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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/26/2016, 3:48 pm

Hello All - new SFG gardener (new gardener in general) and in reading Mel's book and researching Mel's mix I came across this product - FoxFarm's Bush Doctor Coco Loco.  It's a mix of coconut coir, perilite and several composts.  I'm giving it a shot in my beds but wanted to see if anyone else has used it before and what they thought of it.
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Post  sanderson on 5/26/2016, 5:27 pm

Tim, I looked up the product but it does not indicate the ingredients or ratios, except to include coco coir. Mel's recipe for soil less garden media includes peat moss (or coir), vermiculite (or perlite) and 5 different kinds of compost to ensure that all the necessary nutrients are covered. It's the compost blend that is so very important.

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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/26/2016, 5:38 pm

Here's the ingredients list from the bag.  Seems pretty good so far and I'll add my own compost to it when I replant it.  I was having a hard time finding bulk verm or perlite that wasn't going to break the budget.
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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/26/2016, 5:41 pm

In my web searches for reviews I have discovered it is apparently very popular with marijuana farming....
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Post  sanderson on 5/26/2016, 9:42 pm

The ingredients look similar to many bagged planting mixes found at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.  The brand you bought seems to be geared to MJ farmers.  They add (yes, even at my age I know 2 growers) fertilizers in specific ratios at specific times.  [I keep thinking, why don't they use Mel's Mix? ] No fertilizing.

When I made my first batch of Mel's Mix, I used vermiculite, fluffed peat moss and Kellogg's potting soil for the compost part.  Boy, was that a mistake. Embarassed  I was in a hurry and didn't understand why we are encouraged to find 5 different types of compost, not potting soil or soil amendments.  I had read the ingredients and it had 5 "compost" ingredients, and lots of forest products (wood particles) and peat moss.  To cut to the chase, if you want to use what you bought, add some bagged compost to balance out the amount of wood and peat in it.  Reduce the amount of fluffed up peat moss called for.  I'm afraid you will be adding fertilizer through the growing season, which does not bode well with the microorganisms that live in the soil, that do the actual breakdown and feeding of the plants.

I'm glad you are making your own compost.  Do you have a variety of ingredients?  Barn yard manure?

Please keep us posted on your journey, and feel free to ask questions.  The Search box is also a great resource.

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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/26/2016, 10:20 pm

Compost right now is just household and yard waste.  I have a small worm farm that I will be getting worm castings from as well.  I'll take a picture of the mix in the morning - it looks a lot like what I've seen of mel's mix.  There aren't any of the wood chunks I see in the box store potting mixes.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/26/2016, 10:36 pm

Hey, Tim! Yeah, we all just sometimes have to get started with what we have. Just do it, don't sweat the small stuff. But keep detailed notes. Because there will be so many things that you will lear this first year....timing. Things you like/don't like /that you think you did?????

ANyways...do the best you can. I and many of us have no source of all these different composts. DEFINITELY start your own compost pile! glad you\'re here
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Post  sanderson on 5/26/2016, 10:49 pm

@Tim3L0rd wrote:There aren't any of the wood chunks I see in the box store potting mixes.
Oh, good.

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Post  VJ72584 on 5/27/2016, 10:39 am

I have added the FoxFarm Ocean Forest to my mix as one of the five composts.  It is a little pricey compared to cow or mushroom.  I have had trouble in my area finding five different kinds.  My local feed and seed folks planted three buckets last year with tomatoes as a test. One had Miracle Grow, one the FoxFarm Ocean Forest and the third Stout Ollie Mater Maker.  FoxFarm grew the most leaves and plant, Stout Ollie the most tomatoes and Miracle Grow was sad to see.  I have not seen chicken manure this year.
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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/27/2016, 10:56 am

Thanks! I was looking at the ocean forest as an additive for later, glad to hear someone who has used it
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Post  walshevak on 5/27/2016, 2:34 pm

Glad to see you have a worm farm  Worm castings or casting tea may become your best friend to augment the nutrients in you mix this year if the mix comes up short.  Remember, gardens can be top dressed with a good compost mix even if you don't have it incorporated into the original mix. I always make more of the 5 blend than I need for replenishment and keep it handy for this purpose.  My compost pile does not produce enough for the whole job.    Even (UGG) Miracle Grow can be used if necessary.

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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/27/2016, 7:53 pm

Thanks Kay. I've been looking at worm tea brewing so I stretch the goodness further since my warm farm is small
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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/27/2016, 10:13 pm

Since we are talking compost - we have a rabbit that I will be composting his bedding and droppings. Should I compost it with my yard/table scraps or compost it separately and combine the finished product?
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Post  sanderson on 5/28/2016, 3:42 am

My vote: together.

At some point, you may be interested in raising worms in the beds. Search for Worm Tube

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/28/2016, 6:33 am

Hi Tim. Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

Can't really add anything here. But it looks like you're covered, lol!
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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/28/2016, 8:14 pm

2 questions - probably dumb but it's better to ask. First, one soil vendor by my house has a compost that is a mix of horse manure, cow manure and vegetable matter - does that count as 3 types? Second, if you guys make a large compost mix how do you store it?
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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/28/2016, 8:14 pm

2 questions - probably dumb but it's better to ask. First, one soil vendor by my house has a compost that is a mix of horse manure, cow manure and vegetable matter - does that count as 3 types? Second, if you guys make a large compost mix how do you store it?
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Post  Turan on 5/28/2016, 11:15 pm

I would not mix any peat into the Fox Farm product.  I use Fox Farm Happy Frog in my 3x1x1 boxes in the greenhouse.  I have two boxes and I split a bag of Happy Frog and one of Ocean Forest between them.  I grow peppers and lettuces and herbs and this year cucumbers in these boxes.

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Post  Tim3L0rd on 5/28/2016, 11:32 pm

Thanks turan. Only thing I'm planning on adding will be compost.
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