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OK, I've assembled the parts of the container mix following the recipe below:

South East Texas Tomato Festival Container Gardening

The only thing I didn't put in is the micronutrient powder/manure. I'm trying a few different things that I have on hand already. However, manure is cheap and readily available. It shouldn't have much of an impact on the price. You might be able to get it free, too. I don't think it would add more than 10 to 25 cents to the final price. To calculate these prices, I used an online calculator to convert cu/ft to gallons and quarts. I actually weighed the lime and fertilizer on my kitchen scale so the measurements would be as accurate as possible. Of course, your weights may vary depending on the products you use. So here are my prices:

2 cu/ft bag of Happi Gro 100% organic compost- $3.54
This came from Lowes. They didn't have the exact product they listed online. However, it's basically the same thing. The item number is the same. This is the pine bark fines. I bought 2 so I could make 1 recipe of mix. I also bought 1 bag of a product called Happi Gro landscapers mix. It was $3.19 for a 2 cu/ft bag and is very similar to the compost/fines. I thought I would try it and see what happens. However, I calculated with 3 bags at $3.54 each.
Shop Evergreen 2 Cu. Ft. Organic Soil Conditioner at Lowes.com

4 cu/ft bag perlite- $18.80
This came from a local feed store. This will make 6 batches of mix.

36 lb bag of Milorganite Fertilizer-$13.89
This came from Lowes. This will make 36 batches of mix.
Shop Milorganite 2500 Sq. Ft. Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer at Lowes.com

3 cu/ft bale of peat moss-$8.96
This also came from Lowes. This will make 4.5 batches of mix.
Shop Greensmix 3 Cu. Ft. Sphagnum Peat Moss at Lowes.com

47 lb bag of dolomite lime- $9.99
This came from Turner's Gardenland in South Texas. This will make 32 batches of container mix.

I crunched it all out in Excel. If my math is right, the grand total is:

$11.15 for 4.34 cu/ft of potting mix

$11.15 for approximately 130 quarts of potting mix

$2.56 for 1 cu/ft of potting mix

$2.56 for 30 quarts of potting mix

Compare to Lowes prices:

32 quarts for $8.97
Shop Miracle-Gro 32-Quart Potting Mix at Lowes.com

or 32 quarts for $10.31
Shop Miracle-Gro 32-Quart Moisture Control® Potting Mix at Lowes.com

Just depends on the product you get. It's a huge savings either way. Now, I'm no math genius, so I'll go over my numbers again. I've looked it over a number of times and I think it's right. I can also forward my Excel spreadsheet or possibly copy it over to Google Docs and post a link, if anyone really wants it. Anyway, hope this is useful!

Christy
 

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