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Here Are My Supplies

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Here Are My Supplies

Post  bennyhannahmama on 3/29/2011, 10:00 pm

So I've purchased my supplies for MM and I was wondering if some of you more experienced SFGers could help me figure this all out!

So, I've got 2 4x4 boxes which means I need a total of 16 cubic feet of MM which I'm rounding up to 6 cubic feet of each.

My peat moss should be perfect: 3 cubic foot bag (which "fluffed up" should equal 6 cubic feet- right?)
Oh and how do I "fluff" it? Does it just become fluffed by releasing it from the sealed bag?



Next, I've got the vermiculite. Of course, it couldn't be easy and didn't come in a bag that had the volume calculated Sad From feeling the outside of the bag, I do believe it's the coarse vermiculite, but I have no idea how much this is...does anyone have a clue?



Then this is where things became tricky. I thought that I needed to avoid big bags of compost at all costs because I thought that would not be good quality (and I was advised not to skimp on this, no matter how tempting it may be!) So I looked at all the different "composts" which was confusing because the guy at the feed store wasn't sure if I was asking about organic fertilizers or manure only and I wasn't so sure myself. So, I ended up getting a variety of each. I know the idea is to get 5 different kinds and that was not a problem. What is a problem is that I have no idea how to calculate how much I need. This is what I got:



Should I make sure to use all the smaller bags of the expensive compost and then fill in what I need to with the larger bags of manure? How in the world am I really going to know if I have equal(ish) parts?

I can't believe how overwhelming this has been Sad

Thanks in advance,
Kim

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  Old Hippie on 3/29/2011, 10:29 pm

Kim, don't be discouraged. You are doing great. It is a lot of work at the beginning, but ANY garden is. Believe me. I have taken a patch of ground, all grass and weeds, and turned it into a traditional ROW garden and that was much more work than this is. First we roto-tilled it three times. Then I raked it and took all the big clumps of grass and weeds out that I could see. This took DAYS. Finally, I was able to start making my rows and planting seeds but dang the grass was already springing up from clods that had been turned under. Eventually I got everything planted and watered it. Within just a couple of days I had weeds growing and I could hardly tell where my rows were. it was awful. This may seem like a lot of work but it is not nearly as bad as that was.

So according to the book you are to mix all of your different types of compost together, then add your vermiculite and then your peat moss. Mel does it on a big tarp. To make sure you get your proportions right, you might want to mix all your compost together and then do like some people have done and that is measure it out in buckets onto another tarp or right into your box. One of compost, one of vermiculite and one of peat moss and so on since the bags are not comparable in size. That is what I would do anyway,

Peat moss is very often really compressed and sticks together in big lumps that you have to break up. I would break up as much of it as possible and then measure it out.

The one thing I noticed and that is the bag of Flowertone. I am not familiar with that brand but it looks to me like that is more of a fertilizer to promote flowering than it is an actual compost. I could be wrong but you might want to check that. Others on the forum will probably have better ideas and info than I do.

Best of luck to you.

Gwynn

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  walshevak on 3/29/2011, 10:52 pm

The vermiculite looks about the size of the 4 cu ft bags I buy. One of my bags of compost listed both pounds and cu ft. 40 lbs was .75 cu ft. Another listed 50 lbs as 1 cu ft. I would blend the composts then use that chicken doo pail as a measuring device. 1 pail compost, 1 pail vermiculit, 1 pail peat. Any left over compost can be saved for replenishing second crops.

And when you open the peat, run your hands all through it to fluff it as you pull it out of the package. Just make sure it's not a windy day. The peat and vermiculite will swirl. Very Happy

Kay

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/29/2011, 11:09 pm

I know it can be overwhelming feeling. But, it's not forever. Just think about this.....once you figure out how to do things, you can forget what you've learned. You will never need to do it again. Well, barring adding new boxes.

But, anywhoo, I can't add anything to what the others have said. They nailed it. I guess if the day is breezy, you may consider a mask if you are sensitive to debris. That vermiculite dust gets right up in the nose.

Good luck. Can't wait to see your garden growing.

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  Old Hippie on 3/30/2011, 2:14 am

A huge yes to the mask......even if you aren't sensitive. It is just good safety practice.

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/30/2011, 12:22 pm

Gloves are a good idea too.

We need a big mixmaster that we can send from one place to another to help out with blending everything

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  Blackrose on 3/30/2011, 12:31 pm

DH is thinking of renting a cement mixer this year.

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/30/2011, 1:11 pm

Wow, you guys must be taking volume to a whole other level with cement mixers and the like! That must be some kind of operation. I have a couple of kiddos that don't like to work.....but need to learn. Can I ship them your way for a week? Wink Sounds like you could use some helpers?

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  Blackrose on 3/30/2011, 1:25 pm

I definitely could use some helpers. My kids are still too small to help with big jobs like mixing MM. I have about 60CF+ (I think... DH is the math wizard) of MM to mix this year. Doing all of that on a tarp seems like way too much work to me. Now plugging in a cement mixer, throwing everything in and letting it do it's thing sounds better. Even if we still need to do it in batches. Twisted Evil

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/30/2011, 1:39 pm

@Blackrose wrote:I definitely could use some helpers. My kids are still too small to help with big jobs like mixing MM. I have about 60CF+ (I think... DH is the math wizard) of MM to mix this year. Doing all of that on a tarp seems like way too much work to me. Now plugging in a cement mixer, throwing everything in and letting it do it's thing sounds better. Even if we still need to do it in batches. Twisted Evil


Absolutely! I'm all for simplifying things.

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  walshevak on 3/30/2011, 1:57 pm

I did 60 cu ft at my house and then 2 weeks later did the same at my son's house. I was a whipped puppy. Smile

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/30/2011, 3:24 pm

You are a better woman than I, Walshevak. I can't imagine doing 120 cu ft on a tarp in 2 weeks.

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  walshevak on 3/30/2011, 5:03 pm

You do what you have to do when nobody will help.

Kay

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/30/2011, 5:05 pm

@walshevak wrote:You do what you have to do when nobody will help.

Kay

Did the bottle of Advil at least taste good going down?

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Re: Here Are My Supplies

Post  walshevak on 3/30/2011, 5:44 pm

When I did mine, I spread the joy out over 3 days. Then I had to unload all the beds, restabilize my TT beds and reload. Took me a full week, but no advil.

At son's house I only had 1 day to get the mix done as rain was expected and I was planning to return home. That was a 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening advil day plus a sangria night. I'm getting entirely too old for this.

And we only got one bed finished, loaded and planted. My experimental wicking bed. Wrapped all the MM in a tarp. That was a week ago. BTW the plants and seed are doing well, but the wicking test is a flop because it has done nothing but rain. Heading back to his house next week and hope to get 2 more wicking beds completed. Oh I forgot, filled a 2x8 flower bed for my DIL. Made it from a lumber and plywood walkway pulled out of the attic and turned upside down from when we reinsulated.

BUT MY SON BUILT THE BEDS FOR HIS HOUSE. And I cheated and used kits for my beds. again nobody to help.

Guess you could say I'm gardening on both the north and south coastal regions of NC. Very Happy


Last edited by walshevak on 3/30/2011, 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional info)

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