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
» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing February 2017?
by trolleydriver Today at 4:03 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by trolleydriver Today at 3:54 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by trolleydriver Today at 3:51 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by countrynaturals Today at 3:14 pm

» February 2017 Avatar: Time to Wake Up!
by countrynaturals Today at 3:12 pm

» New England February 2017
by CapeCoddess Today at 3:04 pm

» NOVA The Origami Revolution
by sanderson Today at 1:11 pm

» Roots...information....
by sanderson Today at 11:23 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising Today at 9:37 am

» Help - Building new raised beds
by sanderson Today at 2:42 am

» -What’s Hiding in Your Organic Fertilizer
by sanderson Today at 2:26 am

» Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 9:22 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 3:42 pm

» The raised bed of my dreams!
by yolos Yesterday at 2:12 pm

» Is this wood correct for building box?
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 11:20 am

» Feedback for my 2017 garden plan
by Scorpio Rising 2/17/2017, 10:43 pm

» N&C Midwest: February 2017
by Scorpio Rising 2/17/2017, 10:34 pm

» Sanderson - Virtual Roadtrip Flyover
by trolleydriver 2/17/2017, 9:52 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 2/17/2017, 6:15 pm

» 2017 Maryland Home & Garden Show -- TIX DRAWING
by sfg4uKim 2/17/2017, 10:51 am

» broccoli stunted
by trolleydriver 2/17/2017, 8:40 am

» has55's R & D Journey;Plant Talk.
by has55 2/17/2017, 3:03 am

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by sanderson 2/17/2017, 1:48 am

» Microbes...you gotta see this one !!!
by sanderson 2/17/2017, 1:05 am

» Compost source
by jimmy cee 2/16/2017, 9:28 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by yolos 2/16/2017, 6:20 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by sanderson 2/16/2017, 2:06 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson 2/16/2017, 2:00 pm

» Keeping bees
by sanderson 2/16/2017, 1:57 pm

» Daikon radishes?
by countrynaturals 2/16/2017, 9:45 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Bed preparation dilemna....

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Bed preparation dilemna....

Post  kdms on 9/22/2012, 8:54 am

Hello everyone...I've been lurking for awhile and I've got a bit of a dilemna on my hands about bed preparation. Back in the spring, before I learned about SFG, we'd cleared a fair amount of space in our rather hilly (and rocky) backyard and discovered we were in possession of rather nicely shaped and sized terraces....more than enough space to put in several long, raised beds, as what little soil there was clearly wasn't going to work with the traditional method of gardening. So we went ahead and had 10 yards of a really nice topsoil/compost organic soil delivered, and managed to get a few beds built, filled, and planted in the traditional manner. This took all of maybe 2 yards, and the rest of the soil is still sitting in it's original delivery spot, although at least we covered it with a tarp so it didn't get soggy during rains. All told, the remaining 8 yards is still in really good shape. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the beds did, considering this year's drought, and the extremely minimal maintenance I had time to do.

Enter the SFG method. I'd like to convert a couple of the existing beds to the SFG style, and build up the terraces with more boxes. The issue: I've got 8 yards of dirt that is a mix of peat moss and other unidentifiables, and although it appears to perform quite well, I can almost guarantee there isn't 5 different types of compost in it.

I really don't have the cash to hunt down five different types of compost, and I really don't want to waste the soil we've already bought. I know there's peat moss in it already, and at least two types of compost according to the company I got it from. What I was hoping to get some input on is should I build the beds, mix the existing soil with vermiculite, and just expect less than spectacular results until time eventually results in the squares all having a proper MM in it due to harvest/replant cycles? Is there a way to test my remaining soil to determine how much peat moss is in it, so I know if I need to add any peat moss along with the vermiculite?

I should also add that I have to move/use all 8 yards in the next month or so, before it snows, because it's sitting right where our snow gets piled from the guy that comes to do the plowing.... tongue

thanks....k

kdms

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2012-09-22
Location : Ottawa, Canada

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Bed preparation dilemna....

Post  rowena___. on 9/22/2012, 9:07 am

welcome kdms!

@kdms wrote:
What I was hoping to get some input on is should I build the beds, mix the existing soil with vermiculite, and just expect less than spectacular results until time eventually results in the squares all having a proper MM in it due to harvest/replant cycles?

that is what i would do if i were in your position. the fact that you had such good results suggests that you have a good blend in your mix.

start where you are, improve as you go, keep notes and enjoy your progress.

rowena___.

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 438
Join date : 2011-01-06
Location : nashville, TN

View user profile http://www.romesticity.com, www.rostitchery.com, www.the-ella-ec

Back to top Go down

Re: Bed preparation dilemna....

Post  camprn on 9/22/2012, 9:11 am

@rowena___. wrote:welcome kdms!

@kdms wrote:
What I was hoping to get some input on is should I build the beds, mix the existing soil with vermiculite, and just expect less than spectacular results until time eventually results in the squares all having a proper MM in it due to harvest/replant cycles?

that is what i would do if i were in your position. the fact that you had such good results suggests that you have a good blend in your mix.

start where you are, improve as you go, keep notes and enjoy your progress.
+1 and hunt up some local compost sources that are not necessarily from big box stores. Do you have any local dairy farms, horse, goat or llama farms? Friends raising chickens?

glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum! Have you read the All New Square Foot Gardening book(2006) yet?

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

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




camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14071
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: Bed preparation dilemna....

Post  kdms on 9/22/2012, 1:12 pm

Thanks for the welcome Very Happy

The 2006 version finally came available from the library (after being on a long waiting list) and that's the one I read. It's now been put on my wish list for future purchase..... Laughing

We get, I would say, over 60% of our groceries from local farms, including raw milk, eggs, cheese, assorted meats, etc. We've managed to develop some pretty good relationships in the process so I'll check with them for other sources of compost....thanks for the suggestion! Smile

kdms

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2012-09-22
Location : Ottawa, Canada

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Bed preparation dilemna....

Post  quiltbea on 9/22/2012, 1:43 pm

Don't waste that good garden loam. Use it to build your beds and add the other stuff as you go forward. That would include compost, compost, compost. Sprinkle in a few organic amendments to be sure you have your proper NPK. N=Nitrogen: Bloodmeal, alfalfa meal, soybean meal, leaf mold, fish meal, manure. P=Phosphorus: Bonemeal, rock phosphate, limestone, mushroom compost. K=Potassium: Greensand, seaweed, wood ashes. Don't overdo the amendments. Read the package labels for amounts to add.
A good combination would be to fill your boxes about 3/4 full with the loam, etc., and then later add on top 3-6" of Mel's Mix.
Keep us posted with pics as you get going. We love pictures.


quiltbea

Female Posts : 4617
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Bed preparation dilemna....

Post  Sponsored content


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