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
» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by donnainzone5 Today at 11:14 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 9:52 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by trolleydriver Today at 9:45 am

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Today at 9:08 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by trolleydriver Today at 9:04 am

» Amaranth
by dstack Today at 8:05 am

» New England, December 2016
by sanderson Today at 4:09 am

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by sanderson Today at 4:03 am

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:42 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 2:42 pm

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 2:04 pm

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:44 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts Yesterday at 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising 12/3/2016, 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality 12/3/2016, 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver 12/3/2016, 4:14 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by CapeCoddess 12/3/2016, 12:32 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals 12/3/2016, 10:36 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 3:39 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:53 am

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:50 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 1:28 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 5:46 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker 12/2/2016, 5:17 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 4:14 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess 12/2/2016, 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson 12/2/2016, 2:14 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  kghouston05 on 3/9/2010, 10:51 pm

Even though I have plenty to make the ratio 1/3, I made it closer to 1/5 and it looks like plenty. Has anyone else played with the soil ratios? I had leaf compost, peat moss, a few handfuls of some Rich Earth, and mixed in some organic Miracle Grow soil that was basically compost and peat moss with "natural fertilizers." So it breaks down to a 2:2:1 ratio instead of 1:1:1. Thoughts?

kghouston05

Female Posts : 16
Join date : 2010-03-09
Age : 30
Location : Virginia

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  mckr3441 on 3/9/2010, 11:18 pm

I had leaf compost, peat moss, a few handfuls of some Rich Earth, and mixed in some organic Miracle Grow soil that was basically compost and peat moss with "natural fertilizers."

Hi and Welcome to the board.

I always try to use the portions Mel recommends in his book. Although there are many countries where vermiculite and peat are not available and they seem to get along just fine with very good compost alone.

I mix my own blended compost using homemade compost, manure, mushroom, leaf mold plus whatever else I can come up with. I try to collect from five or more sources. Then I mix with peat and ver.

I haven't used any of the Rich Earth or Miracle Grow products. The vermiculite keeps the soil friable and, in addition, works with the peat to hold the water.

Let us know what you finally do and how that plays out.

mckr3441

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 765
Join date : 2010-03-05
Age : 76
Location : Cleveland Heights, Ohio (5b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  boffer on 3/10/2010, 10:08 am

We have a rule in our kitchen. If we haven't tasted a new recipe that we're going to try for the first time, we have to make it like the cook who wrote the recipe intended. If we don't, we won't be able to appreciate the subtle and delicate interactions between seasonings and the food. As soon as we start adding and subtracting ingredients we think would be good, we're no longer trying out a new recipe-we're just making food taste the way we always do. After we've eaten the recipe-it's fair game to make changes.

If you're a first year SFG, try the recipe like it was written. That establishes a baseline for comparison for any changes you want to make in your next boxes.

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  martha on 3/10/2010, 1:40 pm

Boffer, thank you! That is exactly what I was thinking, but I had no idea how to say it.

martha

Female Posts : 2188
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Different versions (esp would like carrot friendly)

Post  kghouston05 on 3/10/2010, 1:55 pm

But what I was wondering is if other people have used less before. I have seen a lot of SFGs in stores now as container gardening gets more popular. They don't cite Mel's book, but they're the same thing except with their own variations of Mel's mix. Has anyone made their own and been happy with the results?

P.S. I am especially interested to know of people who have grown carrots and other root veges successfully. I have two types of carrots, two types of onions, and shallots that I am anxious to grow, but I have heard from several people (in person an online) that root veges did not do well in their SFGs.

kghouston05

Female Posts : 16
Join date : 2010-03-09
Age : 30
Location : Virginia

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

Back to top Go down

make a carrot box

Post  SirTravers on 3/10/2010, 3:11 pm

I agree with the other folks. Keep the mix to the same ratios, but....and this is my only but.... Make the root crop veggie box a foot deep and add a few handfuls of sand in that box only. Here's why....

A Soil Trick: Carrots do best in sandy soil but few of us
have sandy soil. So even if your soil is healthy loam and contains lots
of organic matter, if you mix a few handfuls of builder’s sand in every
square foot of the soil where the carrots will be planted, you will
have fewer problems with misshapen roots.

SirTravers

Male Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-01
Age : 43
Location : Hobbs New MExico, Zone 7A/7B

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  jerzyjen on 3/10/2010, 3:42 pm

Hmmm I didn't know about the sand I did the exact opposite. Here is the last of my carrot harvest that i got out of the box yesterday.



I dug down 6" in the area for my root crops (mel says build up but i didnt like that look) and the bottom 6" is straight compost (i had extra). My carrots were very slow to grow but were pretty straight and hearty.

I personally wouldnt mess with the ratio unless there was a good reason - ie i only used 4 types of compost last year because I just couldnt find a different type in time to start the season. It worked out ok, but I still want to follow mels instructions for my new mix if i can.

I will say that as my carrots did pretty well, I had no luck with my onions. We had beautiful scallions from the tops all season but the bulbs didnt really form. I can't say what the problem was.

jerzyjen

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 40
Location : Burlington County, NJ - Zone 6b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Carrots

Post  kghouston05 on 3/10/2010, 3:46 pm

Your carrots look great. What kind are these?

kghouston05

Female Posts : 16
Join date : 2010-03-09
Age : 30
Location : Virginia

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  jerzyjen on 3/10/2010, 3:53 pm

Burpee sweet salad hybrid

http://www.burpee.com/product/vegetables/carrots/carrot+sweet+salad+hybrid+%28imperator%29+-+%281+packet%29.do

I'm actually going to try a different variety this year just to see the difference. These carrots are beautiful and tasty but they did take WAY longer to get to a good size than the packet said. That could have been attributed to my skills (or lack there of) or my zone's weather from last year so don't let that discourage you. They got a nice size in the fall and then I left them in the ground over winter under a layer of hay. Even with record breaking snow falls they hung in there and were just as tasty last night as they were in October.

jerzyjen

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 40
Location : Burlington County, NJ - Zone 6b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  boffer on 3/10/2010, 4:00 pm

I have a 12 inch box dedicated to carrots and parsnips. Straight Mel's mix-straight 8-10 inch carrots every year. Imperators.

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

what about medium instead of course?

Post  jinx on 3/10/2010, 4:23 pm

I haven't gotten any yet because all I'm finding so far is medium instead of course... does the grade matter to much?

jinx

Female Posts : 99
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 43
Location : Northern Davis County, UT

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Coarse grade avoids packing

Post  SirTravers on 3/10/2010, 4:41 pm

The coarse grade helps avoid packing in the soil. Try asking around to see who Carries Sun Gro products. Sun Gro owns the Stronglite Brand horticultural Grade vermiculite which is a coarse grade and comes in the big 4 cu. Ft. bags. Even if they don't keep it in stock they should be able to order it in for you.

SirTravers

Male Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-01
Age : 43
Location : Hobbs New MExico, Zone 7A/7B

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Do I really need 1/3 vermiculite?

Post  Sponsored content Today at 11:40 am


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