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Shrinking MM

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Shrinking MM

Post  B00kemdano on 8/26/2012, 2:56 pm

It's been six months since I set up my first SFG - TT version. I had some successes this summer, as well as some failures. I'm learning, and maybe next year will be more productive.

The thing that alarms me the most at this point, is how much my MM shrunk! My 9" deep TT boxes were filled to within an inch of the top, giving me about 8" of MM all the way around. Now, after six months, the MM shrunk to about 3" from the top. I'm not so concerned about only have 6" of MM, as that's what is recommended in the book. But why did it shrink so much? I didn't have any soil wash out with rains. When I removed spent plants, I shook out nearly all the MM.

Where did it all go, and is this an indicator that my MM was faulty from the start?
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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  camprn on 8/26/2012, 3:38 pm

This is normal settling and it happens to all my garden boxes. I add as much compost as I need to top off the box. No Worries! okay

There are several threads about this. If you want to read them use the search feature at the bottom of the Latest Topics list on the left.

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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  B00kemdano on 8/28/2012, 4:35 pm

:\

I did do some searching, but I guess not enough.

Most of what I planted was stunted or didn't put out any fruit at all. Maybe my compost mix was not good?
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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  camprn on 8/28/2012, 5:26 pm

B00kemdano wrote::\

I did do some searching, but I guess not enough.

Most of what I planted was stunted or didn't put out any fruit at all. Maybe my compost mix was not good?
Stunted growth could be from lack of nutrients, lack of water or the excessive heat. DO you have your own compost pile going now? Just fill up the garden box with compost and mix it in before planting next season. No reason to make more Mel's Mix.

I also have a terrible time, sometimes, using the search feature. Later I will see what I can dig up.


Last edited by camprn on 8/28/2012, 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : had to add a pun.)

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  Babblu143 on 3/13/2015, 9:12 am

I'll give an answer. I am in zone 6a, which is close. Normally that means first killing frost is late oct. or early november.
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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  sanderson on 3/13/2015, 12:13 pm

Babblu, Welcome to the Forum from California, US. glad you\'re here

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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/13/2015, 12:38 pm

My first Mel's Mix was deficient.  I hadn't understood that the peat moss needed to be fluffed up before measuring so had double the amount in the mix than I was supposed to have.

I also used store bought compost in that mix and looking back, those composts weren't checked for peat moss content (can throw things off as well) and seemed pretty woody now that I know more what I'm doing.

It took a couple of seasons to bring that mix up to snuff and a lot of home made compost, but it's very healthy now.   The number one thing I would encourage you to do is start creating your own compost if you can.  When you control what goes into it you get better so much better results out of it!

Welcome to the forum  Very Happy
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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/13/2015, 1:53 pm

Hi Babblu!  Welcome from Atlanta, GA.  Mine shrank down quite a bit too.  But I was expecting it...
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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  Mikesgardn on 3/13/2015, 8:46 pm

Your planting bed lowered because your vegetables "consumed" the compost.   So just add more compost.
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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  yolos on 3/13/2015, 11:23 pm

My bed shrank 1 inch in a couple of months just from the MM settling.  I did not have anything planted in it.  After planting beans in it and letting them grow all summer, the bed sank another inch which was the result of the compost being "consumed by the vegetables" or just decaying more.
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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  sanderson on 3/14/2015, 3:02 am

yeppers

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Re: Shrinking MM

Post  Windmere on 3/14/2015, 12:20 pm

yolos wrote:My bed shrank 1 inch in a couple of months just from the MM settling.  I did not have anything planted in it.  After planting beans in it and letting them grow all summer, the bed sank another inch which was the result of the compost being "consumed by the vegetables" or just decaying more.
My beds also shrank quite a bit.  Not only because of summer, but also because of my winter garden.  I've stocked up on compost to fill the voids.
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