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Please Review my Plan for Mel's Mix Toplef10Please Review my Plan for Mel's Mix 1zd3ho10

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.

Please Review my Plan for Mel's Mix I22gcj10Please Review my Plan for Mel's Mix 14dhcg10

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Please Review my Plan for Mel's Mix

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tomperrin
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Post  jdnetone 3/16/2012, 3:19 pm

Please tell me if this sounds Ok to make Mel’s Mix

Ok I have acquired Peat Moss, Coarse vermiculite, Compost (Worm Castings, Mushroom Compost, Chicken Compost,Black Cow Compost, Cotton Bur Compost)

Thanks for looking this over

James Please Review my Plan for Mel's Mix 601593
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Post  JK 3/16/2012, 3:34 pm

cheers You actually have the exact same ingredients I used for my MM. This is my first time but so far everything I have planted seems to be doing fine.

Mix them in the proper proportion: One third peat moss, one third coarse vermiculite, one third five compost mix. Then plant and enjoy sunny.
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Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut 3/16/2012, 3:39 pm

That sounds fine! clap

A couple of things that are said by most of the forum members to make things easier...

Be sure to FLUFF the peat before measuring it. You want to break it up and get it fluffy before you actually add the correct amount to your mix.

Be sure to check the labels on your compost to make sure they don't contain any peat or that could throw your mix off. I know Black Kow does not, but not sure about the others.

When you are ready to mix, get yourself a standard container (like a 5 gallon bucket), fill it up once with your first compost and dump on a tarp or other mixing area. Fill it up once with your second compost and add to the first. Continue putting one bucketful of each compost on the pile and mix. Then add five bucketfuls of FLUFFED peat and five bucketfuls of vermiculite to the mix and combine. That's MM! Smile

Lastly, when you are filling your bed, make sure to get the MM fully saturated. Most people put a layer of a couple of inches and wet thoroughly, and then another inch or two and wet thoroughly, etc. If you saturate it when filling, it should be relatively easy to keep moist from then on. Smile

We love pictures! Smile

JK - It's good to hear the mix is going well for you! Smile
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Post  jdnetone 3/17/2012, 10:33 pm

Thanks for looking this over
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Post  shannon1 3/18/2012, 3:44 am

Please Review my Plan for Mel's Mix 654548 for me mixing up the MM is the hardest part after that it's all gravy.
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Post  ericam 3/18/2012, 5:45 am

I didn't have too many problems wetting my mix down, I watered it in during mixing and then it rained for a week so my mix was well and truly wet!

I agree with shannon1, mixing it up was the hardest bit. I had a very wet backyard so the bottom of my tarp got very muddy and it was a hot day so by the time I was done I was totally sweaty and covered in mud!

Totally worth it though, my garden is doing great so far.
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Post  tomperrin 3/18/2012, 10:08 am

We've just finished mixing MM for a major expansion within the garden fence. We used the smallest tarp that money could buy (actually two tarps).

Tarp # 1 was used to mix the 5 different kinds of compost.

Tarp # 2 was used to make MM, using one 5-gal pail of mixed compost from Tarp # 1, one 5-gal pail of coarse vermiculite, and one 5-gal pail of fluffed peat.

This is much easier and far quicker to spread around using the back side of a garden rake, or to roll. We then fill those same 3 buckets with the newly mixed MM, and put it on to the square. We wet down the mix after spreading each bucket out, rake it back, and wet it down again, then repeat with the 2nd & 3rd buckets of MM.

If we have space to make the mix next to a square, it's even easier for the two of us to just pick up the tarp and roll the MM into the square. But it does take more time to wet the mix thoroughly that way.

Tom
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Post  TejasTerry 3/18/2012, 11:09 am

I used pretty much exactly what you have listed. I did locate some free llama and rabbit poo, so actually used 7 composts.

I was surprised at how difficult it was to really saturate the mix in the beds. I layered a few inches, and then soaked it, and then kept doing that until the bed was full.

My plants are doing well so far. Hope yours do well too!
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Post  shannon1 3/20/2012, 4:25 am

@tomperrin wrote:
This is much easier and far quicker to spread around using the back side of a garden rake
Thanks Tom I forgot that part I put the compost on the tarp then the vermiculite mix it a bit with the back side of a garden rake and then the same after the peat. I only wet it enough to keep down the dust as I never have help rolling it around on the tarp and filling bags/boxes. That way it is MUCH lighter. Then wet it in stages as I fill the boxes. Yes, the good old rake that's about all I use it for now.Laughing
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Post  kat51415 3/20/2012, 9:03 am

When you are ready to mix, get yourself a standard container (like a 5 gallon bucket), fill it up once with your first compost and dump on a tarp or other mixing area. Fill it up once with your second compost and add to the first. Continue putting one bucketful of each compost on the pile and mix. Then add five bucketfuls of FLUFFED peat and five bucketfuls of vermiculite to the mix and combine. That's MM!

This is the first time I've seen the actual measuring method put into words. TY! TY! TY! You just put alot of my fears to rest, seeing it explained this way. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to measure it all out. I'm assuming the three 5 gal buckets of finished MM is for a 4x4x6" box? All 14 of my boxes are 12" deep for rotation purposes so I guess I get to double it to six 5 gal buckets? Thank you again!

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Post  mdhastings 4/1/2012, 1:48 pm

THe compost I bought varied in weight from 30 - 40 lbs per bag, but the volume always seemed to be the same - .75 cu ft.

I did the calculations on a tall (15 in) "5 gallon" spackle bucket and it came out to .75 cu ft as well.

For mixing the tarp idea in the book is right on target, as is the idea of using a painter's mask. Take time mixing and use a straight edge coal-type shovel so that you don't tear your tarp. It goes slow at first, but once the peat and vermiculite get blended in the mix feels a lot lighter.

I also suggest old clothes and a shower afterwards! I used Chicken Doo Doo and smelled like it afterwards. (Ask my poor daughter how I smelled on the way to her appointment immediately afterwards.) affraid
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Post  boffer 4/1/2012, 2:09 pm

@kat51415 wrote:...This is the first time I've seen the actual measuring method put into words. TY! TY! TY! You just put alot of my fears to rest, seeing it explained this way. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to measure it all out. I'm assuming the three 5 gal buckets of finished MM is for a 4x4x6" box? All 14 of my boxes are 12" deep for rotation purposes so I guess I get to double it to six 5 gal buckets? Thank you again! ...

Just so you're not in for a surprise...

We use 5 gal buckets as measuring cups so that we can get equal amounts of verm, peat, and compost. A 4x4x6inch box will need 9 or 10 five gallon buckets of finished MM once you account for settling.

You may find the MM calculator helpful
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/h22-mel-s-mix-calculator
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