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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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vermiculite Toplef10vermiculite 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.

vermiculite I22gcj10vermiculite 14dhcg10

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Triciasgarden
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Post  Frenchbean 6/24/2012, 2:15 pm

Hi all. This is my first time on here so be kind to me. I have taken the time to read Mel's book on SFG. I only got it 2 days ago and already I'm hooked on the idea Very Happy . Please can someone help me. I am going to build a 4 foot sq box. How much vermiculite do I need? I don't like the idea of using peat moss so what else can I use ? Any hints/tips that anyone can give me would be most useful. I live in SE London. vermiculite 3170584802
Many thanks
Frenchbean
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Post  Turan 6/24/2012, 2:27 pm

glad you\'re here

Here is the link to the mix calculator https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/h22-mel-s-mix-calculator

I also do not like to use peat so use compost instead. I also use sand instead of vermeculite and don't fuss the proportions as much but that is me.

When substituting compost for peat use stuff that is long composted. Forest duff, leaf loam, very long composted stable stuff, ancient straw bales or years old grass clippings all work well.

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Post  Frenchbean 6/24/2012, 2:36 pm

Many thanks for the welcome and the link Turan. I will check out the link now Like a Star @ heaven
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Post  Turan 6/24/2012, 3:09 pm

I just reread what I wrote and hope it is not too confusing... Embarassed

If you do not want to use peat... use 2/3rds compost and 1/3rd vermeculite. The composts substituting for the peat should be well aged so not high in nutrients but high in humus.

I hope that makes sense.

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Post  Frenchbean 6/24/2012, 3:21 pm

Turan, thanks again. I have a compost bin and miracle grow and some farm yard manure that i've forgot about for 2 yrs Embarassed was thinking of using this?
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Post  Turan 6/24/2012, 3:44 pm

What is the state of the manure? Is it well rotted so all the components are no longer distinguishable? If it was stored dry it won't have finished rotting. If it was in a heap in the yard and managed to not get full of weeds.... it is likely perfect.

Read about Humus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humus
Spagnum peat moss is a type of humus. So you are looking for other types of humus.

You can grow stuff really well in straight compost that is no longer 'hot'. Sand or vermiculite/perlite keep it loose and draining well.

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Post  Triciasgarden 6/24/2012, 4:14 pm

Welcome Frenchbean, you will love this site! Two years ago I bought a compressed bag of coconut coir as an alternative to peat. When you buy it it is quite compacted so loosen it up before you calculate its measurement. You can use it in place of peat or as others have suggested use two thirds compost, one third vermiculite. I bought the coir as an alternative to peat because I had read that peat takes a very very long time to be created but coir is the outside hair of coconut so it replenished quickly.
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Post  Frenchbean 6/24/2012, 4:20 pm

my manure is the come in a bag stuff, I believe its well rotted. Turan

Thanks for the welcome Triciasgarden I've heard of choir didn't know if it was any good though
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Post  Daniel9999 6/24/2012, 6:07 pm

Have you seen the Mels Mix Calculator?

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

Just type in the dimensions of your boxes and the calculator will figure out just how much of each ingredient you will need for your mix.
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Post  RoOsTeR 6/24/2012, 6:30 pm

Frenchbean wrote:Hi all. This is my first time on here so be kind to me. I have taken the time to read Mel's book on SFG. I only got it 2 days ago and already I'm hooked on the idea Very Happy . Please can someone help me. I am going to build a 4 foot sq box. How much vermiculite do I need? I don't like the idea of using peat moss so what else can I use ? Any hints/tips that anyone can give me would be most useful. I live in SE London. vermiculite 3170584802
Many thanks
Frenchbean

Welcome Frenchbean. Be sure to check out the regional forum for Europe:
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/f22-europe
I'm sure Plantoid, the regional host for Europe, will have plenty words of wisdom for you.
I'm a strong supporter of following the recipe as Mel lays out in his book. I believe you were given some links on the use of peat in another thread. You will have to make the decisions you feel most comfortable with on using it. I will say, results with Mel's Mix as outlined in the book have been proven successful with great results. Your mileage may greatly vary if you decide to take another route.
Welcome to the forum!

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Post  plantoid 6/24/2012, 7:50 pm

Frenchbean wrote:Hi all. This is my first time on here so be kind to me. I have taken the time to read Mel's book on SFG. I only got it 2 days ago and already I'm hooked on the idea Very Happy . Please can someone help me. I am going to build a 4 foot sq box. How much vermiculite do I need? I don't like the idea of using peat moss so what else can I use ? Any hints/tips that anyone can give me would be most useful. I live in SE London. vermiculite 3170584802
Many thanks
Frenchbean



Hi FB ..

I've finally found your post . glad to find out the answer to my book question etc.

.. B&Q sell 60 litre bags & 120 litre bales of compost made from pure coconut fibres .. white with pink and a flower on the bag .....There are no weed seeds in it ... they are heavy!

I have been using two 120 litre bales of the composted coir to 100 litres of builders vermiculite to 12 times 3 gallon buckets of home made composted manures

Don't go for any seedling / potting stuff made from composted green waste ... most of it seems to come out of the local authority waste facilities and is full of bits of plastic and weed seeds , most likely will have weed treated lawn cuttings & the associated chemicals in it. which can spell instant disaster for your beds.

I made this mistake and the glasshouse's heated misting seed bed I used it on grew all sorts of weeds especially nettles and very coarse marsh grasses .

That bag of commercial manure .. might be strugling to be sensibly called comoposted manure even by UK standards. Think of getting some different materials and different manures

Which big national chain garden centres do you have close enough to buy from ??

Bung them up onn th thread so we can see what they are selling and make suggestions about the products ( from what we on site know about them )
plantoid
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Post  Frenchbean 6/25/2012, 12:55 pm

Hi Plantoid, thanks for helping me and thanks to everyone else who has been so kind to help me Very Happy Like a Star @ heaven

The shops I have round here are:-
B&Q
Homebase
Phobies
I have used creative ideas on line to buy Miracle grow bags
and that's it affraid
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Post  LittleGardener 8/6/2012, 6:39 pm

Triciasgarden wrote:Welcome Frenchbean, you will love this site!
Two years ago I bought a compressed bag of coconut coir as an alternative to peat.
When you buy it it is quite compacted so loosen it up before you calculate its measurement.
I bought the coir as an alternative to peat because I had read that peat takes a very very long time to be created, but coir is the outside hair of coconut so it replenished quickly.
True, I learn at least 10 Smile helpful things here every day. - Like this "COIR" as an alternative to peat. Interesting! - another resource to look into adding. Thank you friend for sharing this. flower!
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