Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Happy Birthday!!
by PVPind Today at 12:13 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by donnainzone5 Today at 12:13 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Today at 11:44 am

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by camprn Today at 7:05 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Kelejan Today at 12:36 am

» Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 11:28 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:43 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:43 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 9:41 pm

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:18 pm

» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by Kelejan Yesterday at 5:19 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 4:51 pm

» GF Collard Greens, Kale Recipes
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 12:49 pm

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson Yesterday at 11:48 am

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by llama momma 12/6/2016, 4:35 pm

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess 12/6/2016, 3:27 pm

» Bon fires on the Levee
by Cajun Cappy 12/6/2016, 12:17 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:26 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:24 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:21 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:15 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:06 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee 12/5/2016, 9:08 am

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals 12/4/2016, 2:04 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/4/2016, 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising 12/3/2016, 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality 12/3/2016, 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver 12/3/2016, 4:14 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals 12/3/2016, 10:36 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:55 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Noob question - please don't be too harsh

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  doityourselfer on 4/13/2010, 12:42 pm

I am new to square foot gardening. I picked up a second hand copy the old book, read it and then found out there was a new book. I bought and read that. After much looking both on-line and in store, I have come to the conclusion that it is very expensive to gather up the ingredients to make a proper Mel's mix. The closest Vermiculite source is 1 1/2 hours away, and I can only find 4 different kinds of compost. Really three as one has soil and peat already in it. It will cost me $50 to fill each 4x4 box

Here is my question, although I am hesitant to ask. Would it be OK to plant with Miracle-Gro moisture control potting mix? I can get 64 Quart bags at my local Lowes for about $14. it is Item #: 235180 Model #: 74064300

Three bags will just overfill a 4x4 square. The item description says it is good for outdoor container plants. It will cost $42 to fill each box.

Thoughts?

doityourselfer

Male Posts : 7
Join date : 2010-03-15
Location : MA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  elliephant on 4/13/2010, 12:56 pm

For $8 more you get something without the chemicals of Miracle Grow. Also, those chemicals (the "miracle") will be depleted in one seasom and you'll have to start over.
With Mel's Mix it's a one-time expense and then you just add a trowel of compost to each square you replant.
I think the $8 difference is well worth it. Have you checked to see if your city has a composting program? Mine does and I can get compost for $1.49 a bag. Would be even cheaper by the truckload.

elliephant

Female Posts : 842
Join date : 2010-04-09
Age : 41
Location : southern tip of Texas zone 9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  scbusf on 4/13/2010, 1:02 pm

Have you tried to find vermiculite at a Feed store? That's where I found mine.

Also, I only used 3 types of compost because that's all I could find. We have a local composting program and that's what every single local garden center carries.

Sherry

scbusf

Posts : 33
Join date : 2010-03-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Order Vermiculite online

Post  Belinda on 4/13/2010, 1:26 pm

You can actually order vermiculite online at uline.com

Belinda

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-04-12
Location : Utah

View user profile http://www.homegardenstogo.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  chocolatepop on 4/13/2010, 1:28 pm

Push comes to shove, I bet you can get away with a potting seed mix (look at the ingredients) and adding your compost to that. It will be similar.

chocolatepop

Female Posts : 768
Join date : 2010-03-11
Age : 37
Location : Flint Area, Michigan (zone 5a-5b)

View user profile http://chocolatepopsurbangarden.wordpress.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 4/13/2010, 2:47 pm

I use compost from our local dump. It works great, very few of my beds have vermiculite in them and none of the beds have peat. I figured if Mel teaches folks in developing nations to use compost I would give it a try. Works great.

Patty from Yorktown

Patty from Yorktown

Posts : 350
Join date : 2010-03-05
Location : Yorktown, Virginia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  timwardell on 4/13/2010, 4:04 pm

Don't forget that composted manures (horse, cow, chicken, etc.) count as compost. ... I agree that taking the extra time and money will pay off in the long run.

timwardell

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 778
Join date : 2010-03-02
Location : Frisco, Texas

View user profile http://www.timwardell.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  camprn on 4/13/2010, 6:45 pm

@chocolatepop wrote:Push comes to shove, I bet you can get away with a potting seed mix (look at the ingredients) and adding your compost to that. It will be similar.
This is what I had to resort to. I used Jiffy seed starting growers mix as it is approx. 50% Sphagnum peat and 50% small vermiculite, added 3 types of compost to round it out. It's the best I could do this year. I will amend the mix next year or use homemade compost as a top dressing for the mix as the season progresses. I have confidence that this will work for me, though I may not have the highest yields this year, it's a respectable start. Very Happy

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13984
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/13/2010, 6:58 pm

I've used Mel's "old" book for years with mixed success depending on the soil condition, and just this year found out about the new method. In three of my beds I used a compost/ soil mix for thebottom 3-4" and Mel's mix for the top 3-4". Only time will tell how this works out. One bed is all Mel's mix and the others are done lasagna method with Mel's mix as a light top layer to germinate the seeds. I just couldn't afford straight Mel's mix for all the beds.

One option, might be to use a mixture of the composts you can get plus the Miracle Grow soil. Around here, cow manure costs about $2.50 for a 40# bag which is 1 cf.--I think that works out less than the Miracle grow and would give you a better balance of nutrients.

In the end, it's up to you, and no one on this forum is going to criticise you for doing things differently. Actually, the only criteria for a SFG is the grid. All the other things are optional, although Mel's mix is highly recommended.

Please do keep us posted on how your garden grows.

Retired Member 1

Female Posts : 904
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : USA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  martha on 4/13/2010, 8:17 pm

I agree with what Belfrybat said. We are not here to criticize, we are here to help each other learn and grow. And grow things!

If you want to PM me about where in MA you are located, I might be able to help you with locating vermiculite. Also, re: expense - how many boxes are you wishing to have this season?

martha

Female Posts : 2188
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Thanks for the advise

Post  doityourselfer on 4/14/2010, 12:45 pm

Thank you all for your advise. I will try and respond to the questions and comments.

"Have you tried to find vermiculite at a Feed store? That's where I
found mine."
I have asked but not visited. No luck.

"You can actually order vermiculite online at uline.com"
I had seen that website but shipping was prohibitive.

"One option, might be to use a mixture of the composts you can get plus
the Miracle Grow soil. Around here, cow manure costs about $2.50 for a
40# bag which is 1 cf.--I think that works out less than the Miracle
grow and would give you a better balance of nutrients. "
This is what I think I am going to do. I have found cow manure for the above price. Chicken was just a little more.

"In the end, it's up to you, and no one on this forum is going to
criticise you for doing things differently. Actually, the only criteria
for a SFG is the grid. All the other things are optional, although
Mel's mix is highly recommended. "

Thanks for the encouragement. I was a little worried about asking about using chemical based "soil" as it seemed that many people on this forum are into organic gardening. I will definitely have the grid, It would be difficult to layout and plant without.

"Please do keep us posted on how your garden grows."
Will Do!

"If you want to PM me about where in MA you are located, I might be able
to help you with locating vermiculite. Also, re: expense - how many
boxes are you wishing to have this season?"
I will PM you. I am in Western Mass. I have located fine/medium grades locally. The only coarse I could find is at Worms Way outside Worcester. I plan on 5 boxes this year (for three adults) More next year if everything works out good.

doityourselfer

Male Posts : 7
Join date : 2010-03-15
Location : MA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Noob question - please don't be too harsh

Post  Sponsored content Today at 3:04 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum