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Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone?

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Post  SwampCatNana on 5/2/2012, 12:15 pm

Ava - MM will weigh less than regular soil b/c MM has vermiculite in it. I also think your weight of a cubic foot may be wrong. Especially is you are talking about MM.
Has someone bought the actual MM? The one they sell in their store in Utah? Not the mix we can make the but the actual MM, his product.
If someone has access to this, take a full bag and weigh it, then divide that amount by the # of cubic ft in the bag. That should settle the question.
Lee

P.S. Just got this from Google. "On the average, however, the density of ideal topsoil is about 1.25 grams per cubic centimeter, or about 78 pounds per cubic foot."

Therefore, a 4 x 4 x 6" garden would weigh 8 x 78 = 624 lbs.
This is REGULAR soil, NOT MM. MM (8cu ft) would weigh much less. Since vermiculite weighs only 4.69 lbs per cubic ft, 624 lbs is too much for MM in a 4 x 4 x 6 garden.
So - 624 - 208.26 = 415.74 + 12.52 = 428.26 lbs for MM per garden above.


Last edited by SwampCatNana on 5/2/2012, 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : P.S.)
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Post  Kelejan on 5/2/2012, 5:44 pm

Well, Yorkshire IS the largest county in England, so I reckon they can brag.
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Post  H_TX_2 on 5/2/2012, 6:11 pm

@plantoid wrote:
@boffer wrote:
@plantoid wrote: So yes , an imperial gallon ( not your USA short measure ones Wink )

plantoid, I'm thinking you must have some Texas blood in your pedigree! Razz



Nah,

More like the Texans have plenty of good honest quality Yorkshire blood coursing through them for apparently that's where many of them originated from a couple of hundred years ago . Laughing


Wow. Very interesting that you bring that up. I was born and raised in Texas. My last name is British and I am told everyone with my last name are descendants from a large family living in Yorkshire, England.
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Post  plantoid on 5/2/2012, 7:36 pm

@Kelejan wrote:
@plantoid wrote:Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone? - Page 6 43549


English rhyme:-

A pint of pure water weighs a pound and a quarter .

So yes , an imperial gallon ( not your USA short measure ones Wink ) will weigh 8 pounds per imperial gallon

When I was at school in England I remember a gallon of water as weighing ten pounds. 8 pints x 1 /14 lbs = 10 pounds :scratch:


glad you spotted the mistook ..

It's a pity that the edit period is so short . I've been having a blond day and a half eversince 00.01 hrs . 2 May ....... right through to 23.59 and a bit.

Now I'm imortalised on computers all around the world and into cyperspace as " Plantoid the blond Yorkie who gives short measures and charges full price "



Now for the Murdoch apology ,

" Please accept my humble , grovelling , belly creeping words of apology , if you don't want to accept them ...tough ! ". Wink
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Post  camprn on 5/2/2012, 8:02 pm

Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone? - Page 6 641297 Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone? - Page 6 262465

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Post  LtTawnyMadison on 5/29/2012, 9:14 pm

I got some Chickity-Doo Doo today from Agway. The bag says "composted layer manure" - but it DOES smell. Should I return it?

The other ones I got are:


  • A mix of cow manure and forest humus
  • Lobster compost - "Quoddy Blend"
  • Earthworm castings
I had asked them to for ones with no fillers (they keep the bags in the back somewhere), but I have just now checked them all and found that the lobster compost contains "peat humus." So I'm wondering if this needs to go back also. You'd listed Quoddy Blend in the list of mixes though... this is all very complicated!!
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Post  Goosegirl on 5/29/2012, 9:33 pm

@LtTawnyMadison wrote:I got some Chickity-Doo Doo today from Agway. The bag says "composted layer manure" - but it DOES smell. Should I return it?


I have never used it personally, but from everyone who has posted about it on the forum, I understand that it DOES smell at the beginning even tho' it is composted, but the smell fades within a few days out of the bag. Hopefully someone who uses it will chime in!

