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Post  retired member 2 on 4/9/2011, 4:16 pm

My beds are filled and I watered them all the way down a few days ago. Today they are crusty on top. Is this normal? I am getting ready to put the grids on and then I can plant!
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Post  camprn on 4/9/2011, 4:27 pm

It needs water. Don't water deep and heavy, but go out and water for 5 minutes or so. then find something else to do for an hour. Then water again for a few minutes. You will more than likely have to water every day, sometimes more than once. Mulch will help keep water from evaporating off the surface of the mix.
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Post  myhouseofBOYS on 4/9/2011, 4:39 pm

@camprn wrote:It needs water. Don't water deep and heavy, but go out and water for 5 minutes or so. then find something else to do for an hour. Then water again for a few minutes. You will more than likely have to water every day, sometimes more than once. Mulch will help keep water from evaporating off the surface of the mix.

I see people talking about this lots but doesn't Mel say with SFG that part of the allure is that you shouldn't have to water multiple times a day???? Sounds like people are watering more than a cup a day and Mel says you should only need about a cup per week. That is 5-10 ish or more times more which is a lot more than he claims one would need
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Post  dizzygardener on 4/9/2011, 9:23 pm

I can't speak for Camprn, but I think what she is suggesting is just to get the mix hydrated well the first time and then mist to keep the top of the mix damp.

It is essential to keep the top moist while you are starting seeds. You don't want them to dry out. If you are only misting the square you are not watering much more than a cup a week.
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Post  Furbalsmom on 4/9/2011, 9:45 pm

myhousedof BOYS, I really don't remember him saying 1 cup a week.

Chapter7, Page 138 and 139 says because your soil mix drains readily when saturated, is also has a tendency to dry out quicker than most garden soils. You have to water a little more often, but you are using less at a time.
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Post  myhouseofBOYS on 4/9/2011, 11:09 pm

yeah I can't seem to find where I saw the source I was refering to now, Maybe I conviluted the water with a cup of sun warmed water into a cup per week though I don't think so.
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Post  middlemamma on 4/9/2011, 11:46 pm

I have always had to water daily. But it takes much less water to KEEP mel's mix wet than it does to get it wet initially.

Stick your finger down through that crusty top...you have perfectly moist soil below...it's just the top that dries out quick, underneath is nice and damp for the plants roots.

Just today I went out to plant some onion starts. I have had TONS of rain the last few weeks, my beds are perfectly moist. I took a hand rake and raked the top layer and mixed up the square...planted my onions...and off I went. The soil was moist and damp under that top layer.
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