Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Starting SFG in Memphis

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Starting SFG in Memphis

Post  nosmok on 2/18/2013, 11:42 pm

After being inspired by the gardens at Blackberry Farms outside Knoxville, I decided to finally put in some vegetable gardens. After I designed and built two 4x12x2 boxes I came across SFG, bought and read the book and am anxious to start! I plan to post pictures, but I was hoping for some insight and advice. Since these boxes are so large and deep, would it be ok to fill the first 16 inches with local garden mix (Natures Earth: compost, sand and sifted top soil) and top it off with 6 inches of Mel's Mix. It would be outrageously expensive to use MM for the entire depth. I read a suggestion to fill with sand, but that would be very heavy and would stress the sidewalls over time.
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nosmok

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Re: Starting SFG in Memphis

Post  Kelejan on 2/19/2013, 12:32 am

glad you\'re here nosmol happy hi
It is quite acceptable to put a six layer of MM on top of any soil you have in your boxes. Also as the top of your garden will be about 24" it is a nice height for you to work at.
It is a waste of money to completely fill with MM any deep bed. IMO. Better to spread your MM over a larger surface area of six inches deep.
I hope you have a successful first year, but it gets even better the following year as you build on your experience gained.
Read the SFG book and seive through these forums, there is so much information to be gained. Use the search box, ask questions, and eventually you will be able to start answering some yourself.
I found it a lovely feeling the first time I was able to answer someone's question and to know that my answer was right. If my answer is not correct, someone would jump on me I'm sure. Very Happy
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Pro mix ??

Post  nosmok on 2/19/2013, 11:41 am

Has anyone used pro mix as the basis for Mel's mix? It has vermiculite and peat moss in it. Seems like you could just add compost. Haven't researched if this is cost beneficial yet
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Re: Starting SFG in Memphis

Post  camprn on 2/19/2013, 11:43 am

@nosmok wrote:Has anyone used pro mix as the basis for Mel's mix? It has vermiculite and peat moss in it. Seems like you could just add compost. Haven't researched if this is cost beneficial yet
I used a similar sterile soilless mix (BM8) when I could not find vermiculite. It worked very well.

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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

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Re: Starting SFG in Memphis

Post  walshevak on 2/19/2013, 12:33 pm

@nosmok wrote:Has anyone used pro mix as the basis for Mel's mix? It has vermiculite and peat moss in it. Seems like you could just add compost. Haven't researched if this is cost beneficial yet

What is the ratio of vermiculite to peat moss. If half and half then just compost is fine. If heavy on peat, you will need to also add extra vermiculite. If I remember right, promix is about 75% peat.
Kay

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Re: Starting SFG in Memphis

Post  victoria on 2/19/2013, 4:44 pm

Just a tip I have found from the community gardens we work in - we can't afford to replace the existing soil in the beds . So what we have done is lay the weed mat over the top of the soil we don't want - this keeps the expensive Mel's Mix on top and this helps a ton with weed control too - the soil underneath usually has all sorts of weed seeds in it. University of Tennesse has SFG Beds in their garden along with Certified Instructors - we just taught there in October I believe. Also - we are working with the a man who owns 5 of the ace hardware stores there - he wants to bring in a truckload of MM - sooooo making a few calls may pay off. ( Both Memphis and Knoxville - done that drive - I realize it is a long distance from one to the other but where ever you are - there should be something close )
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Re: Starting SFG in Memphis

Post  cheyannarach on 2/20/2013, 10:01 am

glad you\'re here to the forum!! Glad you are getting started on your new SFG! Keep us posted on your progress!
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weed mat between MM and soil?

Post  nosmok on 3/3/2013, 10:50 am

Each of my raised beds now have 18 inches of a local garden mix (sand, soil and compost). I plan to top off wth 6 inches of MM. There is weed mat and chicken wire beneath the garden mix ( 24 inches from the surface). Is it still advised to place another layer of weed mat directly beneath the MM? I'm tempted to just allow the roots access, to go deeper and nourish from the deeper garden mix. It would help my carrots and onions. Or maybe just lay newspaper that will degrade over time? Not sure if any seeds that may be in the garden mix, will ever see the light of day?
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Re: Starting SFG in Memphis

Post  camprn on 3/3/2013, 11:26 am

An excellent question! The news paper is probably all you need, but I personally would not feel the need to do even that. Very Happy

____________________________

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



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