Author Topic: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good  (Read 3324 times)

EarthBoxAdmin

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My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:37:23 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Dogmusher. This was originally posted on April 11, 2013.

Like many others on here, I've been rather unhappy with the mixes on the market lately, so this year I've been making my own.  Since we have over 40 EBs and are starting over because of a move, it's a bit pricey, I can assure you.  I am using the 'potting soil' from Lowes and mixing it with sphagnum, vermiculite and perlite.  In topping up years I'll use coconut coir, but I simply can't afford to use it for the base mix.  I put coconut coir in the wicking corners and use my mix for the boxes.  I've only done 10 to date, but so far, they are wicking nicely. 

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 11:39:31 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, Sun City Linda. This user is located in SoCal Inland 9A. This was originally posted on April 11, 2013.

Potting MIX is generally a better choice than potting SOIL but sometime the terms are used interchangeably.  Most here are not big fans of coir so I wouldn't worry about not using more of it.

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 11:40:20 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Dogmusher. This was originally posted on April 12, 2013.

I know about some of the coir aversion. I'm of a different school, though.  Last year, in my sun room I ran two EBs as an extension of one of my aquaponics goldfish gardens.  I had a 20 gallon  aquarium with feeder goldfish and ran floating rafts to grow herbs.  Went a treat.  I also planted two EBs, one with coir and one with planting mix to grow winter tomatoes and peppers.  All I used in each system was fish water, with occasional snacks of seaweed fertilizer, some calcium and chelated iron. The box with the coir grew like crazy.  The one with planting mix did ok, but only ok.  I grew Tiny Tim tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and Jalapeno peppers.  In the coir based EB I had more tomatoes than I knew what to do with.  The planting mix produced average results. 

I am going to run the experiment again this year with one of my big aquaponics systems.  I will plant one EB with only coir and one with a more traditional mix and will compare both with the results I get from my floating raft beds and my traditional flood and drain beds.  I love experiments.

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 11:42:56 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, movrshakr. This user is located in Zone 10a - near Cape Canaveral. This was originally posted on April 12,
 2013.


Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Dogmusher. This was originally posted on April 12, 2013.
...I love experiments.

And we love results of experiments.  Unfortunately, your setups are far removed from what most of us do, so it is hard to assume that the results would translate into standard configurations.  Not many of us are using fish water for example.

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 11:43:50 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Dogmusher. This was originally posted on April 12, 2013.

I'm about 40 miles NW of Atlanta, GA, Zone 7a.  We began our Earthbox adventures when we lived in Limestone, Maine near the Canadian Border, Zone 4a.  We only grew herbs in those days. 

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 11:46:01 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on April 12, 2013.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Dogmusher. This was originally posted on April 12, 2013.

I'm about 40 miles NW of Atlanta, GA, Zone 7a.

If you add this info in the personal text field in your profile, it will be visible in all your posts.

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 11:47:42 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, Fldeb. This user is located in Central Florida - Zone 9. This was originally posted on April 13, 2013.

How do you like the aquaponics? I have a hot tub that doesn't work and is too expensive to fix so I thought what about a fish tank!  I wondered how it would work with the EBS.  Deb

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 11:48:40 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Dogmusher. This was originally posted on April 12, 2013.

There are people who have made hot tubs into fish tanks, just google it.  There are different plumbing challenges (and some benefits of having a pre plumbed tank) than with systems you build or buy from scratch.  Fish water works great with earthboxes.  EBs are really and adjunct to an aquaponics system.  Aquaponics is closed loop. EBs take water out of the loop which requires more frequent water top up.  There are benefits to that, though.  What I do is create a bypass from  my water return that I control with a ball valve.  I can then send water from my sump directly to earth boxes or to a watering can.  The plants really love the nutrient rich water.  I save a ton on fertilizer.  Over the next two years, my whole garden will be converted to aquapoinic and EBs (with some other kinds of wicking beds).  In ground beds will be completely eliminated which will conserve a great deal of water. 

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 11:49:35 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, Fldeb. This user is located in Central Florida - Zone 9. This was originally posted on April 15, 2013.


Right now I'm reading a book by Sylvia Bernstein, Aquaponic Gardening.  Your plan for your garden sounds like a good one! Did you build you system or buy one?  Deb

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Re: My Own Mix - So Far, So Good
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 11:50:47 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Dogmusher. This was originally posted on April 16, 2013.

Deb, I have some of each.  Sylvia's book is the perfect way to get started.  Her 'aquabundance' kit is a perfect beginners off the shelf system.  It's a bit pricey, but will work flawlessly.  It's just not big enough for what we do, so I build my own.  Earthboxes are the perfect compliment to an Aquaponics system.  We have over 40 EBs and all of them will be using fish water by the end of May.  My in-laws live in Ellenton, Florida, just down the road from the Earthbox Center.  We stop in every time we're in the area.  And we always go home with more boxes in the trunk. Saves on shipping.