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
» Roots...information....
by sanderson Today at 4:53 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by sanderson Today at 4:36 pm

» Sanderson - Virtual Roadtrip Flyover
by trolleydriver Today at 4:24 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 3:56 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by Goosegirl Today at 3:53 pm

» Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...
by trolleydriver Today at 3:52 pm

» I'll get it right yet
by newbeone Today at 3:50 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by donnainzone5 Today at 3:46 pm

» Our 2017 garden makeover
by newbeone Today at 3:21 pm

» Spring Fever Anyone?
by newbeone Today at 3:15 pm

» Hello from IA Zone 5
by countrynaturals Today at 12:48 pm

» Root Knot Nematodes - PROGRESS!
by dstack Today at 12:28 pm

» Plant ID
by ralitaco Today at 9:48 am

» Feedback for my 2017 garden plan
by ralitaco Today at 9:43 am

» Is this wood correct for building box?
by sanderson Today at 5:06 am

» Senseless Banter...
by sanderson Today at 4:55 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by Kelejan Today at 12:44 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing February 2017?
by Kelejan Today at 12:42 am

» N&C Midwest: February 2017
by CitizenKate Yesterday at 11:20 pm

» The raised bed of my dreams!
by ralitaco Yesterday at 9:20 pm

» Help - Building new raised beds
by ralitaco Yesterday at 9:06 pm

» Microbes...you gotta see this one !!!
by jimmy cee Yesterday at 8:20 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by yolos Yesterday at 5:41 pm

» February 2017 Avatar: Time to Wake Up!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 5:11 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 4:13 pm

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

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

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

» 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

Google

Search SFG Forum

How much compost should I add

View previous topic View next topic Go down

How much compost should I add

Post  jimmy cee on 5/13/2013, 10:39 pm

I've finished 1 bed of SFG, doing some experimenting planting trying to prepare for warm weather plants.
After some success and pulling out a previous square, the book recommends adding an amount of fresh compost.
What amount of compost needs to be added ? pint, quart, gallon, I have no need to skimp on the compost, and I am assuming more is going to be better than less..
3 weeks later

jimmy cee

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 1890
Join date : 2013-02-16
Age : 81
Location : Indiana PA....zone 5

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

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  camprn on 5/13/2013, 10:42 pm

Mel recommends a trowel full. I usually add more... with good results.

____________________________

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: How much compost should I add

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/14/2013, 3:19 pm

I've been thinking of this a lot as I build beds from scratch this Spring. I'm starting out with 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 Five-compost blend. I expect settling and as I pull plants each year I'll get more settling. I'll be adding compost every time I replant a square. And probably at the end of Fall/beginning of spring as well. Which will change the percentages over time.

So eventually I'll end up with a LOT of compost and very little vermiculite and peat, won't I?

Does anyone add more Mel's Mix or just keep on adding compost?

ETNRedClay

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2013-04-12
Location : East Tennessee of course

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  boffer on 5/14/2013, 3:30 pm

I keep on adding compost until the texture of the MM begins to noticeably change, and the compost heavy mix seems to hold too much water. Then I remove the top half, and replace it with new MM. The mix that I remove I use for other planting purposes.

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/14/2013, 4:49 pm

@boffer wrote:I keep on adding compost until the texture of the MM begins to noticeably change, and the compost heavy mix seems to hold too much water.

Not sure what holding too much water looks like. Even my pure clay plantings don't hold TOO MUCH water. I'm already watering my pure Mel's Mix every other day and the temps haven't hit 85 on a regular basis. The vermiculite gives the mix the texture of sandy loam -- lovely to work with, feels great, and plants absolutely love it so far... but water does NOT stick around in the Mel's Mix the way it does compost...

I see SO MANY complaints about having to water every day or twice a day on the boards. Wouldn't more compost and less V. make sense in those situations at least?


Last edited by camprn on 5/14/2013, 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed quote box)

ETNRedClay

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2013-04-12
Location : East Tennessee of course

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  camprn on 5/14/2013, 5:15 pm

@ETNRedClay wrote:

So eventually I'll end up with a LOT of compost and very little vermiculite and peat, won't I?
Yes and that is the plan and they way it is meant to be.
@ETNRedClay wrote:
Does anyone add more Mel's Mix or just keep on adding compost?
No need to add more MM, just the compost.

____________________________

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: How much compost should I add

Post  boffer on 5/14/2013, 5:40 pm

@ETNRedClay wrote:...The vermiculite gives the mix the texture of sandy loam -- lovely to work with, feels great, and plants absolutely love it so far...
It is a wonderful texture, but it changes as the compost percentage increases.

Try taking a small pot, filling it with your 5 way compost, and then water it thoroughly. The texture will be different, and seem to be a little soggy, in my experience.

One advantage of proper MM is that with good drainage, one can't over-water. I feel that I have to be a lot more conscientious about not over-watering with straight 5 way compost.

You may be on to something with your idea that the extra compost will hold water longer. Are you mulching? That will help retain water as well.

