the components  to your composting activities  to get fantastic  results  .

 Just don't grow root veg in squares with the enhanced compost in them during the first year of putting it in the bed / square or they will grow many many roots instead of a nice long single one .



 SEVEN  years is in capitals because in the science of composting & growing  most of it will have been used by the plants  . Old timers of old used to use composted dungs & associated urine soaked bedding  & general garden waste  to manure the plot area being manured  with a barrow load of three year old composted manure per yard of dug trench once every seven years . Or two barrows full if you were doing double digging on virgin ground .

 I've seen the results of a 73 year old guy called "  Bill " doing the same as his father & grand father did in the same plot ( from about 1850 ) result the plot was nearly four feet deep & could grow almost any crop you care to name that could be grown in the UK .

 Old Bill never had wire worm or cut worm problems as there was always a supply if of the right type of decaying compost in the beds to keep them off the living plants .
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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  countrynaturals on 10/15/2017, 3:51 pm

WOW!  thanks Plantoid for a very helpful, informative post.
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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  sfg4uKim on 10/18/2017, 8:29 pm

Yes it improves with age. However, after a few seasons you will need to ADD an inch or two more Mel's Mix (not just compost) as the volume will go down because of sticking to roots, etc.

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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  countrynaturals on 10/18/2017, 8:34 pm

@sfg4uKim wrote:Yes it improves with age. However, after a few seasons you will need to ADD an inch or two more Mel's Mix (not just compost) as the volume will go down because of sticking to roots, etc.
thanks Boy, this stuff is spendy! I just spent $60 on enough for one little round carrot bed. affraid I could never have used MM in my Salad Bar (OSFG) without taking out a 2nd mortgage on the farm. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  sanderson on 10/19/2017, 10:26 am

CN, it is a lot cheaper if you make your own. It's just more work. In your salad beds, you would only need 6" at the top.

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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  countrynaturals on 10/19/2017, 11:19 am

@sanderson wrote:CN, it is a lot cheaper if you make your own.  It's just more work.  In your salad beds, you would only need 6" at the top.
I will only be using it for the new carrot bed. Everything else is in chips, leaves, or compost and dirt. I don't have a salad bed, because I can't find any greens that don't just taste like bitter grass to me. Mad If the carrot experience works out, I might use MM in future root crop beds and containers, however.
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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  sanderson on 10/19/2017, 7:27 pm

I meant to wrote salad bar, not salad bed. You called the U-shaped tall, enclosed beds something like that. ??

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Re: Does MM improve with age?

Post  countrynaturals on 10/19/2017, 7:41 pm

@sanderson wrote:I meant to wrote salad bar, not salad bed.  You called the U-shaped tall, enclosed beds something like that.  ??
Yup. Salad Bar. It's doing much better this year, but it will stay old school for now. Can't afford to turn it into MM when compost, chips, and leaves are free. Rolling Eyes
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