GG
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Post  CCgirl75 on 5/29/2012, 10:00 pm

I used the Chickity Doo Doo and it does smell strong. The smell went away. I think I used a little too much in some batches I made for pots, though. I was trying use up some of the left over bags. I had flowers that died. I amended the soil with other types of compost and it helped.
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Post  LtTawnyMadison on 5/30/2012, 10:44 am

Thanks! Does anyone know about the Lobster compost that I mentioned in my post above? It's "Quoddy Blend" but the back of the bag says it contains "peat humus." So I'm wondering if this needs to go back also. This thread lists Quoddy Blend in the list of recommended mixes though... help! Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone? - Page 6 601593
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Post  walshevak on 5/30/2012, 11:32 am

I've heard nothing but good reports on it. In fact, when I was in No. VA, I picked up 2 bag to have on hand here in NC.

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Post  LtTawnyMadison on 5/30/2012, 11:52 am

So do I need to account for its having peat humus in it? Or is peat humus different from peat moss?
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Post  walshevak on 5/30/2012, 12:35 pm

It is somewhat different, but I don't remember what the forum came up with as to whether it needed offsetting in the amount of peat. ANYBODY OUT THERE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS.

The minerals in the Quoddy Blend make it well worth using. So if your are worried, throw in an extra bag of one of others (I recommend the chicken) and use 1 less bucket full of peatmoss. If you have to make a mistake on the mix, extras compost is the mistake to make.

Kay

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Post  ramarks on 6/8/2012, 9:54 pm

Thanks for this post...it should be in the appendix of the book.

It makes me think that my mix is quite as "Mel's" as it should be. I didn't moisten my peat moss, but I did fluff it so that I added close to equal amounts of vermiculite and compost. And my compost I bought in bulk from a local commercial supplier, so it is probably not the five different kinds.

Whatever...my soil is the envy of my friends. So far my plants are loving it.
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Post  Momof5Js on 6/25/2012, 3:21 pm

I started my SFG this year and boy did we start big. We have 4 rows of boxes 4x16. Needless to say we had ALOT of MM to mix up. Thankfully my darling hubby was rather patient. I spent one day calling the local stores to find the peat moss, vermiculite and 5 kinds of compost. I'll just say darling hubby was not as patient after we hauled our large flat bed trailer to 4 different stores in town (1 hour away.) But we came home with the goods. I read the ANSFG book several times regarding the MM and I must admit I fretted over it. I finally bought what we could find (everything else was ready, I just needed to fill the boxes.) Here are the mistakes I believe I made. I purchased a cotton burr compost and after reading this post, I realize it still had some recognizable pieces of cotton and twigs in it. OOPS! I am not picking them out of the MM as I "work" in my paradise. I also am not sure if my vermiculite was the right type. It has gold flakes in it. A friend actually commented that I should have "panned for gold" before I planted in it Embarassed Is this an "OK" vermiculite to use? I have had some problems with my beans and my peas. I wonder if my MM is wrong? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Post  plantoid on 6/25/2012, 6:14 pm

Vermiculite granules do have the gold sheen to them in the right light conditions so no worries on that one
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Post  Momof5Js on 6/25/2012, 7:27 pm

Thanks! It's good to know at least that part is ok.
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Post  Cincinnati on 6/25/2012, 9:46 pm

@Momof5Js wrote:...I realize it still had some recognizable pieces of cotton and twigs in it. OOPS! I am not picking them out of the MM as I "work" in my paradise. ...

Don't fret over the MM. The Cotton Compost is only about 6% of your final MM mix. If it is not fully composted, I don't think it will mess up your beds to the point of producing a problem. I'm assuming you found four other composts to mix in with the Cotton Burr Compost.

What problem did you have with your beans and peas?

Just curious. You said you have 4 rows of 4x16 boxes. How many boxes per row?
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Post  Momof5Js on 6/25/2012, 11:51 pm

@Cincinnati wrote:
@Momof5Js wrote:...I realize it still had some recognizable pieces of cotton and twigs in it. OOPS! I am not picking them out of the MM as I "work" in my paradise. ...

Don't fret over the MM. The Cotton Compost is only about 6% of your final MM mix. If it is not fully composted, I don't think it will mess up your beds to the point of producing a problem. I'm assuming you found four other composts to mix in with the Cotton Burr Compost.

What problem did you have with your beans and peas?

Just curious. You said you have 4 rows of 4x16 boxes. How many boxes per row?

