Guess what time it is? It's time for the DG County Fair! Now in it's sixth year, enter your blue-ribbon photos or mouth-watering recipes for a chance to win a gift subscription! Click here here to get all the details, dates and entry rules.
I have available from a local wholesaler 3 Pro Mix products, the pricing and availability may vary slightly, but it's a good deal.
1st is a 3.8 cu' compressed bale of Pro Mix BX , current list is $25.70 tax included.
2nd is 2.8cu' bag of Pro Mix BRK a bark and peat mix, current price $14.20 inclusive
3rd is a 2.8cu' bag of Pro Mix PGX a finer mix for germinating etc. $14.92
I would like to pick up on the 13th and space is somewhat limited. Ric
Ric, you're a gem! I'd love to try the PGX and the BRK mixes, and please also count me in for at least 1 bale of BX. If you still have room after other people add their wishes, I'd gladly take another bale or two of the BX, but I'd rather "spread the love around." :-)
Happy, How much is the Turface you have available? I can get the MVP for $21.27 per 50# bag, but we would need orders totaling 40 bags. That may be doable for a plant swap. I will also try a couple of other resources. My wholesale supply's web site and catalog have been down all week but I can still email them. Ric
Here's a copy of the dmail I sent Ric and SallyG about Turface, in case anyone else is interested.
Turface only comes in 50 pound bags. The place I used to get it now carries this instead: Pro League Heritage Redô. http://www.turface.com/pressrelease/pro-league-heritage-red-... I just called and the store said they will see if they can special-order "All Sport" which is what I used to get -- it is like the MVP that Tapla recommends. Actually, the store I get it from (John Deere Landscape, [HYPERLINK@www.johndeerelandscapes.com]) says that the MVP is very fine and look like dirt (which makes no sense). I can vouch that the All Sport looks like Tapla's photos of what he says is MVP. (Its real-life purpose is to maintain sport fields.)
When I bought All Sport last year it was $11.50 for a 50 pound bag. I have a lot now; I don't need more but I don't mind getting more. The guy I just talked to at John Deere Landscape is seeing whether he can special order 5 or so bags of All Sport; he thought it would be $14.50 or so a bag. I don't know why there was such a price hike. His name is Greg; he said I should call back in a few days.
You could see if you have a John Deere store near you: [HYPERLINK@www.johndeerelandscapes.com]
The guy at the John Deere store says the "Heritage Red" looks like the All Sport, except for the color. I don't really want to use something with an artificial die in it.
I get my Turface at a farm supply store for about $13 per 50# bag. It's definitely the MVP brand that Tapla uses. Ric, I'm not sure why it would be so much more expensive through your wholesale contact...?
The store owner is familiar with gritty mixes, too. I purchased chicken grit at the same time, and he asked me how my bonsai were doing, and that he didn't have pine fines in the right size. (The gritty mix is preferred by bonsai growers.)
If anyone needs either chicken grit or Turface MVP at the seed swap, I can definitely pick up a couple of bags (but probably no more than 2). There are 2 southern states stores that are not out of the way for me.
SS -- Southern States is my source for chicken grit too! I just was cautioning not to go out of your way to a southern States on the hunt for Turface w/o calling first. Or the grit, for that matter - there are several sizes of grit, and they don't always have them all in stock. I think Al recommends using "Grower" size.
Chantell, the cheapest ones that Happy and I have found are from Meadows Farms. Most of their locations are closed until March, though. They have a lot of locations, so hopefully you'll find one near you.
LOL - I have a Meadows Farm 5 mins up the road from my house. Thank you for letting me know. Is that what they refer to them as - 'pine fines?' I just want to make sure I ask using the correct name. I don't think my Meadows is as on top of things as some of the others. Various times I've asked about something (nothing tropical or rare, mind you) only to be met with the deer in the headlights 'look.'
Ric, I saw on a post from Holly that both of you are still "punky."
Please, SKIP the Pro Mix "deal" -- rest up instead of going to pick up those bags! We will get some another time. Maybe we'll have a "lily bulb sort plus quikcrete project plus Pro Mix group buy opportunity" at our place... April 5 or 6? I know April 5 is Aspen-Terri's "off" Friday.
Teri, our I've found Ace can vary a lot. Our local Ace undersells the Walmart on a number of things, I've even found that special order items most times are cheaper if I have them order them, rather than order online for pickup at their store. Ric
Cool! Thanks, Ric. If anybody wants to try a partial bag of the BX, bring something to put it in... I'm happy to share what I'm getting, and I'm sure you can estimate 1/3 bale ($10) or smaller amounts. I think I'm down for 3 bales, so I can also spare one or two if somebody else wants "in" at the 11 3/4th hour.
I think the CHes Blue went out of business
Haven't seen it.
Farmer's Co op sold bags of just crab shell last year
Use sparingly cuz its much more per pound than compost WITH shell. At least you can see exactly how much shell you get.
Last time we got crabs I buried the whole ball O newspaper, guts and shells.
Darn@#% lost my entire post.
Sally & Judy, Amazon sells a 4# bag of crab shell meal, $16.00. We usually produce about a bushel of crab "waste" a year in the OBX. I just can't figure how to store and transport the stuff without a smelly mess. Freezing would probably work, but we don't have that advantage. I have to chuckle at the mental image of a cloud of flies following my boat up the highway. LOL
Gita was just talking about Chesapeake Blue, Sat. at DPFarm. The last reference to it I could find was 2008. I heard the co. went out of business due to environmental issues. I can't understand how you take a waste product and produce a "green" fertilizer, you have an environmental issue. Sounds like a government conspiracy to me. Snicker, Snicker. Ric
Here's an old post by Gita on the subject:http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/833761/
lol Sally, I don't think I was ignored either! Struck me funny that both Ric and I posted the exact same link to that thread that ended in 2008. Great minds think alike. And, yes, I do believe that Ces Blue is no longer available.
Chesapeake Blue smelled way way better than fish emulsion. Wonder what crab packing houses do with their waste? I know Crisfield has a plant to process oyster shells.. There is a company in Carroll County I think that has contracted with a number of restaurants in Annapolis and Baltimore for thei r compostable waste which they compost and sell. Maybe every thing but the shell remaining after the meat is picked becomes one of those 'other' ingredients in say pet food? Or?
Hey Ric, I have a source for 5 gal food grade buckets with tight fitting lids...Shall I set one aside for your boat? And Daves has been eating parts of my posts, too.
Sally, Many of the packing houses closed shortly after 9/11/2001. I was down in Solomons Island a few years ago fishing. Such a nice place off season. We talked with the locals and learned that the packing houses all closed. The crab was still there, and the building still in good repair. The reason was, no workers. Originally the packing houses had regular transient workers from Mexico, mostly women. The same women year after year, traveling together, staying the season, living with the same families, taking their money, and going home every year. Supporting an industry where no Americans wanted to work. Even with the prompting of the employers whose records showed regular employment and housing of these people could not overcome the fear that day produced. Work Visas were denied the industry quickly went into decline and passed. Just another way that 1 day changed our lives for -ever.
Judy, I considered the buckets, I didn't think I could open more than the first one, even if I waited till mid-Janurary. LOL Ric
Hmm, friends took me to lunch just today at May's, and they serve a lot of steamed crab. I wonder what a big dose of Old Bay seasoning would do to my compost? I might have to resist in any case, because I can just imagine my one (typeA definitely) neighbor's reaction if he found out I was putting crab waste out back.
A friend down in GA was doing small-scale organic farming when I lived there... he made compost from crab waste, horse manure, and lots of live oak leaves (they drop in spring each year) that the local extension service analyzed minutely and proclaimed "the most perfectly balanced & complete" stuff they'd ever seen. I helped grab bags of leaves off the curb, went along a couple of times for loads of nicely aged manure, but only went once for crab waste -- indescribable. The stuff gave off enough ammonia fumes to bring tears to your eyes.
If I had enough leaves or grass clippings, I know the crab waste wouldn't be smelly after just a day or two (and before then, you wouldn't smell if it you turned it under). Anyway, if you're composting on a big enough scale, it's quite worthwhile to throw in a few bushels of crab waste, preferably without old bay seasoning. Otherwise, the fertilizers you've mentioned would do the job nicely also. LOL
Just catching up with this Thread. Forgot to "watch it"...
I know I mentioned this somewhere before--but "Chapel Hills Nursery, right here in Perry Hall,
had "Fine Pines" (that's what theirs is called) for $5 a bag. The bag is a bit smaller than bags of mulch--
but full and heavy.
I bought 2 bags last spring--and only went through 1/2 of one. The "fines" are very small and uniform.
No big and small. I could swing by there and see if they still have them outside--frozen solid, I am sure.
Now--I could be a real "sweetheart" and go dump some out, put something to give you scale, and take a picture.
When will be the next "warm" day???
As for the crab shells---Why couldn't they be crushed in some way with something like a cement mixer
with some rocks in it??? Or--drive over a pile of crab shells with your car...over and over...till they are smithereens.
OR--(look out--my brain is buzzing...) --have a Crab Feast and then give everyone a hammer and let them go at the shells...
Then it would be easier to dig them in to compost.
I think that Oyster shells are a much "cleaner" product. No guts and gills or spices to worry about.
And--I bet they are pure calcium!
They line parking lots and driveways with them in places around the Bay. I saw it in Kent Island once...
