Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1131 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:55 am

You can order single packs if you want but postage still has to be paid unfortunately, what they do offer is varieties that you might not be able to get in your local home centre. If you plan out what you are going to grow for the year and order a bunch of packs then the postage isn't too bad.

farmingnoob
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:46 am
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by farmingnoob » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:29 pm

I decided to build my own raised beds and I'm going to try it with Mel's Mix from the square foot gardening method.

Where could I find cheap vermiculite, peat, and ready-to-use compost? I've checked out a few big home centers and prices aren't so good.

User avatar
gonbechan
Founder
Founder
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am
Has thanked: 1118 times
Been thanked: 575 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by gonbechan » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:45 am

you can get them from amazon.

Peatmoss 200L
Coco Coir 200L (better than peat IMHO)
Vermiculite 10L

Compost is about the same everywhere else.
You could try to get a truck load of cow poop. Its possibly the cheapest.

Zasso should be along with the details about poop. haha.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1131 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:08 am

Hold off on buying any vermiculite or peat for a bit. I'll try to post something sensible up tomorrow. Been a tad busy today.

Apologies

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1131 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:27 pm

Sorry about that, we've got an opening at a new store in kagurazaka and have had to attend their opening party as well as sort out vegetables for this weekend's sales event.

So to potting compost. Personally I'd give the vermiculite and peat a miss and buy coco fibre instead. Vermiculite and perlite were developed to help stop potting compost compacting inside flower pots but coco fibre does a better job of that and it's actually better, here's why. Both perlite and vermiculite are essentially dead space in a potting compost mix as roots and rhizosphere organisms can't use them, if you put 10% vermiculite in a mix that's 10% of the volume of the compost that is unavailable for the roots to use, they do stop the compost mix from compacting but otherwise they are useless space. Also both shed razor sharp particles into the soil that many rhizosphere organisms (earthworms, etc) find irritating (try rolling on a bed or rockwall and you'll soon appreciate what they are feeling). Whereas coco fibre does not, it stops compost mixes from compacting but is a natural and renewable product that actually enriches soil rather than adversely affecting it and this is another advantage.

Unlike peat coco fibre is an endlessly renewable resource but there are also some other advantages. Naturally peat is anaerobic and once it dries out is very hard to wet all the way through whereas coco fibre is almost the exact opposite. Even when totally waterlogged coco fibre never goes anaerobic (which kills roots) and if it should totally dry out it actually soaks up water and draws it in when watered or rain falls upon it, unlike peat. Peat is naturally quite acidic which with most Japanese soils is a disadvantage (they are already acidic enough) but coco fibre is naturally neutral. Coco fibre is also easily colonised by rhizosphere organisms whereas peat is not so by using coco fibre you are actually boosting the diversity of your rhizosphere.

Last time I was in Cainz Home they are selling a 200L sack for just under 2,000円 which works out cheaper than most peat. So just replace the peat and vermiculite volume with coco fibre instead.

farmingnoob
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:46 am
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by farmingnoob » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:50 pm

Thanks Zasso. So do you think 2/3 coco and 1/3 compost is a good mix?

farmingnoob
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:46 am
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by farmingnoob » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:58 pm

gonbechan wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:45 am
Coco Coir 200L (better than peat IMHO)
Are the Coco chips better than the fiber?

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1131 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:18 pm

Coco coir or fibre is better than chips, it has a finer texture.
farmingnoob wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:50 pm
Thanks Zasso. So do you think 2/3 coco and 1/3 compost is a good mix?
That's probably a good starting point but as coir/coco fibre lacks nutrients I'd be tempted to add some keifun, tonpun or gyufun as well as some kakigara for minerals if you can. How much you might ask ? Better to under fertilise now while making your mix and top up later than put too much into the mix and risk burning the roots of your new transplants, perhaps go with something like 5% keifun and see how that goes.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1131 times

Re: Links for the budding vegetable grower/Seed and Farming resources.

Post by Zasso Nouka » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:16 am

It can be hard when you are first experimenting with making your own potting compost mixes to decide how much 'fertilisers' to add, it's always better to add less than you think you need and supplement later rather than adding too much and burning the roots of young plants. Once you've made the mix up a couple of times you'll have an idea how much to put into your custom blend.

If young plants leaves go yellow soon after transplanting into your new mix there is too much nitrogen in there and it's burnt their roots.

Start low and gradually add more each time you make a mix. Kakigara (oyster shells) and crab shells can't burn plant roots but no need to go overboard either.