Question on Soil Mixture

nbreauApril 27, 2009

I've got my beds setup over the weekend and now it's time to fill them.

I need a total of about 6 cubic yards, and the best stuff i can find locally is chicken manure compost at about 45$/cubic yard. I'm wondering if I mix plain filtered topsoil with the chicken manure mix, is there a way or rule of thumb in terms of how much of each portion i should mix, ie do i go 50/50, more compost than topsoil, or as much of the compost as i can afford ?

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nbreau

sorry, slightly off topic, meant to post this in the soil forum.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 8:21AM
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goki

If you are using Mel's mix as a guide then this mix won't work to give your plants all the nutrients it needs, so you do want to plant on supplemental fertilizer. Getting as much compost as you can is better than using the topsoil - are there any local horse farms around you?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 12:07PM
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homertherat

You don't really want a straight compost mix. Mix some organic matter other than the manure in as well and you should be just fine.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 1:52PM
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snibb(Salt Lake City)

Mels mix will certainly give you the nutrients you need. Thats all I have ever used, at least with the initial investment. Now, I only use homemade compost which provides everything that I need. Mel suggests not using topsoil which is usually very low in nutrients needed to grow a variety of things. You should also be sure to get aged manure, otherwise you will end up burning your plants. A good blended compost is the best thing you can do..

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 7:17PM
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ron_2008(5)

I've never been able to find the Vermiculite near my home here in NW Ohio. Lowe's advertises it on their web site but no stores in OH carry it so I'm going to make my own mix.I'll buy some good compost,peat moss,humus,and a few bags of miracle grow "soil"and mix it with a rotted bail of straw I've been saving for a couple of years.We'll see what happens!
Ron

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 6:41PM
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surfer341

To ron_2008:
I live in NW Ohio and found vermiculite at Black Diamond Nursery in Toledo. It is medium grade (rather than course). It is $18 for 4 cu ft.
Menard's also has it in the insulation dept but I was concerned about using it because I'm not sure it does not have additives or if it is horticultural grade.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:25AM
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sqftsteve

Ron,

Keep calling around to nurseries. It's out there. I had to make 5-6 calls before I found some. And if all else fails, you can always order it from Uline.com (meant to absorb spills, so you know it'll hold water).

I've found that creating a SFG is a lot more work than I thought it would be, between the area preparation, building the boxes, devising critter control, finding a variety of composts, mixing the growing medium, etc.

IMHO, if you're going to do all of that work, try to get the vermiculite (a one-time cost) and do it properly.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 10:58AM
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