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Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  jersh on Fri 22 Jul 2011, 6:11 pm

I have another MM question... I spent the day procuring all the necessary ingredients to fill my first SFG, hopefully will get to it tomorrow... Anywho, I was able to find Black Kow, Black Hen, Black Velvet (mushroom compost) and worm castings. For my 5th variety I was planning to get some horse manure compost from a local farm, however they're flaking on me, they prefer to sell their compost by the truck load (only $20 for 1 tractor bucket full into the back of a truck) however I only need about two 5-gallon buckets full, and they still want to charge me $20 for it...

Sooooo I went to Home Depot and was looking around for another alternative... They have a compost product that is 50% cow manure and 50% other composted items (it said it's a mix of grass clippings, leaves, forest matter, other organic materials). It says nothing about having peat moss as filler. I'm thinking I might be able to use this instead of the Black Kow and count it for two types of compost? What do you all think?

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  camprn on Fri 22 Jul 2011, 6:25 pm

I think you should get the truck full of manure because it's really really hard to stop at just one box of SFG. But in regards to the last compost you listed, I would say yes, it's a good number 5 and you are good to go with your mix! Well done on reading the label. Congratulations!!! and to the SFG forum.

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  AprilakaCCIL on Fri 22 Jul 2011, 6:40 pm

Go with the truck load...That's a great deal!!!

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  boffer on Fri 22 Jul 2011, 6:45 pm

+1 on the truck load. But I would get the Black Kow and the mixture. The more the variety, the better!

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  jersh on Fri 22 Jul 2011, 10:27 pm

Thank you all for the replies... I wish I could get the truck-load, but unfortunately I do not have a truck.... I don't think my company would like me filling the back of my company car (Saturn Vue crossover-type SUV) with the composted manure. I've already tried hauling Bahaia sod in the back of it and that was an utter disaster. Looks like I'll just pick up a few more bags of the stuff at HD and that to the mix with the rest of the stuff that I have.

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  walshevak on Sat 23 Jul 2011, 8:05 am

@jersh wrote:Thank you all for the replies... I wish I could get the truck-load, but unfortunately I do not have a truck.... I don't think my company would like me filling the back of my company car (Saturn Vue crossover-type SUV) with the composted manure. I've already tried hauling Bahaia sod in the back of it and that was an utter disaster. Looks like I'll just pick up a few more bags of the stuff at HD and that to the mix with the rest of the stuff that I have.

You have almost the same mix I have and it is working great. I don't have the worm castings, but plan to add that when I start replanting.

Kay broadcasting from Vienna

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  shannon1 on Sun 24 Jul 2011, 2:07 am

Glad you decided to get a truck load. You will be glad you did.Very Happy

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  tegaan on Wed 03 Aug 2011, 9:34 pm

Hi,



So what can I do to rescue my mix? I have now realized that my compost must have had too much filler (wood chips, etc). I used steer, sheep, mushroom, compost/worm castings and worm castings. (Not sure which one or ones were the problem). Plants are not growing well, few tomatoes, no peppers or carrots. And then I think I watered too much at the beginning.



What can I do now so I don't have to start all over...vermiculite is expensive!!



Help!! Kari

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  camprn on Wed 03 Aug 2011, 9:37 pm

@tegaan wrote:Hi,



So what can I do to rescue my mix? I have now realized that my compost must have had too much filler (wood chips, etc). I used steer, sheep, mushroom, compost/worm castings and worm castings. (Not sure which one or ones were the problem). Plants are not growing well, few tomatoes, no peppers or carrots. And then I think I watered too much at the beginning.
What can I do now so I don't have to start all over...vermiculite is expensive!!
Help!! Kari
I would suggest home compost, if you have it. You do not need to remake your mix.
Have you tried your local sources of bulk compost from farmers, dairy, horse stables, chicken farms etc?


Last edited by camprn on Wed 03 Aug 2011, 9:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  tegaan on Wed 03 Aug 2011, 9:45 pm

I am a renter and cannot have my own compost pile. As I am new I did not know to look at the compost first, I just bought bags. So can I just add more compost to the mix?



kari

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  camprn on Wed 03 Aug 2011, 9:47 pm

Yes I add compost to the top of the mix and not stir it in during the growing season. I strongly suggest finding a local source for compost and staying away from bags sold in box stores.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  floyd1440 on Thu 04 Aug 2011, 7:59 am

I am still looking for the course vermiculite locally but have not had any luck. Also check out the websites and they do carry it but the shipping is to high; $60 for what I need. The Agway I deal with it only has the medium grade and MAY have some next spring or summer so I cannot count on them. HD has some but it is also expensive as it only comes in small bags.

Anyone from the Norther W.Va. or western Pa. area who could help?

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  camprn on Thu 04 Aug 2011, 8:20 am

@floyd1440 wrote:I am still looking for the course vermiculite locally but have not had any luck. Also check out the websites and they do carry it but the shipping is to high; $60 for what I need. The Agway I deal with it only has the medium grade and MAY have some next spring or summer so I cannot count on them. HD has some but it is also expensive as it only comes in small bags.

