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What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? Toplef10What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? 1zd3ho10

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What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? Toplef10What can I do to fix my 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.

What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? I22gcj10What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? 14dhcg10

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What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix?

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What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? Empty What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix?

Post  tmgukcatfan 5/23/2021, 8:16 pm

I constructed a 20 inch high (to keep the dogs from running through the bed) raised bed that is 2 feet by 8 feet.  I have a very small city yard hence the odd shape. I raised my tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli from seeds.  After several days of mixing my Mel's Mix I planted my seedlings.  They all looked very happy that night.  The next day they began to wilt and die.  I have lost half of the tomatoes, a third of the broccoli, and a quarter of my cucumbers. I am very discouraged.  Here's what I THINK happened.

I went to the well-known local garden center to buy the ingredients for my Mel's Mix.  For my compost I chose leaf, cow manure, mushroom, a pre-blend called "Bumper Crop" and a poultry product.  The poultry product is called "Coop Poop" https://coop-poop.com and it is not at all like the other compost products.  It is granular--similar to the vermiculite only heavier.  I mixed it equally with the other compost types.  In a video on YouTube that showed how to mix Mel's Mix (featuring a certified instructor) https://youtu.be/sMNhRaI0Ppc  the host mentioned making a mistake by buying all turkey manure compost her first year and it burned her plants.  I think this is what has happened to my plants.  Was the Coop Poop too strong?  The website says it won't burn but they also suggest 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet.  I used 50 pounds in my raised bed.

If this isn't what happened then I am truly mystified.  I carefully followed the instructions for mixing the Mel's Mix.  

What can I do to rectify the situation?  I don't want to go out and buy more plants because I am afraid the same thing will happen to them.  How do I neutralize the Coop Poop? I need to continue using my raised bed because it was quite expensive to construct and to fill with quality ingredients.  Now what???

Thanks for reading my post and for any suggestions anyone out there might have.

Teresa
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What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? Empty Re: What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix?

Post  OhioGardener 5/23/2021, 9:40 pm

Welcome to the forums from Ohio, Tmgukcatfan!  It wouldn't seem that the chicken composted manure would have burned your plants. They advertise the NPK of the product at 2-4-3, which is not high enough in nitrogen to burn the plants. You mention only that the plants wilted, not that they showed signs of nitrogen burn - leaves turning yellow, brown, then withered.

Wilting normally indicates lack of moisture for the plants. Did you thoroughly water each layer of MM as you added to the bed so that it was completely moistened throughout the bed? Did you water each plant after it was transplanted into the bed?

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What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? Empty chicken manure

Post  citygirlinthegarden 5/25/2021, 9:47 am

I found pelleted chicken manure to be extremely strong. I use it by the sprinkle not the cup in my raised beds. While so many things can go wrong with young seedlings, I think you may be right in assuming it was the chicken manure. Good luck!
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Post  citygirlinthegarden 5/25/2021, 9:49 am

Forgot to add that I would just try planting the bed again. I'm guessing that as the pellets break down it won't be as strong.
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What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix? Empty Tried to do everything "by the book"

Post  tmgukcatfan 5/25/2021, 11:23 am

Hi,

I did water each layer of the Mix as I spread it over the bed.  Each layer brought the level in the bed up by an inch or so.  I sprayed the bed thoroughly until water was pooling.  I also watered the plants by pouring water directly around the bottoms of the plants.  There was some browning of the leaves as well as curling.  If I could figure out how to insert photos I would include a couple.  It was such a disappointment to have worked so hard only to have my hand raised plants wither and die!  I grew up on a farm so I know it goes with the territory so I will persevere. The only other variable was the weather turned hot right after I got the plants in the bed, but they had already begun to look unhealthy by the next morning.  I'm sure the heat contributed to the overall problem.

Thanks for the welcome.  I will enjoy learning more about gardening from everyone here.

Teresa
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Post  markqz 5/25/2021, 12:32 pm

Although the NPK of your Coop Poop is low, it sells itself more as a fertilizer than a compost. By my calculation (which could be suspect), you put it on at a rate 156 times greater than their suggested amount. Is the MM noticeably warmer than the surrounding soil? I'm wondering if you could mix in some carbon-based amendments (straw, maybe?) to help buffer the effect.
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Post  jimmy cee 5/25/2021, 11:00 pm

tmgukcatfan wrote:Hi,

I did water each layer of the Mix as I spread it over the bed.  Each layer brought the level in the bed up by an inch or so.  I sprayed the bed thoroughly until water was pooling.  I also watered the plants by pouring water directly around the bottoms of the plants.  There was some browning of the leaves as well as curling.  If I could figure out how to insert photos I would include a couple.  It was such a disappointment to have worked so hard only to have my hand raised plants wither and die!  I grew up on a farm so I know it goes with the territory so I will persevere. The only other variable was the weather turned hot right after I got the plants in the bed, but they had already begun to look unhealthy by the next morning.  I'm sure the heat contributed to the overall problem.

Thanks for the welcome.  I will enjoy learning more about gardening from everyone here.

Teresa
Hi teresa, I live just outside Philly, north on 309.
I read about your problems and have a good idea for you.
Get these books, and study them. They will give you a wealth of information that you never dreamed possible.


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