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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Topping off the boxes Toplef10Topping off the boxes 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.

Topping off the boxes I22gcj10Topping off the boxes 14dhcg10

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Topping off the boxes

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bnoles
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Post  jjocsak 8/15/2013, 7:21 am

When is the best time to top off my boxes with compost?
In the fall or in the spring before planting?

Jeff
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Post  bnoles 8/15/2013, 7:53 am

If you are not going to plant a Fall crop, then I would wait until Spring.
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Post  camprn 8/15/2013, 8:12 am

I try to get mine done in the autumn after cleaning out the boxes.

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Post  boffer 8/15/2013, 10:09 am

I do mine in the fall.
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Post  jjocsak 8/15/2013, 2:24 pm

I guess I shouldn't worry about nutrients being wash away from the compost before the Spring?
Or should I?

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Post  camprn 8/15/2013, 2:26 pm

jjocsak wrote:I guess I shouldn't worry about nutrients being wash away from the compost before the Spring?
Or should I?

Jeff
I usually don't worry about it too much.

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Post  boffer 8/15/2013, 4:36 pm

jjocsak wrote:I guess I shouldn't worry about nutrients being wash away from the compost before the Spring?
Or should I?

Jeff
It's a recognized problem in the PNW, so I cover all my boxes and compost piles with plastic. It's probably not an issue in your climate.

I prefer doing it in the fall when the weather is nicer compared to late winter, when I do my first planting in the cold and rain.

Also, it gives whatever weeds there might be a chance to grow so I can remove them before I plant.

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Post  llama momma 8/15/2013, 4:56 pm

I tarp mine over, put bricks around the outside to hold it in place. It keeps cats from using the empty garden as a litter box. It keeps weed seeds from blowing in.  It keeps Mels Mix from blowing out.  Keeps heavy snow and rain from flushing through and diluting the compost in the mix.  I believe it helps a bit to preserve the precious  untreated wood boxes from the winter elements too.
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Post  sanderson 8/15/2013, 5:20 pm

Until this post, I hadn't really considered top dressing for fall, just when I replant. In CA I may not have any empty boxes! This Newbie just keeps sticking things in the empty squares.

LL,  good point on the cats!  I also have overhead trees with leaves and seeds.  I will Top off boxes but will at least cover any empty squares with weed block fabric with bricks.  
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