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Post  sarahmitzie on 5/20/2014, 4:53 pm

So, I'm just getting my SFG up and running but I'd prefer not to use peat Moss, Is ther an alternative?

Also, being in the UK all our compost etc is sold in litres, anyone know how many litres of each element of MM I'd need for a 4ft x 4ft x 6inch bed
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Post  llama momma on 5/20/2014, 4:58 pm

Peat substitutes are discussed about the third paragraph down - if you try it let us know how it works!

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/how-to-make-your-own-potting-soil.aspx#axzz32I86frW1
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Post  rabbithutch on 5/20/2014, 5:15 pm

Howdy (from Texas) Sarah!

A 4x4 foot bed filled to 6 inches would be 8 cubic feet or about 227 liters (if I did the gozintos correctly).

Is peat not available to you or is there some reason you wish not to use it?
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Post  sarahmitzie on 5/20/2014, 5:42 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:Howdy (from Texas) Sarah!

A 4x4 foot bed filled to 6 inches would be 8 cubic feet or about 227 liters (if I did the gozintos correctly).

Is peat not available to you or is there some reason you wish not to use it?
I can find peat moss but I'd just prefer not to use it due to the effect on the environment Can I ask how you worked out the litre-age for thr bed so i can wor it out for my other beds
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Post  camprn on 5/20/2014, 7:31 pm

Canadian Sphagnum is a renewable source. There is also coconut coir, but that footprint is also large in shipping and excessive use of fresh water to process. Coir is an acceptable substitute, but the sphagnum is better. Same with vermiculite and perlite, though both are good at what they do in the mix.

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Post  sarahmitzie on 5/21/2014, 4:25 am

What's the difference between perlite and vermiculite?
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Post  camprn on 5/21/2014, 6:34 am

@sarahmitzie wrote:What's the difference between perlite and vermiculite?
please use the search feature to find previous thread about perlite and vermiculite. perlite is a lot cheaper and easier to find and is perfectly acceptable to use in Mel's mix.

____________________________

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Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 5/21/2014, 10:36 am

@sarahmitzie wrote:What's the difference between perlite and vermiculite?

We went for the perlite because it was cheaper. Does basically the same thing, except perlite tends to float to the top and makes the bed look kind of white. Enough stays down in the soil though and my plants are happy.
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Post  rabbithutch on 5/21/2014, 11:15 am

Howdy, Sarah!

The cubic footage is just length times width times depth (4x4x.5=8 cuft.).

For all metric conversions (because I'm American and metrically challenged), I use an Internet resource.  I usually just search for what ever conversion I need, in this case I use "How many litres (how's that?) in 8 cubic feet" as the search argument.  I found this web page (Metric Conversion) and read the chart below and rounded the result.

Hope this helps.
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Post  plantoid on 5/30/2014, 6:17 pm

@sarahmitzie wrote:So, I'm just getting my SFG up and running but I'd prefer not to use peat Moss, Is ther an alternative?

Also, being in the UK all our compost etc is sold in litres, anyone know how many litres of each element of MM I'd need for a 4ft x 4ft x 6inch bed

Sarah ,
 This year is the first year I'm trialling compressed coconut fibre  .
A block weighs 10 pounds ( 4.5 kg )  I purchased 10 blocks for £48 ish on line carriage included.
Don't try and reconstitute it in a plastic dust bin unless you are very strong as it becomes a very tight filled bin that's heavy to move.

 You'll need a large barrow and 30 litres of water , put water in barrow  float the block in it and shave off the fibre as it absorbs water and becomes free . , in about 10 min  it goes from a 12 x 12 x 7 inch block  (300 x 300 x 165 mm ) to about 80 litres volume when fully fluffed up .




  I got mine from eBay store Elixir-Garden-Supplies look in the index for coir.
 
You can also get a nutrient pack for tomato growing from them to add to the water so you can  grow tomatoes & capsicums in a sterile growth medium of plain coir .
I've added half quantities per block reconstituted just to be sure I have got everything needed for growing my TOM- TATO's
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