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Coir fiber in Houston?

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Post  geekgoddess on 3/24/2013, 7:48 pm

Hey everyone Smile First time poster and relatively new SFG'er here.

In Feb, my husband and I planted our first SFG. For the soil, we used the Lady Bug Sq. Ft Gardening Blend. It was very pricey. (20$ a bag and we used 4 bags) Now we are trying to get our 2nd bed going, and we are looking to do this more economically.

Our local nursery (Maas for those of you in the Clear Lake area) sells an organic compost blend relatively cheaply, so we got that and a bag of coarse vermiculite. I know peat moss is the missing ingredient, but Lady Bug uses coir fiber in their mix instead of the peat moss and claims it's a better choice for the humid, hot climate of Houston. I am going crazy trying to find this stuff in the houston area.. does anyone else use it and where did you buy it? I have called numerous nurserys and no one seems to have it Sad I live in league city, but am not against driving further to get the stuff!

Those of you in Houston who do the peat moss way, is there a special kind I should be looking for? (Not the mossy stuff, right?)
Thanks in advance for your help!

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Join date : 2013-03-24
Location : Houston, Texas

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Post  camprn on 3/24/2013, 8:21 pm

I am not in your area so I cannot help with the local question but I suggest you stick with the sphagnum peat mix or make your own Mel's mix if you can. There are numerous threads about coir vs. peat on the forum that you can find by using the search feature on the left.
Do you have the book yet?


43 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

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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Post  GreenGene on 3/24/2013, 9:03 pm

I am in Alvin and had no problem finding the components for Mel's mix. The Friendswood Garden Center has a good selection of composts. Sweet Organic Solutions in Pearland has composts too, but at a buck or two more per bag. Even Stantons here in Alvin has the pete moss, some composts, and a good selection of seed and plants. Be sure to remember that pete moss is compressed and fluffs up to approx twice its stated content.

When a compost states it is 'blended' make sure to understand what its blend components are and adjust your final mix accordingly.

I am new to this too, but Mel's Mix is working just great for me so far. I highly recommend considering it in addition to reading his book.


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Post  geekgoddess on 3/24/2013, 10:19 pm

Thank you so much for the suggestions!

Yes, I do have the book and I went to a short class on SFG that my local nursery hosted.

I know the Mel's Mix formula is the best..which is what I'm trying to reproduce, just at a slightly lower cost than buying the premixed bags of it. (The LadyBug brand SFG Blend is Mel approved, I believe).

I looked at some of the previous threads for coir vs. peat moss and found most people think they are comparable. I would personally like to find the coir fiber and will try to call a few of the nursery's suggested. Smile

If I can't seem to find any, I will probably just go with the peat. Thanks again!

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Location : Houston, Texas

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Post  Rahab222 on 4/8/2013, 1:28 am

Home Depot has the Coir - 3 blocks to a pack, but pricey.

Also, I found the Lady Bug at Whole Foods - 1 cu. ft. for $9.99. I bought 6 bags (it came out $5.00 - $6.00 cheaper/bag than Enchanted Gardens ($19.99 for 1.5 cu. ft. and $20.99 for 1.5 cu. ft. at SW Fertilizer). I got a bale of spagnham peat moss at Ace Hardware for a little over $10.00). I wanted to try the Lady Bug, although I have been mixing my own Mel's Mix just to see if I could save some time because I was in a hurry to get some tomato transplants in the ground. Six bags did not even begin to fill my 4' x 4' box. It settled A LOT, so I guess I will have to buy a few more bags to level everything out. My box is 7.75 inches deep and I kept ending up at the bottom of the box when adding my transplants. This is my first year at sfg, so I am doing all of my boxes differently to see which one give the greater results. I added my homemade Mel's Mix to my box garden (25' x 5'). This was my first venture with mixing it myself and I only had enough to till it into the first 2/3's of the garden; along with the really rich bedding soil that was already present. I have to say, the plants in the section where I tilled in the Mel's Mix looks quite a bit more productive than the area I didn't blend it in with. The tomatoe plants on the Mel's Mix end already have multiple tomatoes showing - about the size of marbles. The rain that came through Houston last week was perfectly timed, as I had just finished setting all my plants in the box bed. We got a little more rain over the next two days and so far, my box bed looks marvelous!

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