Square Foot Gardening Forum

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.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Hello from IA Zone 5
by countrynaturals Today at 9:48

» Our 2017 garden makeover
by countrynaturals Today at 9:45

» Root Knot Nematodes - PROGRESS!
by dstack Today at 9:28

» Carrot Week 2017!
by Mellen Today at 6:52

» Plant ID
by ralitaco Today at 6:48

» Feedback for my 2017 garden plan
by ralitaco Today at 6:43

» Roots...information....
by MrBooker Today at 3:41

» Is this wood correct for building box?
by sanderson Today at 2:06

» Senseless Banter...
by sanderson Today at 1:55

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by Kelejan Yesterday at 21:44

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing February 2017?
by Kelejan Yesterday at 21:42

» N&C Midwest: February 2017
by CitizenKate Yesterday at 20:20

» The raised bed of my dreams!
by ralitaco Yesterday at 18:20

» Help - Building new raised beds
by ralitaco Yesterday at 18:06

» Microbes...you gotta see this one !!!
by jimmy cee Yesterday at 17:20

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by yolos Yesterday at 14:41

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by bigdogrock Yesterday at 14:38

» February 2017 Avatar: Time to Wake Up!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 14:11

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 13:13

» New England February 2017
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 12:04

» NOVA The Origami Revolution
by sanderson Yesterday at 10:11

» -What’s Hiding in Your Organic Fertilizer
by sanderson Sat 18 Feb - 23:26

» Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...
by trolleydriver Sat 18 Feb - 18:22

» Butterfly Junction
by Scorpio Rising Sat 18 Feb - 12:42

» Sanderson - Virtual Roadtrip Flyover
by trolleydriver Fri 17 Feb - 18:52

» 2017 Maryland Home & Garden Show -- TIX DRAWING
by sfg4uKim Fri 17 Feb - 7:51

» broccoli stunted
by trolleydriver Fri 17 Feb - 5:40

» has55's R & D Journey;Plant Talk.
by has55 Fri 17 Feb - 0:03

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by sanderson Thu 16 Feb - 22:48

» Compost source
by jimmy cee Thu 16 Feb - 18:28

Google

Search SFG Forum

Year five results / report on my MM & how it looks & feels .

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Year five results / report on my MM & how it looks & feels .

Post  plantoid on Wed 13 Apr - 16:16

My how time flies when you're getting towards the end of the old birth certificate . Wink 

 I am reporting as to how my MM filled beds have turned out .

 Due to difficulties in obtaining a decent cheap  enough peat to make my MM  , I used chopped sterilised compressed coir waste.@ £ 30 per 9 sq ft bed ( $45.00 USD ) in my 250 sq feet of beds
Everything else was as near as I could get to the rest of Mel's recipe /list.but a little heavy on animal dungs & associated beddings ( nine types Laughing ) .

 My vermiculite is now breaking down into single flakes or smaller bits from the original 1/4 " to 3/16 th " chunks .
 
My beds are 900 mm ( 36 inches ) deep of which the top 18 inches is filled with my MM .

This top 18 inches has now started to degrade , in the bottom 6 inches its turned into a dark gray sticky firm pastry quality , it holds a lot of water there are little recogniseable vermiculite chips or flakes in it .  Ther are no striped muck worms innh=this overly wetness.

In the top 12 inch ( 300 mm) layer there is less vermiculite , the stickiness is much  reduced even though we had rain all day yesterday & in the early hours of today . I've been seeing about a dozen 2 " long night crawler type worms in this level in each bed .. so I conclude there is little currently new  rotting green material in my beds

 All my beds have now had at least one three inch layer of four year old home made compost ( I practice growing a single crop in each 9 sq feet so that I am able to pressure  can 15 or so pound batches of home grown veg )

As I've turned over all the empty beds in readiness for the crazy week or two of seed sowing & transplanting ahead of me now the weather has suddenly warmed up , I noticed that the easier turned beds had something different in them .

 These easier beds had a lot of home made compost that had a tremendous amount of chopped /mulched wood / hedge trimmings in  the basic compost making bins 4 years ago .

The hedge trimmings were semi hard woods &  so took a long time to compost , even when throughly mixed with my other green composting materials & mulched dead leaves .

 The beds where I put this woody compost have become quite fiberous but have still retained some of the woody fibre quality to allow further slow decay & nutrient production.
They have produced some good crops of cabbages , garlic , leeks & surprise , surprise even a couple of decent cauliflowers ( something I was having great difficulty in growing )

This year will be the first time I will be growing carrots & other roots in these woody compost beds as they haven't been fed for two years,  so they  won't be too rich for the root crops .

I now have 16 strong tied off rubble bags of more composting mulched hedge trimmings and mulched branches from when the hedge was severely pruned ( twelve foot of cuttings lopped out the tops by 40 or so feet long)  I've also got several bags of year old mulched oak leaves .
These decomposing woody browns will be used as part of the ingredients during year to make my 2016 batch of homemade compost .( ready for use in 2020 ? )

plantoid

Male Posts : 3661
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Year five results / report on my MM & how it looks & feels .

Post  sanderson on Thu 14 Apr - 0:57

Plantoid, Nice report. What is the lower 18" fill in your extra deep beds? Interesting about the 6" layer of grey pastry. Is it anaerobic at all?

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 12866
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Year five results / report on my MM & how it looks & feels .

Post  plantoid on Thu 14 Apr - 8:56

It seems to be it's got a lot of very fine particles of glistening vermiculite in it  so as the weather warms & dries ( if ever ) is should be less sticky /soggy . As it does not have th sewage stink or look anaerobic coloured I think it is aerobic and still decaying very very slowly .

Under that layer  in most of the beds was an eventually well  compressed 36 inches layer  of stable muck & the straw bedding , on top of that whenit became settled down matter was a 12 inch or so thick layer of 30 yr or more apple leaf compost that came out an 80 more year old working apple orchard when it was removed to make way for a small local to the area rich seam , quality welsh steam coal , open cast coal mine .

 I came along 30 years after this leaf mould  heap had been made , talked to the guy who owned the land where the well composted leaf mould was and found none of the locals would use it because it needed manuring .

 If I get a handfull of it , I can rub it away and not find any grit on my hands . After washing my hands after handling they will go all dry and rough for the particles are as good as any quality  commercial ladies mud face pack .

 In some of the beds I put a six inch layer of sharp sand over this ancient leaf mould material to try and make a reference level from which to build an agreeable depth of  my MM bed up .

 In most cases there is little evidence of the sharp sand being left ..I suspect that the bigger worms have used it as grinding materials for their stomachs or it has drained down the larger  wormholes to a much deeper level & got mixed in with whatever is in the lower levels.

plantoid

Male Posts : 3661
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Year five results / report on my MM & how it looks & feels .

Post  sanderson on Fri 15 Apr - 1:18

Thanks

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 12866
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Year five results / report on my MM & how it looks & feels .

Post  Kelejan on Fri 15 Apr - 6:05

That is an interesting report, Plantoid. Is there anything you would have done differently?

Your deep beds were built to enable you to continue gardening, so if the deeper layers  are draining well and causing no problems then all must be well.

Kelejan

Female Posts : 4674
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 81
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

View user profile http://www.castlegarinkspot.ca

Back to top Go down

Re: Year five results / report on my MM & how it looks & feels .

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