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Mel's Mix Components -- Thailand

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Mel's Mix Components -- Thailand

Post  Chuck Boling on 3/13/2011, 12:03 am

Read somewhere - new book or on web - about SFG training in Northern Thailand. Believe this to have been in Chiang Rai Province which in one province to the east of me. Would like to hear of sources of Mel's Mix ingredients for this effort.
My searches for Peat Moss and Vermiculite in Chiang Mai and Pattaya areas havee produced blank stares or polar bear salutes. Am I looking in wrong places?
Regards to all,
Chuck

Chuck Boling

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RE Mel's Mix Components -- Thailand

Post  wwwrench on 3/13/2011, 3:25 am

I'm not sure if this will be of much help, but China is one of the largest producers of vermiculite, finding it may be a challenge however. I would approach it from the masonry industry angle as well as the horticulture industry; while the size may be different the water capacity and such is almost the same. I would also consider perlite as well, it is not as hard to find, and is used in the masonry and insulation industry as well, it is a better mineral supplement as well.

The peat moss problem could be a tougher one, it will be in the U.S some day as well, it takes a lot longer to grow than it does to use. I had heard that it is very hard to find and highly sought after in India. You might consider an alternative, ground or pulverized pine bark has shown to be equal in performance in most tests, some also use coconut fiber with good results, You might also try some of the old fashioned amendments as well depending on what’s available, things like cotton burr, buckwheat, stream bank grasses, hemp fiber, etc.

Look around for what may be available locally in abundance that may work, you never know what you can come up with. And a good compost pile can make up the difference for lots of other variables.

Thanks

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Re: Mel's Mix Components -- Thailand

Post  Megan on 3/13/2011, 8:26 am

I have heard of coconut coir and rice hulls being used in place of the peat moss. You might also try asking for sphagnum moss, as the "peat" moss really isn't peat anymore.
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Many Thanks for Responses Re: N. Thailand

Post  Chuck Boling on 3/13/2011, 9:00 am

Will follow up on recommendations received.
Also have noted peanut shells in soil of recently purchased plants.
Is there a negative aspect to this?
Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Mel's Mix Components -- Thailand

Post  Megan on 3/13/2011, 9:13 am

I have no idea... sorry! Maybe someone else can help. Also... a rather belated WELCOME glad you\'re here to the forum! Smile

Maybe something in this thread will help? It is about SFG in the Philippines.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5255-trying-to-spread-the-word
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Re: Mel's Mix Components -- Thailand

Post  camprn on 3/13/2011, 10:47 am

Hi there Chuck to the SFG Forum! If you have not had a chance to read the All New Square Foot Gardening book, I would encourage you to get a copy.

The recommendation for the vermiculite as an ingredient in Mel's Mix is primarily for water retention and to some degree aeration. He recommends that if you have no access to vermiculite, or peat for that matter, that straight compost is just fine.
In your climate, my guess is you could start a pile of compostable materials and have complete compost in about 4 weeks.
If you know any one with a garden, or perhaps landscapers, they would probably be your best source of local garden info.
Please let us here at the Forum know how it is going. You could start a Photo album in the Gallery. Very Happy

As to the vermiculite having asbestos, this was a problem several decades ago, but is no longer an issue. Asbestos is not a typical contaminant in vermiculite.
You can read more about it ~~~~>HERE.
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Re: Mel's Mix Components -- Thailand

Post  Megan on 3/13/2011, 10:50 am

Thanks camprn!
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