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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.

cement mixer mixing mels mix I22gcj10cement mixer mixing mels mix 14dhcg10

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cement mixer mixing mels mix

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choksaw
rds1955
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cement mixer mixing mels mix Empty cement mixer mixing mels mix

Post  boffer 3/28/2010, 11:40 pm

I usually make a box at a time and mix up with a shovel. Today I was looking to fill five boxes-totalling 102 sf. I decided it was time to call out the cavalry-AKA cement mixer and tractor.

Here's my materials ready to go

cement mixer mixing mels mix Materi10

My own compost is made of cow manure, horse manure, mushroom compost, leaves, and grass clippings. I haven't a clue what the ratios are. I decided to add purchased chicken manure too. Here's 4 buckets my compost and 1 bucket chicken manure.

cement mixer mixing mels mix 5wayco10


Here's my measuring cups. Each mixer load held 3 buckets-perfect.

cement mixer mixing mels mix Measur10

In one side and out the other. It wasn't dusty at all; I did add water to the mixer to saturate the soil. From the barrow and into the tractor bucket and into the boxes.

cement mixer mixing mels mix Wheel_10

Making a mess.

cement mixer mixing mels mix Making10

Had some leftovers but not a problem. The peat goes into the flower beds, the mel's mix goes into the last box that isn't made yet, the compost goes into the raised corn bed, and the sacks of chicken manure will be around for the next batch.

cement mixer mixing mels mix Leftov10


About 2 1/2 hours without breaking a sweat. I recommend a mixer for large mixes.
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Post  Kabaju42 3/28/2010, 11:46 pm

Holy cow that's a lot of dirt soil! cement mixer mixing mels mix Icon_eek Don't you ever run out of room to put your boxes?

I'm glad it worked well for you though cement mixer mixing mels mix Icon_cheers

So if you did 3 buckets per batch, how many batches do you think it took you to fill one box?


Last edited by Kabaju42 on 3/28/2010, 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  chocolatepop 3/28/2010, 11:46 pm

cement mixer mixing mels mix Icon_eek

How much to ship your dog to Michigan cement mixer mixing mels mix Icon_cool
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Post  swripley 3/28/2010, 11:48 pm

My hero! I finished sourcing everything today and hope to have all of my boxes ready to fill by next weekend - 60 cubic feet of Mel's Mix. I really wasn't looking forward to it until now. What a great idea--added bonus--I have access to a cement mixer free of charge.
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Post  boffer 3/28/2010, 11:57 pm

Mathematically, a 4x4 box takes 8 cf. In real life, this is what 10cf looks like dry.
So, 3 1/3 loads. A 5 gal bucket is near enough to a cubic foot to call it one cf.

cement mixer mixing mels mix 4x4_fi10

What really surprised me was the amount of water the mix soaked up. I should have measured it this time.
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Post  Sportsman 3/29/2010, 12:04 am

so no issues with residual concrete in the mixer? I have nearly 200 square feet to mix so it's probably worth renting a mixer. Main purpose on the forum tonight was finding ways to mix the ingredients.

If I don't get a mixer and I don't have a second person to help with a tarp, can it be mixed well in a wheel barrow?
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Post  boffer 3/29/2010, 12:08 am

Search for a recent thread, with pictures, on using a mud mixer in a drill. Small batches, I use a flat shovel on smooth concrete to turn and mix.
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Post  Wyldflower 3/29/2010, 12:15 am

A friend offered to help when I'm ready to do my mixing. She suggested something that makes sense to me.....

We'll put the three components into the back of her pickup, open each bag and scoop out buckets of each in turn, to dump onto a tarp. After one or two buckets of each, we'll rake it to ensure it's mixed and then empty the tarp into the beds.

