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Hello from TN!

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Hello from TN!

Post  retired member 2 on 3/21/2011, 5:33 pm

Hi! I have spent the weekend devouring Mel's book, making a list, and dreaming of what I want to plant in my first SQF boxes. I spent some time today at Lowes and the co-op gathering some supplies. I am having trouble finding 5 different sources of compost. So far I have chicken and have located mushroom compost, which I have purchase by the scoop. I also found coconut fiber(and some other plant can't remember). Any ideas?
Can you grow Rhubard in your SQF and what is the spacing?
Can't wait to learn from all you veterens!

retired member 2

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Welcome

Post  ander217 on 3/21/2011, 6:08 pm

Welcome to the forum, clb.

I had trouble finding five sources last year, too. Cow manure is usually pretty easy to find - we've bought it at local garden centers, grocery stores, and Wal-Mart. We found cotton compost last year at a farm store, but I don't recommend it - too many large stems, cotton bolls, and cotton fiber which hadn't yet broken down. We got a compost blend at a local garden center in Cape Girardeau, MO which includes bone meal and blood meal.

Some people find horse manure for free, but be careful to make sure it has been composted at a high temperature to kill weed seeds, and does not contain medicines or chemicals used in the stalls.

We get free rice hulls at a local rice elevator. Rice hulls don't add much in the way of nitrogen, but it is a good soil amendment - we sometimes use rice hulls in place of peat moss. We also raise sheep which provide a little manure. Perhaps you can find people in your area who raise rabbits or other animals who will share manure with you.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how your garden grows.


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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/21/2011, 7:05 pm

Welcome aboard!

I wish I could help you with rhubarb. But, I can tell you that most of us have had hard times locating 5 types of compost, too. Stay vigilant, and never be afraid to start making your own. Once you have a pile started, it's basically free nutrients for the garden.

Pictures are worth more than a thousand words here, and we would love to see your garden when you get it going.

Middle Tennessee? Near Nashville?

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  boffer on 3/21/2011, 7:26 pm

clb58 wrote:Can you grow Rhubard in your SQF and what is the spacing?

Welcome to the forum. I just learned this weekend from a local gardening celebrity that I live about 35 miles from the rhubarb capital of the world! (Sumner, WA) I didn't have a clue!

I've always felt that rhubard is a plant that doesn't get much respect in the gardening world. It's a perennial that thrives most anywhere in my climate. Honestly, I wouldn't waste SFG space for them. Dig a shovel size hole in the ground in an out of the way place, fill half with Mel's Mex, throw in the root, cover, water and forget. About every 24-36 inches. It works for me.

Every three to five years, whack the root in half or thirds and re-plant.

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  retired member 2 on 3/21/2011, 8:20 pm

I'm in east Tn backyard birder. Boffer that is a good idea about the Rhubarb. Think I will try it.
Thanks!

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  Megan on 3/21/2011, 8:29 pm

Welcome to the forum and to SFG! glad you\'re here

Coconut fiber (coir) is more along the lines of peat, as far as I know, and really isn't compost. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong.) AFAIK, if you use coir in addition to peat, you'll have too much "peat" in your mix.

Around here, Lowes has mushroom compost available by the bag, I believe it's called Black Gold. You might want to ask?

I need a total of 25 cubic feet of compost, 5 cu ft of each type. My current targets are:
* mushroom compost (Lowes; approx $5/cu ft)
* leaf compost (Lowes; approx $5/cu ft; maybe find locally for free)
* horse compost (free, Craigslist)
* steer compost/humus (approx $2.50/cu ft, HD)
* local soil (red clay) and/or my own compost from last year (free)

The last one: I do have compost from last year, but I haven't really dug in to see if it is "done" yet, and I fear it is not. I don't think it was wet enough over the winter. The red clay is full of nutrients, just, clay...but with all the other good things in there I think it will be fine. (I have successfully grown veggies right in the clay with no other amendments.) There has been a major civil engineering project nearby that has dug up a veritable mountain of dirt from a creek bed...from deep enough I think there's probably not many weed seeds in there, and for the river silt nutrients and the "good organisms" already undoubtedly thriving in it, I'll put up with a few weeds if need be. So, on my list is to go down there and see if they wouldn't mind if I snitched 5 cubic feet of their little hill.

