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Are these good for first mel's mix?  Toplef10Are these good for first mel's mix?  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.

Are these good for first mel's mix?  I22gcj10Are these good for first mel's mix?  14dhcg10

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Are these good for first mel's mix?

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OhioGardener
colleenlawson
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Post  colleenlawson 4/30/2021, 2:20 pm

New to gardening and carpentry;
I need a waist height table; in a small town; can't make my own compost this year, trouble finding mix ingredients within 100 miles.

1. Will these work? (Amazon list)
2. Is this calculation correct per bucket? (Screenshot)
3. Is there a step by step on the forum for building an sfg table for mobility impaired? (This one has bad reviews but I'm unsure of diy good strong legs for table)
5. I found a local source for Harvest Supreme Premium soil amendment. Would this be good for the compost? (Ingredients pic)
4. Thank you in advance VERY much!

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Post  colleenlawson 4/30/2021, 2:22 pm

Here is that ingredients list for the Harvest Supreme.


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Post  OhioGardener 4/30/2021, 3:15 pm

Welcome to the forum, Colleen, from Ohio. Have you read the SFG book describing the blends of composts recommended? It important to have multiple types of compost, not just a single ingredient. The Harvest Supreme Premium is basically a potting soil mix, and not a compost.

Have you checked some of the local composting facilities in your area to see what they offer?  A quick google search brought places such as Compost Colville, Colville Valley Compost, Colville Hardware (they list several different composts and manures), and, of course, Walmart.

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Post  OhioGardener 4/30/2021, 3:18 pm

@colleenlawson wrote:New to gardening and carpentry; I need a waist height table

Check out the thread on Table Top beds:
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t17176-gwennifer-s-table-tops

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Post  colleenlawson 5/1/2021, 4:40 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Welcome to the forum, Colleen, from Ohio. Have you read the SFG book describing the blends of composts recommended? It important to have multiple types of compost, not just a single ingredient. The Harvest Supreme Premium is basically a potting soil mix, and not a compost.

Have you checked some of the local composting facilities in your area to see what they offer?  A quick google search brought places such as Compost Colville, Colville Valley Compost, Colville Hardware (they list several different composts and manures), and, of course, Walmart.

Hi, Ohio Gardener. Thank you for the warm welcome!

I have read 2 of the SFG books, and have passed the certification course. Now I'm working on building that first SFG garden to earn my instructor certificate Smile.

I do understand the need for multiple types of compost, but after your reply, I gave it a bit more thought. I had *thought* I understood multiple sources to mean types of ingredients (i.e., manure types, yard waste, vegetable scraps, worm casings) + geographical locations to provide my veggies with as close as possible to the ideal nutritionally nurturing meal table (so to speak).

Before posting, I had gone to actually every single place that sold garden stuff in my town and had telephoned every Google result within 100 miles. The results were less than hoped for, and that harvest Supreme was the closest to an ingredient mix I'd found in person.

In fact, most of the results weren't places that would have sold to noncontractors even if they'd HAD any of the components, and one was even the cell phone number of someone who had worked for the company 3 years earlier *in a laborer capacity, go figure!* -- but on reaching the real number, the company had no idea why they were listed by Google for compost at all. A couple results were for same city name (kinda), but in the U.K. Other results were for MY city,
but only available within their headquarter city, 3 hours away. I had called them anyway -- nope, not available to non contractors, out of stock, not what Mel specified, whatever -- just nope nope nope!

Believe me, I knew I was gonna look rookie enough just having newbie questions, lol, so I did research before posting. The Amazon list was what I knew I could get speedily, but I wasn't sure if I truly understood well, so I thought to ask y'all.

On the plus side, between posting yesterday and replying today, I went back to each place (since they were receiving supplies in earnest by this date), took my sfg printouts and asked again. As I drove, I saw seasonal outdoor sellers too, that hadn't been there last month. I asked everyone.

So the result is:
* I have coarse (I hope) vermiculite arriving next Saturday;
* I have 4 cu feet of peat moss, 1 bag of compost made with steer manure AND 1 bag of compost whose ingredients are, honestly? Identical to those in the Harvest Supreme. But it says compost in the name instead of soil amendment, so that's two of the five.

I figure I can keep looking for the other 3 while I wait on the vermiculite.

Next year, fingers crossed, I'm gonna be so much more knowledgeable lol!

P.S. Walmart thanked me for letting them know where to send customers for the vermiculite & peat moss!
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Post  mollyhespra 5/1/2021, 7:09 pm

Hi, Colleen, and welcome to the forum!

Are there no farmers around your area? How urban or rural are you? The closer you get to the actual single-ingredient composts, the better.
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Post  colleenlawson 5/1/2021, 7:45 pm

Hi Mollyhespra, and thank you for the welcome!
Now I'm really confused.  On the squarefootgardening org bagged-vs-homemade-compost page, SFG says:

"Let’s start this conversation by talking about best to worst choices when it comes to compost. The best choice is the compost you make in your own backyard, because you know what’s in it, where it came from, and that it’s organic. The worst choice, by comparison, is what we call “single ingredient” bagged compost that you pick up at a home improvement store or garden center (see the next section below).

Your goal, when making Mel’s Mix™, is to use compost that has a variety of materials in it — 5 different ingredients is ideal, but 3 different ingredients is acceptable — to create “blended compost.”"
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Post  colleenlawson 5/1/2021, 7:50 pm

Also, outside my kitchen window, there are about a hundred cattle grazing, and on my property are chickens, geese, peacocks, ducks and llama. At the other end of the property are horses and in between are fruit trees and bushes and more. I am looking forward to making my own compost for next year, but believed I couldn't use any of these to make compost for this year. Is this correct?

