Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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Hello from W. Ky Empty Hello from W. Ky

Post  Sherry G on 4/5/2020, 4:45 pm

Hi. I am somewhat retired (work seasonal during winter usually) and we just moved here. Need to set up the garden beds.

Mel's math for his mix is above and beyond me (even though I work doing taxes, that is simply basic math). Can using a bucket filled with each of the 3 ingredients (one at a time); that is a bucket of compost, a bucket of peat, a bucket of vermiculite work? 

Also, we don't have enough scraps to make a compost pile so can anyone recommend what they are buying?

Thanks so much.
Sherry G
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Post  countrynaturals on 4/5/2020, 5:05 pm

glad you\'re here from Northern California. Sorry, I can't help with MM. I just use what I have on the property (we're rural, with horses, chickens, and a rabbit). I'm sure someone will be here soon, to answer your questions. geek
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Post  Sherry G on 4/5/2020, 5:14 pm

Thanks, Sue. I appreciate the response.
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/5/2020, 6:12 pm

Yes, Sherry, you can use any form of measurement, such as a bucket or tub, to ensure that you have equal thirds of the ingredients in your mix. Ten buckets of compost, ten buckets of vermiculite, and ten buckets of peat will ensure an equal mix.  You can also calculate the volume of your raised bed, and then buy the quantity of ingredients to fill it.  For example, if your raised bed is 4'x8' by 8" high, that would 4x8x0.667 = 21 cu ft, so you would need to purchase 7 cu ft each of compost, vermiculite, and peat.  Or, if the bed is 4'x4' by 1' high, you would need 16 cu ft, so you would need just over 5 cu ft of each.

Peat is fairly easy to find, almost all of the big box stores sell it by the 3 cu ft bale, which expands to 6 cu ft.

Vermiculite is more difficult to find in the coarse grade. I buy it from A.M. Leonard (A3 Coarse-Grade Vermiculite). They often have a sale with free shipping, and I stock up during those times.

Compost is a lot easier to find at the big box stores or the local bulk mulch/compost dealers.  Big box stores have it available as Composted Cow Manure, Chicken Manure, Worm Castings, etc.  Just check the ingredients of the bag - most include peat moss, which would change the ration of the compost, vermiculite, and peat moss in the total mixture.

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/7/2020, 9:17 am

Hi Sherry. Welcome from Atlanta, GA.

What OhioGardener said...! +1
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Post  Sherry G on 4/7/2020, 10:48 am

Anyone else having trouble finding supplies? I have been looking for various thing and it all seems to be on back order or out.
Sherry G
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/7/2020, 11:19 am

Not having any problems finding supplies here in SW Ohio, Sherry.  What are you looking for that is on backorder, or not available?

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Post  yolos on 4/7/2020, 12:57 pm

@Sherry G wrote:Hi. I am somewhat retired (work seasonal during winter usually) and we just moved here. Need to set up the garden beds.

Mel's math for his mix is above and beyond me (even though I work doing taxes, that is simply basic math). Can using a bucket filled with each of the 3 ingredients (one at a time); that is a bucket of compost, a bucket of peat, a bucket of vermiculite work? 

Also, we don't have enough scraps to make a compost pile so can anyone recommend what they are buying?

Thanks so much.
Here is a thread from a few years ago showing different types of purchased compost by some of our members.  It is a few years old so some stores may not be carrying all of the pictured composts.

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t21089-recommended-store-bought-compost-photos-of-composts?highlight=compost
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Post  Sherry G on 4/7/2020, 2:07 pm

Vermiculite in particular has been hard to find. It seems to sell out fast and even online they are out of it.
Sherry G
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Post  Sherry G on 4/7/2020, 2:08 pm

Yolos, Thanks so much for that link. It has given me some good ideas and reinforced some things that I had seen and wondered about.
Sherry G
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Post  sanderson on 4/8/2020, 3:02 am

Hi Sherry, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

You have already received some replies to your questions. Try Uline (Grade 3 or 4), PVPind, and Palmetto (coarse A-3). Try pool supplies as vermiculite is also used in building swimming pools.

Regarding composts, bagged chicken or cow manure composts are easy to find. All manures are counted as one source. In MS, maybe you can find cotton burr compost. If you have any questions regarding a compost, post a photo or provide the exact name and we can help you evaluate it.

How big are you going to make the bed(s)? Remember you only need 6-7" of Mel's Mix, so beds made from 2" x 8" are perfect for the MM plus some mulch during the summer.

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Post  Sherry G on 4/8/2020, 8:28 am

I have seen cotton compost but was told there wasn't much nutrients in it. I think I finally have things figured out and I thank everyone for all their suggestions. You are great!!!!!

My biggest issue at the moment is there is a large swing set sitting in the area I want to put the garden and until that is moved, I'm kind of stuck. Hopefully it will be gone in the next week or two. That is the plan anyway Smile
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Post  sanderson on 4/8/2020, 5:57 pm

You're welcome, Sherry. Do keep us updated. And, remember, we love photos, the good, the bad and the ugly. Very Happy

PS: I apologize. You are in KY, not MS.

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Post  Sherry G on 4/8/2020, 6:19 pm

I will certainly try to and will send photos if I can figure out how to link them.  Laughing
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/8/2020, 8:02 pm

Hi Sherry!  

Welcome to the forum, so glad you are here.  Honestly there is no perfect way to do anything, let alone SFG.  Do the best you can. 

I would say if you can get vermiculite, it is superior to perlite or anything people say is a substitute for it...you can get away with smaller however, but not small.

So happy to hear from you, what do you like to eat?  Or try?  See you soon!
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Post  sanderson on 4/8/2020, 9:59 pm


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Post  Sherry G on 4/9/2020, 10:15 am

Hello from W. Ky Swings10
You can see why I need this moved  Very Happy
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Post  Sherry G on 4/9/2020, 10:16 am

sorry for the duplicate pictures. Just learning how to use this and the only option I saw was insert all
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