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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.

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Pre-made mels mix

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Post  mhjr5500 6/21/2012, 2:53 pm

i've been trying to get in touch with the online store but can't. can anyone tell me how much buying mels mix is and how to order it. thanks jr
mhjr5500
mhjr5500

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Post  RoOsTeR 6/21/2012, 2:58 pm

The foundation has been in the process of moving. Also, they don't ship Mel's mix because of the cost. You have to make your own (suggested) or try and find a local supplier.

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Post  toledobend 6/21/2012, 5:52 pm

Lowes may be one your best bets. Although they probably won't have it in stock, they might order it for you.

From Lowes website: This is the Mel's mix:

Garden Time 2 cu ft Phalaenopsis Mix


Item #: 308781 | Model #: GT 11670


Last edited by toledobend on 6/21/2012, 6:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  southern gardener 6/21/2012, 6:04 pm

I hope you have some better results with the pre made Mel's Mix than we have had. Please let me know if you use it, and how you do. thanks
southern gardener
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Post  tabletopper 6/21/2012, 6:55 pm

I have bought many many bags......from Lowe's in Chula Vista...and has done great.....but the last few bags I bought recently has done nothing......maybe its the supplier....a new one.....but the bag said Garden Time...(by Mel).....I have mixed my own according to the old book.....and the purchased bags have fine bark in it....I do not like buying it at $12.95 a bag...with bark....and now these 2 bags are doing nothing......in my area 8 miles from the Mexican border when can grow most things all year round........Ruth
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Post  southern gardener 6/21/2012, 7:01 pm

Same here. Some squares do really well, and others nothing. The plant sprouts and sits there with 4 leaves for weeks. I am in contact a lot of people hoping to get some answers, and resolution. We bought a LOT. It had glass, almost whole redwood chips plus other stuff. Mine had lots of stuff that looks like rice hulls or something?? It hold moisture really well, but that's about it ;/ I can PM you with a phone number if you want, not that I've gotten any help, but maybe if more than one person complains it might help??
southern gardener
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Post  mhjr5500 6/21/2012, 7:58 pm

well now i don't know what to do.
mhjr5500
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Post  RoOsTeR 6/21/2012, 7:59 pm

Make your own.

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RoOsTeR
RoOsTeR

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Post  tabletopper 6/21/2012, 11:04 pm

Southern Gardner:

: Several Months ago I did email the powers that be and they said they would get back to me......never heard a thing.....and of course they have been moving to South Carolina ...

I guess I will have to go back to mixing my own as per the receipe....only a bucket of each in a wheel borrow.......Ruth
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Post  RoOsTeR 6/21/2012, 11:14 pm

Sometimes persistence helps. You spent your hard earned money on what could possibly be an inferior product. There was a time when a simple phone call and complaint would probably resolve the issue. Unfortunately those days are gone and customer service for some companies is poor at best. If it's something you are truly upset about, then fight for it. An email or phone call is hardly sufficient. Businesses are banking on the fact that you will try once or twice and give up at no great loss to them.

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I am my gardens worst enemy.
RoOsTeR
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Post  southern gardener 6/21/2012, 11:32 pm

I have been very persistent. I have called the VP of Gro Well three times, today in fact. I have PM'd, Emailed and/or called Alan, Victoria, Cathy, Mel himself, Brian and Rick from Gro Well, two or three others from Gro Well, posted on the SFG facebook page, posted here. Those are the names I can think of off the top of my head. I don't know how much more persistent I can be. I have topped off a few of the beds with my compost that is finally done, and those boxes are growing like crazy. The other boxes with the pre-made mix are still sitting with tiny stunted plants. I am hoping to hear back from Rick, the VP at Gro Well tomorrow. When I spoke with him today, he said he would call today or tomorrow. Didn't hear back today, so we shall see what tomorrow brings. In an earlier email Rick said "Clearly there was a quality issue with the bags you purchased and tried to use. Had the product been up to the specifications that we require, you would not have had a problem." They are going to replace the bags we have purchased. That is what we are waiting on, well that, and a return phone call. I really don't like to complain, but we have really really tried...
southern gardener
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Post  RoOsTeR 6/21/2012, 11:37 pm

Sounds like you're getting somewhere. Don't give up!

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Post  tabletopper 6/22/2012, 2:02 am

Southern Gardner:

Since we are both in Caifornia that are having stunted growth using Mel's Mix it must be the company that they contracted to put together the mix ...I bought mine thru Lowes and it was just the bags I bought this year......before that I was very happy with the results....Glad you have contacted so many people in the foundation ....maybe now they will investigate.......we want to be happy gardeners.......wish I have kept the receipts...
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Post  southern gardener 6/23/2012, 1:55 am

well, it's Friday night, 10:53 pm, and no phone call from Rick at Gro Well. I can't believe how bad this is, and how frustrating it is to get no response....from anyone other than "call someone else". I would even think about being a teacher, but am very reluctant if this would be the service my "students" would receive Evil or Very Mad
Anyone else with any contacts, ideas, suggestions?
southern gardener
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Post  Chopper 6/23/2012, 2:18 am

