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Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

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Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  fortop on 6/5/2010, 10:37 pm

I found Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot in Tucson for $12.97 per 2 cu. ft. bag today. Neither store had vermiculite, so I bought the premix (price would have been about the same if I mixed it myself.) I bought one bag and plan to use 5 gallon pails to start some bell peppers and tomatoes. The plants at both stores looked stressed to me (maybe under too much shade?), but some were starting to flower, so I am off to the local nurseries tomorrow.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  AliSmith13 on 6/6/2010, 12:46 am

Thanks for the heads up! I guess I didn't realize you could buy "Mel's Mix" already premixed and ready to go! Of course you wouldn't want to buy it that way for large beds, but for containers, that's great! I will definitely be doing that as I just happen to have some containers that need filled.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Mariko on 6/6/2010, 2:11 am

I did not know this - I might go pick up some tomorrow since I need more for my upside down tomato planter. It was really hard to find vermiculite in my area. So this is great. Thank you for the information.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Wyldflower on 6/6/2010, 9:52 am

I can't wait for the pre-mix "GardenTime Square Foot Garden Soil" to be available here in Colorado Springs! I'm mixing up another batch of MM today.

Ali and Mariko - you may want to call or check online whether it's available at your local HD or Lowes. It's a new product line, and it's slowly becoming more widely available.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  fortop on 6/6/2010, 9:53 am

Actually, if you price the materials separately on the Home Depot or Lowe's websites, the cost of mixing your own or buying the premix is about the same, and you don't have Mel's "special" organic fertilizer (like bat guano, etc.) So, my guess would be that buying a pallet of 2 cu. ft. bags of Mel's mix from an online wholesaler might actually be cheaper than buying individual bags of components - but I have no experience in these matters. At $12.97 per bag, mix for a 4' x 4' x 6" box would be 4 bags of 2 cu. ft. = $103.76 (+ tax in Tucson would be $113.20) - so this is an expensive hobby. Plus, I have my doubts about 6" deep of mix being enough to sustain crops, especially the deep root crops like carrots, etc.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  extremesoccermom on 6/6/2010, 10:49 am

So far it is not in the St. Louis stores but I can't wait. I already have plans for more boxes next year. Although Hummert Industrial which is the only place I have been able to find Vermiculite told me they would have a "Mel's" mix ready for next year.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Weed 'em and Reap on 6/6/2010, 1:07 pm

This is AWESOME!!! I have been waiting for this day! It's not in any of the stores around me yet, but I am excited to know that some Lowe's are offering it, and it will probably show up in my store sometime soon! Perfect for when you need just a little bit more of Mix, and you don't want/need to mix up a whole batch. Also perfect for those that can't find 5 types of compost, etc. Yay, Mel's Mix!

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Correction - $51.88 for Mel's mix for 4' x 4' x 6" box

Post  fortop on 6/6/2010, 2:09 pm

4' x 4' x6" = 16 sq. ft. x 1/2 ft. (6" deep) = 8 cu. ft. / 2 cu. ft. bags = 4 bags per 4' x 4' box.
4 bags x $12.97 = $51.88 to fill a 4' x 4' x 6" box ($56.61 in Tucson with sales tax.)
(Previous post was result of wrong calculator entry.)
The only vermiculite I saw at Home Depot was a medium grain, which looked like sand to me. It was $19.97 for a two cu. ft. bag. I think this makes premixed Mel's mix the only logical choice, although I still think it is very expensive. The pallets at Home Depot and Lowes are shrink wrapped from the supplier at 50 bags per pallet.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Wyldflower on 6/6/2010, 2:18 pm

Granted, it's expensive, but you only have to put the Mel's Mix into each box one year.... in subsequent years, (or after each harvest/change of crop in a square) you supplement with mixed compost only. I'm looking at this as a long-term investment.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  AZDYJ2K on 6/6/2010, 8:37 pm

I just got some Mel's Mix at the Chandler Home Depot on Alma School and Chandler for the same price ($12.97) per 2 cubic foot bag. This may be a bit more expensive than mixing your own but saves a bunch of trouble having to hunt down the vermiculite and getting 5 different kinds of compost etc.

Thanks for the tip...it saved me a ton of time.

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Happy Day!

Post  graceypt on 6/7/2010, 12:46 am

I just checked online with my Lowe's here in Burbank, CA and they carry Mel's Mix! I can't wait to go garden shopping! I am planning on building 2 small TT beds for my DP's grandma. She was so excited when I told her I have fallen in love with gardening using this new method called SFG. Let's just say after showing pictures of my growing garden she wanted her own

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Chopper on 6/7/2010, 1:42 am

@graceypt wrote:I just checked online with my Lowe's here in Burbank, CA and they carry Mel's Mix! I can't wait to go garden shopping! I am planning on building 2 small TT beds for my DP's grandma. She was so excited when I told her I have fallen in love with gardening using this new method called SFG. Let's just say after showing pictures of my growing garden she wanted her own

One does seem to spread the enthusiasm. It really makes gardening fun again.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  chocolatepop on 6/7/2010, 12:47 pm

@fortop wrote:snip..Plus, I have my doubts about 6" deep of mix being enough to sustain crops, especially the deep root crops like carrots, etc.

unless you are doing short and stubbies, carrots require a highrise Wink

Also, 8cf will be enough UNTIL you add water,then it will compact. I'd get an extra bag just in case.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/7/2010, 1:04 pm

When I originally set up my second box, I used the prescribed 8 cubic feet of Mel's Mix. It promptly settled.

