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Topping off the boxes

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Topping off the boxes

Post  jjocsak on 8/15/2013, 7:21 am

When is the best time to top off my boxes with compost?
In the fall or in the spring before planting?

Jeff
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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  bnoles on 8/15/2013, 7:53 am

If you are not going to plant a Fall crop, then I would wait until Spring.

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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  camprn on 8/15/2013, 8:12 am

I try to get mine done in the autumn after cleaning out the boxes.

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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  boffer on 8/15/2013, 10:09 am

I do mine in the fall.
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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  jjocsak on 8/15/2013, 2:24 pm

I guess I shouldn't worry about nutrients being wash away from the compost before the Spring?
Or should I?

Jeff
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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  camprn on 8/15/2013, 2:26 pm

@jjocsak wrote:I guess I shouldn't worry about nutrients being wash away from the compost before the Spring?
Or should I?

Jeff
I usually don't worry about it too much.

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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  boffer on 8/15/2013, 4:36 pm

@jjocsak wrote:I guess I shouldn't worry about nutrients being wash away from the compost before the Spring?
Or should I?

Jeff
It's a recognized problem in the PNW, so I cover all my boxes and compost piles with plastic. It's probably not an issue in your climate.

I prefer doing it in the fall when the weather is nicer compared to late winter, when I do my first planting in the cold and rain.

Also, it gives whatever weeds there might be a chance to grow so I can remove them before I plant.

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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  llama momma on 8/15/2013, 4:56 pm

I tarp mine over, put bricks around the outside to hold it in place. It keeps cats from using the empty garden as a litter box. It keeps weed seeds from blowing in.  It keeps Mels Mix from blowing out.  Keeps heavy snow and rain from flushing through and diluting the compost in the mix.  I believe it helps a bit to preserve the precious  untreated wood boxes from the winter elements too.
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Re: Topping off the boxes

Post  sanderson on 8/15/2013, 5:20 pm

Until this post, I hadn't really considered top dressing for fall, just when I replant. In CA I may not have any empty boxes! This Newbie just keeps sticking things in the empty squares.

LL,  good point on the cats!  I also have overhead trees with leaves and seeds.  I will Top off boxes but will at least cover any empty squares with weed block fabric with bricks.  
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