Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

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.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by sanderson Today at 1:58 pm

» Today's Harvest
by sanderson Today at 1:39 pm

» Microgreens Gardening
by sanderson Today at 1:13 pm

» 2017: First full year of SFGing in ND
by Robbomb116 Today at 11:55 am

» My new compost heap
by countrynaturals Today at 11:13 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by trolleydriver Today at 11:08 am

» Alternative cover to straw for overwintering strawberries.
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 9:38 am

» First Frost!
by brianj555 Yesterday at 3:27 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 11:29 am

» How Many Square Feet Do You Have?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 8:56 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by countrynaturals 11/19/2017, 1:16 pm

» The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic
by BeetlesPerSqFt 11/19/2017, 11:14 am

» Tomato Questions
by brianj555 11/19/2017, 11:07 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by AtlantaMarie 11/19/2017, 5:37 am

» N&C Midwest; November Already? 2017
by Scorpio Rising 11/18/2017, 7:34 pm

» BOOK GIVEAWAY #5 - ENDS 11/17/17
by brianj555 11/18/2017, 4:12 pm

» What I learned this year
by countrynaturals 11/18/2017, 1:45 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by trolleydriver 11/18/2017, 9:26 am

» First Tromboncino female flower
by countrynaturals 11/17/2017, 5:51 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver 11/17/2017, 1:59 pm

» Free lunaria seeds
by hammock gal 11/17/2017, 10:12 am

» Plastic containers / trash cans?
by sanderson 11/16/2017, 10:33 pm

» Mels book
by Scorpio Rising 11/16/2017, 7:04 pm

» Mid-Atl - Nov 2017 - Warming Up AGAIN?
by sanderson 11/16/2017, 4:17 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by Turan 11/15/2017, 4:59 pm

» Goodbye to my SFG Raised Beds
by Turan 11/15/2017, 4:41 pm

» Pickle recipes
by sanderson 11/15/2017, 4:12 am

» What variety of avocado would you recommend?
by dstack 11/14/2017, 9:12 pm

» Saffron?
by plantoid 11/14/2017, 3:32 pm

» Free Sunchoke Tubers
by BeetlesPerSqFt 11/13/2017, 6:36 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Cheap Filler

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Cheap Filler

Post  jerzyjen on 1/30/2011, 1:42 pm

Question for you good gardening folks...

I want to make my new boxes out of 10" tall boards (for aestetics), so I want to put a filler on the bottom 4", so I don't have to waste precious Mel's Mix. I am thinking of just putting down straw, then add the weed block, then Mel's Mix. I actually already did this to my strawberry boxes, but they are really small. If this is a bad idea, I don't want to repeat my mistake on the rest of the garden. I've got straw & sandy native soil already on hand, but the straw would definately be less labor intensive for me. Just wondering if there were any drawbacks, or if there was a better solution out there.

Suggestions welcomed Smile
avatar
jerzyjen

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 41
Location : Burlington County, NJ - Zone 6b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  miinva on 1/30/2011, 1:44 pm

I don't think straw will cause any problems, but it will break down. Using sandy native soil would last longer, I would think, and since it's sandy it wouldn't affect the draining of your Mel's Mix. I know it's more work on the front end of things, but I think you'll be pulling your dirt out and redoing it next year if you use the straw.

miinva

Female Posts : 778
Join date : 2010-04-29
Age : 48
Location : Central Virginia, 7A as far as I can tell

View user profile http://www.ungardener.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  camprn on 1/30/2011, 2:22 pm

@jerzyjen wrote:Question for you good gardening folks...

I want to make my new boxes out of 10" tall boards (for aestetics), so I want to put a filler on the bottom 4" so I don't have to waste precious Mel's Mix. I am thinking of just putting down straw, then add the weed block, then Mel's Mix. I've got straw & sandy native soil already on hand, but the straw would definately be less labor intensive for me. Just wondering if there were any drawbacks, or if there was a better solution out there.

