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Post  southern gardener on 7/28/2012, 6:30 pm

What am I missing in my soil that I get beet tops, and no beets? The carrots grow well, but not beets. Thanks!
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Post  toledobend on 7/28/2012, 6:36 pm

Beets me! (sorry I couldn't resist)
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Post  walshevak on 7/28/2012, 6:50 pm

Bone meal is supposed to encourage bulb growth and development in flowering bulbs. It should do the same for root veggies.

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Post  camprn on 7/28/2012, 7:59 pm

Some years are good for beets, other years not so much.

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Post  southern gardener on 7/28/2012, 9:42 pm

I'll have to try and find bone meal? Is there any compost that does it? My dads beets are growing like crazy, and not mine. He just lives a few miles away, so it's a good beet season it seems. Just seems like I'm missing stuff. How do you do the bone meal if you don't mind! Thanks guys!
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Post  tabletopper on 7/28/2012, 11:46 pm

when did you plant them in your replenished bags of Mels Mix? I planted beets in my last bags.....and nothing...carrots are up but no carrots yet....,
I dont see how they had time to really test the soil....maybe time will tell....Ruth
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Post  walshevak on 7/29/2012, 12:09 am

I just sprinkled it over my roots.

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Post  southern gardener on 7/29/2012, 2:51 am

@tabletopper wrote:when did you plant them in your replenished bags of Mels Mix? I planted beets in my last bags.....and nothing...carrots are up but no carrots yet....,
I dont see how they had time to really test the soil....maybe time will tell....Ruth

Hi Ruth, these are still in the "old boxes" with the old premix. The stuff in the new boxes is just starting to sprout, but I'm trying to keep the decent stuff in the old boxes going until we can tear out the entire boxes. We had such mixed results, so part of some boxes are decent, so trying to help them along. The tops of the beets look so healthy, just no "beets". The spinach is happy too, but lettuce not so much ;/ It's weird, it's like some bags were good, and some seem like they almost kill off some stuff, like it's burning them or something.
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Post  southern gardener on 7/29/2012, 2:51 am

@walshevak wrote:I just sprinkled it over my roots.

Kay

Thank you Kay. I will try and find some Smile
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Post  LittleGardener on 7/29/2012, 3:11 am

@southern gardener wrote:I'll have to try and find bone meal? Is there any compost that does it?
Noticed your question, and asked at Amazon, and Voila! http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=bone%20meal&index=blended&link_code=qs&sourceid=Mozilla-search&tag=mozilla-20 - lotsa choices there Very Happy
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Post  jdwheeler42 on 7/29/2012, 3:38 am

Did you plant the same variety as your Dad? Different varieties can perform differently. My Chioggias are going strong, but my Bull's Blood are barely surviving. Also, there are varieties of beets that are bred for greens. I have a turnip like that, Seven Top.
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Post  southern gardener on 7/29/2012, 2:21 pm

Thank you for the replies. Very helpful. I'm not sure about the same variety as my dads, I'm PRETTY sure, but not positive. I've planted these before and gotten nice beets (I LOVE BEETS!!), so it just seems like I'm missing a component. Thank you again for the help. It is appreciated
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Post  RoOsTeR on 7/29/2012, 4:27 pm

Bone meal is easy to find just about anywhere. Homedepot, Lowe's, kmart, walmart, etc.
There are many, many reasons things grow or fail. Weather, watering, pests, climate, variety, time of season, overcrowding, old seeds, the list goes on...
Just a thought, if you do start to add different components to your Mel's Mix, I would add some to a square or two and some without. That way you can compare results.
Also, I would doubt all your Mel's Mix needs to be replaced. You still need to add at least a trowel of compost (5 types blended) to each square as you harvest. Whether you buy the composts or make your own, ALL of your mix will need to be amended same as if you made your own Mel's Mix. Your preparing yourself for lots of work. I would start by testing the mix that's causing you concern. Amend as needed. I would save your new Mel's Mix for future boxes, as you know, you can't replenish your squares with Mel's Mix.
If you are at all concerned about the quality of your mix, I suggest having it tested. I would guess this could easily be done through your local extension agent. Here are some past threads on soil quality and testing.
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t10252-soil-test-results?highlight=soil+test

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Post  plantoid on 7/29/2012, 6:56 pm

Beets take quite a while to bulb up .. mine usually produce leaf to around seven inches high and only then start to form a swelling on the red stem above the ground . Then the swelling kind of works its way down to the ground , then they really start to swell into bulbous red beet roots but it is a long slow old job .

