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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.

Mel's Mix 5 Composts I22gcj10Mel's Mix 5 Composts 14dhcg10

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Mel's Mix 5 Composts

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Post  Lillyz Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:11 pm

Bought 5 different types of compost, yay! But to tell you the truth, I got one that smelled awful! All the other ones smelled ok, but that one ewwww. I guess they bagged it when it wasnt finished composting or something. I did mix it in with the others, hopefully getting some fresh air will help with the smell and it might finish composting in about 3 weeks.

Got one bed ready. One more to go. Gonna cover the one thats ready with chicken wire so the local wildlife doesnt get into it.

Glad that Mels Mix is a one time operation. My back.... todders off in search of tylenol.
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Post  Tris Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:22 pm

Its kinda exciting right? I've almost got all my compost collected Very Happy I've just got to get the vermaculite and wait for the weather to stop Very Happy
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Post  Lillyz Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:36 pm

Tris wrote:Its kinda exciting right? I've almost got all my compost collected Very Happy I've just got to get the vermaculite and wait for the weather to stop Very Happy

It is exciting! I love gardening and hopefully with the new sfg way of doing stuff, I will have a prolific veggie garden. The weather here was about 50 degrees, nice for working outside. I think Im gonna do the next mix in a couple of days. Lots of mixing with the shovel and breaking up clods of peat moss by hand. But I gotta say the mix looks wonderful!! Very Happy
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Mel's Mix 5 Composts Empty I feel and identify with your joy!

Post  Windmere Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:10 pm

You are both so right about getting excited because of compost!

I am doing my first ever vegetable garden this year. Good thing I came across SFG!

I have almost all of my compost components. I have composted cow and chicken manure. A vegetable and fruit compost. Worm castings.

Last.... I got some mushroom compost, but it ended up having tree pulp, peat moss and all sorts of other things that would have thrown off my whole mixture. Getting the pure stuff tomorrow.

Have been busy planting indoors. It's a blast!!

cheers
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Post  Tris Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:46 pm

Uh oh, I have 2 different brands of mushroom, I hope its not bad!
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Post  donnainzone5 Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:53 pm

Although I've posted this before, an easy way to "fluff" peat moss is to spread it on a tarp and stomp it with your feet!
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Post  Tris Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:54 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Although I've posted this before, an easy way to "fluff" peat moss is to spread it on a tarp and stomp it with your feet!
Good to know! Do you fluff it damp or dry?
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Post  donnainzone5 Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:55 pm

I stomp it dry, right from the bag.
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Post  Tris Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:15 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:I stomp it dry, right from the bag.
Excellent, thanks!
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Post  plantoid Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:25 am

Tris ,
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news .. there is a serendipity in it though.
The two different brands of mushroom compost is only counted as one compost as both will be almost the same ingredients .
The serendipity is two fold ..
Hopefully you have not made up the MM with them so you won't suffer the problems of a badly made mix .

The second is you have some for your second bed ( well you do have to look on the bright side of things Wink .
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Post  CindiLou Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:56 am

donnainzone10 wrote:Although I've posted this before, an easy way to "fluff" peat moss is to spread it on a tarp and stomp it with your feet!

My favorite was is the 3 yr old grandson lol..he thinks that is HIS job! And it was VERY fluffy lol..

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He threw a fit if we tried to help lol..but it did get us to slow down and enjoy the company! It was two of my daughters and the 6/3 yr that day.
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Post  Tris Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:52 pm

plantoid wrote:Tris ,
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news .. there is a serendipity in it though.
The two different brands of mushroom compost is only counted as one compost as both will be almost the same ingredients .
The serendipity is two fold ..
Hopefully you have not made up the MM with them so you won't suffer the problems of a badly made mix .

The second is you have some for your second bed ( well you do have to look on the bright side of things Wink .
I know it's only considered one, as is the 3 different manure compost I have, but I have to do with what I can get access to, and I've been recommended these from another member who has success with with her SFGs Smile
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Post  plantoid Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:16 pm

I hear you loud and clear Tris..


Just in case ........

The prob with mushroom compost it that it has gypsum or lime added to it as an activator to help the growth of bacteria due to heat generated and to give a quick release of nutrients .

Depending on whether it is gypsum ( reasonably neutral & ok ) or alkaline because of powdered limestone or some form of it will depend if it upsets your MM acidity levels .

