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Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

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Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  wtexas on 4/1/2011, 9:40 am

I'm new to this forum and square foot gardening, so bear with me. I built two boxes that are 4x4 out of 2x6's. And then to make Mel's mix I bought four cubit feet of vermiculite, 3.8 cubic feet of peat moss, and I'm working on getting four cubic feet of compost - all I could fund was compost mixed with manure. And I have read too much manure will burn plants.

Am I buying the right amount of ingredients for Mel's Mix? I hope, but i'm really concerned that I'm over looking something.

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  camprn on 4/1/2011, 9:52 am

You posted in another thread but I am going to answer you here.

@wtexas wrote:I'm new to this forum and square foot gardening, so bear
with me. I built two boxes that are 4x4 out of 2x6's. And then to make
Mel's mix I bought four cubit feet of vermiculite, 3.8 cubic feet of
peat moss, and I'm working on getting four cubic feet of compost - all I
could fund was compost mixed with manure. And I have read too much
manure will burn plants.

Am I buying the right amount of
ingredients for Mel's Mix? I hope, but i'm really concerned that I'm
over looking something.
well,
to the Forum!! Did you mean to say that you could only FUND or FIND
compost with manure? I did a quick search for compost in your area and
lo and behold there is a composting directory! Lucky, lucky you!! There
is lots of compost in your area. Your best results will happen with the 5
types of compost that Mel recommends. FRESH manure will burn but
composted is ideal.
Compost Directory <~~~ Click here

For the amount of each ingredient that you are going to need, please use the
Mel's Mix calculator
Now, be aware that your3.8 CF bale of peat is going to expand to almost
double when you open the package and fluff it up. You want to measure
that fluffy stuff. Use a standard bucket for measuring each ingredient and you cannot do
it wrong.
Continue reading Mel's book, do online research, and please feel free to ask questions. Best of luck & Happy Gardening!! Very Happy


Last edited by camprn on 4/1/2011, 9:57 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  hartge01 on 4/1/2011, 9:55 am

Use a standard bucket for measuring and you cannot do
it wrong.

Hey camprn, can you clarify "standard bucket" for me?

Thanks!

Gary

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  camprn on 4/1/2011, 10:00 am

@hartge01 wrote:
Use a standard bucket for measuring and you cannot do
it wrong.

Hey camprn, can you clarify "standard bucket" for me?

Thanks!

Gary
LOL, I was just looking at that line whilst editing the post. It could be a 1 gallon bucket or a 5 gallon bucket. What I mean to say is use the same bucket for measuring all the ingredients. One measuring container. Whew, I hope that clear's it up Wink

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  Barkie on 4/1/2011, 10:13 am

Hi, you're right, fresh new manure will burn plants, that won't be in a bag of compost. Someone from your neck of the woods will come along and put your mind at rest that compost is compost and there are just different sorts like manure compost, pelleted chicken manure (rotted down and made into pellets) or garden waste compost etc.

What you would need if you were buying just manure is what we in the uk call "well rotted manure", in other words manure
that has been composted by nature. Hope that's not confused you more.


Someone has come along while I was writing the reply Very Happy

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/1/2011, 10:22 am

Just a note, rabbit manure will not burn, it's like the perfect poo, and it attracks great big worms you can sell to the locals who like to fish.

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  wtexas on 4/1/2011, 10:27 am

This is probably a REALLY stupid question, but probably where I'm going wrong. When I bought 3.8 cubic feet of peat moss, the 3.8 cubic feet is the measurement when it's still compressed. When I open that up, it's going to be like 6 cubic feet of peat? Wow.... I over bought.

Any other uses for peat moss? Is it good in flower pots? Because it sounds like I'm going to have A LOT left over.

Also, the tough thing is I already started mixing the verm and the peat moss in of the beds, so I wish I had heard about the bucked idea earlier. Not your fault though!

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/1/2011, 11:09 am

Hey there, wtexas, I just wanted to jump in and offer a warm welcome from St. Louis, MO. It's great to have another SFG'er on board.

I can't add much more to what the others have said. But, I can tell you this forum is full of people like them....eager to help you get things right.

