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Recommend Sq Ft Gardening Mix sold @ Lowes?

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Post  DbleT on 5/16/2012, 7:16 pm

Lowes only has 3 qt bags of vermiculite and only one type of compost available, both not recommended in the book. But they DO have the Square Foot Gardening mix in 1.3 cu.ft. bags. Would you all recommend this mix or is it better to travel around and try and find five different types of compost along with larger bags of vermiculite for the potting soil. I'd prefer to stay at Lowes but would like anybody's opinion.

Thanks!
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Post  philct on 5/16/2012, 7:18 pm

@DbleT wrote:Lowes only has 3 qt bags of vermiculite and only one type of compost available, both not recommended in the book. But they DO have the Square Foot Gardening mix in 1.3 cu.ft. bags. Would you all recommend this mix or is it better to travel around and try and find five different types of compost along with larger bags of vermiculite for the potting soil. I'd prefer to stay at Lowes but would like anybody's opinion.

Thanks!

Grab it!!! If it's Mel's mix, its perfect!!!
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Post  Lindacol on 5/16/2012, 7:58 pm

@DbleT wrote:Lowes only has 3 qt bags of vermiculite and only one type of compost available, both not recommended in the book. But they DO have the Square Foot Gardening mix in 1.3 cu.ft. bags. Would you all recommend this mix or is it better to travel around and try and find five different types of compost along with larger bags of vermiculite for the potting soil. I'd prefer to stay at Lowes but would like anybody's opinion.

Thanks!

I would get the mix and fill your beds. I have used it to partially fill some of my beds when I ran out of vermiculite. If you do not have a compost pile started I would suggest getting a couple of bags of different composts to have on hand for replenishing your squares.

My local Home Depot had 2 cf bags of vermiculite but when I started I ordered vermiculite from Uline & picked it up at their location in Ontario with no charge for shipping.
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Post  Chopper on 5/16/2012, 10:15 pm

I am afraid to ask. How much are the 1.3 cf bags of Garden Time SFG mix? They were $12 for 2 cf before they changed packaging.
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Recommend Sq Ft Gardening Mix sold @ Lowes? Empty That's a good question Chopper

Post  DbleT on 5/16/2012, 11:08 pm

As I forgot to get the price when I wrote down the cu.ft. What do you think of this pre-mixed potting soil with Mel's name on it?
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Post  Chopper on 5/16/2012, 11:55 pm

I like it fine. Wondering if they use a finer grade of vermiculite. This is my first year with it (moved and started new garden) but have not had any problems.
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Post  Chopper on 5/23/2012, 3:03 am

So, went into Lowes in Temecula yesterday. Looked high and low. No MM in bags. Checked and rechecked. Asked the lady who worked their - Garden Time SFG mix. Not only did they not have it, but they have never carried garden Time. Really? because I have a bag that I bought at that store in Dec in my trunk. I told her they had pulled the product for repackaing. Same answer - in the two years she had never seen it. Hmmm. One wonders if it is just a myth like the Loch Ness Monster or something.
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Post  tabletopper on 5/23/2012, 3:51 am

I went to Lowes in Chula Vista where I have bought many many bags and cked all over and none.....

Chopper.....have you really used any bagged?.....Remember the recipe for mixing the perfect mix......???? I have done it on a tarp.....also 1 bucket of each in a wheel barrow......and I have contacted the powers that be....and asked why in the bags I bought is there small bits of bark in it......they said they would get back to me...and never did......I thought it might be the local suppler adding it....than I heard there was repackaging going on......at $12.95 per bag...I dont want to pay for any bark....

Tonight I clicked on the Foundation by mistake and they are moving from Utah to South Carolina.....and I think they said the mix and other things would be distributed from various centers across the US.....so check it out...

Dble T......I love your picture of the sunset......Have you made your boxes yet? I played with the dimentions of your enclosure.....and got more than 100 squares...and more room to walk around......with a 6" x ? box down the center for lots of carrots.or herbs and it was a lil roomier for walking.....3 ft wide boxes on both east and west sides.....and a 3 ft wide entrance where the gate is.....and a tomato box on the north side by the gate...12 inches wide and 7 ft wide and 1 ft deep.....the bottom 6 inches with sand and mix on top 6 inches.....I had such fun playing with it all I even bought some graft paper today....since I couldnt find any at home...any way I have fun drawing it all on paper without all the effert of creating the boxes.....bounce Have fun....Ruth
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Post  mrseltzer on 5/28/2012, 10:01 pm

I just purchased Sq. Ft. Soil (Mel's Mix) from Lowe's in Rancho Santa Margarita today. They only had 1.3 cu. ct. bags, so I bought some extra. I like the soil.
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Post  camprn on 5/28/2012, 10:26 pm

I would suggest you add extra compost to that mix... a bag or two of chicken or steer manure will be beneficial.

