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
» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by landarch Today at 9:29 am

» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by sfg4uKim Today at 9:26 am

» GF Collard Greens, Kale Recipes
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 9:18 am

» Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans
by llama momma Today at 5:18 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by llama momma Today at 5:10 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by yolos Today at 12:13 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:02 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by llama momma Yesterday at 4:52 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by llama momma Yesterday at 4:35 pm

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 4:02 pm

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 3:27 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 1:04 pm

» Bon fires on the Levee
by Cajun Cappy Yesterday at 12:17 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:26 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:24 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:21 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:15 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:06 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:03 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by donnainzone5 12/5/2016, 11:14 am

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee 12/5/2016, 9:08 am

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals 12/4/2016, 2:04 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/4/2016, 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

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

Google

Search SFG Forum

Drastic settling of MM

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Drastic settling of MM

Post  milaneyjane on 10/8/2010, 7:58 pm

This year I made my beds and put in the mix. I filled the boxes to the tippy top, watered etc..... I am shocked by how much they have settled. Seriously, at least half the MM is gone/settled. There is no way I will have enough compost by spring for all the boxes so I will be purchasing bagged compost again. $$$$$$$ Tell me it won't be like this each spring!

milaneyjane

Posts : 420
Join date : 2010-03-18
Location : MN Zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  Megan on 10/8/2010, 8:04 pm

How much did you start with, and end up with? Mine did settle a bit.

Megan

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 49
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  boffer on 10/8/2010, 8:12 pm

A 4x4 takes 8 cf of MM, mathematically, and that's what Mel suggests in his book. I have been recommending starting with 10 because I know it shrinks. But I've been starting with 11 or 12, because it does shrink as much as you say. Eventually, after adding compost each time I replant, the settling nearly stops.

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: Drastic settling of MM

Post  camprn on 10/8/2010, 9:28 pm

Mine didn't shrink too, too badly, but it was not true MM, there was a bit of the local soil mixed up from the bottom of the box. Not sure if that made the difference or not. :idea: Today's plan involves adding some worm rich local dairy compost into the beds with fresh grass clippings and shredded leaves this autumn. We'll see how that goes. Rolling Eyes

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  Chopper on 10/8/2010, 10:49 pm

Mine settled quite a bit, too. It had a direct correlation to how strapped I was at the time I filled the box. Smile That is why I bought compost in bulk. Each bed will need 2-3 inches added if I want to bring it back to the top. I am also thinking of getting more vermiculite and adding it to each box as I did scrimp on that but I love it.

I wonder if you can get some free manure in your area. Most horse places welcome gardeners who are willing to haul it away. Some horse manure and maybe leaves and grass clippings should add a lot of bulk and nutrients to the box by next spring I would assume. That way if you still have to add compost then the amount would be minimized.

Chopper

Female Posts : 2467
Join date : 2010-05-05
Age : 61
Location : Warner Springs, CA USDA Zone 8a, Sunset Zone 7 (I think)

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

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/8/2010, 11:10 pm

LOL Boffer------inquiring minds want to know
I say it is multitasking.



any bed with organic matter is goin to decompose and shrink to a certain point----like Boffer said......evenually the shrinkage lessons.... In the beginning we put a lot of organic matter into the bed and have big shrinkage..........later we only put a little at a time so the shrinkage looks less.

CarolynPhillips

Female Posts : 778
Join date : 2010-09-06
Age : 46
Location : Alabama Zone 7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  sceleste54 on 10/8/2010, 11:56 pm

The level in my beds dropped 4 to 5 inches over the course of the summer. I've added 2 bags ( 2 cubic feet each) in each bed of a generic potting mix that looks just like the MM I made from scratch, except it has perlite in it instead of vermiculite. We'll see how it works for the fall season.

sceleste54

Female Posts : 383
Join date : 2010-04-08
Location : Florida Panhandle

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  milaneyjane on 10/9/2010, 11:46 am

Yep, mine settled 4-5 inches as well. Where I really see it is in the beds that are 16 inches tall......yikes!!! Shocked Mine is true MM and like I said, I watered and filled, watered and filled before planting to help with "shrinkage". My neighbor better watch his compost pile..... Wink

milaneyjane

Posts : 420
Join date : 2010-03-18
Location : MN Zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  LaFee on 10/9/2010, 11:50 am

plus it was all dry and fluffy when we first built our boxes...it's had time to settle over the summers, so just like that box of cereal that looks half full -- some settling may occur.

I've lost about 2" on mine...so I'll top it up some in the spring when I build my 2nd box.

LaFee

Female Posts : 1023
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : West Central Florida

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  Retired Member 1 on 10/10/2010, 10:22 am

Mine settled about 1/3. I've added both purchased and homemade compost as I've harvested. Thankfully I started 4 compost piles, plus had two lasagna beds that were in a temporary place. So by next spring my boxes will be filled to the brim again, this time with some sandy loam mixed in to make the mix a bit heavier (and I hope more productive). It is disappointing to spend that much $$ to see it shrink away.

I found a bonanza last month -- Scotts humus and manure for 99 cents a bag. I purchased nine bags which is all the store had left. It has three different kinds of manure/compost, so mixed with my own, makes a good mix.

Retired Member 1

Female Posts : 904
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : USA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

shrinkage

Post  ander217 on 10/11/2010, 8:27 am

My beds shrank a lot, too. However, I don't think we watered ours enough when filling. I learned that it takes a LOT of water to hydrate some brands of peat moss. Ours must have been harvested from the Sahara. Smile

(I also learned too late that many folks with the deeper boxes fill the lower halves of them with things other than MM, such as straw. Wish I'd known that before I put 12 inches of MM in my first 4' x 4' x 12".)

ander217

Female Posts : 1450
Join date : 2010-03-16
Age : 61
Location : Southeastern Missouri (6b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Drastic settling of MM

Post  Sponsored content Today at 9:29 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