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MM really settles!

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MM really settles!

Post  ander217 on 2/27/2011, 7:04 am

Hubby redid our 4' x 4' x 12" box last week, adding hardware cloth and new weed barrier to the bottom, and adding remixed MM. The MM in that box had settled several inches since last year, so he mixed all of it in with some new MM and piled the box full of the new remix. (The bottom six inches were composted rice hulls with the MM added on top.) Since our new 1' x 8' box wasn't yet ready to take the extra MM, he just piled it all on top of the 4' x 4', intending to transfer it this weekend. The mound in the middle was at least 12" high.

We had five inches of rain on Thursday. We went to the garden yesterday, and saw that the mix had already settled two or three inches below the top of the 4' x 4' box. When we leveled out the mound with the shovel handle, it was right to the top of the box, as it should be.

All of our new boxes will have the MM mounded high in the middle now to allow for settling.
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Re: MM really settles!

Post  camprn on 2/27/2011, 8:21 am

Oh boy does it ever settle! :!: During garden clean up last autumn I ended up adding a wheel barrow full of compost to each 4x4 garden box. The mix was mounded up when it began to snow. Hopefully it will keep the boxes full this season. What a Face
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Re: MM really settles!

Post  Megan on 2/27/2011, 10:08 am

Remind me to post a photo of my strawberry jar. Looks like I forgot to fill it the rest of the way.
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Re: MM really settles!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/27/2011, 10:52 am

That peat moss is funny stuff. It springs out of the compressed bale like a slinky, and shrinks like shrinky-dinks when watered shortly after.
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Re: MM really settles!

Post  LaFee on 2/27/2011, 12:09 pm

I can't remember the poster's name to save my life (sorry!) -- she is in California, and has the Apollo Gardens as a community project with the neighbors...

She said that several of the neighbors who were skeptical of MM used other mixes for their boxes...and they actually had MORE settling than she has had in her MM...

(mine settled 2" or so, too...but it makes me feel better to know that the non-MM boxes settled as much or more)

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Re: MM really settles!

Post  sfg4uKim on 2/27/2011, 12:15 pm

I've decided to put in 10 cf of MM instead of the recommended 8 cf.

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Re: MM really settles!

Post  Weedless_ on 2/27/2011, 1:07 pm

Mine settled to my much disappointment to almost half the box, and throughout the season, I kept topping it off with black compost I got from the county. This year, it's not settling almost at all, and I just add some home made compost to the top as I plant new stuff. Once seedlings grow to about 2 inches, I mulch with spoiled straw and we are game.
I also found that newly mixed Mel's mix isn't that nutritious, unless you have some super gorgeous compost combo. I kept amending it with rotten manure, did several fish-wash applications, and some compost tea. Then and only then my beans finally got green and cucurbits went crazy growing. You live, you learn
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Re: MM really settles!

Post  LaFee on 2/27/2011, 2:06 pm

I'll have to try the extra oomph this year -- I had two smallish jack-o-lanterns, but the rest of cucurbits (cukes, watermelon, and canteloupe) grew four leaves and that's all they did.

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Re: MM really settles!

Post  elliephant on 2/27/2011, 6:59 pm

I remember someone (Boffer?) saying they measured and it really takes 10 cf to fill a 4 by 4 box, not 8, even though mathematically it shouldn't be so. This year I decided to just add in extra compost from the start, partly because I've read that's a good idea in long growing season climates like mine, and partly because that was the most affordable solution. I added a double share of compost and the mix didn't seem all that different from the first (correct) batch I made, but there was more of it.

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Re: MM really settles!

Post  Megan on 2/27/2011, 7:05 pm

I tried a few amendments but the one that seemed to help mine the most was smashed-up Tums tablets (for calcium.) I need to remember to get my soil tested this year. Apparently the little kits you get at a gardening shop aren't very precise.
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Re: MM really settles!

Post  camprn on 2/27/2011, 7:25 pm

@elliephant wrote:I remember someone (Boffer?) saying they measured and it really takes 10 cf to fill a 4 by 4 box, not 8, even though mathematically it shouldn't be so. This year I decided to just add in extra compost from the start, partly because I've read that's a good idea in long growing season climates like mine, and partly because that was the most affordable solution. I added a double share of compost and the mix didn't seem all that different from the first (correct) batch I made, but there was more of it.
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