Oops, I noticed I stated that "I am not picking them out. . ." I actually meant to say that I AM picking them out as I come across them.

Yes, I did find 4 other composts (chicken, steer, mushroom and organic.)

Each row has 4 4x4 boxes. One end box is 8" deep and the other 3 are 6". For a grand total of 16 boxes.

I planted Little Marvel Peas (bought from local green house in bulk) in mid April. They came up beautifully and got to be about 6 inches tall. I left on vacation and darling hubby watered while the children and I were gone. Then he decided to join us and enlisted another "waterer." This person forgot on day, but we came home that evening. When we got home, the pea plants were pale, sickly yellow and started wilting from the top down. I thought maybe lack of water. Needless to say most of them died and a few set on some pea pods, but soon died as well. I pulled them and tried again. I know it was late in the season but I just wanted to see what would happen since I would be home to monitor. They are now starting to do the same thing again. Now I could blame the heat. We are dealing with 100 degree and above days.

Now the green beans, I purchased from the same place and also in bulk. Same kinda a story except I planted them later when we got home from vacation. They are growing but getting brown leaves. The leaves get crusty brown, shrivel, wilt and fall off.

I am rather disappointed as we love green beans and peas and I was hoping to put some (and by that I mean at least 60 quarts) up - either can or freeze. Any advice you might be able to give would be greatly appreciated. I have found a couple of other posts here about a similiar problem and it seems to be the nitorgen levels. Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone? - Page 6 601593
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Post  Cincinnati on 6/26/2012, 12:54 am

@Momof5Js wrote:...

I planted Little Marvel Peas (bought from local green house in bulk) in mid April. They came up beautifully and got to be about 6 inches tall. I left on vacation and darling hubby watered while the children and I were gone. Then he decided to join us and enlisted another "waterer." This person forgot on day, but we came home that evening. When we got home, the pea plants were pale, sickly yellow and started wilting from the top down. I thought maybe lack of water. Needless to say most of them died and a few set on some pea pods, but soon died as well. I pulled them and tried again. I know it was late in the season but I just wanted to see what would happen since I would be home to monitor. They are now starting to do the same thing again. Now I could blame the heat. We are dealing with 100 degree and above days.

Now the green beans, I purchased from the same place and also in bulk. Same kinda a story except I planted them later when we got home from vacation. They are growing but getting brown leaves. The leaves get crusty brown, shrivel, wilt and fall off.

I am rather disappointed as we love green beans and peas and I was hoping to put some (and by that I mean at least 60 quarts) up - either can or freeze. Any advice you might be able to give would be greatly appreciated. I have found a couple of other posts here about a similiar problem and it seems to be the nitorgen levels. Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone? - Page 6 601593

I doubt that missing one day of watering caused so much irreparable harm unless the seedlings were so young that the heat killed them. 100 degree days is pretty intense. Peas are a cool weather crop. They grow much better here in Alabama in the fall than in the spring/early summer. I have tried twice to grow them in the spring, but the weather turned too hot before they could produce well. I planted them in the last week of September last year, and I had peas into January (I had to keep them covered on cold nights and added a couple of 250W bulbs under the plastic on several nights.) But they were delicious. Same with spinach and lettuce.

What else did you grow in the SQFT beds? With so many beds, I assume you had several crops. If they did well, I'd say it was not your MM.

How old was the bulk seed that you bought?

The beans seem to have been hit by a blight or some virus. I had a similar problem with tomato plants last fall. Do you have a local county extension agent with whom you can consult?
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Post  Momof5Js on 6/26/2012, 3:31 pm

"I doubt that missing one day of watering caused so much irreparable harm unless the seedlings were so young that the heat killed them. 100 degree days is pretty intense. Peas are a cool weather crop. They grow much better here in Alabama in the fall than in the spring/early summer. I have tried twice to grow them in the spring, but the weather turned too hot before they could produce well. I planted them in the last week of September last year, and I had peas into January (I had to keep them covered on cold nights and added a couple of 250W bulbs under the plastic on several nights.) But they were delicious. Same with spinach and lettuce.

What else did you grow in the SQFT beds? With so many beds, I assume you had several crops. If they did well, I'd say it was not your MM.

How old was the bulk seed that you bought?

