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Mel's Mix Measuring with 5 Gallon Buckets

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Post  AceoStar on 4/22/2020, 9:48 pm

Hey everyone! This is my second season using Sqft Gardening and I'm addicted. This year, I started making a ton more mix and I'm not quite sure if its up to par with last year. This year's mix seems to retain water a bit more but its hard to compare with the established mix from last year, especially considering i'm in a different bed. 

Rather than measure in cubic sqft, here's my method. 

3 Different types of compost
Vermiculite 
Peat Moss

1 - 5 gallon bucket of compost - I fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/3 of the way with each type of compost
1 - 5 gallon bucket of vermiculite
1 - 5 gallon bucket of fluffed peat moss.

I mix the compost up a good bit before adding the other two ingredients. I do the ole tarp tug to get it all blended together and it looks great.  Is this measuring method correct or am I miscalculating the fluff of peat moss? Just want to make sure I'm heading in the right direction before making the rest of my beds.  Mel's Mix Measuring with 5 Gallon Buckets 3170584802
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Post  markqz on 4/22/2020, 11:22 pm

@AceoStar wrote:

1 - 5 gallon bucket of compost - I fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/3 of the way with each type of compost
1 - 5 gallon bucket of vermiculite
1 - 5 gallon bucket of fluffed peat moss.
That's how Mel measures in the book. You need 4 sets of those three 5-gallon buckets to fill a four by four garden to 6 inches. Each bucket is about 2/3 of a square foot.

I've been doing it in four sets, with each set of 3 ingredients (i.e. 15 gallons) mixed in a wheel barrel.
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Post  plantoid on 4/23/2020, 11:27 am

Similar , but easier on your back & shoulders for a lot of folk . 

The completed mix is a ratio for a volume of 15 buckets , so you only need a single one or two gallon bucket to measure things out .

This was posted eight or so years ago ……….   IIRC in the  compost 101 threads.


5x1 gallon bucket of different composts 
OR 
5 x 2 gallon buckets of mixed compost not a single type or repeats of the same compost so watch out for multiple uses of wood  ,local utilities waste etc 


5 x 1 gallon bucket vermiculite 

OR 
5 x 2 gallons vermiculite


5 x 1 gallon of fluffed up peat 
or 
5 x 2 gallons fluffed up peat 

  I should think most folk will find it easier to use a  one or two gallon bucket /container than they would trying to hump 5 gallons of damp/wet compost about .
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Post  sanderson on 4/26/2020, 3:00 am

Ace, It sounds like you are mixing just fine. I just wanted to clarify that you are making more Mel's Mix for a new bed. For your existing bed, all you have to do is add more blended compost each time you plant.

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Post  AceoStar on 5/19/2020, 10:09 pm

sorry for the late reply, but thanks everyone! Based on the feedback, I think I'm doing it right, though I did run into one weird batch that I'll post about soon. Very Happy  Sanderson, yep, I'm making new mix for new beds and draining containers.
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