As for the extra peat moss, I would tell you that it is likely excellent for starting seeds in. And, it may even be beneficial in the bottom couple inches in container gardening. Peat moss seems to repel water when it's bone dry, but it is actually pretty good at retaining water once moist. That property may in fact have a wicking quality in the bottom of a container. And, if nothing else, we know it drains very well. So, adding to the bottom of a container seems like a logical place to keep root systems up and away from puddled water.

You could also save it for your next SFG bed you will be building in the future.....lol.

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  camprn on 4/1/2011, 12:14 pm

@wtexas wrote:This is probably a REALLY stupid question, but probably where I'm going wrong. When I bought 3.8 cubic feet of peat moss, the 3.8 cubic feet is the measurement when it's still compressed. When I open that up, it's going to be like 6 cubic feet of peat? Wow.... I over bought.

Any other uses for peat moss? Is it good in flower pots? Because it sounds like I'm going to have A LOT left over.

Also, the tough thing is I already started mixing the verm and the peat moss in of the beds, so I wish I had heard about the bucked idea earlier. Not your fault though!
You will use roughly 1/2 of that bale in a box. Save all leftover ingredients after you fill the box to the top. Water your new Mel's mix in the box, it will settle some over the course of an hour or two, then add the rest of the mix to the top of the box, if you actually have any left. If you still have left over, keep it in one of the compost bags and add it during the season OR make another box. affraid

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/1/2011, 1:58 pm

@wtexas wrote:This is probably a REALLY stupid question, but probably where I'm going wrong. When I bought 3.8 cubic feet of peat moss, the 3.8 cubic feet is the measurement when it's still compressed. When I open that up, it's going to be like 6 cubic feet of peat? Wow.... I over bought.

Any other uses for peat moss? Is it good in flower pots? Because it sounds like I'm going to have A LOT left over.

Also, the tough thing is I already started mixing the verm and the peat moss in of the beds, so I wish I had heard about the bucked idea earlier. Not your fault though!

Perhaps you can take some of the mixed vermiculite and double dose of peat moss out, add 1/3 of that total measured amount in vermiculite then a 2/3 measure of compost (if not already added)

example for 3 cu ft of what you already mixed (this assumes you have not added your compost yet)

has 1 cu ft vermiculite
has 2 cu ft peat moss
add 1 cu ft vermiculite
add 2 cu ft of compost
This gives you 2cu ft of each ingredient - total 6 cu ft

If you have already added compost, take out 4 cu ft of your exisiting mix
has 1 cu ft vermiculite
has 1 cu ft compost
has 2 cu ft of peat moss
add 1 cu ft vermiculite
add 1 cu ft compost.
This also give you 2 cu ft of each ingredient - total 6 cu ft

The reason for making these adjustments is that if you are that heavy in peat moss, your plants just won't have enough nutrients from the missing compost and the peat may dry out and cause a crust to form on top of your mix.

Just a suggestion, because I know you have already put a lot of work into your garden.

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  jymarino on 4/1/2011, 9:42 pm

Peat moss is very good for blueberry bushes. We bought some last year and had to plant them in only peat moss. It does hold water after you use a LOT of water to wet it down. Just an idea in case you like blueberries!

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  wtexas on 4/11/2011, 10:10 am

Furbalsmom thanks for the suggestion! That was VERY helpful!

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Mel's Mix Calculater seems broken

Post  MnM on 10/30/2011, 12:28 pm

Hi! I'm new here, having just stumbled across a web page about how to do SFG. So, now I am in the forum trying to find out what "Mel's Mix" is and how to make it. I've already checked the local HD and Lowe's store web sites -- they don't have it. I'm on a tiny budget: can y'all please point me to some details about what to mix, and how much? I found a link to the Mel's Mix Calculator, but it does not actually have formulas in it. The numbers in each box are just numbers, so they do not change when I put my box dimensions in the first row of 12s.

Thanks for your help,

Monica, in DFW, TX

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  boffer on 10/30/2011, 12:37 pm

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

Getting the book is a must to understand all the details that work together in the SFG method. In the meantime, this thread will answer some of your questions:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone


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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

Post  Chopper on 10/30/2011, 3:59 pm

@MnM wrote:I've already checked the local HD and Lowe's store web sites -- they don't have it.

I agree with boffer that you need to read the book. Check the library for a copy.

Lowes does not have Mel's Mix by name. It has a picture of Mel on the cover but is called Garden Time.



Btw, picture was stolen from THIS BLOG

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Re: Beginner w/ Mel's Mix

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