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New Square Notes

Post  tomperrin on 3/22/2012, 11:28 am

Some thoughts on my new squares:

space between squares

  • Should be at least 3 feet, as recommended by Mel in ANSFG. This allows for a hand propelled lawnmower to get in between the boxes, as well as all the benefits listed in ANSFG.
  • That said, sometimes it's just not possible because of space constraints. Try to have at least the width of a garden rake.
  • Consider using cedar bark mulch over weed barrier between the squares. This will take much longer to rot, is easily replenished (the stuff often goes on sale in the spring), and may have bug repellant properties. I figure if cedar keeps moths from laying eggs on your wool sweaters it should keep them away from your squares and the plants within. It also smells nice, as do squares made of cedar.
water, water, water

  • In transplanting some lettuce (sowed Dec 21, 2011) into a new square, I was struck by how dry my mix was in spite of all my efforts to get it wet through the first time. Bear in mind that it's not only the peat moss that needs to get wet, but everything else in the mix as well.
  • I think that new squares should be checked daily for dryness and probably watered at least twice a day. Any excess will drain out. So water thoroughly with a shower attachment on your hose, being careful not to throw the dirt around with the stream of water.

  • Vermiculite holds 2-3 times its weight in water. I know this because the bags left outside in the rain become waterlogged and very heavy (and consequently split open very easily - the bags should not be exposed to sunlight either, as the UV rays will degrade the plastic.
  • If you want to get a head start on getting your mix watered before you make it, consider dumping the vermiculite into a very large trash barrel and watering down the vermiculite. Of course, it will be heavier and a bit harder to move when the mix is made.

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