Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Biochar?
by No_Such_Reality Today at 12:30 am

» Worm bin?
by walshevak Today at 12:07 am

» Compost pit?
by No_Such_Reality Today at 12:05 am

» Coffee Substitute?
by No_Such_Reality Yesterday at 11:51 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by No_Such_Reality Yesterday at 11:39 pm

» Tomato Questions
by DorothyG Yesterday at 9:00 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in October 2017
by Mimi2 Yesterday at 7:33 pm

» A really, really Frugal Gardener
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:24 pm

» Howdy, from Central Florida
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:22 pm

» N & C Midwest: October 2017!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:20 pm

» BOOK GIVEAWAY - ENDS 10/20/17
by brianj555 Yesterday at 11:20 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:55 am

» Today's Harvest
by brianj555 Yesterday at 10:44 am

» Sowing Experiment! Anyone Tried This?
by brianj555 Yesterday at 10:36 am

» Spaghetti Squash ?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:28 am

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver 10/21/2017, 5:34 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by yolos 10/21/2017, 5:16 pm

» Frames for SFG Beds - Versitile PVC frames for Protection
by sanderson 10/21/2017, 4:10 pm

» California's Drought
by AtlantaMarie 10/21/2017, 10:04 am

» Hello from a 7b zone
by AtlantaMarie 10/21/2017, 10:00 am

» Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland
by plantoid 10/21/2017, 7:27 am

» Butterfly Junction
by sanderson 10/21/2017, 12:08 am

» Mels book
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 11:54 pm

» Any Strange and Wonderful Visitors? Photos please!
by countrynaturals 10/20/2017, 11:34 am

» My Compost Bin
by SQWIB 10/20/2017, 7:36 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 3:38 am

» A great offer for a local SFG,er
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 3:07 am

» Hello from Gilbert, AZ
by LizDTM 10/20/2017, 12:21 am

» How to Grow Better Tomatoes
by countrynaturals 10/19/2017, 7:59 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by countrynaturals 10/19/2017, 7:54 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

Post  Universe Man on 5/6/2010, 9:41 pm

So the new SFG method says we don't need fertilizer, right? Because the compost has all the nutrients we need, right? But the composts that I see all have NPK values of, say, 1-1-1 or even 0.5-0.5-0.5. And as far as I know, the vermiculite and the coconut coir (which I'm using instead of peat moss) are devoid of nutrients. So what am I missing? Is my SFG soil nearly devoid of N, P, and K, and if so, why do the plants still grow?

Universe Man

Posts : 2
Join date : 2010-05-06
Location : Central Florida

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

Post  Chopper on 5/6/2010, 9:49 pm

Good question and one I am interested in also. It was very hard for me not to add blood and bone meal or steer manure at least. I will be interested to see what people say.

Chopper

Female Posts : 2467
Join date : 2010-05-05
Age : 62
Location : Warner Springs, CA USDA Zone 8a, Sunset Zone 7 (I think)

View user profile http://thezimmermannfamilytoo.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

Post  martha on 5/6/2010, 9:54 pm

this is why Mel says to use homegrown compost, or 5 different varieties. I want to write more, and not sound pedantic, but my brain is
avatar
martha

Female Posts : 2188
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 60
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

Post  WardinWake on 5/7/2010, 8:30 am

Universe Man wrote:So the new SFG method says we don't need fertilizer, right? Because the compost has all the nutrients we need, right? But the composts that I see all have NPK values of, say, 1-1-1 or even 0.5-0.5-0.5. And as far as I know, the vermiculite and the coconut coir (which I'm using instead of peat moss) are devoid of nutrients. So what am I missing? Is my SFG soil nearly devoid of N, P, and K, and if so, why do the plants still grow?

Howdy Mr. Universe:

Welcome to the SFG forum and family. Thank you for asking the question. Your question led me into researching plant nutrition in a couple of books that I have on hand including, "The Complete Vegetable and Herb Gardener", "All New Square Foot Gardening" and a book on compost. Gleaning from the info in the books we get the following.

Synthetic and organic fertilizer bags, by law, have N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) listed. Plant nutrition is more complex then N-P-K. Plants need ample amounts of sulfur, magnesium and calcium as well as minor amounts of boron, chloride, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, zinc and others. The N-P-K listed on containers are the chemicals that are immediately available to plants. Compost and other organic fertilizers release their nutrients slowly over time rather than all at once. This allows the plant to absorb the nutrients that it needs, when it needs it. The blended compost that Mel recommends in the All New book has all the nutrients that our vegetables, herbs, and flowers need. Unless our blended compost is lacking in one or more nutrients there is no need to add any other organic fertilizer. If your plants are thriving you will not need to buy blood or bone meal or any of the "fancy" organics that are sold.

Again welcome and keep asking questions. Each of us learn from each question asked.

God Bless, Ward.

avatar
WardinWake

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 935
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 67
Location : Wake, VA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

Post  herbarium on 5/7/2010, 3:13 pm

New nutrients for humans are still be discovered so how likely is it that we know everything about plant nutrition? If I use a variety of composts not only are my plants getting what we do know plants need but also some of the things we don't know yet. Some nutrients are only available to plants if the soil microorganisms are there to make it available. With compost I have the nutrients to feed plants and to feed microorganisms plus the microorganisms. For the healthiest plants you need to feed the soil which is what compost does.

herbarium

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 150
Join date : 2010-03-04
Age : 59
Location : Bountiful, Utah Zone 6

View user profile http://gardeninspire.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

Post  Jiro on 5/8/2010, 4:26 pm

I wouldn't get too hung up on NPK. It is okay and actually quite easy to grow vegetables in nothing but (fully composted) compost. If I'm not mistaken, compost-only is a preferred approach as taught by several projects and missions in the third world. There are plenty of nutrients in good compost.

Think about it: after a few years, the mixture in your square foot garden is technically all compost: what's in the box is continuously breaking down and the gardener adds nothing but compost and more compost after each harvest.
avatar
Jiro

Posts : 19
Join date : 2010-03-23
Location : Zone 7A, Virginia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Confused about nutrients in Mel's Mix

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum