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Converting a bed to "mel's mix"

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Converting a bed to "mel's mix"

Post  Shpigford on 11/29/2013, 9:24 pm

I've got 7 raised beds (totaling ~900 sq/ft of surface area) that are largely just leaf compost. I've been working in some quality compost as I can and have worked in a little bit of peat moss and vermiculite, but nowhere near the ratio suggested in the Sq Foot Gardening book.

But now, all of my beds are pretty much filled to the top with soil (ie. not enough room to mix in a lot of peat moss + vermiculite).

So, should I take out a portion of the soil to make room for the peat moss + vermiculite (and just put that soil in my big compost pile to reuse down the road)?
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Re: Converting a bed to "mel's mix"

Post  sanderson on 11/29/2013, 11:47 pm

Can you add another layer of wood to the frames?  Then you could add mixed-source compost, peat moss and vermiculite.
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Re: Converting a bed to "mel's mix"

Post  jimmy cee on 11/30/2013, 9:37 am

I have 5 raised beds that I raised 8 inches, it has worked very nicely for me.
One other positive from this is, I dont need to bend as low any more, makes a very comfortable place to sit and think..

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Re: Converting a bed to "mel's mix"

Post  plantoid on 11/30/2013, 2:48 pm

@Shpigford wrote:I've got 7 raised beds (totaling ~900 sq/ft of surface area) that are largely just leaf compost. I've been working in some quality compost as I can and have worked in a little bit of peat moss and vermiculite, but nowhere near the ratio suggested in the Sq Foot Gardening book.

But now, all of my beds are pretty much filled to the top with soil (ie. not enough room to mix in a lot of peat moss + vermiculite).

So, should I take out a portion of the soil to make room for the peat moss + vermiculite (and just put that soil in my big compost pile to reuse down the road)?
If you've got a use for the soil based bed filler elsewhere ,  then if you can afford it just do one bed at a time , dig out the old soil  and refill with the suggested ANSFG ratios that Mel offers .

 There is one big advantage of putting bed extenders on a soil based bed and filling with Mel's mix and that is you can grow some great long root crops like parsnip ,carrots ,leeks .


The deeper bed also allows tall plant like Brussels sprouts to get a better anchor in the bed ready for when the wind blows hard or hot weather.

There is also the added advantage that deeper beds don't dry out so quick in hot windy weather .
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