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Got my 4x4 set up and filled

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Got my 4x4 set up and filled

Post  hitchhiker90 on 3/26/2011, 2:19 pm

Finally was able to get the empty 4x4 box filled last night. Let me tell you about trying to make mel's mix with a tarp....phew that was a workout all its own. Planted some lettuce, brocolli, and spinach this morning. Now we wait. Here is a pic of the box:

Instead of using wood laths I decided to use some flagging tape because I thought it would be easier and I didn't want to try to work with any more nails and wood and the bright pink will be a good separator. We'll see how long the tape will last.

One last thing, not sure if I got everything mixed properly, but my soil is more of a brown color like the peat moss than black like the compost mixtures. I thought I did pretty well in making everything 1/3rd each of compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. I'm hoping I didn't add too much peat moss and that brown is the color it should be.


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Re: Got my 4x4 set up and filled

Post  hitchhiker90 on 3/26/2011, 2:22 pm

Forgot to ask one more thing. What are you guys using to label whats planted in each square? I didn't have any popsicle sticks so I just drew a diagram on a piece of paper and bring that with me to the garden. I'd still like to have something to stick into each square to identify what is planted in case I lose the diagram.


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Re: Got my 4x4 set up and filled

Post  walshevak on 3/26/2011, 2:24 pm

I found the vermiculite lightened the color of the mix. Since I mixed the composts first, then mixed the peat into that second, adding the vermiculite 3rd really showed the color change.



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Re: Got my 4x4 set up and filled

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/26/2011, 11:27 pm


Did you actually measure your peat moss, or did you go by the measurements on the bag?

The reason I ask, is that most peat moss is compacted in the bale/bag and will fluff up to almost double the volumne. So a 2.2 cu ft bag will double to about 4 cu ft. It is one of those things that Mel warns about in his book, but somehow, it tends to get lost in all of the information we are absorbing from the book. (more than one forum member has had this happen to them)

As for your diagram, make one up in xcel and save it to your computer. You don't want to lose that little piece of paper and then stress over what is what in each square.

If you don't have popsicle sticks, and choose not to buy plant markers, take a yogurt or cottage cheese container and cut it up and down the sides with scissors, then mark the plant info using a Sharpie. Watch out, some of those Sharpies are not UV resistant, even if they say permanent, so you may need to re-mark the markers as the season progresses. I picked up some Sharpie Industrial Super Permanent Ink markers at Staples. They are UV resistant and heat and steam and chemical resistant, so they say.
Whats Your Sign Here is an older thread on garden markers


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Re: Got my 4x4 set up and filled

Post  hitchhiker90 on 3/28/2011, 2:55 pm

I somewhat measured them. The peat moss was 3 cu ft. compressed, so I kind of eyeballed it to what I thought would be 1/3rd of the mix. Started out with mixing all the compost and laying it out, then put the same amount of peat moss next to it, and the same about of vermiculite next to it so they should all be even 3rds. I think I used about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the peat moss, but not any more than that.

I like the idea of taking plastic cups and cutting them up. One of those "its so simple" ideas. Now my main concern is the crops. We had a few snow flakes fall down this morning, more like flurries, so I hope the crops survived as I didn't cover them, but they weren't sprouted either since they just got planted on Saturday.


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Re: Got my 4x4 set up and filled

Post  rowena___. on 3/28/2011, 6:44 pm

the box looks good! i bet your seeds are fine, they might take a little longer to sprout than they would have if it were warmer but they will probably do ok once they warm up.

i don't mark my squares, but i tend to remember what i planted (my memory is my gift/curse). i do plan my gardens on paper first and i just refer to that if i forget anything. if i had that cool pink plastic tape i might be tempted to write directly on it.

in no time you'll begin to recognize what is what by the leaves and then you won't need to guess.


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Re: Got my 4x4 set up and filled

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