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How much compost to add

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How much compost to add

Post  conradcpt on 8/9/2011, 12:10 pm

As far as I understood, I need to add compost before planting new veggies right?

How much do I have to add and do I ever have to add peat moss and vermiculite? Or do I just add compost to the top?

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Re: How much compost to add

Post  littlesapphire on 8/9/2011, 1:04 pm

I'm pretty sure you mean how much compost do you add after you pull up a plant and want to add another, right? In that case, Mel says in his book to add about a scoopful of compost. I just add until the square looks full again!

You never need to add vermiculite or peat moss because the plant doesn't eat them the way it eats up the compost. They're there to hold moisture and to make the soil friable Smile
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Re: How much compost to add

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/9/2011, 1:53 pm

Boffer also offered a great tip the other day. He said to add your "trowelful" of compost as you harvest. That way you give any weed seeds in the compost time to germinate before reseeding the square. You can yank all those weedy guys before your real veggies ever sprout.....saving confusion and allowing your new babies to grow in a virtual weed free environment when they are most vulnerable.
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Re: How much compost to add

Post  SoCalET on 8/9/2011, 3:53 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Boffer also offered a great tip the other day. He said to add your "trowelful" of compost as you harvest. That way you give any weed seeds in the compost time to germinate before reseeding the square. You can yank all those weedy guys before your real veggies ever sprout.....saving confusion and allowing your new babies to grow in a virtual weed free environment when they are most vulnerable.

This raises a new question for me. Do you wait a certain amount of time between harvest of one vege and planting of the next? I thought you were supposed to pretty much keep each square planted.

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Re: How much compost to add

Post  westie42 on 8/9/2011, 4:01 pm

No set rule just repopulate it when you need it or when timing for planting that particular square is optimal. The idea of clearing a square and adding compost soon as possible does make a lot of sense.

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Re: How much compost to add

Post  camprn on 8/9/2011, 4:20 pm

I usually add at least a quart (if not more) of homemade compost to recharge a square
If there is nothing growing in the square I mix it in. For my tomatoes and peppers and eggplants, I have recently added that much as a top dressing around the root area without mixing it in.

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Re: How much compost to add

Post  boffer on 8/9/2011, 4:48 pm

@SoCalET wrote:This raises a new question for me. Do you wait a certain amount of time between harvest of one vege and planting of the next? I thought you were supposed to pretty much keep each square planted.

It depends on your planting schedule; whatever works for you. You can plant immediately, or you can wait a a few weeks or a month until the optimal planting time.

BBG's comment seems a little out of context. We had been talking that it was easier to water empty squares to keep them hydrated, than it was to re-hydrate dry MM, when waiting a period of time to re-plant. My suggestion was to put the new compost in at harvest time rather than at the next planting time. Keep it watered, and the weed seeds can sprout and be pulled by planting time.
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Re: How much compost to add

Post  conradcpt on 8/9/2011, 5:07 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

One more question though. Am I right in saying the peat moss settles over time, causing the soil level to drop? (Other then the compost decomposing)

If this is the case, and I add compost to fill up the box, won't the 1/3 rule be a bit off? Or am I just being a Virgo here? Embarassed
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Re: How much compost to add

Post  camprn on 8/9/2011, 6:28 pm

@conradcpt wrote:Thanks for all the replies.

One more question though. Am I right in saying the peat moss settles over time, causing the soil level to drop? (Other then the compost decomposing)

If this is the case, and I add compost to fill up the box, won't the 1/3 rule be a bit off? Or am I just being a Virgo here? Embarassed
LOL! Yes there will be settling, that is ok. No you don't need to have the 1/3 rule as you go, just add compost after establishing the garden. Very Happy

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Re: How much compost to add

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/9/2011, 7:16 pm

From my best figuring, the settling is primarily caused by watering. It actually creates compaction. There is so much fluff in MM that the air pockets collapse a bit with watering. It's no big deal because it doesn't come close to comparing with normal dirt.

The MM, though, is so easy to work around that you just play with it when you weed and when you replant. That serves to fluff it back up a little in my case. Of course, I can't speak for anyone else. And, my whole line of thinking could be way off, too. It wouldn't be the first time....not even the first time today...lol.
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Re: How much compost to add

Post  camprn on 8/9/2011, 8:15 pm

Mine certainly fluffs up too, which is good What a Face

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Re: How much compost to add

Post  conradcpt on 8/12/2011, 2:20 pm

Lol. Cool. So I was just being a Virgo.
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