Any other options for vermiculite in mel's mix?

carrieann0413March 12, 2010

I want to attempt my 1st garden this year and want to go with square foot gardening in a raised bed. I got Mel's book from the library and now I am calling around pricing materials so see what this is going to cost me. Not looking for invest a lot right now if I can help it. I have 1 more store to call but so far I found 1 place that has vermiculite but it isn't course and it is $16 for 2 cubic feet. I need 3 cubic feet of it so I have to buy 2. So $32 and that is only 1/3 of the mix, yikes! Is that worse it and it isn't even the recommended course grade. Is that a big deal? I know somethings are worth splurging on and if this is one of them tell me and I will work it out but if I could use something else or just buy enough for 2 cubic feet and use something else for the other cubic foot to fill in. Is perlite worth buying? Every store I call says that have that.

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Ray_Scheel(z8b/SS31 E. TX)

There is an active thread on vermiculite sources you can take a look at, as well as the FAQ entry ideas on alternative locations to find it, but vermiculite is the thing I skimp on most when putting together a new bed. In fact, the only vermiculite in my beds is what what I threw there after using small amounts of vermiculite for rooting cuttings or the like.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:01AM
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As Ray said, there are a lot of lengthy posts in this forum and FAQ about vermiculite and vermiculite alternatives. Do a quick search and you'll find them.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 12:48AM
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For one 4x4 bed, I think 2 cu ft of verm should be fine. Just use a little extra compost and peat moss. I am planning 2 4x4 beds, and using 4cf of verm, 6cf peat moss, and 6cf compost (roughly).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:07AM
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