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Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

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Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  acara on 12/1/2010, 10:28 am

I'm coming to the end of my first cycle in my first 4 x 4 SFG box & wanted to get some guidance on how to prep for "round 2"

A) I dorked up my initial mix by putting all 3.9 ft3 of compressed peat into the mix.
B) I have several of the 16 squares empty right now

Questions;

- Can I replant empty squares now with "short-cycle" crops while other things are still going? I'd like to do raddishes and spinach in the empty squares while the Tomatoes and cantalope vines are still going in the box.

- Should I "excavate" the square, augment the existing mix and re-add the mix to the square, or just add compost-mix as a top dressing.

I'm not sure what the impact/effect of the "too much peat" would be to the MM & I'm not sure if I should;

A) Systematically correct the individiual squares as they become empty?
B) Wait for the entire box to empty & then adjust the mix for the entire box?
C) Wait for the box to empty, dump the mix and start over with the correct blend/formulation?
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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  WardinWake on 12/1/2010, 10:45 am

@acara wrote:I'm coming to the end of my first cycle in my first 4 x 4 SFG box & wanted to get some guidance on how to prep for "round 2"

A) I dorked up my initial mix by putting all 3.9 ft3 of compressed peat into the mix.
B) I have several of the 16 squares empty right now

Questions;

- Can I replant empty squares now with "short-cycle" crops while other things are still going? I'd like to do raddishes and spinach in the empty squares while the Tomatoes and cantalope vines are still going in the box.

- Should I "excavate" the square, augment the existing mix and re-add the mix to the square, or just add compost-mix as a top dressing.

I'm not sure what the impact/effect of the "too much peat" would be to the MM & I'm not sure if I should;

A) Systematically correct the individiual squares as they become empty?
B) Wait for the entire box to empty & then adjust the mix for the entire box?
C) Wait for the box to empty, dump the mix and start over with the correct blend/formulation?

Acara:

While it is ideal to have an exact match of ingreidents for your Mel's Mix - close counts. In the case of too much peat moss I would go ahead and correct the empty squares by removing the MM in that square and re-mix to get as close to the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 as you can and then replant that square. When you get ready to plant for the spring I reccommend that you remove all of the mix from this box and again re-mix as needed and then refill the box and plant as you see fit.


God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  camprn on 12/1/2010, 10:48 am

@acara wrote:
Questions; I'm not sure if I should;

A) Systematically correct the individual squares as they become empty?
B) Wait for the entire box to empty & then adjust the mix for the entire box?
C) Wait for the box to empty, dump the mix and start over with the correct blend/formulation?

A) This is a good alternative, what do you want to do? This is not a bad choice.
B) This is a good alternative, what do you want to do? This is not a bad choice.
C) Too much work! choose A and/or B What a Face

With choices A or B I would add compost only as you know there is a lot of peat in there already. I would simply mix the compost and MM already within the box. In the New SFG book I have not seen anywhere were it advises to rebuild beginning, new MM but to simply add compost. But really, how much work do you want to do? :idea:
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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  middlemamma on 12/1/2010, 11:23 am

What Camprn said. Very Happy
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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  GloriaG on 12/1/2010, 11:43 am

What about vermiculite? Do you have to add more or will the original amount be OK even though it's going to be diluted when you add more compost.

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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  boffer on 12/1/2010, 11:51 am

What Ward said. Very Happy

Except that you're a four season gardener, so I don't know when your box will ever be empty. Obviously, you need another box (or two or three) to help resolve this issue Wink
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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  GloriaG on 12/1/2010, 2:18 pm

Wish I could Sad but I've used up all the space I can find in my flower beds.

Today, I picked my last 3 butternut squash and two more grape tomatoes, I'll also pick some spinach and lettuce later.

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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  acara on 12/1/2010, 2:28 pm

@GloriaG wrote:What about vermiculite? Do you have to add more or will the original amount be OK even though it's going to be diluted when you add more compost.

I'm going under the impression that vermiculte doesn't deteriorate & peat is relatively inert over a 3-month period???

Based on that assumption .... I'm guessing if I'm going to add anything, it's going to be the compost mix, since that is what I would physicaly lose the most of over the growing season .... and what was left has had a lot of the nutrients depleted.

Plus vermiculite is a nightmare to mix in small batches, or with wet media ... and you can't just slap it on top of the square (like you can compost mix), without it all floating/blowing away.

I dunno ... "verm + peat" or "verm + compost" or "verm + anything wet" all seem to turn out with a mess for me....... but verm+peat+compost seems to mix together just fine.... I dunno why that is though.

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Re: Correcting/Re-Charging an SFG Box

Post  Odd Duck on 12/1/2010, 4:03 pm

I would just top off with compost as each square becomes empty. If you ever get the whole box empty, you could add more vermiculite if you wanted, but since Mel recommends straight compost in areas where vermiculite and peat aren't available, I think compost is really the way to go.

I add compost anytime a bed or a square is empty. I add enough to top off to a little higher than the top of the box, I mix it in, and by the time everything settles a little, it's perfect. JMHO

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