Thank you.
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Post  OhioGardener 5/1/2021, 8:07 pm

@colleenlawson wrote:I am looking forward to making my own compost for next year,  but believed I couldn't use any of these to make compost for this year.  Is this correct?

You can use any of those manures to make compost, but you cannot use any of those manures instead of compost to make Mel's Mix. If you do have some aged manure stacked somewhere, though, the bottom center of that composted manure can be used.

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Post  colleenlawson 5/1/2021, 8:19 pm

Thank you Ohio Gardener. Nothing stacked. I just called the local feed store and they will hold a bag of worm castings for me to pick up in the morning.

If my best bet is to try to get a variety of single source (ingredient, not location) bagged OMRI composts, then that's what I'll do.

I know the compost "recipe " should be at least 4:1 carbon to nitrogen, but if any of you have a more specific compost formula, I'd be truly grateful. If not, then no problem. I haven't found one myself!
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Post  colleenlawson 5/1/2021, 8:24 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
@colleenlawson wrote:New to gardening and carpentry; I need a waist height table

Check out the thread on Table Top beds:
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t17176-gwennifer-s-table-tops

Oh gosh, sorry i forgot to reply to this!
Thank you for the link. Hubby & I read through it but unless I'm mistaken she did not reply with the specifics in the end.

Lumber yard was another place I visited yesterday, and they introduced me to planter wall blocks. We've decided to go with that for this year, since it lends itself to modularity as well as easy out of season storage.
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Post  yolos 5/1/2021, 9:37 pm

@colleenlawson wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:
@colleenlawson wrote:New to gardening and carpentry; I need a waist height table

Check out the thread on Table Top beds:
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t17176-gwennifer-s-table-tops

Oh gosh,  sorry i forgot to reply to this!
Thank you for the link.  Hubby & I read through it but unless I'm mistaken she did not reply with the specifics in the end.

Lumber yard was another place I visited yesterday, and they introduced me to planter wall blocks.  We've decided to go with that for this year,  since it lends itself to modularity as well as easy out of season storage.
For one of my later beds, I used planter wall blocks from Home Depot.  See this thread for some info.
planter wall blocks - Home Depot Planter Wall Block (forumotion.com)

Here is the price from Home Depot now.  I do not know if the price compares to your lumber yard.
https://www.homedepot.com/s/planter%2520wall%2520block?NCNI-5
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Post  mollyhespra 5/1/2021, 10:36 pm

Sorry about the confusion, Colleen. What I was trying to convey is to try to use 5 different "single" composts to create the blended together compost (which as you know is still not MM until you blend *that* with your peat and vermiculite). Manure isn't "compost" until it's been curing for some time. For this year, you'll probably have to "do" with 5 different single ingredient bagged composts from the box store, though if any farmers will let you dig into their old piles as OG suggested and get ye some nice aged compost, that's better than the bagged stuff by far! AND if you have any of your own piles from previous years that have been cooking a while, you could use those too. Where have you been dumping the poo from your own critters? (HTH and let me know if my clarification made sense.)
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Post  sanderson 5/6/2021, 2:27 pm

Colleen, welcome to the Forum from California. glad you\'re here

Since G&B Harvest Supreme is available, maybe the place can order you some G&B Purely Compost for their next delivery. I use it as one "source" of bagged compost. I don't know if WA state has Ecoscraps Compost and/or Nature's Care Really Good Compost. I haven't been able to find those 2 in CA for 2 seasons. Mushroom compost is generally available everywhere. Be prepared to screen any compost using 1/4" hardware cloth to remove wood chips or fines.

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Post  plantoid 5/13/2021, 5:36 pm

@colleenlawson wrote:Also, outside my kitchen window,  there are about a hundred cattle grazing, and on my property are chickens,  geese, peacocks, ducks and llama. At the other end of the property are horses and in between are fruit trees and bushes and more.  I am looking forward to making my own compost for next year,  but believed I couldn't use any of these to make compost for this year.  Is this correct?

Thank you.

 Colleen for my first initial  MM bed filling matrials I used 5 buckets of partially composted dungs & their urine soaked beddings from nine different animals , bird & other animal except muck from horses fed on grass hay as it's full of weed seeds ....  A horses digestive tract does not kill a lot of weed seeds. 
  
 Dung & beddings straw paper or a few wood shavings from  Pigs, Cows, Steers ,  sheep, goat,  turkey ,chicken geese rabbits some Llama beans.
 Milk cows and steers/ bulls  produce slightly different nutrients & trace elements but composted steer dung & their urine soaked beddings can if over done make for an acid soil above the best PH for cropping .  Using cow & steer dried slurry from feed lots tends to raise the acid content too . So checking with a cheap pH test kit from any garden centre or on line is the safest way to go if you decide to use them . 

 Do not use dog or cat poop or their urine soaked materials as elements for you compost as they are too close to human transmission paths wrt parasites & diseases  that humans can get .

Added to that was 5 buckets of rehydrated fairly moist but not sopping wet fluffed up chopped steam cleaned coir fibre .  Then 5 buckets of rough vermiculite .
  
That gives you the 1/3 of each  group of components .

 The 5 buckets of mixed dungs , urine soaked beddings give more fibre and all the nutrients needed.     I made dozens of batches like that and was able to fill 250 sq feet of 36 inch dep beds in two years... Some of the crops they produced are shown in the gallery pictures ( found in the green band at the top of the page ) .

 Getting you own home made composting set up going asap in Spring should see you get enough replacement materials late in the same year to feed the beds once you've topped the bed with more MM after they have initially settled down.
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