I spent a good part of the yesterday making Mel’s Mix. It is not that easy and I understand why many people skip steps along the way.
The mix is suppose to consist of 1/3 compost, 1/3 coarse vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss. The course vermiculite is hard to find and expensive. The compost is supposed to be made of 5 different types. All five cannot be found at Lowes or Home Depot. Garden shops may have more however I have never found five types in one place in the U.S. I found six different types at a hardware store in Calgary last summer – that’s a hike.
The way that I am able to get a five part mix is not simple. Cow manure compost and mushroom compost are readily available. Coast of Maine lobster compost is expensive ($ 8.95 a bag this year) and can be found at many garden shops. I also use Kennedy Garden’s compost as well as my own worm castings. When the mixture is combined, it is obvious to me that the textures are quite different. The source that it is made from is also much different.
I found a great wheel borrow for sale on the street which has made the mixing much easier than the process that I used last year. The method Mel shows in his videos didn’t work for me; too much bending. In any case there is a lot of mixing, bending and lifting.
I have a membership with Planet Fitness. I find that my muscles are taxed much more when working in the garden, making Mel’s Mix and building Square Foot Gardens. The liability is sore muscles. The benefit is weight loss and aerobic exercise. The joy of watching things grow is good for the soul and eating organically is what we should all try to do. In the end, the amount at the grocery store’s checkout counter is less.
One additional factor; a great night sleep.