Sown in early March they are useable as small beets around the end of May if I'm lucky .. this year has been very slow for me here in the UK and it is only now that the beets sown in March are just over an inch in diameter.

Life expectancy of the seed is usualy three years on average if kept in ideal conditions..

The carrots took a similar time for it's been so wet here I lost most of the normal early sown carrot seeds due to slugs and rot.
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Post  Triciasgarden on 7/29/2012, 8:19 pm

@toledobend wrote:Beets me! (sorry I couldn't resist)

lol! good one!
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Post  southern gardener on 7/30/2012, 3:40 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:Bone meal is easy to find just about anywhere. Homedepot, Lowe's, kmart, walmart, etc.
There are many, many reasons things grow or fail. Weather, watering, pests, climate, variety, time of season, overcrowding, old seeds, the list goes on...
Just a thought, if you do start to add different components to your Mel's Mix, I would add some to a square or two and some without. That way you can compare results.
Also, I would doubt all your Mel's Mix needs to be replaced. You still need to add at least a trowel of compost (5 types blended) to each square as you harvest. Whether you buy the composts or make your own, ALL of your mix will need to be amended same as if you made your own Mel's Mix. Your preparing yourself for lots of work. I would start by testing the mix that's causing you concern. Amend as needed. I would save your new Mel's Mix for future boxes, as you know, you can't replenish your squares with Mel's Mix.
If you are at all concerned about the quality of your mix, I suggest having it tested. I would guess this could easily be done through your local extension agent. Here are some past threads on soil quality and testing.
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t10252-soil-test-results?highlight=soil+test
Thank you Rooster, and I do agree with you about amending the soil. We have added what we have of our own compost, and the plants took off in some areas, and stayed stunted in other areas, then everything seems to have stalled out again. It almost seems like there is something in the Pre Mix that "burns/stunts" (for lack of better words) the plants?? It almost seems like we had "good bags" and "bad bags" of the Pre Mix. You can look at the garden and almost see it. Plants planted at the same time, watered etc, and some are pretty good, and right next to it, small, yellow stunted plants that have stopped growing. I was thinking of just amending the soil with 5 way compost (we would have to buy enough for 12 beds, since we don't have enough of our own ready for all 12 beds, lots more $$)but hubby is afraid if something is really wrong with some of the old MM in the beds, we may just be throwing good money after bad. He wants to pull everything out, and re-do it again for the third time Sad I am not even sure how we would test the soil since we have so many "good/bad" spots all over. It's so strange. Ugh...I wish I knew what to do. I just want a garden!!!
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Post  RoOsTeR on 7/30/2012, 7:34 am

In my post above, you will find several soil testing agencies.
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results
Having your mix tested is fairly economical and could give you peace of mind. That would be my very first step. This will let you know if your mix is off.

When you filled your bed with the mix, did you thoroughly mix all of your Mel's Mix together? I know, it should all be the same, but it would make consistency through out.

Again, I would start with soil test and put the guessing to bed. Wink

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Post  southern gardener on 7/30/2012, 11:08 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:In my post above, you will find several soil testing agencies.
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results
Having your mix tested is fairly economical and could give you peace of mind. That would be my very first step. This will let you know if your mix is off.

When you filled your bed with the mix, did you thoroughly mix all of your Mel's Mix together? I know, it should all be the same, but it would make consistency through out.

Again, I would start with soil test and put the guessing to bed. Wink

We had the beds prepared, and opened up the bags of the pre made Mel's Mix and planted as per the instructions on the bag. We used approximately 4-5 bags per bed. Are you asking if we mixed it again after we put it in the beds? If so, no. Once the boxes were full, we leveled out the mix and then we wet down the mix and planted. It didn't seem necessary to mix all the mix again, and it would be very difficult to mix it around in the "full" boxes if that makes sense. The bag says "ready to plant" so that's what we did. Most of the beds are full of plants, some good and some bad, so hate to pull it all out now, hoping to salvage what's left of the "good" stuff. We did however plant one entire box, but again, we did not mix all the bags again once it's in the box, we poured in the new bags, wet down the soil and planted. Most of the stuff has sprouted, so waiting to see how we do. i will check with our local Ag store, and see if they have a soil test. our closest extension is about 20 miles away. Thanks again for the suggestions.
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Post  RoOsTeR on 7/30/2012, 12:06 pm

