Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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.

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Compost from Five Different Sources Toplef10Compost from Five Different Sources 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.

Compost from Five Different Sources I22gcj10Compost from Five Different Sources 14dhcg10

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Compost from Five Different Sources

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markqz
anajinn
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Compost from Five Different Sources Empty Compost from Five Different Sources

Post  anajinn 3/7/2023, 9:25 pm

I thought I had done well to find five different sources, but then I read that no more than 20% of the compost should be animal manure - or is it no more than 50% of the compost should be animal manure? Can someone help me out here please?

I did hear of a compost that contains goat, sheep, chicken, steer and something else .....pig, I think.

Sea compost is great but I used it with peat moss and it stayed soggy all winter. It does contain some peat, I believe.

Another brand does not contain peat moss but I heard the same story from somebody else, regardless of the lack of peat moss in the SeaSoil.

Mushroom manure can contain both peat moss and steer manure or chicken manure or whatever.

I have found a mix that is 10% washed sand, 40% top soil, 25% mushroom manure, comprising 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 steer manure, and 25% steer manure. They say the results are excellent. It works out to 12.5% peat moss and 37.5 manure (50% compost)

The PH of this mix is PERFECT at 7.

Vermiculite is hard to find and very expensive. My understanding of it is that it helps retain water (so does peat moss) and helps balance PH, but the above mix is already PH balanced and it has sand to assist with the drainage. I think the vermiculite would tend to be too much and the beds might get waterlogged.

I need a total grow mix of 17 cubic yards. I know that Mel says if it is too difficult to find the vermiculite, just to add more compost instead.

I am going to add worm castings and biochar, and some trace minerals, but obviously not in a huge amount.

60 cubic feet of vermiculite is $800 Canadian. That is only 2.22 cubic yards. So 5.7 cubic yards would be $2054. I think I would be better to add a little more peat moss and SeaSoil  or some Fish Soil which contains peat moss.

Does anyone have any advice please?
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Post  markqz 3/8/2023, 10:24 am

anajinn wrote:I have found a mix that is 10% washed sand, 40% top soil, 25% mushroom manure, comprising 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 steer manure, and 25% steer manure. They say the results are excellent. It works out to 12.5% peat moss and 37.5 manure (50% compost)
I would not want to adulterate my MM with washed sand and top soil.

I think we need to know more about your setup. Although vermiculite is pricey, generally you're growing in smaller, high intensity square gardens which don't require as much soil. It kind of sounds like you're attempting to replace a standard, regular garden with MM. So ... yeah ... more details would be useful.

Happy Gardening!
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Post  sanderson 3/9/2023, 4:18 am

Ana, How many square feet of beds are you making that you would need 17 cubic yards of Mel's Mix? 459 Square Feet? If you are making beds deeper than 6-7", the bottom fill should be sand or top soil.

As markqz mentioned, more info will help.

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Post  OhioGardener 3/9/2023, 7:48 am

sanderson wrote:Ana,  How many square feet of beds are you making that you would need 17 cubic yards of Mel's Mix?  459 Square Feet?  If you are making beds deeper than 6-7", the bottom fill should be sand or top soil.

As markqz mentioned, more info will help.

My math shows more like 918 sq ft (918 sq ft times 6" = 459 cu ft = 17 cu yd). That is a lot of garden!

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Post  donnainzone5 3/24/2023, 8:59 pm

Have you read the 2nd or 3d Edition of All New Square Foot Gardening yet?  

I like the sound of the multi-manure compost, but it should comprise only 20% of your compost component.  

Always try to obtain coarse vermiculite.  How large is your proposed garden?  We always advise to start small, such as one or two 4' x 4' x 6" beds, or the equivalent.  

Mixes such as those you describe are not compatible with SFG.  Please  submit further questions as they occur, and refer to the editions above.
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Compost from Five Different Sources Empty Veganic compost

Post  Chris Bobbitt 3/25/2023, 12:25 am

What would be 5 sources for veganic compost?  To our compost barrel we add kitchen scraps (90% organic, 100% vegan -- close enough), leaves, drier lint (all-natural fibers), and if the barrel slows down in winter, I had some moldy alfalfa cubes [horse feed gone bad so for free to perk up the Nitrogen -- worked wonders to reheat!]  Soybean meal inhibits germination, so that's out.  What am I missing?
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Post  sanderson 3/25/2023, 3:32 am

Chris, I've only know one gardener who didn't want to use a manure-based compost, and he was Hindu. Over the months working with him and explaining that the whole green earth is in part due to manures, along with dead plant life, returning nutrients into the soil, and that the farm manures we use are undigested plant material that we are unable to eat, he is now using 20% manure-based compost.


Greens:
Kitchen trimmings
Produce culls from grocery stores and farmer markets
Spent coffee grounds (Starbucks for free), church and other meetings
Veggie plants chopped up - disease free unless you use the hot composting method
Grass clippings
Micro-Brewery spent grains
Dead flowers (florist and your yard)
tea bags without staples

Browns:
Bedding straw, E-Z Straw
moldy feed hay
Garden woody pruning
Sawdust from plain lumber, not plywood or composite
Pine needles
Cardboard torn into small pieces
Dull newspapers
Paper towels (not greasy or unsanitary)

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