The beans seem to have been hit by a blight or some virus. I had a similar problem with tomato plants last fall. Do you have a local county extension agent with whom you can consult?"

It was not so hot when we planted and the first "crop" died. The 100 degree temps just started last week and I pulled and replanted by the end of May. I am giving up peas for now, but will try in the fall. Any suggestions for the empty spots? I have a full box of peas. I don't know how old the seeds were. I do know our traditional garden friends have just the sames seeds/supplier and have had exceptional luck. Same with the green beans.

I have 3 boxes of corn (each box planted about 10-14 days apart.) That seems to be going okay. I did not really want all of that corn ready at one time:D

1 box is a 4 tiered strawberry tower, 2 boxes of potatoes, 1 box of onions, 1 box of carrots, 4 squares to broccoli, 4 squares to cabbage, 8 tomato plants, 8 cucumber plants, 4 watermelon, 4 cantalope, 2 honey dew, 2 pumpkin, 7 pepper plants, 12 squares of beets, 6 okra plants, some cilantro, sage and thyme; 1 square with yummy chocolate mint; 1 square in each box has marigolds (heard that was a good thing?) A few flowers here and there. Umm, I think that is all.

I have sent pictures to our county extension agent, and I am waiting to hear back from her.

Thanks for the information and encouragement. I am determiined to make this work to provide for our family of 7. flower
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Post  Carrot-top on 7/25/2012, 11:28 pm

Excellent post! I really enjoy learning from others so that I don't have to make serious mistakes! Keep up the good work!
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Post  toledobend on 7/27/2012, 3:39 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:
@boffer wrote:My dry MM (mixed but not watered) weighs 20 pounds in a full five gallon bucket.

The amount of water needed to properly saturate MM is fairly consistent compared to that needed for 'soil'.

Thank you Boffer!

And a 5 gal bucket is .5 CUs, per walshevak's post on 3/17/12.

Check me on this please...Mel says on pg 100 with 6" of mix that:
(W*L)/2= Cubic Feet.
2*3 (mixing tubs)= 6/2 = 3 CF.
20lbs = 0.5 CU (per Boffer)
3/0.5 = 6 (There are 6 units of 0.5CU per 3CF)
6*20 (lbs) = 120lbs per 2x3 mixing tub.

Did I do that correctly?

Ava

One correction I would make is that a 5 gallon bucket holds .66 cu Ft
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Post  toledobend on 7/27/2012, 3:53 pm

I was wondering about the weight of a 4x4x6" box also. If I put a box on our concrete area (formally a basket ball court, in the future a garage) I'm going to have raise them above dog pee level (half shepard/half golden retriever). But I want to be able to move them out farther into the yard during winter for the sun (beyond the wireless fence dog collar range). The box will have Hardie Board for the "floor" with 2x6 runners on the bottom so I can tow it/them to another part of the yard. Problem is, I'll need to get them off the concrete blocks I plan to use to get them out of pee range. And then back onto the blocks in mid spring to get them some shade from our Louisiana sun. Using the .66 figure for the size of a 5 gallon bucket, I came up with 242 lbs. Was the 20 pounds per bucket dry MM?
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Post  camprn on 7/27/2012, 5:05 pm

There are a few old threads about this very subject so check the search feature.

My contribution: castor wheels will make life easier. Wink The large the wheel diameter the easier it will be to roll.

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Post  walshevak on 7/27/2012, 7:14 pm

@toledobend wrote:I was wondering about the weight of a 4x4x6" box also. If I put a box on our concrete area (formally a basket ball court, in the future a garage) I'm going to have raise them above dog pee level (half shepard/half golden retriever). But I want to be able to move them out farther into the yard during winter for the sun (beyond the wireless fence dog collar range). The box will have Hardie Board for the "floor" with 2x6 runners on the bottom so I can tow it/them to another part of the yard. Problem is, I'll need to get them off the concrete blocks I plan to use to get them out of pee range. And then back onto the blocks in mid spring to get them some shade from our Louisiana sun. Using the .66 figure for the size of a 5 gallon bucket, I came up with 242 lbs. Was the 20 pounds per bucket dry MM?

You may need to build a ramp up to the blocks. Very Happy

Kay

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