Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Old Mix

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Old mix

Post  Mars1120 on 6/15/2017, 1:46 pm

I made Mel's mix 10 years ago using coarse vermiculite, peat moss and compost, adding some new compost yearly. The peat moss has broken down over time. Is it still effective for SFG? The ph has gone up to 9. I have added some acidifier. Thanks

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Re: Old Mix

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/15/2017, 6:19 pm

Hey mars1120!  Curious, have you been using the bed continuously and it is performing well?  Or is it old peat whose pH is now 9?

Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 6/15/2017, 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarify)
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Re: Old Mix

Post  Mars1120 on 6/15/2017, 10:25 pm

Yes, I have been using it continuously but I am not sure it is performing as well as it used to. I have recently added bone and blood meal, and acidifier.

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Old Mix

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 6/15/2017, 11:25 pm

What composts did you use initially, and what was the source for the new/replacement compost? (How much of it would you say was manure or mushroom compost?)

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Re: Old Mix

Post  Turan on 6/17/2017, 1:11 am

What I found after 10 years or so is that the bed becomes very heavy with compost. The compost is continuing to break down into humus which is what the peat is primarily. I removed a good bit of soil. As my beds are old SFG, I added largely sand and fresh compost to make a lighter, friable mix with good nutrient levels. In a 10 year old ANSFG bed there would be little vermiculite left, and almost all compost at various levels. The peat's function has been replaced by the fully composted compost.

How did you learn the pH is 9? That is extremely high, to the degree I doubt anything would be growing in the bed if it were. You can make soap with a liquid at pH 9. Have you been liming or adding ashes to the bed or compost pile?

What is it that you think it couldn't handle SFG? The plant spacing? If they worked last year and you added nutrients and an acidifier why wouldn't it work this year?


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