Square Foot Gardening Forum
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First year SFG Compost question(s)...

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First year SFG Compost question(s)...

Post  cautery on 1/19/2011, 12:20 am

1) First year of SFG.
2) Don't have a compost operation of my own yet. (priorities)
3) I have purchased the follwowing for my boxes this year:

Sunshine Coarse Vermiculite
Canadian Peat (don't remember the brand, but it looks good!)
1)Cotton Burr
2)Mushroom Compost
3)Composted Cow Manure
4)Composted Chicken Manure

My local supplier (always buy local when I can) didn't have a 5th compost variety currently available.

What should I get for my 5th ingredient?

Will my compost be acceptable assuming I get a good 5th?


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Re: First year SFG Compost question(s)...

Post  Odd Duck on 1/19/2011, 12:34 am

Looks like a nice list! If you can find another, or a bag of a mixed compost that has a variety all in one bag, you're in business. You could probably get by with what you've got as long as your overall proportions are right (at least 1/3 compost seems to be the most important part). It will be much better as you go if you can top off your squares with a different compost as you tart to rotate your crops (homemade would do the trick)s. And don't forget, the peat will expand like crazy and you must moisten as you fill or you will have incredible settling. You will get settling no matter what, but it's much more if you don't wet everything as you fill.

Odd Duck

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Re: First year SFG Compost question(s)...

Post  cautery on 1/19/2011, 12:57 am

I try not to ever just "get by", so I want to identify particular candidates for the 5th compost. Smile

Thanks for the additional tips. I was actually wondering about the settling issue... I was planning to fully hydrate the soil as I populated the boxes.... about an inch at a time between water applications...

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Re: First year SFG Compost question(s)...

Post  elliephant on 1/19/2011, 9:07 am

Do you possibly have a source for municipal composting? Our city has a huge composting operation and sells it at a good price.


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Re: First year SFG Compost question(s)...

Post  miinva on 1/19/2011, 1:53 pm

We use leaf mold compost and you can also get shrimp or lobster compost, not to mention worm castings (which are the best of all!). I lost my source for worm castings so I'm probably going to have to get a bin and some worms, but I liked just buying it because I have enough pets to worry about Smile


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Re: First year SFG Compost question(s)...

Post  staf74 on 1/19/2011, 4:43 pm


I was in exactly the same boat...looking for number 5. My local big box stores had only four. Seeing as you are really just looking for a nutrient supply that's not necessarily composted manure, I decided to use Greensand, kelp meal and the garden poultry manure products all from Espoma. A mix of these became my number 5. Garden worked out great. I believe that my success was largely due to this choice also because they helped supply all the micro-nurients and co-factors, good bacteria etc to keep the crop strong enough not only to grow but strong enough to ward off insects / disease / stress etc.........A leaf out of Eliot Coleman's philosophy. I too, like others, did a 40lb bag of worm castings...pure nutrition right there! So technically I had more than 5 nutrition sources.

I was very impressed with the Espoma line of products.

My two cents !

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Re: First year SFG Compost question(s)...

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