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yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

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yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  kefitzpatrick on 6/24/2016, 1:23 pm

i'm new to SFG and can't figure out why nothing is growing. we mixed our own mel's mix using organic compost. we live in seattle and have been getting tons of rain. sunlight seems to be at least 6 hours though i will do a shade map on next sunny day. even the kale, which i understand can tolerate partial sun, is not growing. should i bother with soil amendments before i do a shade map? help please!


Last edited by sanderson on 6/25/2016, 3:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Admin merged 2 topics)
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yard waste compost- can i amend?

Post  kefitzpatrick on 6/24/2016, 2:10 pm

just found out my compost was only yard waste compost, no food scraps either. can i amend the soil or do i need to start all over?? thanks!
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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  camprn on 6/24/2016, 2:12 pm

HI Kef, Welcome to the forum. When you say you mad your own mix with organic compost, what kind of compost did you use? Did you use the recommended 5 different kinds? Also, when you measured your sphagnum peat moss, did you fluff it up and then measure it to be 1/3 of your mix? What exactly isn't growing? and what is doing well? In a few days you should be able to post photos to the forum. Photos are always very helpful in trying to figure out what is going on.

You say you've had plenty of sun, but how warm has it actually been in your area?
http://wine.wsu.edu/research-extension/weather/growing-degree-days/

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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  countrynaturals on 6/24/2016, 2:23 pm

I got off to a rough start because I planted summer crops from seed when the night temps were below 70 degrees. I didn't realize how fussy they were about such things. Now I start everything inside and use a heated pad to keep the soil warm enough for them to germinate. After they sprout, cooler nights are okay.
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nothing's growing

Post  kauairosina on 6/24/2016, 3:29 pm

We have had a lot of rain this season and some plants are stunted, especially cukes and squashes.  However, the abundance of water has made the kale and beans and tomatoes go crazy.
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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  camprn on 6/24/2016, 3:42 pm

Is this in the bed where nothing is growing well?

I would suggest getting you hands on some well composted manure and top dress your bed with that. You can mix it all up between your plants if they are small, or just wait to mix it in after the growing season. But yes, you need ore nutrients to get to the plant roots.

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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/24/2016, 10:48 pm

Hey, Fitz! Is everything seeds, or are there transplants too? Tell us more details. Is it just sitting there? Temperatures? Need the deets, babe!
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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  sanderson on 6/25/2016, 3:01 am

@camprn wrote:Is this in the bed where nothing is growing well?

I would suggest getting you hands on some well composted manure and top dress your bed with that. You can mix it all up between your plants if they are small, or just wait to mix it in after the growing season. But yes, you need ore nutrients to get to the plant roots.
Ditto.

I like composted manure as one of the composts. For veggie based composts, try Ecoscraps Compost at Home Depot of Whole Foods's veggie-based compost.

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yard waste compost- can i amend?

Post  kefitzpatrick on 6/25/2016, 3:05 pm

thanks all for the great advice. temps range from high seventies to low 50's i would say. other nearby gardens are taking off and doing great by comparison. no, i did not fluff the peat moss. should i start all over with new mix? i like the idea of adding composted manure. seems to have enough sunlight....
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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  plantoid on 6/25/2016, 3:41 pm

@kefitzpatrick wrote:just found out my compost was only yard waste compost, no food scraps either. can i amend the soil or do i need to start all over?? thanks!
 Yard waste ....yours from your own garden  collected yourself without any weed control hormone treatment being put on the grass/weeds  or from the local authority waste recycling plant where you just don't know what it contains ??
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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  camprn on 6/26/2016, 12:52 am

Kel do.you have the book, or do you understand how too make the proper growing mix?

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yard waste compost- can i amend?

Post  kefitzpatrick on 6/26/2016, 4:51 pm

the yard waste is certified organic compost from a local dirt exchange. i do know how to make the mix. what i want to know is if i can just add to the soil or if i need to start over. i also did not "fluff" the peat so it is too peat-heavy with not the right compost. Sad
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Re: yard waste compost- can i amend? Nothing is growing!

Post  sanderson on 6/26/2016, 7:10 pm

I started to write to you last night and the computer froze up. When I started in 2013, I made the Mel's Mix wrong, so you aren't the only one. Right now you have a 2:1:1 Mix. I would remove 2" of mix and add/mix in 2" of mixed composted manure and composted veggie-based. Bags of composted manure are available at HD and Lowes. Veggie based Ecoscraps Compost at Home Depot or Whole Foods carries their own veggie based compost. You can also add a bit of kelp meal and worm castings. Some lucky folks live near the oceans and can add sea weed/kelp to their home made compost piles. Some raise red wiggler worms for their castings, either in worm tubes directly in the beds or in Worm Hilton setups. If it gets frustrating getting things to grow even after adding a good amount of other composts, you can use organic fertilizers such as the Espoma line of products until the Mel's Mix has developed a good colony of microorganisms. Again, you aren't the only one who has faced this situation. Very Happy


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yard waste compost- can i amend?

Post  kefitzpatrick on 6/27/2016, 12:06 pm

thank you so much for all your advice! got some worm castings and manure based compost and gonna mix in today. thanks again!
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