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old book new book

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old book new book

Post  Mikesgardn on 1/6/2012, 12:29 pm

The old square foot garden book had a section for direct seeding in the garden. It described poking the holes for the seeds, adding some vermiculite at the bottom of the hole, dropping the seed in, and then filling the rest of the hole with vermiculite. I noticed that the new book doesn't describe this anymore. I still use this method, but I'm wondering if I'm beginning to build up too much vermiculite in my boxes after doing it for 4 years now. I like using the vermiculite because I can see exactly where I planted, but I'm thinking I should start using compost. Any thoughts?

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Re: old book new book

Post  middlemamma on 1/6/2012, 12:39 pm

I don't have my book handy, but I only have the new one. I know I have heard of people doing this. I don't think it is a bad idea at all. Many people start their seeds in vermiculite like Mel suggests.

There are a couple versions of the new book, one is abridged and missing quite a bit...do you have that one or the full version?

I like the idea of seeing where your seeds are, I wonder if a little bag of fine vermiculite would be nice to fill in the hole better. The coarse stuff is a little hard to fill in the holes with I have noticed.

Just some thoughts, sorry I could not give a more definite answer.

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Re: old book new book

Post  Mikesgardn on 1/6/2012, 12:43 pm

I believe I have the full version of the new book. I'm just wondering if I'm building up too much vermiculite in my mix by continuing to do this.

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Re: old book new book

Post  boffer on 1/6/2012, 12:43 pm

Mel said that he had another printing of the old book made because it contains a lot of good general gardening information that was not included in the new book due to space considerations. I would guess that includes your planting technique.

As long as you're adding the trowel full of compost when you replant, I don't think the little bit of vermiculite accumulation will matter.

I just plant directly into the MM, any type of seeds. It works fine for me. The only problem I ever had was when I had a batch of MM using extra coarse vermiculite. The size made it impossible to plant tiny seeds.

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Re: old book new book

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/6/2012, 1:42 pm

I think both the old way and new way work great. If I had to climb inside Mel's head, though, he was trying to take all the work out of things this time. Carrying a bag of vermiculite with you every time you wanted to plant seeds would qualify as "just one more thing" that isn't really necessary. So, I suppose he left it out.

My guess, also, is that it would take 20+ years to affect a carrot square when adding such small amounts of vermiculite. I would say do what you are comfortable with.

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Re: old book new book

Post  CindiLou on 1/6/2012, 9:36 pm

I use the Mel's Mix but I use the fine vermiculite to plant seeds in. I just have a baggie I keep in my tool bucket with my seed stakes, markers, trowel, scissors, ect. I feel it lets the seed concentrate on reaching for the mix lol..kinda like a head start. I haven't compared them though.

Humm..writing note to self, since I am planting identical boxes this spring for early crop. I will try each way and compare. If is isn't helping then I will quit.

I also believe if you adding compost each time like you should, it won't mess up the ratio.

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