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Adding to Single Compost MM

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Adding to Single Compost MM

Post  sanderson on 5/20/2013, 1:26 am

This is my first year with SFG. My MM is 1/3 fluffed peat moss, 1/3 perlite/vermiculte mix, and Kellogg All Natural Garden Soil. It's working great but I don't think it will continue providing enough nutrients throughout the long growing season. I need to add some more sources of nutritious compost and I could use some feed back. Can I add the following as a corner top-dressing, using a half a scoop of mix in each box, lightly mixing in?

Equal parts of:

-Lowe's Cow manure that smells really nice, not at all like manure.
-Worm castings
-Kelp
-Starbucks coffee grounds

Any else I should add at this time?

I also plan to make a buried compost of the above along with kitchen green waste and leaves for future replacement scoops.

All comments welcomed
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Re: Adding to Single Compost MM

Post  camprn on 5/20/2013, 6:32 am

When I topdress with compost I am not shy about putting it on. Typically I add an inch or two to the entire bed surface. It is different with fertilizers and I recommend following the label directions.

Have you thought about making a simple wire hoop for making your own compost? It's easier than burying it.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Adding to Single Compost MM

Post  sanderson on 5/20/2013, 1:09 pm

Dear Camp RN, I tried above ground composting but it bred white flies. I had spent two years trying to save my gardenias from white flies and finally ripped out all but one. That's why I am going to have to compost underground. Another story.

I want to add the items from my list to my growing beds but I don't want to hurt the existing veggies. So, if I mix equal amounts of the items in my list, do you think a hand trowel or a half a trowel amount would hurt the veggies?

Thanks, s anderson
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Re: Adding to Single Compost MM

Post  sanderson on 5/21/2013, 3:35 pm

Anyone else have suggestions? I want to add the ingredients I listed but I don't want to hurt anything. The pure kelp smells like the ocean! The cow manure is nice and earthy. Ditto on the worm casting. The kelp and castings were kind of expensive to order online but they were really nice quality. The coffee grinds are very fine.

At what quantity can I add to existing squares and pots, and do I just leave on top or in corners or can I slightly mix.

My beginner's MM is 1/3 Kellogg. I can't help but think that if my MM is good at this point, how much better it will be when I can make my own compost! Meanwhile, what can I safely add?
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Re: Adding to Single Compost MM

Post  chjbr63 on 5/22/2013, 4:52 am

I'm far from an expert, only my second year but I had same issue last year. Here is what I did and what I would do with what you have available.
First coffee put right in your garden can cause more problems than it helps. Before I found SFG I did all container growing. I would put the grounds from my morning coffee in and work it in a bit. Before long the top 2 inches was more coffee than anything else, it would dry out fast and when kept wet it would get white mold. My coffee goes in the compost pile and I use some as part of my compost tea mix.
Worm casting, a little goes a long way. It helped my first year SFG a great deal. I put a small handful in each square. Also good for tea.
Pure kelp can be very strong too. I wouldn't add it directly, I would just sprinkle small amount in your compost blend and use it in your tea.
The Kellogg product sounds pretty good but it has peat in it and may have thrown off your ratio(1/3,1/3,1/3) a little bit. Top dressing with a good blended compost will help the ratio and feed the soil.
I would strongly suggest you add a couple more items to your list. Mushroom compost is cheap and pretty easy to find. I see on your local craigslist rabbit manure and other compost cheap or free. http://fresno.craigslist.org/grd/3741938031.html Do a search on the forum and you will find a lot of us love our rabbit poo. Here is a informative article on it.
http://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2012/03/31/the-benefits-and-uses-of-rabbit-manure/
Take your bag from Lowes and bag of mushroom and spread them out, add around 20% to your volume of each of the rabbit and worms castings. Saving the rest for making tea. Go light on the kelp and mix that all together. It wouldn't hurt anything adding it right away, but you can wait until you feel it needs it. I like to use my hands to add mine, one or two handfuls per square and I work it in with my fingers.

Hope this helps


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Re: Adding to Single Compost MM

Post  landarch on 5/22/2013, 9:24 am

I would just use some simple organic fertilizer (Chickity Doo Doo or similar) and concentrate on getting your compost pile going. You could also water with compost tea, fish emulsion, etc. (fish emuslion smells as bad as it sounds).

I've also heard that rabbit manure can be added directly to the garden without comosting first and not harm the plants.
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Re: Adding to Single Compost MM

Post  camprn on 5/22/2013, 10:57 am

My thinking is that you began the season without using the Mel's mix recipe that calls for a 5 way compost blend, and your results reflect this. I would make every effort to find five different types of compost, including manure composts and take the time to make the blend and then top dress with compost a few inches deep all across the bed.

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43 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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