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No 1 garden center seems to have everything needed Empty No 1 garden center seems to have everything needed

Post  Mips on 7/14/2013, 3:35 pm

Is this just a 'late in the season' thing or is it something I should be prepared for as I start now and continue into the fall with my plantings.

I am having a particularly difficult time coming up with an assortment of composts.  What kind are you mixing together to get your mix?

After scouting out 4 garden centers in the general area, I did the best I could so far with a combination of a bagged worm casing type compost, a bottle of fish emulsion and a bag of tomato-vege food.   Right now I passed on the bat guano and chicken compost - or should I go back and get some?

There are 2 more garden centers I know about that I plan to visit on my next day off to keep searching for more.  I planted pots of zucchini, summer squash, an eggplant and some scallions so far and have an established tomato plant.  When my order from Johnnys comes in, cukes, sugar snaps, beans, more scallions and maybe some salad greens will join the group so I know I will be needing more dirt components.
Mips
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Post  donnainzone5 on 7/14/2013, 3:46 pm

Worm castings are fine as a supplement to composts.

No fertilizer counts as a compost, nor does fish emulsion.

Have you read the Second Edition of [i]All New Square Foot Gardening[i] yet? If not, please do so; it will clarify many issues and questions. The rest of us are here to help.

In your area, I'd look for lobster compost. Mushroom and chicken composts also are usually easy to find. You my want to do a Google search if you can't find any at your local nurseries and Big Box stores.

Some organic combination planting composts are fine to use. Try to avoid any that contain peat moss, since that will throw off your ingredient ratios. Also, some supermarkets and Whole Foods locations carry compost made from their own veggie and fruit waste. EcoScraps, found at Home Depot, might also work, although I
haven't yet tried it.

Another possible source is bagged (not municipal) composted plant waste. They generally contain composted weeds, grass, wood trimmings, and so on.

We'll cheer you on as you find and make your Mel's Mix and begin your first SFG!
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Post  Mips on 7/14/2013, 4:04 pm

I am halfway through the book.  The book has an infectious enthusiasm and I had to start it NOW! Laughing  Too bad the seedlings don't listen that NOW! part.

 I will go back to get the chicken stuff, see if they had the mushroom.   I will scout out more coastal garden centers for more Sea based composts, as well.  I guess I just hit the first swoop of my learning curve.   thinking
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Post  camprn on 7/14/2013, 4:59 pm

+1 what Donna said, fertilizer is not compost. Make sure the chicken stuff is compost. Try craigslist too.

Quoddy blend lobster compost is divine. Try local stables, dairies,  petting farms, llama, rabbit or goat farms. Go to your local grain store (Blue Seal), not the box store, and ask around. Go to the Farmer's Market and ask around. And absolutely start your own compost pile today, which can be as simple as a welded wire hoop or a bin from free pallets or a manufactured bin.

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Post  dvelten on 7/14/2013, 10:24 pm

Mips,

You should have no trouble finding good choices for compost in Essex county. Donna and camprn mention Coast of Maine lobster compost, which is great, but CoM also sell a cow manure compost that comes from a farm in Maine that grows organic, grass-fed beef. So that's two. Brick Ends Farm in South Hamilton runs a large composting operation in conjunction with Hannafords Supermarkets.  The Essex County Coop in Topsfield also sells their own organic compost and may have other bagged composts. There is an Agway in Danvers (mine carries Coast of Maine products). Also look for farms and stables that may sell their own composted manure. You want "composted" manure not aged manure. Also check out hydroponics stores, they often carry compost products.
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Post  sanderson on 7/15/2013, 12:14 am

Mips,  I don't remember if I said "Welcome."  So here it is!  Welcome to the Forum.  Lots of nice folks with good advice / answers.  Not to mention some outstanding photos of their gardens.
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Post  Mips on 7/15/2013, 9:44 pm

The Co-op! Smack me in a v-8 moment: I drive within a stone's throw of this place at least a couple of times a week!  The specific lists helped to open my eyes, to see what I was looking at with the assorted bags of stuff.  cyclops 

The Hamilton place didn't look drive in and park friendly with huge piles of things, big trucks, assorted outbuildings, a huge shed and a nondescript office area.  There was no one around to ask.

Between the 3 stops I made today, I scored 4 out of 5 different manure/composts including the Maine products.   This with what I had discovered in my weekend searches is enough to get me started on some container experiments for the rest of the summer into the fall.  Home composting is not possible right now but hopefully in time.

The family is more excited than I am about the SFG possibilities: visions of organic vegetables are already dancing in their heads.
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