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Post  markqz on 10/19/2019, 2:35 pm

Does MM run out of "oomph" thanks to the decomposing compost?

These are beans I planted a month ago in a square where I had failed to grow spinach. The beans are growing, but not thriving. As you can see, they're a very light green in color.

There are multiple factors. Perhaps the nearby squash are shading them too much. Perhaps the days are too short. But I'm wondering if the compost/fuel in the soil could have already degenerated enough that the plants aren't getting enough of whatever they need? Or perhaps the compost lacked nutrients that beans need but squash/cucumbers don't?

Likewise the peas (not shown) haven't really thrived in the mix. They are even deeper in the shade, but I thought they liked shade, especially since I started growing them in 86F heat.

Ideas?

Thanks!

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Post  countrynaturals on 10/19/2019, 4:31 pm

I'm getting some yellow leaves, too. Could it be the cold nights we're having?
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Post  trolleydriver on 10/19/2019, 5:16 pm

markqz ... Did you add the required new trowel full of compost to each square before planting to he beans?
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Post  sanderson on 10/19/2019, 5:27 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:markqz ... Did you add the required new trowel full of compost to each square before planting to he beans?
+1

I think, and again I use the word think, that we folks that live in southern US have to add more than a trowel full per square when we change from summer to winter crops, and visa versa. The air and soil temps mean the microbes are really active year around, releasing nutrients, and causing the Mel's Mix to keep dropping in height. ?? You, being in the south-west most corner of the U.S. will have to keep up with those cute, invisible microbes.

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Post  countrynaturals on 10/19/2019, 6:20 pm

@sanderson wrote: You, being in the south-west most corner of the U.S. will have to keep up with those cute, invisible microbes.
Uh, pardon my impertinence, but how do you know they're cute? Razz

Good to know about adding more nutrients than our shorter-season gardening friends. I never would have thought of that. thankyou
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Post  OhioGardener on 10/19/2019, 6:34 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@sanderson wrote: You, being in the south-west most corner of the U.S. will have to keep up with those cute, invisible microbes.
Uh, pardon my impertinence, but how do you know they're cute? Razz

They are cute little rascals when I look at them through the microscope.

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Post  markqz on 10/19/2019, 6:41 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:markqz ... Did you add the required new trowel full of compost to each square before planting to he beans?

No, because the square hadn't been used for anything, and was only two months old.

Thanks!
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Post  OhioGardener on 10/19/2019, 6:44 pm

@sanderson wrote:
I think, and again I use the word think, that we folks that live in southern US have to add more than a trowel full per square when we change from summer to winter crops, and visa versa.  The air and soil temps mean the microbes are really active year around, releasing nutrients, and causing the Mel's Mix to keep dropping in height. 

As long as there are live roots, i.e., growing cover crops, the microbes keep working through the winter months in the north as well.  I have to add compost in the fall before planting the cover crop seeds, and then I have to add compost in the spring after I cut down the cover crops.

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Post  trolleydriver on 10/20/2019, 8:12 am

What compost did you use in your MM?  If you used any store bought composts it is possible that they had a lot of filler (e.g., peat moss) that has thrown off the ratios in your MM so that in reality you now have too much peat moss (or similar) and not enough actual compost. That will not be the problem if you used good home made compost.
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Post  markqz on 10/20/2019, 1:38 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:That will not be the problem if you used good home made compost.

It was home made compost. But maybe not good home made compost Wink
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Post  sanderson on 10/20/2019, 4:25 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@sanderson wrote: You, being in the south-west most corner of the U.S. will have to keep up with those cute, invisible microbes.
Uh, pardon my impertinence, but how do you know they're cute? Razz

Good to know about adding more nutrients than our shorter-season gardening friends. I never would have thought of that. thankyou
I think I saw one once and it was cute. Wink Razz My theory on adding more compost that some other areas of the U.S. is just my theory. thinking

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Post  sanderson on 10/20/2019, 4:29 pm

@markqz wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:That will not be the problem if you used good home made compost.

It was home made compost. But maybe not good home made compost Wink

I'm now down to using bagged composts as I have given up composting. Three composts I have stockpiled are Gardeners Chicken Manure, G&B Purely compost and Nature's Care Really Good Compost. Lowe's did carry Ecoscraps Compost (veggie based) but discontinued this summer. Whole Foods sells a veggie-based compost, but I don't know if it is sold year around.

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Post  OhioGardener on 10/20/2019, 4:45 pm

@sanderson wrote: Lowe's did carry Ecoscraps Compost (veggie based) but discontinued this summer. Whole Foods sells a veggie-based compost, but I don't know if it is sold year around.

Lowe's discontinued carrying Ecoscraps compost here, too, but they still carry the potting soil (6 qt bag) and fertilizers. Walmart still sells Ecoscraps Compost, but it is expensive there at about $14 for a 1 cu ft bag.

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Post  donnainzone5 on 10/20/2019, 7:10 pm

In my area here in Central Oregon, Whole Foods sells that compost in the spring only.  I do like it though, and try to stock up when it's available.  

I also find that hydroponics stores sometimes carry appropriate composts.
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Post  sanderson on 10/21/2019, 4:36 pm

@donnainzone5 wrote:In my area here in Central Oregon, Whole Foods sells that compost in the spring only.  I do like it though, and try to stock up when it's available.  

I also find that hydroponics stores sometimes carry appropriate composts.
+1   I will have to check WF in the spring and stock up.  I like the idea of including a veggie-based compost for growing veggies. Is the price still reasonable, Donna?

I called Ecoscraps this summer when Lowes discontinued carrying Ecoscraps Compost.  When the lady checked, she was kind of surprised that Lowes was no longer going to carry it.  I checked they website and it looks like the 2 college students who started the company are no longer involved.  I have a feeling they sold it.

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Post  donnainzone5 on 10/22/2019, 11:51 am

I think the price at WF for one cubic foot is about $5.99, possibly $6.99.  

I also purchase a fish/plant compost at a local hydroponics store.  

Also, as I'm getting to "know" more folks on a local gardening FB page, I suspect that new opportunities will arise for composted manure.
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Post  sanderson on 10/26/2019, 3:23 am

The WF price is pretty decent for veggie-based compost.

I agree that hydroponic and "specialty crop" stores can be sources for unique ingredients for the Mel's Mix. Just read the labels carefully.

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Post  donnainzone5 on 10/26/2019, 11:34 am

Right, Sanderson.

Some otherwise good composts contain peat or peat equivalents, sand, top soil, or other unwanted ingredients.
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Post  sanderson on 10/30/2019, 11:48 pm

"Composts" with peat moss, coir, perlite can throw off the ratio of Mel's Mix. Go with pure composts to ensure there are enough nutrients for the microbes to convert to usable nutrients.

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Post  Yardslave on 11/1/2019, 12:06 pm

+1
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