Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Mid-South: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 9:04 pm

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 9:01 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by AtlantaMarie Today at 9:00 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals Today at 8:59 pm

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by countrynaturals Today at 8:41 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Today at 6:41 pm

» New England, December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Today at 6:37 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising Today at 6:03 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson Today at 5:46 pm

» Winter's Coming!
by plantoid Today at 5:33 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker Today at 5:17 pm

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by plantoid Today at 5:02 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson Today at 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson Today at 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson Today at 4:14 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by sanderson Today at 4:12 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by Kelejan Today at 4:08 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 2:59 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess Today at 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson Today at 2:14 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals Today at 1:13 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by countrynaturals Today at 12:52 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Today at 10:11 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by AtlantaMarie Today at 5:51 am

» Winter Gardens - Photos
by sanderson Today at 3:55 am

» Log In
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 5:23 pm

» Gnome Pumpkin Pie
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:22 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 12:05 pm

» Greenhouse dreams
by trolleydriver 11/30/2016, 11:18 am

» putting your raised garden beds to bed for Winter
by jimmy cee 11/30/2016, 8:46 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Saving Mel's Mix

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Saving Mel's Mix

Post  busygirl on 6/13/2011, 7:02 am

I have noticed a couple of posts lately about "stinky" MM that has bacteria or fungus from poor drainage. I don't remember anyone answering the question of what to do with the mix. It is very easy to dry it out and sterilize it so that you can use it again. For the folks who were using containers, get a large foil roasting pan, fill it with MM and put it in the oven at 200 degrees. Depending on how wet it is, it could take 2-3 hours, stirring two or three times until it is dry and regains its earthy smell.

If you have a whole box full, the oven method would be a little time consuming, so I would suggest either a cold frame (clear glass would be best) or covering the box with plastic for a week or so to bring the soil temp up to kill anything in it. If you have a compost thermometer, you can monitor the temp with that.

Just a couple of suggestions...

busygirl

Female Posts : 88
Join date : 2011-05-30
Location : Southeastern Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  Tbites on 6/13/2011, 8:25 am

I don't know if you're referring to the denitrifying bacteria from waterlogged soil, but what I read on it said it cannot survive where oxygen is present. I just layed mine out on a tarp to dry in the sun (wasn't sure if the oven method would kill any good bacteria)... I've since reused it to pot another tomato... seems okay so far but it's only been 2 weeks I think. we'll see.

When you say kill anything in it... does that include good bacteria ? If so, does the good bacteria grow back ?

Cheers

Tbites

Posts : 78
Join date : 2011-02-27
Location : Montreal Zone5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  Velvet Elvis on 6/13/2011, 5:03 pm

Waterlogged???.... Mel says "you can't, I repeat, you can't overwater Mel's Mix"

Velvet Elvis

Posts : 40
Join date : 2011-06-13
Location : Minnesnowta

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/13/2011, 6:14 pm

Velvet Elvis, the waterlogged Mel's Mix was caused by the wet mix not being able to drain because it was surrounded by non pourous fabric or a container with no drainage holes.

Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 69
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  Tbites on 6/13/2011, 6:21 pm

Elvis, you are right, Mel says you cannot overwater Mel's Mix. FurbalsMom explanation was clearer.... I should've added a specific disclaimer to my previous post and I don't even know if that's the posts the original poster was referring to.

I'm still curious about the oven technique for sterilizing soils... not necessarily Mel's Mix... 1) Wouldn't it kill beneficial bacteria ? 2) Wouldn't it stink up my oven/kitchen ?

Cheers

Tbites

Posts : 78
Join date : 2011-02-27
Location : Montreal Zone5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  martha on 6/13/2011, 6:45 pm

Velvet Elvis, go to the head of the class for reading comprehension and retention!

One question about cooking the MM - I have read about cooking garden dirt to kill weed seeds, and this has always been accompanied by a warning that it stinks! Is that the case with MM?

martha

Female Posts : 2188
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  Velvet Elvis on 6/13/2011, 7:00 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Velvet Elvis, the waterlogged Mel's Mix was caused by the wet mix not being able to drain because it was surrounded by non pourous fabric or a container with no drainage holes.

OK. I assumed everybody uses the weed fabric as instructed.

Velvet Elvis

Posts : 40
Join date : 2011-06-13
Location : Minnesnowta

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  busygirl on 6/13/2011, 8:11 pm

@martha wrote:Velvet Elvis, go to the head of the class for reading comprehension and retention!

One question about cooking the MM - I have read about cooking garden dirt to kill weed seeds, and this has always been accompanied by a warning that it stinks! Is that the case with MM?

It only smells for the first 30 minutes or so, until the yucky (yep, it is a technical term) stuff dries up. The rest of the time it smells like "good" soil or MM (that is a judgment call, I don't mind it). However you feel about the smell, it does NOT linger after you are finished, and the oven doesn't smell the next time you use it or anything like that.

Sterilization kills everything, good and bad, but a couple of scoops of compost when you re-use the mix would give the good stuff a jump start on repopulating your box.

I have done this often with regular potting soil prior to my initiation into SFG this year. Apparently one of my batches of "leftover" MM was too damp when I put it into the vermiculite bag for storage this spring, and when I went to use it later, it had formed mold throughout. I cooked it right up (no comments from the two teenagers in the house, so it couldn't have smelled too terrible) then put it in containers for extra transplants that wouldn't fit in my boxes, and it is working great. I didn't even add extra compost to re-start the good bacteria and stuff.

I guess you could try it outside on the grill if you were worried about the smell in the house? Don't know what the temperature control would be like, though.

busygirl

Female Posts : 88
Join date : 2011-05-30
Location : Southeastern Ohio

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  martha on 6/13/2011, 10:52 pm

Hey, to me barn smells are an aroma, not a stench, so since you are the first person from whom I have heard first hand information about cooking dirt, I'm going to believe that it isn't bad. Regular MM certainly does not stink - even if it doesn't smell as good as a sweaty horse! Razz

martha

Female Posts : 2188
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Saving Mel's Mix

Post  Sponsored content Today at 9:22 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum