Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Newbie in North Carolina!

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Newbie in North Carolina!

Post  glennhouston on 6/27/2017, 7:59 pm

Just built my box, 4ftX4ftx1ft.  It is at kitchen counter height on legs, drilled about 20 holes, 3/8 inch in the bottom for drainage, lined with weed barrier to keep the dirt in.

Bought the vermiculite.  Asked for course and got fine.  Had to drive 80 miles to get it and didn't find out until I had driven home and opened the bag.  Decided to use it anyway.
  
Bought the peat moss. Not sure I am using it correctly in the mix.  The bag says it is 3 cuFt compressed.  When I measure it out in the 1cf box I built to measure things in, it fluffs up considerably. Should I measure it in the compressed or fluffy state? I have taken 2cf out of a 3cf bag and it is still half full!

Planning on using drip irrigation. I have .5 gal/hour emitters.  1 emitter per sqft?  How often?  How long?  To be determined.

Look forward to poking around and seeing the success stories.  Now I just need to figure out what to plant.  Kinda late getting started.

Glenn
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Re: Newbie in North Carolina!

Post  trolleydriver on 6/27/2017, 8:24 pm

Welcome Glenn from Ottawa, Canada.

Concerning the peat moss ... you should always fluff it up before measuring it out.  I find that the easiest way to make the Mel's Mix is to take a five gallon bucket and use one bucket of vermiculite, one bucket of fluffed up peat moss, and one bucket of compost (made from five different kinds). Mix those things together and put it in the box then wet it down good. Keep repeating until the box is full and wet down each layer of MM as you go. If you want to make bigger batches all at once use two buckets or three buckets of each item. Always measure equal quantities with the bucket. Do NOT mix the ingredients right from the bags into the SFG box. 

If there is a lot of peat already in the compost (if store bought) then use less pure peat moss and more compost in the mix. I mix my five compost ingredients first before measuring out the first bucket of compost to use in the MM. As well, I used to mix my MM on a tarp but now I prefer to make smaller batches and mix the ingredients in a wheel barrow. 

I'm not sure how well the fine vermiculite will work. Earlier this year I brought a bag of vermiculite home only to find out that it was fine rather than coarse. I had allowed the helper at the store to load it into my car without me checking. Luckily I only had a 20 minute drive to take it back to the store. Turns out they did not have any coarse left so I had to drive across the city to their other store to get the coarse.  Total distance driven was 80 kilometres (50 miles)!

Hope that helps.

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Re: Newbie in North Carolina!

Post  walshevak on 6/28/2017, 8:03 pm

Welcome from another Tarheel.  Where in NC are you located.  Maybe we can help you find a better source of vermiculite.  I'm down in the Wilmington area.  Where you are may also impact on what you can plant right now.

Kay

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Thanks for the comments.

Post  glennhouston on 6/28/2017, 8:44 pm

Thanks to both walshevak and trolleydriver for your comments.

I have updated my profile to show that I am near Goldsboro.

I think I am just gonna roll with the fine vermiculite for now.  I did find a database on the site that lists some sources for vermiculite, the closest probably being Greenville or Clayton near Raleigh.  But I have the fine on hand and I have seen some posts saying it works ok for things like tomatoes and such.  Not optimal but acceptable.

I am relieved that the peat is supposed to be measured fluffed because I have no idea how I would get it out of the bag in the compressed state!  LOL!

Thanks again.

Glenn
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Re: Newbie in North Carolina!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/28/2017, 9:03 pm

glennhouston wrote:Thanks to both walshevak and trolleydriver for your comments.

I have updated my profile to show that I am near Goldsboro.

I think I am just gonna roll with the fine vermiculite for now.  I did find a database on the site that lists some sources for vermiculite, the closest probably being Greenville or Clayton near Raleigh.  But I have the fine on hand and I have seen some posts saying it works ok for things like tomatoes and such.  Not optimal but acceptable.

I am relieved that the peat is supposed to be measured fluffed because I have no idea how I would get it out of the bag in the compressed state!  LOL!

Thanks again.

Glenn
Hi Glenn!  Welcome!  I too have "medium" vermiculite in my original beds, and it is fine! (LOL). It works well....just ummm, finer.  I got 2 large bags of coarse this year from my local nursery, the special ordered it for me, so I am set for the near future!  

Do you have any gardening experience?  What do you like to eat?  Have you read the book?

glad you\'re here
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Re: Newbie in North Carolina!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/29/2017, 8:14 am

Hi Glenn. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! Glad you've found us. And it sounds like you're off to a great start, even with the "incorrect size" vermiculite.

Feel free to ask lots of questions! There's a lot of hard-won info for the gleaning...
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Re: Newbie in North Carolina!

Post  sanderson on 6/29/2017, 7:45 pm

Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here It sounds like you are off to a good start. Yes, measure peat moss after it is fluffed. It almost doubles in size. If any of your composts contain peat, reduce the amount of peat to compensate. And, small vermiculite will work. Over time, with all the amending with new compost, pulling root veggies and removing all plants, it would have broken down into smaller pieces anyway. When in doubt, please feel free to ask.

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