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Post  ray420 on 7/25/2012, 2:45 am

Several weeks ago I saw Mel's Mix at the Lowe's in Riverside. However, I have not seen it since. I also checked Home Depot and they don't have it either. Is there a distribution problem because of the move? I really need to get started on this. Any help would be appreciated.
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Post  tabletopper on 7/25/2012, 4:22 am

The Garden Time Mels Mix sold at $12.95 a bag.....my 4x4 if I remember right took....4 bags....so it was over $52.00 plus Calif high tax....and it had small bark mixed in...didnt like paying for the bark....the mels mix receipe does not call for bark....
Its more work but if it were me....I would mix it all on a tarp again...and be sure what ingredients are in it....In small amounts I measure it out by buckets fulls and mix it in a wheel barrow.....
Sounds like they changed the name to" potting soil"....smaller bags....I bet the price went up also....Ruth


















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Post  RoOsTeR on 7/25/2012, 7:27 am

@ray420 wrote:Several weeks ago I saw Mel's Mix at the Lowe's in Riverside. However, I have not seen it since. I also checked Home Depot and they don't have it either. Is there a distribution problem because of the move? I really need to get started on this. Any help would be appreciated.

The foundation has been running a letter writing campaign in an effort to get all Home Depots to carry Mel's Mix. The big meeting is tomorrow. There is more information here:
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t13394-want-mel-s-mix-at-your-local-home-depot-the-foundation-needs-your-help-asap

I believe all letters were being collected Monday afternoon, but it never hurts to go ahead and try to show your support.

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Post  southern gardener on 7/25/2012, 1:20 pm

we received 60 replacement bags of the 2 cf Mel's Mix. Everything looks the same, BUT we did have big uncomposted redwood chips (the piece was probably 2x3 inches??) and sticks in it, so it clearly wasn't "screened" so I don't know that'll be a problem. We went ahead and planted a box with the new stuff to see how it works. Hoping it does.
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Post  mrwes40 on 7/25/2012, 4:39 pm

Might be a good idea to throw in some fertilizer - maybe 10-10-10, or 5-10-5. Just a thought.

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Post  tabletopper on 7/25/2012, 5:40 pm

My understanding is if 10-10-10 or 5-10-5 is added to his replacement bags it no longer is Organic......."chemicals by Monsanto"????

His bags was gaurenteed....it sez so on the original bags I still have some of my old bags....and I still dont like the bark that was in mine...
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Post  southern gardener on 7/25/2012, 6:06 pm

@tabletopper wrote:My understanding is if 10-10-10 or 5-10-5 is added to his replacement bags it no longer is Organic......."chemicals by Monsanto"????

His bags was gaurenteed....it sez so on the original bags I still have some of my old bags....and I still dont like the bark that was in mine...

I agree Ruth. I am going to do it "by the book" and see how it turns out. We had more than bark, it was a full redwood chip, not even close to composted, several sticks too. No glass this time, so that's good. I can see the tip of a corn seed sprouting, will plant some green beans next to them once they get up a little bigger. We planted a wide variety of plants to give it a real "test" lol.
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Post  AZDYJ2K on 7/25/2012, 6:36 pm

There are several other threads on the subject of pre-mix MM. Try doing a search on the forums to see if they answer your questions.

Here is my take on pre-mixed MM vs doing it yourself. I did an experiment in a 4x4 where I did 2 rows of pre-mix (4 sq feet each) and 2 rows of home-made MM using 5+ different types of compost. The home-made MM produced larger veggies and seemed to hold water better. Given this, my first choice to make my own MM using the guidelines set forth in Mel's book. However, if you want to save the trouble of mixing your own and want to use the pre-mix stuff I would suggest amending it with several types of compost such as composted manure or search Craigslist for sources of different compost.

I did notice that the homemade mix seemed to have bigger chunks of vermiculite than the pre-mix. I think that helped in water retention.

The advantage of the pre-mix is convenience. However, you may experience yields that are less than desirable. Again, just my 2 cents.
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