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Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/4/2012, 3:00 am

@camprn wrote:
@Windsor.Parker wrote:Thanks Camprn,
Looks like my MM will be incomplete until I've added some of the worm castings we're harvesting. Meanwhile, would at least 6-7% castings suffice?
What are the types of compost you have collected so far?

1. mushroom compost w/humus
2. cow manure compost
3. Natural Choice compost (Dr. Earth)
4. recycling center compost.

Peat isn't listed as an ingredient of any of the "bagged" ones (1. - 3.), and 4. is from a huge pile at my local recycling center.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  camprn on 1/4/2012, 6:33 am

:cheers:Hooray! you have only one more to get!

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  hkovach on 1/4/2012, 10:37 am

@UnderTheBlackWalnut wrote:Hi...many posters say that 40 lbs is equal to somewhere around .75 cu ft. But that's just a guide for purchase. When they go to mix it, many folks then use a 5 gallon bucket to mix equal parts of compost. A 5 gallon bucket should be about 1 cu ft.

Thank you UTBW - thats just the kind of info I'm looking for...love the bucket tip also!

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/4/2012, 12:31 pm

@camprn wrote::cheers:Hooray! you have only one more to get!
Yeah!! Thanks camprn,
Since our castings are so dear and not ready yet, we'll find a replacement for #5 and only use the first castings in "priority squares"!

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  janezee on 1/13/2012, 4:55 am

[quote="Windsor.Parker] Does each ingredient in a bagged compost "blend" count as one of the 5 types needed?[/quote]

Yes.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  janezee on 1/13/2012, 5:01 am

@Windsor.Parker wrote:
Since our castings are so dear and not ready yet, we'll find a replacement for #5 and only use the first castings in "priority squares"!

Your municipal compost and the Natural Choice compost should have more than enough different blends in it to take care of things. Most mushroom composts have both chicken manure and feather meal and/or yet another. You're fine!

j

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/13/2012, 3:17 pm

@janezee wrote:
@Windsor.Parker wrote:
Since our castings are so dear and not ready yet, we'll find a replacement for #5 and only use the first castings in "priority squares"!

Your municipal compost and the Natural Choice compost should have more than enough different blends in it to take care of things. Most mushroom composts have both chicken manure and feather meal and/or yet another. You're fine!

j
j,
This will be our 5th yr gardening, and our 1st using ANSFG!
(We tried 1'x1' grids at the very start,
https://plus.google.com/photos/115428464725051336936/albums/5695532427625694017?authkey=CLmrr-vby7LmAQ
but BH felt "too restricted".(She swore by her grandfather's "something growing everywhere" approach.)
Thanks to ANSFG, she promises to NOT plant ALL the seeds in a pkg ALL the time! Very Happy

Anyway, back on topic:
Forgot to mention we usually have a couple of "compost bins/piles" going year-round.
Plus, BH's "Worm Factory" and some of her worms which I gave a new home (plastic tub) are producing nicely.
We should have enough for this year!

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Peat Moss Question

Post  yolos on 2/25/2012, 10:20 pm

I did a test 4 x 4 this past fall to see if the SFG method and Mel's Mix actually worked. As you all are aware, it works great. So now I am ready to expand and I have one last question.

Peat Moss - After reading a great number of threads, I understand that a compressed bale has to be fluffed up before measuring it for the 1/3 measurement. I also know from experience that it must be thoroughly watered/saturated before or while mixing Mel's Mix. When I made my test 4 x 4 this past fall, I made sure it was saturated before I mixed it in the Mel's Mix. But I cannot remember whether I measured it before or after I saturated the peat moss. Therefore, my only question is, are we supposed to measure the peat moss before or after you have watered it.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/25/2012, 11:14 pm

Measure the peat moss BEFORE watering.



How did it work for you watering the peat before mixing it with the compost and vermiculite?

My personal experience was dry ingredients were easier to mix than wet ingredients. Then as each two inches of Mels Mix was put into the SFG bed, it was well watered before the next two inches of Mel's Mix was added.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  walshevak on 2/25/2012, 11:20 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Measure the peat moss BEFORE watering.



How did it work for you watering the peat before mixing it with the compost and vermiculite?

My personal experience was dry ingredients were easier to mix than wet ingredients. Then as each two inches of Mels Mix was put into the SFG bed, it was well watered before the next two inches of Mel's Mix was added.

+1 Water is heavy. Measure and mix dry.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  yolos on 2/25/2012, 11:34 pm

Furbalsman - I just tried to post an answer to you question about mixing the peat when it is wet but the post did not show up here. Maybe I forgot to hit send ??Embarassed Hope my post does not show up twice.

But to answer your question, "in the old days" we used to put the peat moss in a wheel barrow (sp) and start adding water. Then massaged (kneaded) the peat moss until the water was absorbed. Then added more water and massaged again, repeating this until the peat would no longer take up any more water. So I am very used to working with wet peat. Most of the bagged compost that I purchase is also somewhat wet so one more wet ingredient does not bother me. My main goal is to make absolutely sure that the peat is thoroughly wet.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/26/2012, 12:13 am

yolos. I only see your post once. Very Happy

The final goal is peat moss that is well rehydrated. That has been a problem for many. But, you do want to measure it dry. If mixing it wet is easier for you, that is great.

