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Help with my mix

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Help with my mix

Post  April on 7/7/2014, 6:25 am

First of all, a big thank you to all of you who post on here regularly.  It's so nice to have a place to go when you need help!  This is my 3rd year square ft. gardening.  The first year was great but the last two years I have made mistakes with my mix (darn it's hard to find 5 composts).  Peppers didn't grow much at all & their leaves look a little yellow along with some other things in the garden.  Did a soil test yesterday and this is what it said:

N    Low
P    High
K    Very Low
PH  7.5

The compost that I added to each square this spring consisted of:

Dairy doo (pure cow poop, no fillers).
Coop poop
Happy Frog soil conditioner (composted forest humus, worm castings, bat guano, oyster shell & dolomite lime, humic acid (derived from leonardite), granite dust.

I belive the problem is in the Happy Frog.  I knew I shouldn't of used it but when the owner of our local store said I wouldn't be sorry, I went with it for lack of finding other bagged compost here (really need to get my pile going better).  I am assuming the first ingredient (forest humus) must have a lot of wood in it because of the high phosphorus in my soil test??? 

My plan is to go pick up:

dairy doo
coop poop
mushroom compost
worm castings
bat or sea bird quano

Mix them up (hopeully I can find them all) and add a bunch of each square.  Take another soil test and maybe add some blood meal or pee to some of the plants. 

How's my plan?  Will this work?  My husband is worried.  He wants to take all the mix out of all 3 4x4 boxes and start over.   Shocked   I know we don't need to do that.  Poor guy, he really just wants some hot peppers.  Funny thing is my neighbor went from a row garden to a couple of boxes this year and by mistake used all Happy frog (no peat moss or vermiculite).  Her garden is doing great!  I guess it's a good product, just not what I needed for my goals.  All thoughts are welcome.  And thanks again in advance!!!

April

Female Posts : 31
Join date : 2012-05-14
Age : 45
Location : Michigan

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Re: Help with my mix

Post  camprn on 7/7/2014, 7:41 am

Question: who did the soil test, I'm just curious.

Ok, this is what you need to do this year, feed your plants. Don't start over this year but do pick up some fertilizer. A neutral fertilizer like garden- tone will help and won't break the bank. It also is time release and will feed for several weeks. Be sure to checkthe N-P-K level that is printed on the package label. Increasing the N may bring down the pH a bit. Above all don't try a bunch of stuff all at once, as in all likelihood  that will make things worse.

After applying the fertilizer, top dress with a quality compost and when the growing season is done, turn it into the bed. Winter will help break it down a bit more. In the spring again add a quality compost to fill up the box. This will feed the mix which in turn will feed the plants next year.

Get going on your compost pile.

And read all you can about improving the mix about WHY you need to do that.

What town do you live in? There may be other sources of compost available out of the box store.

http://www.grow-it-organically.com/changing-soil-ph.html

https://www.ipni.net/ipniweb/pnt.nsf/5a4b8be72a35cd46852568d9001a18da/97c1b6659f3405a28525777b0046bcb9!OpenDocument

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=7YO6U8XJKMWg8gH9i4GIDQ&url=

http://www.eutechinst.com/tips/ph/15_soil_ph.pdf&cd=5&ved=0CCcQFjAE&usg=AFQjCNEXbq1eU-z3ODY0RkNOCVkvbaRZ0Q&sig2=zMJhOiaL4anqfHv_cwtkcw

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
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Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

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Re: Help with my mix

Post  April on 7/7/2014, 8:32 am

I did the soil test.   Embarassed  I picked a kit up at Menards yesterday with 40 tests in it.  It's by Environmental Concepts.  It was the only one I could find.  I probably shouldn't of done that.  I should of taken the time it takes and sent one in.  I just feel like I need to do something soon before everything goes to pot.   

We live near Mt. Pleasant Michigan.  We have a good hydroponics store that usually carries some composts and a couple of other garden stores. 

I'll check for Garden Tone today.  So if I use that and then mix up a batch of the composts listed above to top dress with I should be ok? 

I don't want to mess this up again.  I have squares that I have harvested (without much success) and want to replant soon for late summer & fall crops. 

Thanks for your help camprn!

April

Female Posts : 31
Join date : 2012-05-14
Age : 45
Location : Michigan

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Re: Help with my mix

Post  camprn on 7/7/2014, 9:46 am

@April wrote:I did the soil test.   Embarassed  I picked a kit up at Menards yesterday with 40 tests in it.  It's by Environmental Concepts.  It was the only one I could find.  I probably shouldn't of done that.  I should of taken the time it takes and sent one in.  I just feel like I need to do something soon before everything goes to pot.   

We live near Mt. Pleasant Michigan.  We have a good hydroponics store that usually carries some composts and a couple of other garden stores. 

I'll check for Garden Tone today.  So if I use that and then mix up a batch of the composts listed above to top dress with I should be ok? 

I don't want to mess this up again.  I have squares that I have harvested (without much success) and want to replant soon for late summer & fall crops. 

Thanks for your help camprn!
The home test kits give you an idea of what's up with the soil, but are not always reliable, no worries. If you want to send out a sample, send it to UMass soil lab. Turn around time is good and short and the price is right. If you collect a sample and send it off now this will give you a good idea how reliable your home kit is. Choose the greenhouse media form. https://soiltest.umass.edu/ordering-information

After you collect the sample you are going to send out, sprinkle a bit of the garden tone and top dress. You will be back on track and should get better results than if you redid the bed or did nothing.

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

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Re: Help with my mix

Post  April on 7/7/2014, 3:28 pm

I think I found some Garden Tone at our local nursery.  It comes in granuals and is organic.  A 40 lb bag is $ 30.  The bag says to use 1/3 c for established plants and 1 c for new plantings or 9 cups per 50 sq. ft.  The ratio is 3:4:4.  Does this sound like the right stuff?  Thanks again!

April

Female Posts : 31
Join date : 2012-05-14
Age : 45
Location : Michigan

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Re: Help with my mix

Post  camprn on 7/7/2014, 3:45 pm

@April wrote:I think I found some Garden Tone at our local nursery.  It comes in granuals and is organic.  A 40 lb bag is $ 30.  The bag says to use 1/3 c for established plants and 1 c for new plantings or 9 cups per 50 sq. ft.  The ratio is 3:4:4.  Does this sound like the right stuff?  Thanks again!
Yeah that's the right stuff. Check out the other products they have, there may be something better for your situation.

http://www.espoma.com/p_consumer/tones_overview.html#.U7r5dvldWyU

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

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Re: Help with my mix

Post  April on 7/9/2014, 8:36 am

Well I've been doing my homework for the last couple of days and I've come up with a few more questions.

Any Michigan folks get their compost from Michigan State?  It looks really nice and I'm wondering if anyone has used it. The web site is www.msusurplusstore.com

When choosing the greenhouse media for the soil test it doesn't show nitrogen on there.  Why is that?

When I called them they told me I wanted to choose the regular analysis.  That way the recommendations would come with it.  What say you?

Thanks!

April

Female Posts : 31
Join date : 2012-05-14
Age : 45
Location : Michigan

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Re: Help with my mix

Post  camprn on 7/9/2014, 1:06 pm

Hey April, I suppose it's a good idea to go with what the lab recommends. Here is an old thread from when Boffer sent in a sample. http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

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Re: Help with my mix

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