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/14/2013, 5:51 pm

Lots of mulch. I think it's one of those things that should be HAMMERED into the head of every gardener. Mulch is as important as soil here in the steaming South. Fewer or no weeds -- means less or no competition for plants. Cools the surface roots. Retains moisture means less watering. And IMPROVES soil over time.

ETNRedClay

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2013-04-12
Location : East Tennessee of course

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  camprn on 5/14/2013, 5:57 pm

@ETNRedClay wrote:Lots of mulch. I think it's one of those things that should be HAMMERED into the head of every gardener. Mulch is as important as soil here in the steaming South. Fewer or no weeds -- means less or no competition for plants. Cools the surface roots. Retains moisture means less watering. And IMPROVES soil over time.
+1

____________________________

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: How much compost should I add

Post  yolos on 5/14/2013, 9:54 pm

@ETNRedClay wrote:Lots of mulch. I think it's one of those things that should be HAMMERED into the head of every gardener. Mulch is as important as soil here in the steaming South. Fewer or no weeds -- means less or no competition for plants. Cools the surface roots. Retains moisture means less watering. And IMPROVES soil over time.

What do you use for mulch. Last year I tried wheat straw and had wheat growing over the winter in every bed where I used the wheat straw as mulch.

I also tried shredded leaves. The leaves seemed to absorb all the water and was hard to get the water down to the MM. But they worked good in keeping the soil moist once the water did get down to the soil.

I also tried shredded bark. That seemed to work the best. No weeds and water was able to get down to the soil easily.

What mulch have you found the best in our hot dry south.

yolos

Female Posts : 2959
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 67
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  jimmy cee on 5/14/2013, 9:59 pm

Shredded newspaper has worked well for me in past years, worked so good I am going to continue to use it.

jimmy cee

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 1890
Join date : 2013-02-16
Age : 81
Location : Indiana PA....zone 5

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

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/14/2013, 10:38 pm

Mulching is something I've done for a couple of decades. I've used several things. Liking them all.

1) Pine bark fines, sold as clay breaker or soil conditioner. It makes a lovely gritty soil in a year. If I can't find that, I use:
2) Pine bark mulch -- not nuggets -- and it does the same thing as fines, only with a few bigger chunks. Chunks are good, they give soil structure. Structure is why we love vermiculite. But you need more fines than the nuggets offer, which has the consistency of gravel.
3) Shredded hardwood mulch, lovely to work with, rots down into crumbly black gold.
4) Cypress mulch is pretty and functional.
5) Wood chips -- from grinders or chippers services with 3" chippers means they get small branches and twigs -- make great mulch and will add to the soil as time goes on.

Any of the above make great mulches and add wonderful structure to the soil as time goes on, crumbly black and earthy smelling. i'm sure there are other good options, but wood mulch is the only thing I've used, because I'm surrounded by woods so I see what happens 10 years down the road, and digidown a little and see what 100 years, and forever... fallen forest litter (ie wood's mulch) becomes dirt given time. Fine pieces of mulch become dirt quicker than chuky pieces. But it all adds to the quality of dirt over time....

AND retains water too.

ETNRedClay

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2013-04-12
Location : East Tennessee of course

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/14/2013, 10:44 pm

Anyone else have trouble with the composing window when your post gets too long -- the window gets jittery and jumps up and down and you can't see what you're typing at the bottom...

Apparently I deleted a whole section of my post on LEAVES as mulch cuz of course forrest litter is MOSTLY leaves... but I use leaves here in my compost bins, so don't mulch with them... usually...

ETNRedClay

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2013-04-12
Location : East Tennessee of course

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  quiltbea on 5/14/2013, 10:54 pm

ETN....I've had that problem (jittery and can't see bottoms) for weeks now. It doesn't happen if the post is short, but when it has any length, its a pain. I just add anything VERY carefully because the bottom disappears and I can't read what I wrote til I preview.

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: How much compost should I add

Post  yolos on 5/15/2013, 1:08 am

ETN - thanks for your list of mulches. I also used finely shredded bark last year and am trying to get some again this year.

Yes, I also am having a big problem with the screen jumping around when I am posting. I thought it was just me but it is really aggravating. The screen starts jumping around and you cannot see what you are typing unless you hit preview.

yolos

Female Posts : 2959
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 67
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  plantoid on 5/15/2013, 6:57 am

@ETNRedClay wrote:Anyone else have trouble with the composing window when your post gets too long -- the window gets jittery and jumps up and down and you can't see what you're typing at the bottom...

Apparently I deleted a whole section of my post on LEAVES as mulch cuz of course forrest litter is MOSTLY leaves... but I use leaves here in my compost bins, so don't mulch with them... usually...

Do your long posts in word etc. then copy and paste into the forum thread
or
Post in the thread upto about 15 lines as you type perss send , then go and use edit and finish off typing .
It seems to be all about time the composing window is open .

plantoid

Male Posts : 3661
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/15/2013, 9:56 am

Thanks!

ETNRedClay

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2013-04-12
Location : East Tennessee of course

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: How much compost should I add

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