Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

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New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  Munchkin on 3/30/2014, 11:22 am

I'm so new to squarefoot gardening that I actually haven't started yet! I've been to a class, bought a book and the Hubby is about to build a couple of boxes for me. I'm all excited but having a little trouble getting started, because I'm having trouble finding the components for Mel's mix!  Embarassed 
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/30/2014, 11:33 am

Hi Munchkin!  Welcome to the party!  You'll find lots of good info and great folks willing to help you!

It can be hard to find the 5 different kinds of compost!  AND the COURSE vermiculite!  Even in Atlanta I have found that I have to go to specialty garden centers.  If you have a Pike Nursery nearby or something like that, they may have some stuff for you.

It's one of those things that you do the best you can with what you can find.  Be sure to start a compost pile if you haven't already.  That will help later on.

Make sure to take lots of pix as you get set up!
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  Munchkin on 3/30/2014, 11:56 am

I can only find medium vermiculite, and maybe 2 kinds of compost so far. The bagged Mel's mix is supposed to be available at Home Depot, but not in this area, it's about $9 per bag, but my husband was going to order it online, the shipping and handling was going to be $120 for 10 bags, so that's a NO GO for us. Will try to ask Home Depot if they will order it and let us pick it up. I'm going to try to start my own composting, but that will take longer than one growing season to be able to use, so not an option for this year's gardening.
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/30/2014, 1:39 pm

Yeah...  You might have to try Tuscaloosa or B'ham for the vermiculite....

I've got the same situation with the composting.

But we're going to have fun!
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  yolos on 3/30/2014, 2:09 pm

Duncanville Alabama sounds kind of like a small town country neighborhood.  At least I have never heard of it.  Do they have the old time feed and seed stores there.  That is another place in my area that carries the course vermiculite.  They don't have it out on the floor but when I asked the owner if he could order it for me I found out he stocks it but it is in a storeroom in the back.
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  sanderson on 3/30/2014, 2:28 pm

Munchkin,  Welcome to the Forum!   glad you\'re here I was about to say that there are folks in AL that may be able to help you find in ingredients, and they beat me to it!   Very Happy 

Folks have personal preferences about coarse and medium vermiculite, but they are both okay.  Remember that peat moss almost doubles in size when it is broken-up and fluffed.  Measure after it is fluffed.  Finding 5 different "sources" of compost is usually the hardest part.  One 'source' should be from animals = composted manure.

If you have a question, ask away.  Folks are always ready to help Newbies. If you don't have your own copy of All New Square Foot Gardening, please get one. Invaluable.

PS:  If you use a hot compost method, like the Berkeley method, you can have compost in just a few weeks.  When it is done and has completely cooled off, let it rest a week or two before using.
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  walshevak on 3/30/2014, 11:28 pm

Try a mix of Black Kow and Black Hen as the 1/5 manure of your compost blend.  Mushroom compost is good.  I believe the Black Kow brand is available in your area.  


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Welcome

Post  Windmere on 3/31/2014, 1:23 am

Welcome Munchkin!  This forum in an invaluable resource when it comes to square foot gardening.  I am beginning my second year using this method and I have learned a great deal from the folks who participate on this website.  I've avoided many mis-steps by reading about the experiences of others.

I have to agree with the comments yolos made.  We actually live fairly close to each other in the Atlanta area (well sort of... we're south of Atlanta).  There is a feed store in our area that has coarse grade vermiculite for the best price.  Pike Nursery is also a good source for vermiculite.

Welcome, welcome and have fun with your gardening endeavors!


 glad you\'re here
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  johnbmarek on 4/2/2014, 1:17 pm

Greetings! I think vermiculite is the thorn in the side for most of us. The other thing is that when you actually start to make the mix, you're going to think... that's an awful lot of vermiculite relative to the other ingredients. At least I did.
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  sanderson on 4/2/2014, 3:27 pm

John, And now what you think about 1/3 vermiculite??

I love the sparkle of coarse vermiculite in the morning.
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  johnbmarek on 4/2/2014, 4:24 pm

I still think it looks like a lot, but I acknowledge that it works. And it is sort of pretty. I have some pictures I took of my mixing process thee years ago, and I remember thinking, "there's no way this can be right."



Last edited by johnbmarek on 4/2/2014, 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Inserted picture.)
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

Post  sanderson on 4/2/2014, 7:13 pm

Very Happy 
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Re: New to squarefoot gardening in Alabama!

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