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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fat Fruit Friday # 5 - Formula 1

Heckle is sooooo helpful!

I am beginning to experiment in my gorgeous Fat Fruit Greenhouse.

First off: potting mix.

Formula #1
Equal parts of well rotted compost and cheap potting mix (for drainage) with some blood and bone (a few handfuls in the barrow full).

I have been doing some research and lots of greenhouse people go 'artificial soil' ... vermiculite and perlite.  Others swear by peat moss and compost.  Stay tuned for more experiments.

Over to you...
Do you have any opinions on this?  Also, what mix do you put in your containers for veggies ...not in a greenhouse?  I don't want to spend a fortune on good quality potting mix.


  1. i gather leaves,grass clippings,the hay from the chooks n cow,some well rotted some not and i mixe it with the clay soil onsight and with some pretty average soil i buy in truck loads(literally 10metres at a time)I add in blood n bone & as of recent bio char,,I water it all with compost tea until i plant out then i use regular water except for a once a month compost tea drink..I use that for everywhere greenhouse and raised beds

  2. We have a compost that I grab some dirt from, we have a clay soil here in Adelaide, but over the years of folding through chicken droppings and their floor straw and bedding it has made my vegie beds pretty good...I very rarely spend money on soil, occassionally I have had spare mushroom compost from any new beds we have made and that may go in too...but that is rare. I do not use lawn clippings in my beds as we have a grass here that has runners and that sprouts from clippings and is a menace in the garden. Good luck with your prep, I dont think you can go wrong, you will always be adding this and that with all the goat and fowl manure you have at your should work out great.

  3. On the subject of manure, we have a favourite book here for the children, It is called Mrs Wiggins Watermelons...and she has a goat called Ralphy, and she tied her peg bag under his tail and collected his warm steamy droppings for her watermelon patch...its great, she certainly grew some mighty fine watermelons!!!!

  4. Thanks JH and EM...I am having fun.

    Suzanne, I don't have to put a bag on Bubba and Bazza...they just drop their poo on site in the veggie garden. The soil if fabulous...pity there are no veggies to benefit! LOL

  5. In my new boxed raised beds I've got 50% composted/manure 30% peat 20% vermiculite. This past year was 33% of each.

  6. I use one third creek sand - I collect a bucket full from the culvert on my way home whenever I can. Hard to describe the texture. It's not sharp builders sand or beach sand. It's more like fine gravel. It's in for drainage. One third is old compost, and one third is worm castings and/or good garden soil, or sometimes just more compost. I add a bit of wood ash to bring the Ph up if it needs it (compost and worm castings can both be acidic), and water the lot with seaweed brew.

  7. Im not helpful at all, but I do love the photo of goat & chook!

  8. Thanks, David and Linda, I am definitely going to have a go at different mixes. I will try yours...and combinations.

    Anybody else have some ideas?

  9. The mix we use is very similar to yours - compost plus cheap potting mix and pulverised cow manure that we buy in bulk (roughly 50/50). I sometimes add some blood and bone if I think the compost may not be rich enough.
    We have a compost tumbler we mix it in. Sometimes we'll add decomposed granite or course sand if it looks like it needs to be more free-draining. Every mix is slightly different.

  10. As you know Tony looks after the main gardening here so I'll check with him to see f he has suggestions.

    Just on the cheap potting mix: has it got the proper Aust'n standard labelling? Tony is super fussy that I buy the right standard if I pick some up for him. Apparently Legionnaire's is a real threat if it's not to a certain standard. Again I'll check with him.


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