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Newbie from Northern Idaho

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Newbie from Northern Idaho

Post  luann82 on 6/2/2011, 1:09 am

I'm brand new to this forum & glad to find a Pacific Northwest group! Smile We just built three 5x10 foot beds (miscalculated the 4 ft wide as we cut the boards but it will work) and are waiting for the topsoil to settle in my 10x12 bed before adding MM. This bed was already here and so I think I will have to put planks down the middle (like a +)to reach the inside plants. I actually read Mel's 'old' book and we planned 12" beds...when I received his new book with 6" beds we decided to fill the lower 6" with screened top soil and then the other 6" with MM. I HOPE it works.

I've a decent amount of experience at gardening--but zero, zippo, nada with SFG and I'm excited to see what happens this year--feel SOO new again though (like I have no clue LOL).

After reading the other forums...and my sister telling me that last year she mixed exactly as the book directed and had a hard time growing anything (but okay this year so far)...I'm a little nervous now about how I mixed my MM!

Once I had my 8ish cf of compost, I just visualized what I thought was about 8 cf peat moss (1/2ish bale) and 8ish cf of coarse vermiculite. The compost was an organic compost that was actually made up of 5 different kinds of compost (steer, chicken, bark, and 2 others I can't remember).

I transplanted my romaine last week and they seem to be doing fine. The cucumber got a little cold so we quickly built a hoop house over each with 6mil transparent plastic. I transplanted my tomatoes this weekend and they look okay so far...I guess I just need some reassurance of others that have NOT failed with their MM.

Nice to be here and happy gardening everyone!



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Join date : 2011-06-01
Location : Inland Pacific Northwest

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Re: Newbie from Northern Idaho

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/2/2011, 1:28 am

Welcome! I just wanted to let you know that despite the fact that we (Me central WA, you Idaho) are in the actual Pacific Northwest we don't belong to this regional forum. There's a map somewhere that shows the garden regions. We belong to Western Mountains and High Plains, although, not a whole lot of people interact there. Just thought I'd let you know. I made the same mistake a few months ago. Not that that keeps these fine folks from answering our questions as best as they can.

On your compost I did something similar although it was made up of very different ingredients than yours. I got two different kinds from two different sources because I was unable to find anything but steer or wood by itself. One of my boxes is doing okay the other two are doing great. I think it depends on just how well the mix really is an equal mix and the nutrients in it. That being the point of five different kinds. There are soil tests I've heard others in the forum doing to test that.

Anywho, good luck on everything. You live in one of my favorite area's!! :o) And again welcome!


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Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Central Washington Zone 7a

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Re: Newbie from Northern Idaho

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/2/2011, 2:17 am

LouieRN/Luann , We are so glad you are here no matter what region "you belong in". Here is a link to help you determine your growing region. REGIONS

Regardless of your location, we are happy to have you.

I am having great results with my Mel's Mix. I was fortunate to find five different types of compost and especially happy that none of my compost contained fillers of peat moss or topsoil. One of the major causes of failure to thrive for gardens is a lack of nutrients and it is important to find as many types of "good" compost as possible.

I love the fact that I don't have to dig and I won't have to replace my Mel's Mix each year, just add a scoop of blended compost every time I harvest a square.

There is no reason you can't put Mel's Mix over screened topsoil, but you might want to cover the topsoil with weed cloth before you put in your Mel's Mix. Do not mix the topsoil and Mel's Mix. One of the major advantages of SFG is the lack of weeds. Yes I did find two weeds so far this year in my Table Top Gardens, but they are so easy to pinch out of the loose medium, weeding is not a chore.

Here's hoping you have a GREAT first SFG.

Please keep us updated on your progress and post pictures if you will.

Again, Welcome!


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Re: Newbie from Northern Idaho

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/2/2011, 2:57 am

cheers Welcome to the PNW group!



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Re: Newbie from Northern Idaho

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