When I make my own I add nothing. When I buy the garden time MM I add and organic mix of kelp meal, blood and bone meal and something else - I forget. It is all in one box. I put that in for insurance. The bagged MM feel fluffy enough - not like other bagged soils - but I do not feel as confident as I do in my own. As I have been moving quite a bit I have not been able to assemble my own mix the last season or so. So far the bagged + insurance has worked well and I am in So Cal also.

btw, went to Lowes looking for more and the clerk said they never have carried Garden Time. Odd, as that was the very store I bought my last bag from. However, big box clerks try their best but are often uninformed - a lot to know with all that space.
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Post  southern gardener 6/23/2012, 2:26 am

That's funny about them saying they don't carry it! That's where we bought all 50-60 bags! We do have some of our own compost ready, and have added it to some off the boxes, and the stuff is really taking off. It's just so frustrating to spend $700-$800 of hard earned money and get these results. We are not one to take short cuts or "cheap out", that's why we decided to get the "real thing" and do the garden right. I am hoping they do follow up on their promise to us. I too am wondering if it was the latest batches from So. Calif that are the problem....
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Post  Chopper 6/23/2012, 2:29 am

Per what is listed - 5 composts, peat, vermiculite, bat guano and worm casting - it should be great. You never know though. Things may not have mixed properly - you got the peat, vermiculite heavy side - or who knows. For now I would add some amendment and keep adding compost as you finish each square.
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Post  tabletopper 6/23/2012, 3:41 am

At $12.95 per bag it shouldnt be necessary to add anything more...its supposed to be perfect.....didnt notice any instructions on the bag to add anything........my last 2x4' is still sitting there doing nothing l pepper died......lettuce kale and and beets are stagnet....7 peppers left are in a coma.....

Chopper:..somehow you got the hint to add something more....my neighbor just added steer manure to her dirt and is doing well...
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Post  genes 6/23/2012, 10:54 am

Dind't they have problems with a supplier on the east coast a year or two ago. Quality Control must be difficult in that type of production.
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Post  ramarks 6/23/2012, 11:36 am

@Chopper wrote:btw, went to Lowes looking for more and the clerk said they never have carried Garden Time. Odd, as that was the very store I bought my last bag from. However, big box clerks try their best but are often uninformed - a lot to know with all that space.

From Mel's Mix to cell phones - you spend a little time researching and you know more than most of the store clerks - in any store. I've had the same thing happen on items I bought in Lowe's or Home Depot a month ago. "Online only...always has been." Except I bought it there last month...probably still have my receipt.

This is one reason I made my own. A bit of a pain - not quite the proper recipe (not five composts) - but I know what is in there when I go to add. The plants are loving it.
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Post  southern gardener 6/23/2012, 12:44 pm

We did make our own, and it didn't work out very well, probably because we didn't use the correct balance of the composts. Then we read here and in the book to be sure you have the 5 different types of compost, and had trouble finding all five, then to fill 12 boxes and all that mixing we thought, might as well get the "good stuff" right from Mel and do it right. We wanted to start our fall garden, and be ready for the spring too. That's why we purchased the mix. Also, to make that much compost from our own available items would take a long time, so we opted to purchase the mix, and make our own compost in the mean time. So, we emptied all 12 boxes and re did them with the purchased mix, and there clearly is a problem. There are a few squares that are great, but for the most part, it's spindly tiny yellow plants. The person we made the box for as a gift happened to come over this morning, and he said his plants never took off either. Plants about an inch tall, then stopped growing. I felt awful, as we gave him the box as a thank you, and I boasted to him about how wonderful fresh organic food would be for him.
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Post  southern gardener 6/25/2012, 5:59 pm

Never heard from Rick at GroWell, so I called and left a message. I received an email today saying they are still working on getting the mix right, and then they will ship me the soil! I can't wait to get going!!
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Post  tabletopper 6/26/2012, 7:35 am

At last a response...from the company.....you have really hung in there......hope they found the mix problem.....good luck with your 12 boxes.....satisfaction guarenteed is what is sez on the bags......happy gardening when you receive your replacements.........Ruth
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Post  cpl100 6/26/2012, 1:16 pm

Does anyone know (and have you asked the officials) how widespread is this issue? Is it confined to your area or is it country-wide? I am just starting (getting my building kit today) and am afraid to buy the mix (if I can even find it).
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Post  southern gardener 6/26/2012, 6:49 pm

CPL100, I am not sure....the contact info is:
Rick Johnson
Vice President of Marketing
GRO-WELL Brands, Inc.
420 East Southern Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85282
Phone: 704-293-8480

if I were you, I'd contact him, and ask. It's SO much work to get everything set up, and have the soil be an issue. He said they are testing what they have now, to be sure it's done "right". Good luck. Tabletopper, you might want to ask him about getting you some too? Can't hurt. That stuff isn't cheap! Good luck!!
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