Anyone from the Norther W.Va. or western Pa. area who could help?
I searched my town high and low and finally found the course vermiculite at a local builder supply and hardware store. It was in the insulation department.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  shannon1 on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 2:40 am

@floyd1440 wrote:I am still looking for the course vermiculite locally but have not had any luck. Also check out the websites and they do carry it but the shipping is to high; $60 for what I need. The Agway I deal with it only has the medium grade and MAY have some next spring or summer so I cannot count on them. HD has some but it is also expensive as it only comes in small bags.

Anyone from the Norther W.Va. or western Pa. area who could help?
My local ace hardwear ordered it for me @ 25.00 for 4 cf, if I remember right

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  floyd1440 on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 7:55 am

I will give ACE a try and other hardware stores.

Is course vermiculite used mainly for insulation? That may help me find a local supplier

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  westie42 on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 9:21 am

Most insulation I have seen is lets say ungraded. There is no requirement for uniformity in insulation that is a specification for horticulture and hazardous material cleanup (government regulations) though. Insulation vermiculite will have random size particles in the bag and that will vary significantly form batch to batch of insulation. I have called several distributors to verify this. Horticultural (and HAZMAT) is also sterilized making it yet different from insulation. That can also be verified from the sungro.com web site. I prefer to call insulation grade sweepings. That does not necessarily make it bad for our purpose just a difference in choice and usually a small amount more costly. In my locality insulation is $13 for 3 cft while horticultural is $18 for 4 cft. bags. To muddy the waters even more they use the word horticulture in the company division name if they do make/sell vermiculite yet they maintain a strict product discription difference (obscure information) that makes it hard to accurately discuss the merits of the different product forms. Some of the incentive for higher costs is due to the Gov. regulations applied to the true hort/hazmat version of vermiculite which leads to the sterile and size graded aspects.

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  dhale999 on Wed 21 Sep 2011, 3:09 pm

I found this at my nursery it looks promising.
Bumper Crop® Organic Soil Amendment - West Coast
A blend of composted fir bark and forest humus fortified with 15%
chicken manure, worm castings, bat guano and kelp meal. pH balanced with
dolomite and oyster shell lime. An all purpose pre-fertilized planting
and garden soil amendment. Excels as a nutrient rich top dressing and
mulch
Let me know what you think.
Thanks,
Duane Hale

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strong backbone?

Post  james lujack on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 1:26 am

I plan on purchasing all of MB's books.I have only the first.It is early AM and my eyes are crossing but was there a mention of rabbit composted manure?I have a source in Hardy AR. and since using roughly 10 gal of the stuff at 5.oo a 5 gal pail,I have a great number of night crawlers in my sfg's. This may be indicative of good soil?Every shovel (handspade) i turn over has worms and I am feeding them oak leaves cut up with a weedeater in a garbage can and coffee grounds. affraid sawing logs

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  camprn on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 5:59 am

@james lujack wrote:I plan on purchasing all of MB's books.I have only the first.It is early AM and my eyes are crossing but was there a mention of rabbit composted manure?I have a source in Hardy AR. and since using roughly 10 gal of the stuff at 5.oo a 5 gal pail,I have a great number of night crawlers in my sfg's. This may be indicative of good soil?Every shovel (handspade) i turn over has worms and I am feeding them oak leaves cut up with a weedeater in a garbage can and coffee grounds. affraid
Lucky, lucky you for having so many worms!!! If you have lots of worms there is plenty of organic matter in the bed. They LOVE coffee grounds!

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  RoOsTeR on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 9:31 am

James, first off I would like to welcome you to the boards! We love seeing new faces around here, especially when they are taking such an active interest.
Secondly, I would highly encourage you to pick up the newer version of the book:

The original method is old and outdated and not really supported here on our forum. We use the all new method as it is so much easier. We kind of sum it up here:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/h29-experienced-intro

The new method will make your life much easier Very Happy

And again, welcome to the forum James!

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Thank You

Post  bakermtb on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 10:19 am

Thank You so much. I can't agree more about the soil. It makes or breaks the garden. I am a long time SF Gardener and Certified Teacher. I will pass this on to my students.
I learned a few things myself. Happy SFGardening.
Mike

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  floyd1440 on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 6:24 pm

First james welcome to the forum; you will get a LOT of help here. I also had his original books years ago so I had to re-adjust after reading his new book. To date I built my first SFG but did not use Mel's mix last summer but have removed 8" and replaced it with the mix.

People who have used this mix swear by it so it must be good; having a small area getting/making compost is my struggle study

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  plantoid on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 6:28 pm

@tegaan wrote:I am a renter and cannot have my own compost pile. As I am new I did not know to look at the compost first, I just bought bags. So can I just add more compost to the mix?



kari

Karie ,
Would you be allowed an extra unobtrusive lidded big garbage can preferably heavy duty plastic and be able to use that as a lidded composter with holes in it ?

You can take it with you when you move on as well .

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Horticultural Vermiculite?

Post  daryl.weaver on Tue 10 Jan 2012, 3:47 pm

My local garden center carries a product that is labeled "horticultural vermiculite." Is that what I'm looking for. Can somebody tell me what "coarse" looks like?...Sand? Gravel? Cooked Grits? Dippin' Dots™? Marble? Baseball? (OK....we can rule out baseball, but you get the point.)

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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

Post  boffer on Tue 10 Jan 2012, 4:15 pm


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Re: Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

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