I would not have been able to move the completed Mel's Mix to the SFG bed (mine are Table Tops) if the peat was already wet. But then, I am a big old wimp Razz

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  walshevak on 2/26/2012, 7:06 am

And I am an older one. +1

Kay

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free mushroom compost

Post  hatcherdm on 2/26/2012, 12:18 pm

While visiting my daughter recently, found a place where you can fill as many bags of compost free of charge from Hy-tech Mushroom Compost Inc located in West Grove, Pa. It is a mixture of wheat straw, straw bedded horse manure, hay (most commonly orchard and timothy), poultry manure, cotton seed hulls, cotton seed meal, cocoa shells, and gypsum. It is delightfully pungent!
You can also purchase it by the cubic yard (typically truck bed) for $25, but we filled 4 of the large contractors garbage bags full of the stuff for free--course the stuff was so heavy we had to use the tractor front loader to unload it!
Hy-Tech Mushroom Farm, Inc.
155 Valley Road
P.O. Box 390
West Grove, PA 19390
Marketing/Sales : 610-331-1849
Tours and self-pickup : 610-869-0202

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  snibb on 3/6/2012, 7:02 pm

An excellent post with all the necessary information on the importance and the "why" of Mel's mix. Thank you-I enjoyed the read

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Measuring for proper mix proportion

Post  AngelaNC on 3/6/2012, 11:47 pm

I have 4 out of five composts - cow manure, chicken manure, mushroom, and forest. So far the only other one I can find locally is from yard waste facility. My fear is that it will be too much like the forest one - what do you all think?

My problem is figuring out how to measure compost that came in a bag that is labeled for weight(lbs) instead of volume(cf)? Also, what if I get some bulk materials? Should I look for or make a box that is 1cf in size and use that to measure?

Thanks,

Angela

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  snibb on 3/6/2012, 11:51 pm

I like to use those colored Rubbermaid tubs that you can buy at Target or Kmart or Wal-mart type of stores. They probably cost $10 and last forever. They have tow pieces of rope attached to each side so that you can pick it up. I think you know what I'm talking about. I will fill one completely up with peat moss, one with vermiculte, and one with compost. It's not enough to do a full 4X4' box, so I then start to fill it up again and only go half way up the tub. That should give you the same amount by volume

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/7/2012, 3:46 pm

Angela, snibb has a great suggestion regarding measuring to make sure you have equal volume of each major ingredient. Those totes are easy to use.

Personally, I am a wimp and need to use 5 gallon buckets, because I know I can lift those.

We have a member that "estimated" a 40 lb bag of compost would be equal to approximately 0.75 cu ft and a 50 lb bag of compost approximately 1 cu ft. Since each type of ingredient would be different, this was used to estimate volume for the purpose of buying enough. I used this estimate to calculate how many bags I would need and ended up having sufficient volume.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  walshevak on 3/7/2012, 8:55 pm

For purchasing purposes, 25lbs is in the neighborhood of 1/2 cu ft. maybe a bit more. The only compost bag I saw last year that had both pounds and cu ft marked on the package was a 40 lb (.75 cuft) bag. That's why a measuring bucket is best for mixing.

When I got ready to purchase my composts, I "ESTIMATED BASED ON THE 40 LB BAG"

50 LBS = 1 CU FT

40 LBS = .75 CU FT

20 LBS = .5 CU FT

Remember, if you overestimate on the compost purchase, the remainder of the blend can be saved for the "trowel full" you add when replanting.

kay

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/19/2012, 11:52 pm


I'm so glad I found this last post! I was calculating pounds to cf all wrong.

Here's the question I'm struggling with:

How much does Mel's Mix weigh? Does MM weigh the same as soil?

I'm working on the proposal for TTs the nursing home. It's one of those little details I hope to compare of why MM over Miracle-Gro(R) soil (preferred by a staff member).
(I've already covered concerns over both synthetic fertilizers and perlite. If you have any other ideas, look for another thread.)

Thanks

Ava

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  camprn on 4/20/2012, 7:04 am

@AvaDGardner wrote:

How much does Mel's Mix weigh? Does MM weigh the same as soil?



Ava
I think it depends upon how much water is in the mix. I think water weighs about 8# a gallon.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/20/2012, 12:44 pm

Yes, I believe water is 8lbs per gallon. Let's take that out of the equation. Water is a variable in both soil and MM.

How heavy is MM?

3 cubic yards of soil is approximately 1 Ton. How does MM compare in weight?

Is it the same as soil?

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  boffer on 4/20/2012, 1:47 pm

My dry MM (mixed but not watered) weighs 20 pounds in a full five gallon bucket.

The amount of water needed to properly saturate MM is fairly consistent compared to that needed for 'soil'.

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/20/2012, 5:16 pm

@boffer wrote:My dry MM (mixed but not watered) weighs 20 pounds in a full five gallon bucket.

The amount of water needed to properly saturate MM is fairly consistent compared to that needed for 'soil'.

Thank you Boffer!

And a 5 gal bucket is .5 CUs, per walshevak's post on 3/17/12.

Check me on this please...Mel says on pg 100 with 6" of mix that:
(W*L)/2= Cubic Feet.
2*3 (mixing tubs)= 6/2 = 3 CF.
20lbs = 0.5 CU (per Boffer)
3/0.5 = 6 (There are 6 units of 0.5CU per 3CF)
6*20 (lbs) = 120lbs per 2x3 mixing tub.

Did I do that correctly?

Ava

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Re: Mels Mix - How strong is your backbone?

Post  AvaDGardner on 5/1/2012, 8:17 pm

No double checkers on the math?

Mel talks about the boxes being so movable. If my calcs are right, and a 4x4=8cf (per Mel)

then wouldn't a

4x4=16/2=8cf

8cf/0.5=16 buckets

16*20lbs (per 5 gal bucket) = 320lbs.



Unless you have boffer's cool wheely garden, isn't that much weight rather unmovable?

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