Any other options for vermiculite in mel's mix?
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.