Suggestions welcomed Smile
If it were me, I would scrape off any plants or dig up grass where the box was going to go , omit the weed barrier, place the straw, water it, tamp it in then put in a good 7 inches of Mel's mix.
I would omit the weed barrier as when the straw decomposes, there will be a gap, but next year you can just mix the decomposed straw and added compost together. Also, with 10 inches of planting mix there's not a great likely hood of anything growing from the native dirt below. Just my $0.02. Good Luck! Very Happy
avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
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: Cheap Filler

Post  Old Hippie on 1/30/2011, 3:25 pm

I would put the weed barrier down first and then put the straw on top. The reason I would put the weed barrier down first is because of the
grass in our areas that sends out runners EVERYWHERE and then come
shooting up where you don't expect it. Straw is great in compost so it will gradually break down and just be another type of compost in your MM, I think. The sandy soil might be an issue because of possible weed seeds in it. If you have time to compost the straw and the sandy soil, add some rotting kitchen or yard waste and a bag of the cheapest dog food you can find for some quick nitrogen boost and turn it every two or three days, keeping it moist. You should get some heat from that and have a fast batch of compost in about two or three weeks. That is what I would put in the bottom and then the MM on top. You may find it settles as it continues to decompose but in the fall you can add more of your own compost and peat moss to the mix to top it up.

I know SFG says you don't NEED a system that deep, but I am like you and like the looks of the deeper boxes and it also gives me more leeway for where I put my carrots, beets, etc. that need a deeper planting bed.

Not sure if that is totally correct or not, but that is what I would do. Best of luck.

Gwynn
avatar
Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 66
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  jerzyjen on 1/30/2011, 3:35 pm

Good suggestions keep em comin!

I should clarify that this sand pile has been behind my shed for 4 years (when the house was built) and never seems to sprout any weeds from it (it may be sand from Mars? lol). I"m putting down my new beds over areas that have either had my old beds, or mulch layers down for the past 3 years. All that being said, I still like to play it safe with weed barrier, some of the weeds in my yard are virulent (my butterfly garden last year was completely overwhelmed by an infestation of STICKERBURRS! don't get me started Evil or Very Mad

I think the sound of just having they straw become part of the mix over time.....hmmmmmm
avatar
jerzyjen

Female Posts : 210
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 41
Location : Burlington County, NJ - Zone 6b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  jumiclads on 1/30/2011, 3:45 pm

I agree with Old Hippie, The straw would need composting first because when the wheat is harvested so are other weed plants and their seeds may be in the straw. These would then grow through the MM which is not what you want. If you leave a bale of straw out in the rain it will grow weeds on it.

As Camprn says 10" may be enough to stop weeds coming up but I would also put weed barrier down first just to be safe because it is a big job to put right once it is in place with plants growing if the weeds start to come through.

The other filler you could use is wood shavings or chippings, what do other forum members think about those? Which types of wood that are suitable?

I will be making my boxes 20" deep to save my back so will be interested to see some replies.
avatar
jumiclads

Male Posts : 167
Join date : 2010-11-21
Age : 59
Location : Burton on Trent, UK - Zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  Old Hippie on 1/30/2011, 3:59 pm

Wood shavings and wood chips might work too. I would give those a try too although they rob the soil of nitrogen as they continue decomposing so it is important to give extra nitrogen boosts of fertilizer to the plants throughout the growing season. Also, make sure you are just using wood shavings that do not have any toxins in them. We have mainly birch, pine and spruce here so those are the types that I use in my compost. I avoid treated woods, walnut and any of the more tropical woods that my husband may use in his wood shop because they can have chemicals in them that can affect plant growth. I save the cedar chips for in the pathways.

Mick, to save on the amount of soil mix or MM that you need, why not make raised boxes on legs. See "table top" gardening. There are several people on here who have done that. No point in wasting precious soil mix if you don't have to. I know I am going to have to start looking at that in the near future.

Gwynn
avatar
Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 66
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  jumiclads on 1/30/2011, 4:06 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:Wood shavings and wood chips might work too. I would give those a try too although they rob the soil of nitrogen as they continue decomposing so it is important to give extra nitrogen boosts of fertilizer to the plants throughout the growing season.

Would this still apply with the shavings being underneath and seperate from MM.
avatar
jumiclads

Male Posts : 167
Join date : 2010-11-21
Age : 59
Location : Burton on Trent, UK - Zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  camprn on 1/30/2011, 4:11 pm

if I was to choose wood chips for bottom filler, I would use some of that pelletized fertilizer right on the wood chips before pouring in the Mel's Mix.
avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
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: Cheap Filler

Post  Old Hippie on 1/30/2011, 4:42 pm

@camprn wrote:if I was to choose wood chips for bottom filler, I would use some of that pelletized fertilizer right on the wood chips before pouring in the Mel's Mix.

Oh, great idea!

Gwynn
avatar
Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 66
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Cheap Filler

Post  Sponsored content


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