Ask a Question forum: Square foot garden mix question cow/chicken manure

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Jojotol
Apr 1, 2017 10:16 AM CST
Hi, I've started 3-4x8 and 3-4x12 foot raised beds. I know the ratio for Mel's mix is 1/3, of each compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. Will it work if I do 8 cups Black Hen manure, one 50lb. Bag of Black Kow compost, 4 cubit ft peat moss, and 2 cubic ft vermiculite? I know the black hen is potent, so would that be enough nutrients to grow healthy vegetables. Or do I need to go buy more Black Kow?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 1, 2017 10:37 AM CST
Welcome!

That would be enough manure to fry just about anything you put into it. I don't think the 'compost' in Mel's Mix is straight manure. Find some compost that has a little manure and a lot of other organic stuff. Does your county or city offer compost to gardeners?

Neither peat moss or vermiculite have a lot of nutrients for plants to use. The peat holds moisture well and the vermiculite aerates the soil. The compost part is essentially the 'soil'. I would modify the recipe and add about half compost, 1/4 peat moss and 1/4 vermiculite. Skip the Black Kow and the Black Hen altogether.
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Jojotol
Apr 1, 2017 11:04 AM CST
Daisyl,
Thank you for replying. 😁
Well crap ( no pun intended)! I hope it doesn't burn my plants as I have already mixed half my beds. 😳 Yes, this is a case of "do it and ask questions later". The Black Kow website says you can grow a tomato plant straight out of the bag. Seriously just plant it in the bag of Black Kow. So maybe this particular product is different than straight manure?.?. Now I know the black Hen is just plain manure. The Black Kow looks like awesome compost with little bits of mulch and everything. So if that's the case, did I add too much chicken manure? Do I need to pull out and remix what I've done? πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„
[Last edited by Jojotol - Apr 1, 2017 11:05 AM (+)]
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Jojotol
Apr 1, 2017 11:19 AM CST
DaisyI said: Welcome!

That would be enough manure to fry just about anything you put into it. I don't think the 'compost' in Mel's Mix is straight manure. Find some compost that has a little manure and a lot of other organic stuff. Does your county or city offer compost to gardeners?

Neither peat moss or vermiculite have a lot of nutrients for plants to use. The peat holds moisture well and the vermiculite aerates the soil. The compost part is essentially the 'soil'. I would modify the recipe and add about half compost, 1/4 peat moss and 1/4 vermiculite. Skip the Black Kow and the Black Hen altogether.



Also the bag of Black Hen says "Non Burning" does that make a difference? And the website says it's composted chicken manure and composted cow manure. Ugh πŸ˜‘ I'm confused. Try to do something healthy for your family and mess up from the start.
[Last edited by Jojotol - Apr 1, 2017 11:24 AM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Apr 1, 2017 12:13 PM CST
Both the Black Hen and the Black Kow are fully composted so they can be used as the 'compost' part of your mix.
The Black Hen contains a 2-3-2 NPK; the Black Kow contains 0.5-0.5-0.5.

The mix that Mel's recommended is 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost; the compost should be from as many sources as possible. Your recipe of 8 cups Black Hen manure, one 50lb. Bag of Black Kow compost, 4 cubit ft peat moss, and 2 cubic ft vermiculite is a bit heavy on peat moss and cow manure compost and a bit low on vermiculite and does not adhere to the original recipe created by Mel.

Whether you opt to measure your ingredients by cups, pounds or cubic feet, select one measurement and stick with it. One third of each is what is recommended. Since you already mixed and used your recipe all I can say is to see how your mix does and make adjustments as needed. Thumbs up

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

Jojotol
Apr 1, 2017 4:18 PM CST
greene said:Both the Black Hen and the Black Kow are fully composted so they can be used as the 'compost' part of your mix.
The Black Hen contains a 2-3-2 NPK; the Black Kow contains 0.5-0.5-0.5.

The mix that Mel's recommended is 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost; the compost should be from as many sources as possible. Your recipe of 8 cups Black Hen manure, one 50lb. Bag of Black Kow compost, 4 cubit ft peat moss, and 2 cubic ft vermiculite is a bit heavy on peat moss and cow manure compost and a bit low on vermiculite and does not adhere to the original recipe created by Mel.

Whether you opt to measure your ingredients by cups, pounds or cubic feet, select one measurement and stick with it. One third of each is what is recommended. Since you already mixed and used your recipe all I can say is to see how your mix does and make adjustments as needed. Thumbs up



Thank you again.
The bag of Black Kow and Black Hen are in lbs., so it's hard to measure them in cubic ft, but I've heard that the Black Kow bag is approximately 1.3 cubic ft. Otherwise I have been trying to stick with cubic ft measurements.
I was skimping on the vermiculite and adding a little more peat moss because it's so expensive. *bad, bad, bad* 😐

I will plow ahead and see how it does. Hopefully they will grow and produce! Crossing Fingers!

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 1, 2017 6:04 PM CST
Welcome Jojo πŸ˜πŸ‘―
If manure is composted / cured.
Its not going to burn anything.
😎😎😎 Thumbs up
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Apr 1, 2017 6:24 PM CST
I use Home Depot pails to measure things, so it would be one pail of vermiculite, one pail of peat moss and one pail of mixed compost. Easy peasy. Thumbs up

Hope your garden grows good for you. Take lots of photos; we love photos. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

Jojotol
Apr 2, 2017 1:14 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Welcome Jojo πŸ˜πŸ‘―
If manure is composted / cured.
Its not going to burn anything.
😎😎😎 Thumbs up


Awesome! Thank you!

Jojotol
Apr 2, 2017 1:15 PM CST
greene said:I use Home Depot pails to measure things, so it would be one pail of vermiculite, one pail of peat moss and one pail of mixed compost. Easy peasy. Thumbs up

Hope your garden grows good for you. Take lots of photos; we love photos. Thumbs up


That is definitely the easy and smart way to do it. I will have to do the rest that way instead of just eyeing it. Thank you!

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