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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Mel's Mix leftovers Toplef10Mel's Mix leftovers 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.

Mel's Mix leftovers I22gcj10Mel's Mix leftovers 14dhcg10

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Mel's Mix leftovers

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/24/2022, 9:52 pm

So my MM is (finally!) made, and I have a small amount of peat, quite a lot of vermiculite, and varying amounts of most of my composts.  I was thinking I'd make a small MM batch but without adding water this time, and store it in a plastic lidded bucket for use with something.  I know Mel says to make all the ingredients into MM and put it in e.g. the now-empty compost bags, but from memory he doesn't say what to use it for.  So that's one question: what might I do with it?

Another question I have is about not adding water to it.  I think I understand why, but I thought we didn't dare let peat fully dry out???  When making my MM batches for the garden bed this past week I always made sure the peat was nicely wet before adding the vermiculite and composts.  If this little MM leftovers batch dries out won't it be hard to rewet?

Thirdly, won't the compost, which is moist, keep rotting away in the bucket?  Will this MM be useful for anything at all if I take too long to use it?  How long might it be useful for?

Apologies for all the questions, folks, (and I know I've just worried about (a) too dry and (b) not dry enough!) but I wasn't expecting to have any leftovers and now I find myself in this position I'm not sure what to do! Embarassed
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Post  OhioGardener 12/25/2022, 7:43 am

KiwiSFGnewbie wrote:So my MM is (finally!) made, and I have a small amount of peat, quite a lot of vermiculite, and varying amounts of most of my composts.  I was thinking I'd make a small MM batch but without adding water this time, and store it in a plastic lidded bucket for use with something.  I know Mel says to make all the ingredients into MM and put it in e.g. the now-empty compost bags, but from memory he doesn't say what to use it for.  So that's one question: what might I do with it?


When I set up the 2'x6 raised bed in the greenhouse, I mixed up a large batch of MM based on the cubic feet that I needed.  As I added a layer to the bed, I thoroughly wetted it down, and then added another layer. When the bed was filled, I had a little left over which I put into three and half of the empty compost bags and set them under the shelf in the greenhouse. It was NOT wetted before putting in the bags.

A month or so later I needed to fill three 3-gallon buckets to plant cucumber plants in, so I dumped the amount of MM I needed into a plastic tote and wetted it down to get it ready for planting. Then I just filled the buckets with it. Simple.

Thirdly, won't the compost, which is moist, keep rotting away in the bucket?  Will this MM be useful for anything at all if I take too long to use it?  How long might it be useful for?

No, not an issue. First, the compost will not be very moist for very long as the peat and vermiculite pulls the moisture out of it. Second, when the compost is no longer sufficiently moist the microbes will go dormant and wait for more favorable conditions for feeding and reproducing. Third, it should be able to be safely stored in a cool, dry place for up to about a year. How long do you suppose those bags of compost you bought were in storage, and in less than ideal conditions.

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/25/2022, 6:43 pm

Awesome, thank you once again OG for all that info and your unassailable logic! Smile   I'll get that little batch made up and let it sit in the garage, it should be totally fine there.
thanks
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Post  sanderson 12/30/2022, 1:29 am

OG answered your questions. I always save the extra. Who knows, you may want to pot a flower or mint. Wink

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