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Something you said..

Post  llama momma on 3/6/2013, 8:40 am

Got to say Thanks to Rooster. On a back thread Rooster said why have one bed of Mel's Mix 12 inches deep when you could have 2 beds six inches deep?
So true. As a newbie 3 years ago my first box had foot deep of MM and the box was 4 by 8 ft.. Kind of silly when you think the first 6 inches are where most of the nutrient absorbing root hairs are! So thanks Rooster a couple of my new spring boxes will be filled with Mel's Mix transferred over from the old box.
I'm still making deep 12 inch boxes but the bottom half or so will be filler from 5 yr old piles of crumbled composted manure from out the end of the pasture. If I have another summer like last year with 34 or more days over 90 and 4 days at least of over 100 degrees, I figure the volume of material should help keep things moist and happy. And the taller boxes are nicer to my aging joints.

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Re: Something you said..

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/6/2013, 11:25 am

Very good point. After I planted my first years SFG I came home one day and I had several pepper plants that had just fallen over. The Mel's Mix is great but it doesn't hold up the plants so everything that grows tall must be staked. If you have 12" of MM then you need to buy longer stakes because you have to go down at least 12" before you reach anything substantial enough to hold the stake in place.

Since MM hold moisture well the plants don't need to reach deep down to find water. Since MM is so loose the roots can easily spread out and there really is not a lot of benefit to having 12" of MM.

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Re: Something you said..

Post  quiltbea on 3/6/2013, 11:35 am

To any whose peppers fall over, do you transplant them deep enough? You should bury them up to their seed leaves for the final transplant. It'll root along the whole buried stem and be stronger.
Also, peppers like to 'rub shoulders' with each other so only need a foot of space between each other. They'll hold each other upright.

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Re: Something you said..

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/6/2013, 11:49 am

I'm pretty sure I planted mine deep enough. I plant bell peppers 1 per square and jalapenos two per square. When mine fell over the plant was laying down with the root ball about half way exposed. The plants did well it's just that the MM is loose and we had a short rain storm and the root ball didn't have anything to hold onto and fell over. the plants were tall but had not spread out all that much yet so they were not leaning on each other. I wouldn't say that this is a negative aspect of MM because it is the same thing that makes the root ball spread out so much. I just see it as something extra that might not have to be done outside of a SFG where the dirt is more stiff and hard.

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Re: Something you said..

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/6/2013, 1:01 pm

Thanks LM, and you're welcome. It's amazing what you can do in 6 inches.

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