I started topping off the six 4 foot x 4 foot wooden raised planters in our garden the other day and ran out of one of the ingredients, so had to stop.
Mel’s Mix is a creation of Mel Bartholomew, author of Square Foot Gardening. He has created a mixture that plants love, allowing people like me to bypass my poor, almost non-existent soil on top of our ridge line and grow veggies.
We took his suggestions to the next level, since I’m getting long-in-the-tooth, and built planter boxes at my chest level, filling them with the mix so I don’t have to bend over or get down on my hands and knees. Ahhhh!
Mel’s Mix is a combination of peat moss, Vermiculite, and several different types of compost. I’m using cotton burr, barnyard, and mushroom – plus the compost we make ourselves, from time to time.
I was going to try to finish getting my planters ready yesterday after we replenished our supply of Vermiculite. Amber, our 94-pound lab ‘puppy’ changed my plans by running into me full speed, knocking me flat on my back into the gravel and grass between our house and the shop. Since we were going bowling last night with friends, all I did yesterday was put one of the bags of Vermiculite in the lidded trash can and then nurse my wounds and rest.
I’m going out now to make more Mel’s Mix and see if I can finish the additions to each of the six planter boxes that make up our raised bed square foot garden. Our newest tool addition is a very used portable concrete mixer. I dump all the ingredients into the mixer, then turn it on and let it mix everything up, then dump the mix into a trash can to take to the garden and put into one of the planters. I used to put everything in a wheelbarrow and use a hoe to try to mix it up, but it didn’t work nearly as well as the new system.
When I finish adding the Mel’s Mix, I’ll stretch wire in two directions to make the ‘squares’ for planting. I’ll try to get some pics then to share with you before I start buying and planting plants.
I still hold the name “Serial Seed Killer.” My efforts at getting seeds to sprout were unsuccessful. I’m going to start over, only trying to grow spinach, since I have real trouble finding any spinach plants at the local stores. Fingers crossed.