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Top Dressing with Compost

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Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/3/2013, 1:26 pm

It is the time of the season where my plants are getting hungry for nutrients. I decided to do some top dressing  with compost.

I can see that the mix has settled some and the plants are getting larger and putting on fruit. Time for a feeding. Firstly, I prune off any low laying foliage which allows easier access and increased air circulation within the bed, thus reducing disease and fungal potential. Collect the nice homemade compost.


Pick out any stray weeds and carefully place a few shovels full of compost in the bed. Don't be stingy with the compost, the plants are hungry.




Spread the compost evenly atop the Mel's mix. Each time it rains or you water the bed, the compost will release nutrients that percolate down into the box and the plant roots soak it all up.




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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  greatgranny on 8/3/2013, 2:11 pm

Thanks for this reminder. Going out right now to start the much needed pruning and adding compost.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  bnoles on 8/3/2013, 3:10 pm

Hi camp, it appears that you do not screen your compost from what I can see in the pictures? I have 2 additional beds in the planning stages and lots of compost finishing up the rest period for a big batch of Mel's mix. How do you feel about using it without screening it in the onset? I will of course pick out any of the larger pieces I run across.


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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  sanderson on 8/3/2013, 3:25 pm

Camp, Thanks for the nice and clear demo.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/3/2013, 3:51 pm

@bnoles wrote:Hi camp, it appears that you do not screen your compost from what I can see in the pictures?  I have 2 additional beds in the planning stages and lots of compost finishing up the rest period for a big batch of Mel's mix.  How do you feel about using it without screening it in the onset?  I will of course pick out any of the larger pieces I run across.

LOL, clearly I think it's an ok practice. The most important thing is to make sure it is finished compost. I pick out the largest bits of stick, but I don't have time to fret about the small ones, it helps with aeration. Also, I just have way more important things to do than push my compost through a fine sieve.Wink 

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/3/2013, 3:59 pm

I'm with Camprn - and because it's a top dressing, I find it doesn't matter in the least.  You're basically mulching with compost anyway.  

Beautiful garden by the way!

Mine is has been very productive this year, but it's been incredibly stressed by at least 6 weeks of over 100 degree temps (up to 108)  That takes it's toll on the plants.

The ants have brought hoards of aphids and I'm losing the battle.  I'm going to be tearing out quite a bit this week and replanting for the fall.  August starts our beginning of lower temps (infinitesimally lower, LOL!)
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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  southern gardener on 8/4/2013, 2:22 am

Camp, that looks like some nice compost. How deep are your beds? What kind of eggplants are those? cool looking!!
audrey.jeanne.roberts, we've had some really good results with Neem oil for the aphids. We have tried everything we can think of to get rid of the ants, to TRY and control the aphids, but we have lost the ant battle. Once we sprayed the Neem, the aphids died, and the ants seem to have lost a LITTLE interest... Shocked 

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  sanderson on 8/4/2013, 3:02 am

Audrey, Dish soap, cooking oil and baking soda didn't help with the aphids?

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/4/2013, 7:21 am

+1 on the insecticidal soap spray for aphids. Once the aphids are under control, the ant will find something else to do.

Thanks for the compliment on the compost SG. It came from the monster pile I built last autumn. The aubergine are all a mix, I know I have in there are long white and the round Rotunda Bianca Sfumata di Rosa. There is fruit on only 3 plants right now. As to the variety of others, it will be like a wrapped gift, the contents being unknown until they emerge. What a Face 

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  greatgranny on 8/4/2013, 9:18 am

Ugh. I took your advice and pruned and added compost mulch. While I was at it, I dug out some iris that I had planted last year. Well, I'm now taking a day off to cure my sore back. That's hard work - oh well it's done. Wink 

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/4/2013, 10:16 am

Hooray! It's done! and the iris will be well pleased with ne place and compost... It was worth it!
May the goddess Iris shine down upon you and bring ease to your aches!Wink

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/4/2013, 12:28 pm

No, I have sprayed and sprayed and sprayed with insecticidal soap. I've used Neem oil and worked at spraying them off with a pressure hose all no no avail.

It's overwhelming amounts... I've never seen anything like it before. It might have something to do with the intense heat we've had this year, everything in nature is brown. Perhaps my garden is the only green things around for them to eat?

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/4/2013, 12:31 pm

Sometimes I get infestations of aphids like that on my milkweed. When they get that bad, I usually just cut off the infested parts and throw them away or burn them. Then I hope the plant recovers. Good luck.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  southern gardener on 8/4/2013, 2:57 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:No, I have sprayed and sprayed and sprayed with insecticidal soap.  I've used Neem oil and worked at spraying them off with a pressure hose all no no avail.

It's overwhelming amounts...  I've never seen anything like it before.  It might have something to do with the intense heat we've had this year, everything in nature is brown.  Perhaps my garden is the only green things around for them to eat?

Did they die with the neem and come back, or did it not work at all? I also tried spraying with water, and ended up with PM on everything Sad Now, I'm fighting it like mad. Got some spray that was recommended by someone on here, and it worked, but it keeps coming back. It's hard to spray all those plants and under the leaves too! I wonder how organic gardeners do this on a large scale?? Locally, they are planting squashes and pumpkins etc all overhead watering, I don't see any PM, they must spray something on them??