I have nothing on rhubarb, aside from that the leaves are very poisonous. Sorry!

Welcome again, and happy gardening! flower

Megan

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/22/2011, 11:30 am

clb58

Nice to have you with us.

I agree with Megan, coconut coir would not be considered a compost.

If you have feed and seed stores, farm and tractor stores, big box stores, local nurseries, you may have more luck finding different varieties of compost.

The next two links discuss different types of compost that you may find

Different Types of Compost

Finding Compost

Again, Welcome and enjoy your new SFG

Furbalsmom

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My first SFG

Post  Pam Hazelwood on 3/22/2011, 12:05 pm

My first Garden!



Loved working on it and am impatiently waiting for the veggies to grow!

Pam Hazelwood

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/22/2011, 12:18 pm

Boffer is so correct about the rhubard, and many other things too. As for preparing it, you could easily do a search, it's all in how you prepare it, like poke salad. I don't like it, but it's one of my dad's favorite things on the earth, rhubard pie that is.

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  Megan on 3/22/2011, 7:23 pm

@Pam Hazelwood wrote:My first Garden!



Loved working on it and am impatiently waiting for the veggies to grow!

Beautiful, Pam, congratulations! Very Happy And welcome to the forum and to SFG! glad you\'re here

Megan

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  ribarr4 on 3/23/2011, 10:10 am

We are also in TN. Coconut is more along the lines of peat moss. Also you need to be careful with coir. Some brands need to be washed and by the time you wash it you loose alot of the finer fibers. They have high salt content. I have been trying to incorporate it into my gardening for the past two years and finally threw out a large bail after many seeds started in a coir based mix didn't come up for the second year in a row. After switching back to what I've used for many years, that included peat moss, they poped right up.

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Hello From Tennessee

Post  dottygoat on 3/28/2011, 10:28 am

Hello Everyone,
I just joined this forum. I am from Middle Tennessee. Didn't garden for 16yrs.but decided to SFG again last year. Had a little trouble using the mix in the NSFG book. Wasn't able to figure out what was going on. Plants were not growing well at all. Sad Talk to a well known organic gardener in our area. And learned that because of our climate here peat moss can get hard like cement and that I needed to add more compost to my garden. I remembered that my grandmother always used coffee grounds to her garden in N.J. Not being a coffee drinker ,I went to Costco's and bought some organic coffee. Boiled it in a big pot and waited for the coffee to cool. Then poured the coffee on the soil. Did this several times using the same coffee grounds. And guess what? My plants started growing and thriving! I also added some Oceans Solution. I have had wheat grass growing all winter. Only draw back for me is our cat. He loves wheat grass! I will plant a patch for him somewhere else! Laughing
We bought a composted at Sam's last summer and have been filling it up like crazy. I put all of the pulp from my juicer into it. I have also been putting some banana peels right on the garden. I didn't want to put anything green directly on it during the winter because I didn't want the deer getting into the habit of eating there and start eating the plants all summer long. Wouldn't be a good thing for us.
No

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Re: Hello from TN!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/28/2011, 11:59 am

DottieGoat

So glad to have you join us.
DottieGoat wrote:Had a little trouble using the mix in the NSFG book. Wasn't able to figure out what was going on. Plants were not growing well at all. Sad Talk to a well known organic gardener in our area. And learned that because of our climate here peat moss can get hard like cement and that I needed to add more compost to my garden
We have had members that had trouble with their mix becaue they used too much peat moss. Is it possible that you took the volume listed on the bale of peat moss when calculating your measurements? Most peat moss is compacted in the bag and 2.2 cu ft actually decompresses to about 4 cu ft, doubling the proportion of peat moss to the other ingredients. In other words, you actually need to measure your peat moss after it has been "fluffed". If you used the compressed volume, you really would need to add compost and some more vermiculite to have the "perfect blend"

Very glad to hear that adding coffee and Oceans Solution helped last year. Did you actually add compost too? Adding compost to each harvested square is another part of keeping your Mel's Mix in top shape for your crops.

Hope this year is more productive than last year.

Enjoy!

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Re: Hello from TN!

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