Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Post  cowskey on 5/1/2010, 10:06 pm

Any suggestions on a substitute for greensand? Leaf mold, can I substitute compost?


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Re: Fertilizer

Post  Shoda on 5/2/2010, 11:23 am

Welcome! I am from the SF Bay area. Where are you from?

I am not sure about your question though. What are you using the greensand for? I am pretty new to SFG but I have read the book and been active on the forum for a couple months and I am not familiar with it.

We hope you will share your gardening experiences with us. If you clarify your question I will do what I can to find out for you.

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Re: Fertilizer

Post  cowskey on 5/2/2010, 12:20 pm

I'm from the North Bay area. I'm making the fertilizer blend that Mel has in his book and was wondering about a substitute for the greensand and leaf mold.


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Which version of the book are you using?

Post  Wyldflower on 5/2/2010, 12:35 pm

It sounds like you're using the original version of the book from the 1970s. There have been a zillion changes since then. Mel's current recommendation (which you can find HERE) is to use a mix of equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite and blended (from 5 sources) compost in a raised bed.

There have been so many improvements to the method, it's highly recommended that you take a look at the "ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING" book - most people decide to buy the new book. You can find much of the information on the SFGF website... just click that orange "SFG.COM" button in the top bar on this forum page.

I hope this helps!

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Re: Fertilizer

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/2/2010, 12:40 pm

It is a bit expensive but you do not need much kelp meal to provide the potassium of green sand. If you have a wood stove you can use the wood ash that you clean from your fireplace for potassium (can you have a fireplace in North Bay?). I've never used it in an organic mix before, just sprinkled it on the soil before tilling the garden.....something that isn't done to a SFG. DO NOT USE BBQ ASH FROM BRIQUETTES. It is NOT healthy for the garden unless you have weeds or slugs you want to kill. If you are still using kerosene (BBQ lighter fluid) instead of a briquette chimney, then I wouldn't even use briquette ash on slugs near the garden.

You might just find green sand (more of an east coast import) at a nursery that carries organic products OR at your natural foods co-op. That is where you will find kelp meal as well as a very nice pre-mixed organic fertilizer (regular or vegan). Whitney Farms (recently bought by Scotts, makers of fine lawn chemicals) or E. B. Stone. The best price for kelp meal is still from the Farmers Co-op (Cenex in my area) but you have to buy 50 lbs to get the good price.
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Re: Fertilizer

Post  sceleste54 on 5/2/2010, 1:03 pm

Has anyone tried using Rabbit Pellets or Alfalfa Cubes as an add in for the compost pile?? I was just reading up on using that as an organic fertilizer.


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Re: Fertilizer

Post  camprn on 5/2/2010, 1:45 pm

yes. good stuff!

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Re: Fertilizer

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