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Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

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Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  Luci Dawson on 9/20/2011, 2:50 pm

I'm new to SFG and am still learning the right ways to do things. It occurred to me that instead of using a single compost when replanting a square, I could use a trowel full of Mel's Mix. Is there any reason why I shouldn't do that? :?:
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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  boffer on 9/20/2011, 3:01 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum. When we replentish a square, we use the five compost blend that goes into the MM. It's not just one compost.

Adding MM in lieu of the five compost blend, only adds 1/3 of the nutritional value that the compost does.
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Thanks, Boffer! :heart

Post  Luci Dawson on 9/20/2011, 3:12 pm

@boffer wrote:Hi and welcome to the forum. When we replentish a square, we use the five compost blend that goes into the MM. It's not just one compost.

Adding MM in lieu of the five compost blend, only adds 1/3 of the nutritional value that the compost does.
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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/20/2011, 5:47 pm

To go into a bit more detail...

Yes, adding a trowel of MM will only add a third of compost because it's made with a third:third:third ratio of compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. This, you already know.

What you may not have known is that peat moss and vermiculite are essentially inorganic properties. They don't break down or decompose over time. So, the volume of peat moss, or vermiculite, in your garden never changes. By adding more of the inorganic stuff, via more Mel's Mix, you are only taking away space meant to be replaced by compost. Slowly, but surely, your ratios get out of whack. You will be heavy on the peat moss and vermiculite, and light on compost......with no way to adjust for more compost because the peat moss and vermiculite never go away.

Hope that sheds a little more light on the subject. And welcome to the forums. We love questions, and are happy to help! Hope to see more of you around.
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Re:[2] Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost...

Post  Luci Dawson on 9/21/2011, 3:40 pm

That makes perfect sense to me, Boffer. Thanks for the additional explanation!

Now if I can only find 5 different kinds of compost by next Spring, I'll be all set...have found 3 so far, but I'm nothing if not determined Wink
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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/21/2011, 4:17 pm

Luci, is it possible to make your own compost? That is always the best and would make a great compliment to what you've already purchased.

Kim

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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  Chopper on 9/22/2011, 12:36 am

Also, Mel says in the book that the single most important part of the mix was the compost b/c that is where the nutrients are. The peat and vermiculite are for there water holding properties and once established that should hold for years to come. The compost is the money maker.

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Re:[3] Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  Luci Dawson on 9/22/2011, 12:37 pm

ksroman wrote:Luci, is it possible to make your own compost? That is always the best and would make a great compliment to what you've already purchased.

Kim

I have thought about it, Kim. The problems are that I'm a single person household that doesn't produce enough "waste" to compost properly, and I live in the high desert of NM where the few neighbors who have lawns all use inorganic fertilizers and pesticides that I wouldn't want to get anywhere near my compost pile (or bucket, as the case may be).
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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  Kelejan on 9/22/2011, 3:37 pm

The peat and the vermiculate by themselves would not sustain any plant life. That is why you need the compost.



Perhaps I might try an experiment myself. Mix some P and V, and plant some seeds. I reckon the seeds would germinate then fall over through lack of food.
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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  Lindacol on 9/22/2011, 4:04 pm

@Luci Dawson wrote:That makes perfect sense to me, Boffer. Thanks for the additional explanation!

Now if I can only find 5 different kinds of compost by next Spring, I'll be all set...have found 3 so far, but I'm nothing if not determined Wink

Check your local Craigslist. I just looked at the Albuquerque area and see free goat and horse manure/compost listed in the last few days. If it is composted you can use it as is. If not composted it would be a great start for a compost pile. If you have a local coffee house or restaurant, that would be good places to ask for coffee grounds and waste veggies for a compost pile.
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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  shannon1 on 9/23/2011, 1:09 am

@Luci Dawson wrote:
ksroman wrote:Luci, is it possible to make your own compost? That is always the best and would make a great compliment to what you've already purchased.

Kim

I have thought about it, Kim. The problems are that I'm a single person household that doesn't produce enough "waste" to compost properly, and I live in the high desert of NM where the few neighbors who have lawns all use inorganic fertilizers and pesticides that I wouldn't want to get anywhere near my compost pile (or bucket, as the case may be).
I have other issues that prevent me from having a compost "pile/heap" so I have looked into alternatives that you may be interested in one is making a compost tumbler, you can buy them but much, much cheaper to make. A second way is with red wiggler worms call vermiculture. There is a ton of info on both if you check youtube.
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Re: Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost....

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/23/2011, 8:36 pm

I've got a worm composter that I absolutely LOVE!

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Can I use Mel's Mix instead of compost...continued

Post  Luci Dawson on 9/24/2011, 6:45 pm

Lindacol for the tip about Craig's List! I'm sue I'll find what I need to get started.

And , also to Shanon1 and ksroman. May consider it at some point, but not sure yet.
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