Seems like that process would mix it without too much strenuous work, and should mix pretty well... and could be done by one person (except that I don't have the truck). I'll be able to mix it right near my beds, too, since my yard is open to the alley at the back.
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Post  titans01 3/29/2010, 12:28 am

Wish I had a cement mixer. I just got done doing 120 cubic feet and I still probably need to do another 20. The process gets pretty old and tiring mixing in a wheelbarrow.
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Post  rds1955 3/29/2010, 12:46 am

boffer wrote:

cement mixer mixing mels mix 5wayco10


That Ain't a dog, that a Wolf!, a Breed known as a Siberian Soil Sniffer ! cement mixer mixing mels mix Icon_porc
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Post  boffer 3/29/2010, 12:54 am

[quote="rds1955"]
boffer wrote:
a Breed known as a Siberian Soil Sniffer ! cement mixer mixing mels mix Icon_porc

Siberian Soil Sniffer AKA one who chews the corner off the plastic bag to eat chicken manure! Twisted Evil
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Post  chocolatepop 3/29/2010, 12:57 am

ewww eww ew nevermind. Dog breath is less than tasty, now add chicken manure...


Last edited by chocolatepop on 3/29/2010, 1:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : cause my finger were on the wrong row and wrong keys... how embarrassing...)
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Post  boffer 3/29/2010, 1:03 am

Hey CP,

Tomorrow, would you edit your post for us? I tried looking at it backwards in the mirror, and I still don't know what you mean!
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Post  choksaw 3/29/2010, 1:05 am

I love husky's and wolves in general thats why my name is choksaw its after a pack of wolves that i help support that are being bread to be reintroduced into the wild the pack is 5 wolves and they just had a litter of 4 more located in North Dakota wilderness.

hope boffer puts a leash on that pup if i ever stop by cause im gonna steal him lol
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Post  rds1955 3/29/2010, 1:10 am

boffer wrote:
Siberian Soil Sniffer AKA one who chews the corner off the plastic bag to eat chicken manure! Twisted Evil

See! See! I told you he was a Wolf!...He knows where the real Nutrition is!...He smells those chickens and is looking for the eggs!... cement mixer mixing mels mix Fresse He's a real Pooper Snooper!
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Post  chocolatepop 3/29/2010, 1:14 am

All edited for you Boff. I hit enter before reading and it is 1am here... my fat sleepy fingers got sloppy cement mixer mixing mels mix Icon_redface
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Post  boffer 3/29/2010, 1:18 am

Oh, Booooo! tongue but true!
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Post  rds1955 3/29/2010, 1:26 am

For some of us who don't want to fork out cash to rent one, (Albeit it's probably cheap to do so...) here's a Mother Earth News Article on how to build a "Homemade Cement Mixer"

Mothers Cement Mixer
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Post  lizzo 3/29/2010, 7:28 pm

rds1955 wrote:For some of us who don't want to fork out cash to rent one, (Albeit it's probably cheap to do so...) here's a Mother Earth News Article on how to build a "Homemade Cement Mixer"

Mothers Cement Mixer

BF says he doesn't think he's up to it. Will shop for best rental prices.
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Post  Kabaju42 3/29/2010, 10:46 pm

rds1955 wrote:For some of us who don't want to fork out cash to rent one, (Albeit it's probably cheap to do so...) here's a Mother Earth News Article on how to build a "Homemade Cement Mixer"

Mothers Cement Mixer

Well I just put a bucket of each component in my wheelbarrow and mixed by hand. Nothing like getting your hands dirty Smile (Don't worry I didn't have any manure compost in my mix this time.)
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Post  lobstergurl 4/8/2010, 10:25 pm

look at all that beautiful soil---good job man- cement mixer ! way to go. love it.
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Post  dixie 4/8/2010, 11:41 pm

We used my Mantis, about 20 seconds per tub. Have I ever mentioned that I love my Mantis? cement mixer mixing mels mix 02110cement mixer mixing mels mix 03610
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cement mixer mixing mels mix Empty Compost Tumbler = Big Cement Mixer

Post  gwynnguyz 4/9/2010, 12:05 am

When I was ready to mix my soil, I said, "I wish we had a big cement mixer!" - and there it was - the Compost Tumbler! It worked like a charm. We placed the tumbler in the bed, put the ingredients in in 5 gallon pails, cranked it a couple dozen times and out came mixed soil!


Last edited by gwynnguyz on 4/9/2010, 12:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  boffer 4/9/2010, 12:34 am

When I was young, I had an authority figure in my life who would say to
me, with derision in his voice: "Give a lazy man a job to do, and he'll figure
out an easy way to do it". thinking


Darn tootin' !! way to go
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