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Ratio of components in soil mix.

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Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  rdinman on 3/19/2010, 10:39 pm

I understand that I need to put equal amounts of compost, vermiculite, and peat moss in my soil mix. The vermiculite is loose in a bag. The peat moss is compressed. Do I put 1 unit of vermiculite and 1 unit of compost with 1 compressed unit of peat moss, or should it be loosened first?

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  SirTravers on 3/19/2010, 10:47 pm

if you have the peat bale that says 3.8 compressed you'll use half the bale in your mix for each bag of vermiculite

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  rdinman on 3/19/2010, 11:14 pm

Are you assuming a 4 cu ft bag of vermiculite?

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  SirTravers on 3/19/2010, 11:16 pm

oh heck I forgot to write that part in but yes you are right on that.

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  rdinman on 3/19/2010, 11:22 pm

Thanks for the input. This is the first time for us to try the sfg. I mixed about half of what I need and then got to thinking that I might be super heavy on my peat moss since it was compressed.

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  SirTravers on 3/19/2010, 11:39 pm

I understand completely. I just made up my first batch of the Mix yesterday. Now I have to wait on another bag of vermiculite to come in at the feed store so I can fill my next box.

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  boffer on 3/20/2010, 12:18 am

The most consistent way is to use a five gallon bucket as a measuring cup. It takes a little over 3 buckets each to fill a 4x4.
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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  rds1955 on 3/20/2010, 5:32 am

@boffer wrote:The most consistent way is to use a five gallon bucket as a measuring cup. It takes a little over 3 buckets each to fill a 4x4.

Whew! That just went over my head...
Thank you...I get my numbers confused when trying to figure out all the cubic footage, and something as simple as what you posted just thumped me right in the head as to how much I complicate the very simple things...

I gotta write that one down and post it in the Garage next to all the supplies, cause I know I'll forget it and get lost in my own private Chaos...

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five gallon bucket as measurer

Post  edsac64 on 5/16/2010, 5:45 pm

Hi, when you say three five gal buckets for a 4 X 4, do you mean one bucket of each ingredient, vermiculite, loosened peat moss and compost?

Thanks!

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/16/2010, 5:48 pm

Yes, just make sure the bucket of compost has five types in it. (NOT a bucket of each kind!) That's figuring you are using 6" lumber.

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  chexmix on 5/16/2010, 8:15 pm

The way I did it was:

1. Make box and put it where I wanted it.

2. Mix ALL 5 compost types together in a small kiddie pool. (Can use wheel barrow, tarp or something else you have handy.)

3. Put ONE five gallon bucket of Vermiculite, One bucket of Peat Moss (uncompressed) and one bucket of the mixed compost from above onto a tarp.

4. Get someone to help and move tarp back and forth several times to mix everything. Then put in box. (I wet my mix after I put it in the box to help with the wieght but others wet (dampen) it while mixing.)

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you box is full. Remember, it will settle. So you might think the box is full enough then after you wet it really good you lose about an inch. So fill the box, soak it really good then see if you need more.

Good luck
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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  Selandra on 5/16/2010, 8:29 pm

Well that explains a lot.... I just knocked off what I figured was .8 of the peat moss and used the rest. Oh well, I'll just add more compost this fall...
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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  milaneyjane on 5/16/2010, 10:51 pm

DH and I mixed a few batches yesterday on our large tarp and we were able to mix 3 buckets of EACH on the tarp at one time. For the compost it meant a little over a half a bucket each. That is probably the biggest batch we could manage. We shoveled the first bit into the beds and then were able to hoist the tarp in the beds and poured the rest in.

And yes, it is amazing how much it settles!!!
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Opps - I missed that one!

Post  kiwirose on 5/17/2010, 12:16 pm

gasp - I have not fluffed up my peat moss - I took my 3cuft to be gospel! If I take a minute to think about it - it is 3cuft compressed that might just explain why some of my little ones were slow to start - I ended up amending with fertilizer and all my plants took off. I am in the same boat as Selandra - I will be adding more compost in each time I trade my plants out I guess. Oh well, that's not the first oversight in my sfg - and my lettuce and spinace still taste great, my beans and peas are still flowering and I have big fat broccoli heads that are to die for - I guess my veges are forgiving Smile

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Re: Ratio of components in soil mix.

Post  Dunkinjean on 5/17/2010, 4:38 pm

My husband and I did the following:

1) Mixed all the different composts together and divided by 3

2) Peatmoss divide by 3

3) Vermiculite divide by 3

Mix 1/3 of each together. This makes one box. Therefore, we got 3 boxes.

My husband mixed his 1/3 on a patio.

I mixed mine by equal buckets in a wheel barrel which was easier for me.

It's all elementary and ends up the same.

It's all fun.

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