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How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

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How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  Graygirl on 3/22/2010, 12:37 pm

Hi

Yesterday I read the entire book "All New Square Foot Gardening"! I'm excited to do this!
I've been calling around today trying to find the ingredients for Mel's Mix. The compost I've found is sold in 40 lb bags. Can anyone help me convert that into cubic feet? I looked again in the book and it says "forget weight, measure by volume". But how do I even get a clue as to how many bags to buy? I'm planning on 6 4x4's.
I'm in Northwest Ohio so I have a little time, but a new grandchild is coming in May, so I have to have the squares built, ready, and planted so I can rush to help my daughter when needed.
Thanks so much!

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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  gridgardener on 3/22/2010, 12:40 pm

the answer is simple.
buy 1 foot cube box and bag soil

pour soil in box.

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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  lisaphoto on 3/22/2010, 12:50 pm

I thought I read somewhere that 40lbs of compost is roughly one cubic foot
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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  gridgardener on 3/22/2010, 1:52 pm

lisaphoto that would depend alot on compost and water content of soil in bag.

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cubic foot to liters

Post  daniel Gagnon on 3/22/2010, 4:50 pm

i have all the conversion chart for volume, weight etc.


to transfer from cubic foot to liters multiply by 28
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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  boffer on 3/22/2010, 5:02 pm

A lot of us use a 5 gallon bucket as a measuring cup. One bucket is close enough in size to be called 1 cubic foot.
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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2010, 5:11 pm

Is that a tall 5 gal. bucket or a short 5 gal bucket? Wink
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Keep this conversion link handy

Post  guyl01 on 3/22/2010, 5:49 pm

Hi, When calculating the volumes & litres needed for making Mels Mix, I found this conversion site a great help.
I hope it will help you as well.

http://www.unitconversion.org/unit_converter/volume.html
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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  boffer on 3/22/2010, 6:00 pm

@camprn wrote:Is that a tall 5 gal. bucket or a short 5 gal bucket? Wink

Mel says that 'closies' count in SFG!
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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  bpbdrummer on 3/22/2010, 6:18 pm

a 40 lb bag of compost equals 0.75 cubic feet. i made 4 boxes 4'x4'x6" and used approx 2-3 bags of compost per box, all in all It took one 3.3cu ft bag of peat moss (compressed) and about 1 1/4 4cu ft bags of medium vermiculite.

one note on the peat moss, it's very, very dry and it takes a little work to get it started soaking up water, I took about 10 shovels of it and put it in a wheelbarrow and then added a few gallons of water, I kept mixing until it finally soaked up the water and expanded and then I added it to the rest of the mix. it was much easier than trying to do it after you have everything mixed.

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Compost

Post  Graygirl on 3/22/2010, 6:44 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I am the OP and very much a newbie. Am I correct in thinking that for 6 4'x4'x6" boxes I will need 16 cu feet of compost? And if a 40 lb bag is approx. 1 cu ft, and costs about 5.00 each, that the cost for the compost alone will be around 5 x 16 or $80.00? Am I figuring that right?

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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  bpbdrummer on 3/22/2010, 7:00 pm

well, you need about 2.6 cu ft of compost per box, technically 4 bags @ 40lb would be 3cu ft. so say 3-3.5 bags of compost for each box. If you're making 6 boxes that would be 18 bags give or take a bag or two. I would go with 18 bags for starters and then maybe go a little heavier on the peat moss.

I think I payed about $2 per bag fo cow manure compost, it all depends the Black Kow brand is like $4.50 a bag, the no name stuff is about $2/bag. I used some no name cow manure compost, black kow brand and a few bags of mushroom compost.
if you average it out I probably spent $3-4 per bag.

I was pretty close with my original estimates when i bought my supplies.
8 - 2x6x8 = $40
2 - 4cu/ft vermiculite = $40
1 - 3.9 cu/ft peat moss = $10
12 - compost $30

8cu ft of mix per box/3 = 2.6cu ft per ingredient

hope that helps

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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2010, 7:08 pm

Another thing to keep in mind is if you are buying a loose cu. ft. or a compacted cu. ft.

Drummer you are lucky with prices like that, the cheapest bagged cow manure where I live is near $6 a 40# bag.

I have no home made compost as of right now. I mixed everything store bought and dry in the box, then added a bit of water. I then topped off the box with more mix as necessary.
I had trouble locating straight coarse vermiculite so instead I bought Jiffy seed starter mix (Peat w/ smaller pieces of vermiculite 50/50) and added several bags of composted cow manure. Like many others I also had trouble locating various types of compost, so I added dried blood and some dry sterile poultry dropping seed starter mix. So 'closies' is what my garden is all about this season. I know next year will be better. Wish me luck. Very Happy
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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  boffer on 3/22/2010, 7:08 pm

@Graygirl wrote:Thanks for all the replies. I am the OP and very much a newbie. Am I correct in thinking that for 6 4'x4'x6" boxes I will need 16 cu feet of compost?

The best I can offer is to share what I have done. This is 10cf of mix; it settled level about 1/2-1 inch below the bed top when the soil was saturated. It was 3 1/3 5 gallon buckets for each ingredient.



Have fun!
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Re: How to convert 40 lb bags to cubic feet?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2010, 7:25 pm

@boffer wrote:
@Graygirl wrote:Thanks for all the replies. I am the OP and very much a newbie. Am I correct in thinking that for 6 4'x4'x6" boxes I will need 16 cu feet of compost?

The best I can offer is to share what I have done. This is 10cf of mix; it settled level about 1/2-1 inch below the bed top when the soil was saturated. It was 3 1/3 5 gallon buckets for each ingredient.



Have fun!

That was easy! Thanks!! Very Happy
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