Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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.

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Shrinking MM Toplef10Shrinking MM 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.

Shrinking MM I22gcj10Shrinking MM 14dhcg10

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Post  B00kemdano 8/26/2012, 2:56 pm

It's been six months since I set up my first SFG - TT version. I had some successes this summer, as well as some failures. I'm learning, and maybe next year will be more productive.

The thing that alarms me the most at this point, is how much my MM shrunk! My 9" deep TT boxes were filled to within an inch of the top, giving me about 8" of MM all the way around. Now, after six months, the MM shrunk to about 3" from the top. I'm not so concerned about only have 6" of MM, as that's what is recommended in the book. But why did it shrink so much? I didn't have any soil wash out with rains. When I removed spent plants, I shook out nearly all the MM.

Where did it all go, and is this an indicator that my MM was faulty from the start?
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Post  camprn 8/26/2012, 3:38 pm

This is normal settling and it happens to all my garden boxes. I add as much compost as I need to top off the box. No Worries! okay

There are several threads about this. If you want to read them use the search feature at the bottom of the Latest Topics list on the left.

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Post  B00kemdano 8/28/2012, 4:35 pm

:\

I did do some searching, but I guess not enough.

Most of what I planted was stunted or didn't put out any fruit at all. Maybe my compost mix was not good?
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Post  camprn 8/28/2012, 5:26 pm

B00kemdano wrote::\

I did do some searching, but I guess not enough.

Most of what I planted was stunted or didn't put out any fruit at all. Maybe my compost mix was not good?
Stunted growth could be from lack of nutrients, lack of water or the excessive heat. DO you have your own compost pile going now? Just fill up the garden box with compost and mix it in before planting next season. No reason to make more Mel's Mix.

I also have a terrible time, sometimes, using the search feature. Later I will see what I can dig up.


Last edited by camprn on 8/28/2012, 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : had to add a pun.)

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43 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
https://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

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  Babblu143 3/13/2015, 9:12 am

I'll give an answer. I am in zone 6a, which is close. Normally that means first killing frost is late oct. or early november.
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Post  sanderson 3/13/2015, 12:13 pm

Babblu, Welcome to the Forum from California, US. glad you\'re here

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 3/13/2015, 12:38 pm

My first Mel's Mix was deficient.  I hadn't understood that the peat moss needed to be fluffed up before measuring so had double the amount in the mix than I was supposed to have.

I also used store bought compost in that mix and looking back, those composts weren't checked for peat moss content (can throw things off as well) and seemed pretty woody now that I know more what I'm doing.

It took a couple of seasons to bring that mix up to snuff and a lot of home made compost, but it's very healthy now.   The number one thing I would encourage you to do is start creating your own compost if you can.  When you control what goes into it you get better so much better results out of it!

Welcome to the forum  Very Happy
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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/13/2015, 1:53 pm

Hi Babblu!  Welcome from Atlanta, GA.  Mine shrank down quite a bit too.  But I was expecting it...
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Post  Mikesgardn 3/13/2015, 8:46 pm

Your planting bed lowered because your vegetables "consumed" the compost.   So just add more compost.
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Post  yolos 3/13/2015, 11:23 pm

My bed shrank 1 inch in a couple of months just from the MM settling.  I did not have anything planted in it.  After planting beans in it and letting them grow all summer, the bed sank another inch which was the result of the compost being "consumed by the vegetables" or just decaying more.
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Post  sanderson 3/14/2015, 3:02 am

yeppers

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Post  Windmere 3/14/2015, 12:20 pm

yolos wrote:My bed shrank 1 inch in a couple of months just from the MM settling.  I did not have anything planted in it.  After planting beans in it and letting them grow all summer, the bed sank another inch which was the result of the compost being "consumed by the vegetables" or just decaying more.
My beds also shrank quite a bit.  Not only because of summer, but also because of my winter garden.  I've stocked up on compost to fill the voids.
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