To my surprise, everything I planted (mostly greens) thrived in about 5" of mix.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  fortop on 6/7/2010, 7:36 pm

I planted 4 individual 5 gallon pails with 2 bell pepper plants and 2 tomato plants yesterday. I used 4" of sand, 9" of Mel's mix, and 2" of bark for mulch on top. As others have mentioned, the Mel's mix compresses quickly by about 2-3" after watering. I am blocking the direct sun with a piece of plywood for shade after 2:00 p.m., but the plants look like they are wilting in the 106 degree heat. I may have to use some shade cloth over the whole setup for the whole day. I will see if they survive the first day of planting tomorrow.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  schristi69 on 6/11/2010, 6:02 pm

I have seen the Mels mix at both Home Depot and Lowes and thought the $13.00 a bag was steep. After pricing the ingredients though....$27.00 a bag vermiculite (2CF x 5), $10.00 a cube of peat moss (2.2 CF x 5) and compost about $5.00 a bag average (2 CF x 5)..... my boxes are 4x4x2 or 32 CF each. Mels mix in a bag....$295.00. Make it yourself is about $160.00 or so. Still cheaper to mix it. Thought I was going to get in on this on the cheap. HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Chopper on 6/11/2010, 6:07 pm

You could put something cheaper in the bottom 3/4 of your box. Like plain old dirt or the cheapest soil at the HD or Lowes. Mel only asks for the top 6 inches.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Wyldflower on 6/11/2010, 6:08 pm

Is there a reason you are using 2' depth of mix for your boxes? If I'm not mistaken, 6" depth is enough to grow most things, and 12" depth would be generous for just about anything.

Can you fill the first 1' of your box with ordinary dirt or some other fill (like cinderblocks maybe) then a layer of weed barrier, then fill the top foot with the mix? That would cut your costs considerably.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  schristi69 on 6/12/2010, 12:31 am

The idea was to give the plant roots more depth. Water would be available even if the top dried out. I went with recommendations from Extreme Gardening where raised beds should be 12 to 18" here. This is also what I have seen at the botanical gardens here. I have seen 6" of soil completely dry up in an afternoon on a summer day in Phoenix. I have plants started in 3" pots and if not watered every morning, they are completely dry by the time I get home. I like the idea of not using MM for the entire planter. Never occured to me. I can fill half with bagged garden soil and the rest with the MM.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Chopper on 6/12/2010, 1:37 am

@schristi69 wrote: I like the idea of not using MM for the entire planter. Never occured to me. I can fill half with bagged garden soil and the rest with the MM.

Hey. I'm all about cheap here!

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  Shirley Q on 6/12/2010, 5:54 pm

If the Peat moss is the 2.2 bale then you need to remember that the bale expands to double. So instead of 5 you would only need to purchase 3. you will have left overs. So it lowers your cost even more. Purchasing the mix is nice if you are going to do just a little box or if you are a little short on a box. Other wise it is best to mix it yourself.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  schristi69 on 6/18/2010, 1:45 pm

On another note I did see that HD does carry the large bags of vermiculite and perlite. At the store near me they have it with all of the plant stands, drip trays and hangers in the indor plant section. Must have been out when I looked before. They want $20.00 a bag, $3.00 more than Summerwinds.

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Vermiculite Sources

Post  wwwrench on 3/12/2011, 3:28 am

Some Tips For Vermiculite Sources

This is an expensive product when you want to buy it from where you buy your compost and peat. But the going rate from the source should be around $12.00 for 4 cu. ft. Here are some tips to help find it.
It is used alot in fireproofing so if you look for a fireproofing company in your area they will likely have it. It is also used in the insulated concrete industry, so most concrete suppliers can give you a good source.

In Albuquerque a good source is Southwest Fire-Proofing, it runs about $12.00 for a 4 cu.ft. sack. The Phone number is (505) 345-1633 and if you call them they may know someone in your area to contact. A 4cu. ft. bag is only about 18lbs so shipping it may be an option as well.

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Premixed Mel's Mix - Any Quantity Discounts Out There?

Post  stringbean28 on 12/30/2011, 9:26 pm

I've had two 8x2x1' tall boxes for a couple of years. I want to put in 6 more boxes. According to my calculations that's 16 cu ft times 6 boxes for a total of 96 cubic feet of Mel's Mix. Since it would take a lot of time to mix that much Mel's mix (and the cost is almost the same if I buy the bags and mix it myself) I am trying to find a source that will sell me large quantities of premixed Mel's mix. Any ideas out there anyone?

I called Home Depot in Phoenix, Arizona and they will sell me one bag pre-mixed for $12.97 for a 2 cu ft bag. If I bought the pre-mixed bags I would need 48 bags. The Pro Desk said even if I ordered 350 bags from them the price wouldn't go down and they would still charge me $12.97 per bag. There just seems like there has to be another source out there. Any ideas?

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

Post  janezee on 12/30/2011, 9:44 pm

Check your local landscaping companies. I buy my ingredients by the yard from mine. A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet. I get my ingredients for $1/cubic foot by buying by the trailerful.

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Re: Mel's Mix at Lowes and Home Depot

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