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/4/2013, 2:58 pm

Are any more of you planning on topdressing your gardens with homemade compost??

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  bnoles on 8/4/2013, 3:02 pm

@camprn wrote:Are any more of you planning on topdressing your gardens with homemade compost??

At the top of my list as soon as I recover from a bout with my medical condition. Maybe in a week or so I hope.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  camprn on 8/4/2013, 3:05 pm

@bnoles wrote:
@camprn wrote:Are any more of you planning on topdressing your gardens with homemade compost??

At the top of my list as soon as I recover from a bout with my medical condition.  Maybe in a week or so I hope.
Oh Bob, Curses! If I lived closer I would come do it for you.

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  llama momma on 8/4/2013, 3:30 pm

 Feel Better Soon Bob. 
 
Camp its funny you brought up top dressing because I did the tomatoes and a few other plants just the other day.  But you got me when you said -- don't be stingy. 
Guilty! At first I figured I was conserving but on second thought maybe actually hoarding the stuff Doh...
Thanks for the nudge now I'll haul out the gorilla cart and really load up everything with good nutrition.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/4/2013, 5:13 pm

@camprn wrote:Are any more of you planning on topdressing your gardens with homemade compost??

I did a lot of mine during that heat wave we had a little bit ago. It was to help shade the roots so I wouldn't have to put up the burlap. Then I did the peppers again last week when fruits started showing up. And I seem to be watering everything with compost tea every 3rd or so watering.

My pile is pretty much depleted now. Time to start using the 'new' one that was started last fall. It should be a doozy!

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/4/2013, 5:26 pm

Getting ready to rip out past season veggies and replant for the fall and I will both add more compost and add more wood chip mulch on top. I think we're "only" supposed to be in the mid-90s this week, LOL! So maybe I'll get out of the A/C and into the garden a little more.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  southern gardener on 8/4/2013, 6:10 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:Getting ready to rip out past season veggies and replant for the fall and I will both add more compost and add more wood chip mulch on top.  I think we're "only" supposed to be in the mid-90s this week, LOL!  So maybe I'll get out of the A/C and into the garden a little more.

Audrey, what type of wood chips are you using? We buried our garden last weekend with fresh chips/leaves and I'm amazed at the difference. How quickly did you see results? I don't know WHY they're working, but they are?!?!?

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  southern gardener on 8/4/2013, 6:11 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:My pile is pretty much depleted now.  Time to start using the 'new' one that was started last fall.  It should be a doozy!

CC

What's in it?? love hearing different "recipes" Smilehyper BB\'s happy face


Last edited by camprn on 8/4/2013, 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed quote box)

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/4/2013, 6:33 pm

@southern gardener wrote:
My pile is pretty much depleted now.  Time to start using the 'new' one that was started last fall.  It should be a doozy!

CC

What's in it?? love hearing different "recipes" Smilehyper BB\'s happy face [/quote]

Besides the usual leaves, grass, garden debris, kitchen scraps & goose poo, this one has lots of lobster bodies & shells, clams shells, oodles of seaweed, pond weeds and a couple of 5 gal buckets of Starbucks used coffee grounds (& I got to keep the buckets! rock on )

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 8/4/2013, 11:16 pm

@southern gardener wrote:
@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:Getting ready to rip out past season veggies and replant for the fall and I will both add more compost and add more wood chip mulch on top.  I think we're "only" supposed to be in the mid-90s this week, LOL!  So maybe I'll get out of the A/C and into the garden a little more.

Audrey, what type of wood chips are you using? We buried our garden last weekend with fresh chips/leaves and I'm amazed at the difference. How quickly did you see results? I don't know WHY they're working, but they are?!?!?
We saw absolutely immediate results even when last year we only had access to chips we bought. They were wood waste not the branches with leaves that are most recommended with Back to Eden Gardening, but they worked amazingly well anyway. We put 4 inches down this spring and it's broken down to about an inch or a little more.

This summer we found a tree trimming service that we can get all the mulch we can haul for free. The catch is it's about 45 minutes each way and we have to borrow a friend's tractor and trailer to get them, but they still end up costing maybe $5-10 a cubic yard which is a great deal. We live so far up in the hills that no one will be "in the neighborhood" and leave us wood chips, LOL!

That said, I'm putting the aged shredded tree trimmings we just got on for the fall. It's a mix of pine needles, small branches, shredded leaves and bark all mixed together with lots of different sizes. I pull back the mulch from each square, put it in a bucket. Add in my compost and refresh the square. Plant the seeds and then cover a couple inches with the mulch. As the plants grow I add additional mulch to 4 inches.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/5/2013, 12:27 am

I did add compost once during the growing season but I did what LlamaMomma did and only added a thin layer, oops.  I did two days ago fertilize with Jobes organic fertilizer.  I have the old sfg beds, all except for one.  I should go out and do the trimming and add a thick layer of compost within the next few days.

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Re: Top Dressing with Compost

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