I bought 2 bags of the Lobster Compost at DPF. They were wet--and sooo heavy!
The old "Chesapeake Blue" bags were smaller. Less than 1/2 of an el-cheapo top soil bag. And they cost $8 at the end.
Coleup and Ric--thanks for dredging my old Thread out of the 2008 "compost pile"...
It was fun reading it over again. How do you all find Threads on any particular topic?
I know you can "search" I have never tried it...There is still a lot I don't do or know about DG. Fill me in!
OK! I went outside, cut open my bag of "Fine Pines", took out a bit of the stuff out
and took a picture.
Now--this bag has already sat out there for almost a year, so the contents are quite moist
and look a bit "composted'.
There are a few larger slivers of wood in it--so, I suppose sifting will be needed--
or you could just hand pick these out. The actual pine bark bits look pretty uniform, though.
So here is the picture for you. Teaspoon on top for scale...Gita
The crab shells don't need to be crushed; they'll break down pretty quickly in a "hot" compost pile.
I'm thinking I should make up a lot of "gritty mix" to top up a new little rock garden area, although I don't think I'm going to worry about sifting out bigger pieces, just add the ingredients in about the right proportions and mix in situ.
Jill -- FWIW, Al says the gritty mix isn't worth the trouble or expense to use except in containers, where the point of it is to avoid the level of perched water that will sit at the bottom of the pot, and to bring oxygen to the roots.
That makes sense... but I'm thinking that its components would be good additions to rock garden dirt. In particular, I want to top off with a layer of sand and/or chicken grit. Ddoesn't chicken grit sound like it would make my hens & chicks happy? :-)
I put a bunch of baby semps into about half Pro Mix and half sand. I think I added a sprinkle from my container of mixed time release fertilizer and moisture crystals, but at a fraction of the usual rate. They did better after I added a top layer of sand (note that this is builders' / masonry sand, *not* play sand). They're really not doing much though, but I don't know that they're struggling -- I think it's more that they're spending their first year growing roots, like many perennials.
I add the grit to just about everything - whether pots or plants in ground that require better drainage. Couldn't remember the term 'grower's grit' one time. I said come on now - y'all know what I mean...the big grit like for Turkeys. The SS mgr - shook her head and grinned - asking what I was using it for. So I told her - plants. She then out right laughed and said 'figured as much - you didn't look like a chicken girl to me.' I wasn't sure if I should've thanked her or been offended. Sheesh
I'm not sure either, and don't want to say too much for fear of pi$$ing off some real CHicken Girls! But you know, no one else has That Chantell Smile, except certain lovely little ones...
I was curious about the turkey grit. Our store offered a choice of regular grit or oyster shell grit. Aha oyster shell= micronutrients and calcium?? maybe?? THought that might be bad for a pot in high proportions but good for long term soil in the garden.
There are (at least) five sizes of grit (at least the type gran-i-grit makes); in order by size, small to large, they are Starter, Grower, Developer-Layer, Turkey and Turkey Finisher.
And here is more information than you wanted, from http://www.ncgranite.com/gritmailer.pdf: "GRAN-I-GRIT makes money for you! When fed in the proper sizes, GRAN-I-GRIT usually pays for itself many times over by giving more broiler and turkey meat per pound of feed even on all mash rations. Layers fed GRAN-I-GRIT produce up to 20% more eggs with the same amount of feed. How does GRAN-I-GRIT make this possible? Birds rush feed through their digestive tracts, keeping it
only from 1/2 to 12 minutes in the gizzard. The proper sizes of GRAN-I-GRIT in the gizzard grinds feed particles so small that the birdís digestive juices can quickly act on every bit of the valuable proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins locked within the feed particles, converting them into a form for absorption into the blood
stream where they aid growth and egg production. So you can see Ė without grit much of the valuable feed passes right through the bird unused."
My husband, who seems to be looking ahead to retirement, has been waxing poetic about how happy his friends who raise chickens are, and how much they love their birds.
This thread served it purpose so let's dance.
Ladies, we've had goats, they're just lovable and love to eat weeds even poison ivy and multiflora rose. By the time I get the garden done I'd like to fence it and run some Khaki Campbell ducks in the garden. Campbells are the best laying ducks, producing as well as most hens. They are great weeders and pest controllers, They do a lot less crop damage than chickens. I used to let the chickens free range till things started to ripen, then boot them out of the garden. If they ate 1 ripe tomato it would be fine but no they have to taste every ripe one. They also scratch a lot, ducks don't. It would give Holly a reason to add yet another water feature. LOL Ric
The Gazette metnioned that someone is collecting some of the oyster shells from rstaurants and using them for oyster restoration- yahoo.
