Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

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Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

Post  jtuck2 on 4/7/2011, 3:27 am

Hi, I am so new to gardening AND square foot gardening that I haven't finished prepping my first bed yet. I originally had it built as a "traditional" vetetable garden...it's deep and beautiful and not 4x4...but "square foot" was bouncing around in my head so I bought Square Foot brand topsoil at Lowes. It has bat guana and other good things in it. But I am not seeing any references to this in the book.

After reading 1/3 of the book, I decided immediately to adopt the Square Foot method. So do I use this topsoil in addition to Mel's mix of 3 ingredients? If so, do I put Mel's mix down first and the bagged stuff on top and then mix it in like you would in a traditional garden? I'm confused! (and needing to plant soon)!

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Re: Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/7/2011, 3:50 am

JTuck2, glad to have you join us.

Does the Square Foot Brand from Lowes say Mel's Mix, or have Mel's picture on it? If so, you don't need to add anything to it at all, because this is your growing medium.

The ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING BOOK was written in 2006, before pre-mixed Mel's Mix became available.

Get that bed finished, fill it with your Mel's Mix and start planting.

If what you bought does not say Mel's Mix, or if what you bought was not enough to fill your 4X4X6" bed, then you will need to make your own Mel's Mix.

Let us know exactly what you have and we will help you more.

Again, Welcome!
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Re: Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

Post  Old Hippie on 4/7/2011, 11:33 am

If you have not opened that bag of planting mix and it is not true Mel's Mix, is there any reason you can not take it bag and get the vermiculite, peat moss and compost to make your own? That is what I would try to do. We don't have a Lowe's here, much to my dismay, but if you have your receipt and are purchasing other things a lot of stores don't mind. That way you will have exactly what you need to get a good start.

Mel's Mix does not have any actual top soil in it and doesn't need it because you use a mixture of 5 kinds of compost instead, along with the vermiculite and peat moss to lighten it and hold moisture. It is designed to be used just like that. If you can't take it back, perhaps use it for a flower bed or a separate veggie bed and see how the two different ones do over a season.

Thanks for joining our forum. Best of luck to you.

Gwynn
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Re: Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

Post  myhouseofBOYS on 4/7/2011, 4:07 pm

I *think* OP likely has true Mel mix as I too am in CA, though a few hundred miles north and our Lowe's (and only Lowe's) sells prebagged MM

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Re: Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

Post  florenceq on 4/7/2011, 4:34 pm

For my first box (4x8) I bought all the ingredients and mixed it myself. It was time consuming but not to terrible.

When I set up my 3rd and 4th boxes (both 4x4) I found the premix Mel's Mix at Lowes and felt like I had hit the jackpot. I still had ingredients left from the first time around so I used then up first and ten added the premixed stuff to complete.

When I priced it, the total was pretty close either way given that vermiculite is quite expensive in SoCal.
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Re: Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

Post  jtuck2 on 8/24/2011, 3:15 am

Thanks for all responses (months ago) and the welcomes! I've been so BUSY with my newly added garden tasks on top of everything else that I'm only getting back now.

It turned out I DID have Mel's mix. And my first garden ever is totally amazing!! I had no IDEA it would get this huge!! And we've been eating salads just from our garden produce all summer long! We still have corn, watermelons, squash, chard, carrots and tomatoes to harvest! Thanks Mel!!

I had to battle a few insects along the way so had some fun with purchased ladybugs (I felt so bad for them in that little container).

I guess I'll do another post with other questions (I have lots)! Especially the ants!


Last edited by jtuck2 on 8/24/2011, 3:15 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : formatting)

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Re: Mel's Mix and then there are his bags I bought at Lowes.....

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