Too much lime will definitely cause you problem as most veg run best on pH 4.5 to 7.5 , 5.5 being the average pH that gives a good all round result .
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Post  Tris Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:15 pm

plantoid wrote:I hear you loud and clear Tris..


Just in case ........

The prob with mushroom compost it that it has gypsum or lime added to it as an activator to help the growth of bacteria due to heat generated and to give a quick release of nutrients .

Depending on whether it is gypsum ( reasonably neutral & ok ) or alkaline because of powdered limestone or some form of it will depend if it upsets your MM acidity levels .

Too much lime will definitely cause you problem as most veg run best on pH 4.5 to 7.5 , 5.5 being the average pH that gives a good all round result .
Hmm I have no idea what my bags have, I went out and looked but surprisingly they aren't labeled at all. I bought 2 different kinds only because I could only afford 1 at a different location(it was 7 bucks a bag) and saw that they had it at home depot when I was there(3 bucks a bag), so for 2 4x4 and 1 4x2 its 3 bags of mushroom, 4 bags of cow poop compost (also 2 different brands) 1 bag of chicken poop compost, and I was going to get 3 or 4 bags of humus (sp?) compost I saw at taylors for the rest, along with a ton of un-composted rabbit poop. :scratch:
Sorry for the hijack OP!
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Post  Lillyz Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:06 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Although I've posted this before, an easy way to "fluff" peat moss is to spread it on a tarp and stomp it with your feet!

Thats a great idea! I will be doing that with the second batch of Mel's Mix.
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Post  landarch Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:36 pm

My first year, I had to purchase bagged compost for my Mels Mix and everything I found was of poor quality (chunks of woody material, clay, silt, etc.) and my SFG struggled (had to add compost tea and fish emulsion). My second year SFG was better using home-made compost consisting of as many different materials as I could find (kitchen scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, shredded fall leaves, clean lawn clippings, horse and cow manure, fish guts, etc.)...so be on the lookout this coming year for anything you can compost yourself.
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Post  RoOsTeR Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:43 pm

Hmm I have no idea what my bags have, I went out and looked but surprisingly they aren't labeled at all.

That's one of the biggest problems with bagged compost and unfortunately, the cheaper you go, the worse it's likely to be. This is one of the reasons why it's so important to start your own compost right away. You won't be bothered with the inconvenience and sub par materials any longer. Cool

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Post  Tris Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:11 pm

RoOsTeR wrote:
Hmm I have no idea what my bags have, I went out and looked but surprisingly they aren't labeled at all.

That's one of the biggest problems with bagged compost and unfortunately, the cheaper you go, the worse it's likely to be. This is one of the reasons why it's so important to start your own compost right away. You won't be bothered with the inconvenience and sub par materials any longer. Cool
Composting is definitely on the list of things to do! We already knda compost, but we really just dug a shallow hole and throw our stuff/ rabbitpoo and sawdust into it. Its doing something, but I'd like to get something actually boxed in.
I just saw on Mel's blog that I can harass the Home Depot manager to order some Mel's Mix, so I think I'm going to try to see if I can get him to special order me a couple of bags Smile hopefully that will help balance my mix a little bit bounce
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Post  camprn Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:19 pm

Beware, the pre mixed Mel's mix is often light on the compost. At least it was often a problem last year.

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Post  Tris Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:38 pm

camprn wrote:Beware, the pre mixed Mel's mix is often light on the compost. At least it was often a problem last year.
Really? That doesn't sound right.
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Post  camprn Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:57 pm

It wasn't right, but it was a problem none the less. I hope the companies making it this year do a bit better with the blend.Ou

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Post  Gunny Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:00 pm

Be sure to sift the bagged compost. I didn't and got a lot of FOD in my beds. I didn't have a sifter built yet when I put my beds together and did my MM. Now all ingredients get a run through the sifter even my own compost. You'ld be surprised in what you find.
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Post  Tris Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:04 pm

Gunny wrote:Be sure to sift the bagged compost. I didn't and got a lot of FOD in my beds. I didn't have a sifter built yet when I put my beds together and did my MM. Now all ingredients get a run through the sifter even my own compost. You'ld be surprised in what you find.
What is fod? And how does one sift?
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Post  donnainzone5 Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:59 am

My guess is that FOD means "foreign object debris."
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