Last time I "checked" all the restaurant crab waste went in the dumpsters which was a huge waste and very smell and fly ridden too- oook.
Wooo y'all have been active.
Sallyg, it is important that the oysters go back in the bay. There are other problems with the Bay but the depletion of oyster reefs is one that they are trying to improve upon. There is an oyster recovery partnership that has grown leaps and bounds in the last 5 years. I know that South Carolina had one of the first programs, that I know of, for recycling oyster shells. http://www.oysterrecovery.org/
I get a bushel or two a year and I always save the shells to return. I encourage everyone to do the same. It is cheap to make aggregate out of them and use them on your driveway or wherever but the spat needs a home!
Cheering here, also. I knew about artificial reef efforts in various places, but returning oysters to their harvest beds is such a no-brainer idea that I'm amazed it took this long to figure it out! I'm going to check with Donna at Chef Lin to see if they participate... I don't know if their oysters come from a local source or not, but either way the shells might benefit this program. :-) They also go through quite a few mussels -- big ones from New Zealand, I think -- and I wonder if they might not be useful to the oyster reefs also.
I'm pleased to see that May's, where I had lunch on my birthday, does participate... but disturbed that they're the only Frederick restaurant that does so. Hmm. A PR effort is in order.
Zebra mussels are a real non-native nightmare, the explosive nature of their spread and growth is awesome. The one positive fact that is overlooked is the amount of water they clean. I have read a couple of monographs that have expounded the purity of the water in areas where they have habituated, as well as lowering the contaminates in tropic species that bioaccumulate and bioconcentrate toxins and heavy metals. In may species of fish the fat is concentrated in certain areas of the body, with proper filleting techniques, most of the contaminates can be removed. Since most toxins and heavy metals are lipid soluble they are stored in the fat. Probably more than you want to know, I just want to know how to get rid of starlings. LOL Ric
Devon, in Salmonoids, trout and salmon the fat is concentrated in the dorsal stripe, in blues or drum, on the flanks under the skin as well as many salt or brackish fish. What to look for is any flesh that is darker and not fibered. In bi-valves as in any shellfish it is through out. Ric
Anyone else remember ever seeing driveways paved with oyster shells?
It's horrible to think about how oysters have declined.
One of our local creeks/ rivers had an unusual growth of 'dark false mussels' a couple years ago. It was watched, sadly I think the next year they all died off. But it gives hope that the tide may turn if we can be more careful. Which we won't be.
Pa. has a large push for farms to grow buffers zones along streams to help collect nitrates rather than letting them flow to the bay. They offer certifications as well as possible $$$ incentives. I also know the DER is hot on raw sewage releases, even during extreme circumstance, like flooding,and clean water standards as well as enforcement on construction buffers to reduce silt. It will be a slow process, but it is attainable. Ric
I really don't want to start a debate, but we are ultimately responsible to keep our government administrations from degrading standards for clean air and water.
The information for restaurants on that site says that if an establishment generates at least 3 bushels (five 5 gallon pails) of shells a week, they will see that the shells are picked up. I really don't know how many oyster shells Chef Lin puts out... Their raw bar never seems to be their most popular station, and I don't think they serve cooked oysters. Still, somebody might be able to drop off shells at May's and utilize their pick-up.
I don't know if I have it in me to ferry oyster shells across Frederick on a weekly basis, though... good intentions, not enough time. It irks me to admit that, but I guess it's that sort of discomfort that pushes me to do things that I *can* manage to do... like put more stuff into a compost pile even when the convenient thing is to shove it down the dispose-all.
Speaking of things we can all do to help this oyster reclaimation effort... web site says 95% of their donations go directly to the work they do. A 5% overhead for any charity is almost unheard of... most are considered to be doing "well" if their number is better than 80%. So when I'm deciding where I can make a contribution to support an environmental effort, I'll remember them. Maybe there should be a special tax on oysters and other seafood... OK, now I'm really getting far afield.
Nah, Gita nothing that impressive. I did attend Trenton Jr. College a couple of years. My majors were Biology and Horticulture. All that did was whet my appetite for all living things, and our environment. As a responsible fisherman I want to preserve aquatic environments for the next generation to enjoy, in the respect I would consider myself a preservationist. I read extensively and enjoy documentaries. Ric
Ric: Thanks for all the information. So is the idea that in trout, salmon and blues you should be careful to not eat the fat? I always thought the fat from fish was actually good for you -- I can't say that we ever sat down to a heaping plate of fish fat, but we don't carefully excise it -- but if that is where the toxins linger, I need to rethink that.
Yes Devon, Since most toxins, and biotransformed heavy metals are lipid (read fat) soluble, cutting away any fat will make it safer. You will still get your Omega 3 but with fewer bad things attached. Ric