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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Filling a 4'x4'x10" Toplef10Filling a 4'x4'x10" 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Filling a 4'x4'x10" I22gcj10Filling a 4'x4'x10" 14dhcg10

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Filling a 4'x4'x10"

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camprn
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NJYankees
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Post  NJYankees 3/29/2012, 8:49 am

Good morning everyone! First post here, building and starting my first square foot gardening vegetable box in the next several days and just wanted to double check that I'm filling it with the right stuff. Having a hard time finding different types of compost so I was planning on using:

3 cubic feet of Peat Moss

4 cubic feet of Cow Manure Compost

4 cubic feet of Mushroom Compost

2 cubic feet of Vermiculite

The only large bag of Vermiculite I can find at Home Depot is "medium grade". Is that alright?

Is that a good mixture?



Thanks for your help and for any suggestions you may have.
NJYankees
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Post  wncsohn 3/29/2012, 9:01 am

Filling a 4'x4'x10" 396615 NJYankees

You might want to utilize the Mel's Mix Calculator here on the forums to get your quantities.

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/h22-mel-s-mix-calculator

Also, I've read posts where people don't use the 5 compost blend and in general they aren't very happy with the results.

That being said ... medium grade vermiculite is better than no vermiculite! Smile
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Post  llama momma 3/29/2012, 9:10 am

Welcome! If you read the book All New Square Foot Gardening edition 2006, it will give you a solid background. Other folks try using this forum only and don't succeed because they missed key points. But please go to the white search box on this page and put in Mel's Mix Calculator. It will tell you how much you need. At optimum success you are suppose to have 5 kinds of compost ( and more won't hurt either) because of the nutritional varieties they offer. Can't tell you what 2 composts will do for you. If you can't find anything else I'd go with more cow compost. You might want to read up on mushroom compost before adding. I think 2 cu.ft. of vermiculite is about half of what you need for a square foot garden in a box that size. Medium will work. Ultimately the nutritional aspect is the most important ingredient to consider. You can improve on the others as those ingredients become available
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Post  sfg4uKim 3/29/2012, 9:16 am

Filling a 4'x4'x10" 61949 and welcome to the Forum!

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Post  Mikesgardn 3/29/2012, 10:03 am

When working on my first SFG, I didn't use 5 composts. Just one. So I supplemented with occasional fertilizer. Now I use multiple composts, and no fertilizer.
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Post  plantoid 3/29/2012, 4:48 pm

Welcome NJYankees it is indeed a challenge for most people to readily pick up the prebagged ingredients off the shelf.

Like Greyhound coaches they come along when your not wanting them and usually in threes at that .

Once you get going with the ANSFG'ing you'll focus your mind more and all sorts of stuff will be there right infront of your eyes.

I'd go with adding something like bood , fish & bonemeal to an initial new bed that you definitely know is missing some of the reccommended ingredients.

As has been said you'll get some veg out the beds in the first year but you'll do even better in future years when you develop your MM and the beds have matured.

I also fully endorse the comment about getting & using Mel's " All New Square Foot Gardening " book 2006 edition . ( ANSFG Book ) I had been growing things for several years using the earlier method that Mel laid out in his first book .

I found it strange and confusing to work out what the guys & gals on site were on about till the penny dropped .. .... That we weren't singing off the same song sheet.

I purchased the new book , re cycled the old one & re did all my beds with proper Mel's mix , now it looks like it's going to be a bumper crop year for me.
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Post  camprn 3/29/2012, 6:06 pm

Welcome to the forum, you still have time, keep looking for different types of compost, your will have a more successful garden and less heartache. Check at local farms and farmer's markets...Where you in NJ?

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Post  NJYankees 3/29/2012, 6:53 pm

Thanks for all the help and suggestions. I'll do some more searching.

Right now looks like I can get the cow manure compost and mushroom compost from Lowes/Home Depot and leaf compost from the town. I'll have to check out some of the local garden shops and places like that to see if I can find another one or two types. What other types are common that I could call around and ask if they have it?

Camprn, I'm in Northeast NJ. Bergen County, 15-20 minutes outside NYC, on the Rockland County, NY border.



Thanks again.
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Post  camprn 3/29/2012, 7:07 pm

here are a few leads for you in NO. NJ

No. NJ Craigslist farm/garden

Local horse farms

Local Dairy Farms

nearby goat farms

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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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Post  chjbr63 3/29/2012, 7:44 pm

Welcome NJ Yankees

I lived in your neck of the woods for 20 years and am a big YANKEES fan. As camprn suggested go to Craigslist NO. NJ and there is a lot of free manure in West Millford and some rabbit manure in Totowa for $3. Been along time but I remember a big garden center in Mahwah on RT 17. I would stay away from the town compost, you have no idea what is in it. Good luck with your search.
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Post  NJYankees 3/30/2012, 2:36 pm

Checked a garden shop in the area and found a shrimp & seaweed compost and a bagged organic grass clippings/leaves/fruits/veggies compost. So I've got those 2 and mushroom compost and cow manure compost. Now I just have to find 1 more type. I'll check other garden shops and hopefully come across something.

Thanks again
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Post  walshevak 3/31/2012, 8:13 am

NJYankees wrote:Checked a garden shop in the area and found a shrimp & seaweed compost and a bagged organic grass clippings/leaves/fruits/veggies compost. So I've got those 2 and mushroom compost and cow manure compost. Now I just have to find 1 more type. I'll check other garden shops and hopefully come across something.

Thanks again

A chicken compost would round your mix very nicely.

Happy Gardening

Kay

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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 3/31/2012, 8:17 am

NJYankees wrote:Checked a garden shop in the area and found a shrimp & seaweed compost and a bagged organic grass clippings/leaves/fruits/veggies compost. So I've got those 2 and mushroom compost and cow manure compost. Now I just have to find 1 more type. I'll check other garden shops and hopefully come across something.

Thanks again

Where is this garden shop that has the shrimp and seaweed compost?? I work in the northern NJ area. I'm up there a few days a week. I would love to get some of that.
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Post  NJYankees 3/31/2012, 6:17 pm

Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:
NJYankees wrote:Checked a garden shop in the area and found a shrimp & seaweed compost and a bagged organic grass clippings/leaves/fruits/veggies compost. So I've got those 2 and mushroom compost and cow manure compost. Now I just have to find 1 more type. I'll check other garden shops and hopefully come across something.

Thanks again

Where is this garden shop that has the shrimp and seaweed compost?? I work in the northern NJ area. I'm up there a few days a week. I would love to get some of that.

TooTallTomatoes, it's called Willow Run Nursery & Garden Center in Cresskill, NJ.
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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 3/31/2012, 7:56 pm

Thanks for the info NJYankees! Filling a 4'x4'x10" 3170584802
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Post  NJYankees 4/1/2012, 10:50 am

I'm planning on building my 4'x4' box today but my seeds won't be arriving till sometime next week. Can I mix up my Mel's Mix and fill the box and just have it sit for a week or two or should I not fill it till I'm ready to plant?
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Post  camprn 4/1/2012, 10:52 am

If the weather is fine and you have the inclination get mixin' and fillin'. No need to wait. Wink

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Post  Pam Nix 4/1/2012, 10:55 am

Once you've mixed your original soil, it goes forever more. The only exception is adding more compost after each harvest due to the nutrients from the harvest being used during each planting. Based on no nutrients lost with any crops, you're fine mixing today, planting when the seeds come in.
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