I guess I'm just the type that would want to know without a doubt if my mix was off and needed attention, or my gardening methods were off and needed some tweaking. Mel's Mix is a great growing medium. There is plenty proof of that. But it's not going to grow everything perfectly every time. Sometimes our own hands are the culprit. Like my signature says, I'm my gardens worst enemy. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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Post  southern gardener on 7/30/2012, 3:39 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:I guess I'm just the type that would want to know without a doubt if my mix was off and needed attention, or my gardening methods were off and needed some tweaking. Mel's Mix is a great growing medium. There is plenty proof of that. But it's not going to grow everything perfectly every time. Sometimes our own hands are the culprit. Like my signature says, I'm my gardens worst enemy. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Yep. As I said, I will check with our local AG place and see about testing the soil. I'm just not sure what part to test? The "good" squares, or the bad squares, or wait until we pull everything, mix it up and then test? I've never done testing before, so not sure how to do it. I will contact our local AG place and ask. I was just hoping the MM was going to alleviate all of this testing and guessing. HOPEFUL the new stuff does!!
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Post  southern gardener on 7/30/2012, 7:13 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:In my post above, you will find several soil testing agencies.
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results
Having your mix tested is fairly economical and could give you peace of mind. That would be my very first step. This will let you know if your mix is off.

When you filled your bed with the mix, did you thoroughly mix all of your Mel's Mix together? I know, it should all be the same, but it would make consistency through out.

Again, I would start with soil test and put the guessing to bed. Wink

I read through the posts you suggested, and can't find any local extensions in my area? They seem to be in other states. I called our local extension, and they are only in on Tues and Thurs afternoons Sad . I called our local AG service, explained to them the problem and they didn't say very nice things about the soil Mad . They referred me to a local place that does soils analysis, and they want $70 per test! $90 if I want to know the "fix"?? That doesn't sound very economical? Does anyone know if there are "home tests" that work? Both of the places said they don't recommend them. I can't afford to test all my boxes at $70 per box?? Even one box at $70 is a lot to us. Hoping to hear back from the local extension. I've already contacted them twice and haven't heard back. ugh.........Where are you guys finding your economical testing places?
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Post  camprn on 7/30/2012, 8:23 pm

This is an order form for soilless mix analysis, which is what MM is, and they are way cheaper than the quote you got.
http://www.umass.edu/soiltest/pdf/Soilless%20Greenhouse%20Media%20Sample%20Submission%20Form.pdf

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Post  RoOsTeR on 7/30/2012, 8:44 pm


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Post  Turan on 7/30/2012, 10:00 pm

I wonder if some of the bags were contaminated with herbicides that do not break down for a few years. A local commercial compost maker almost was put out of business from hay that had been sprayed with these getting into their mix. SO I can conceive that the mixers of the Mels Mix had a similar problem happen. To check for that you would need to send a sample from squares that are doing poorly and ask for a herbicide test, not just nutrient levels.

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Post  southern gardener on 7/30/2012, 11:36 pm

@Turan wrote:I wonder if some of the bags were contaminated with herbicides that do not break down for a few years. A local commercial compost maker almost was put out of business from hay that had been sprayed with these getting into their mix. SO I can conceive that the mixers of the Mels Mix had a similar problem happen. To check for that you would need to send a sample from squares that are doing poorly and ask for a herbicide test, not just nutrient levels.
Im kind of wondering the same thing. I have a feeling there was "compost" that was from city compost? There was glass, whole redwood chips and sticks in it. It seems like the plants are actually being burned/stunted or something? I bought full grown basil plant that was about 1 1/2 feet tall DARK green and planted it in the MM. Within a week it was pale green/yellow and hasn't grown at all. It never wilted, just turned yellow. I think we will probably just tear out the beds and re-do once we can see the new mix is going to work. I would hate to test parts of the beds and amend accordingly and there is a bigger underlying problem. i would still like to get some areas tested if we can tho. I feel bad, my poor hubby has to do all that work again, but he feels like we have a problem, and if we start mixing stuff around, we will mess up the whole garden. He has been very sweet to do all this for me, and I don't want to overload him Smile I wish I knew exactly what to do.
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