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Mel's mix (kind of) & soil test kit Toplef10Mel's mix (kind of) & soil test kit 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.

Mel's mix (kind of) & soil test kit I22gcj10Mel's mix (kind of) & soil test kit 14dhcg10

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Mel's mix (kind of) & soil test kit

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brainchasm
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mollyhespra
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Post  Deepforks 6/7/2013, 12:04 am

so being my first year growing, I decided to grow a handful of veggies in large pots. i got in a hurry when creating my mel's mix. i ended up using just one type of compost instead of a blend. my two tomatoes seem fairly healthy other than the up-curled leaves (mainly on the upper new growth). the orange bell pepper seems to be doing okay. both cucumbers are turning a bit yellow. i honestly think i was over watering. when i dug down to about six inches tonight, i was surprised how moist, not wet, the soil was. anyway, i bought a soil test kit and tested it tonight. ph looked just about neutral, maybe a tad higher. phosphorus was between medium-high, potassium was between medium-low. nitrogen did not even register! could this be due to the single source of compost? what would you all suggest for an organic source of nitrogen? should i add anything else? appreciate any help. this "growing food" thing is all new to me Mel's mix (kind of) & soil test kit 3170584802
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Post  ETNRedClay 6/7/2013, 12:18 am

Don't remember who suggested it, but when my peppers were pale from nitrogen defeciency, I was encouraged to supply them with a 50/50 drink of human urine/water... I said, NO WAY. That's yuck.

I secretly peed in a bucket and added water and gave them a drink.

A week later, they were doing great. Mind you, they are in a 3'x8' and none of the other plants have yellow leaves. Had the same problem with a 4'x4', just the petunia had bright yellow leaves. Gave her a drink of "nitrogen" and she's doing great with dark leaves coming on.

I'm suspecting I didn't mix my Mix as well as I could have. One out of an entire bed, mmm.
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Post  mollyhespra 6/7/2013, 8:58 am

Also, from what I've been reading (my N was VERY low when I tested a few weeks ago), N is also very sensitive to getting washed out of the soil. I don't know the technical term for it, but that which makes it readily available to the roots also makes it more likely to leach out, if I understand it correctly. I went to a local organic nursery and got some 10-0-0 for a one-time boost/quick fix.

On the other hand, if your top (new) leaves are yellowing whereas the bottom ones are still green, it may be a different deficiency, like Calcium.

Do a search on "plant nutrient deficiency" and read up on it. It's very interesting. There's also a thread on this site somewhere where a link was posted to an article with pictures of what happens when different nutrients are deprived.

And as to your other question, it's likely that using only one source of compost is the culprit. Just keep working on finding additional sources of compost (start your own pile for one) and keep testing your soil and you should be OK.
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Post  camprn 6/7/2013, 9:07 am

The OP mentions cutting corners because of being in a hurry and only using one type of compost. Cutting corners will often lead to trouble, and now there is plenty of it for this garden, because it is the compost that feeds the plants.

Well rounded (homemade) compost or a compost blend with at least 5 different types of compost added to the mix is really the best remedy. Quick fixes are fine for band-aid solution, but come harvest time, I encourage you to add as much good compost into the mix as will fit in the bed. In the meantime, if you have any room at the top of the mix, you can topdress with compost.

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Post  cindre2000 6/8/2013, 8:59 am

Diluted urine is a quick way to supply your plants with nitrogen.

Other 'natural' amendments include:

Blood Meal
Chicken/Poultry Manure [Composted]
Rabbit Manure [Uncomposted]
Bat Guano
Fish Emulsion
Alfalfa Meal
Fertilizer Mix (Like Epsoma Garden-tone)

---

What single compost did you use?

I would recommend top dressing with Black Hen, or another composted poultry manure and then watering with Fish Emulsion.
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Post  RoOsTeR 6/8/2013, 9:12 am

camprn wrote:The OP mentions cutting corners because of being in a hurry and only using one type of compost. Cutting corners will often lead to trouble, and now there is plenty of it for this garden, because it is the compost that feeds the plants.

Well rounded (homemade) compost or a compost blend with at least 5 different types of compost added to the mix is really the best remedy. Quick fixes are fine for band-aid solution, but come harvest time, I encourage you to add as much good compost into the mix as will fit in the bed. In the meantime, if you have any room at the top of the mix, you can topdress with compost.

+1

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Post  brainchasm 6/8/2013, 11:52 am

Could you take a picture of the compost you're currently using? I am wondering if it still has a significant wood content. Reason being, as wood in compost breaks down, it uses up the available nitrogen. I learned this lesson here, because even though I got good mix of five or more composts, they were the cheaper stuff, and I ended up with a high wood content.

Thankfully, 1:10 urine/water fixed just about all of it. Shocked

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Post  boffer 6/8/2013, 12:02 pm

brainchasm wrote:...Thankfully, 1:10 urine/water fixed just about all of it. Shocked

Have you ever got frustrated with a task you're doing, thrown down a tool, said 'piss on it', and walked away? It appears that there's some wisdom to that saying! Laughing

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Post  brainchasm 6/8/2013, 12:14 pm

boffer wrote:
brainchasm wrote:...Thankfully, 1:10 urine/water fixed just about all of it. Shocked

Have you ever got frustrated with a task you're doing, thrown down a tool, said 'piss on it', and walked away? It appears that there's some wisdom to that saying! Laughing

My usual thing was to say 'to hell with this', but then I look around, notice that I'm standing in 108 degree heat, and it's not officially summer yet...and I realize I'm already there. Twisted Evil

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Post  Deepforks 6/8/2013, 3:32 pm

i'll try to post some pics but I need to figure out how to do it. this forum is not like any other I've attached pics to.

I actually bought some fish emulsion and put it on last night. I've backed off the watering, although I may need to increase due to the sudden increase it temps. looks like its here to stay.

as for the compost I used. it was that kellogs omri stuff.
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Post  brainchasm 6/8/2013, 3:42 pm

Yeah. I used a bunch of Kelloggs stuff too. Lotta wood chips, and we won't even get into the plastic and metal I fished out. It's cheap stuff, and I'm not doing that again.

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Post  Frenchbean 6/8/2013, 3:44 pm

Interesting read folks. If any of you get bitten by a jelly fish; human urine will stop it stinging! Very Happy
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Post  jimmy cee 6/8/2013, 11:19 pm

It's my understanding cucumbers need lots of water once fruits start appearing.
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Post  donnainzone5 6/9/2013, 12:31 pm

Did anyone use Kellogg's Patio Plus? My experience with this ONE Kellogg's product has been good.

I've been experimenting with it in my flower beds, although I'm also taking Camprn's advice about adding several different composts and peat moss, plus bone and blood meal, etc., leaving out the vermiculite because of cost.

It's important to find and use at least a 5-way blend of composts, not all of which are manure.
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