Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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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Newbie Needs Help Toplef10Newbie Needs Help 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.

Newbie Needs Help I22gcj10Newbie Needs Help 14dhcg10

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Newbie Needs Help

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llama momma
sarahmitzie
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Post  sarahmitzie 5/20/2014, 4:53 pm

So, I'm just getting my SFG up and running but I'd prefer not to use peat Moss, Is ther an alternative?

Also, being in the UK all our compost etc is sold in litres, anyone know how many litres of each element of MM I'd need for a 4ft x 4ft x 6inch bed
sarahmitzie
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Post  llama momma 5/20/2014, 4:58 pm

Peat substitutes are discussed about the third paragraph down - if you try it let us know how it works!

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/how-to-make-your-own-potting-soil.aspx#axzz32I86frW1
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Post  rabbithutch 5/20/2014, 5:15 pm

Howdy (from Texas) Sarah!

A 4x4 foot bed filled to 6 inches would be 8 cubic feet or about 227 liters (if I did the gozintos correctly).

Is peat not available to you or is there some reason you wish not to use it?
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Post  sarahmitzie 5/20/2014, 5:42 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:Howdy (from Texas) Sarah!

A 4x4 foot bed filled to 6 inches would be 8 cubic feet or about 227 liters (if I did the gozintos correctly).

Is peat not available to you or is there some reason you wish not to use it?
I can find peat moss but I'd just prefer not to use it due to the effect on the environment Can I ask how you worked out the litre-age for thr bed so i can wor it out for my other beds
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Post  camprn 5/20/2014, 7:31 pm

Canadian Sphagnum is a renewable source. There is also coconut coir, but that footprint is also large in shipping and excessive use of fresh water to process. Coir is an acceptable substitute, but the sphagnum is better. Same with vermiculite and perlite, though both are good at what they do in the mix.

____________________________

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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  sarahmitzie 5/21/2014, 4:25 am

What's the difference between perlite and vermiculite?
sarahmitzie
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Post  camprn 5/21/2014, 6:34 am

@sarahmitzie wrote:What's the difference between perlite and vermiculite?
please use the search feature to find previous thread about perlite and vermiculite. perlite is a lot cheaper and easier to find and is perfectly acceptable to use in Mel's mix.

____________________________

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  FeedMeSeeMore 5/21/2014, 10:36 am

@sarahmitzie wrote:What's the difference between perlite and vermiculite?

We went for the perlite because it was cheaper. Does basically the same thing, except perlite tends to float to the top and makes the bed look kind of white. Enough stays down in the soil though and my plants are happy.
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Post  rabbithutch 5/21/2014, 11:15 am

Howdy, Sarah!

The cubic footage is just length times width times depth (4x4x.5=8 cuft.).

For all metric conversions (because I'm American and metrically challenged), I use an Internet resource.  I usually just search for what ever conversion I need, in this case I use "How many litres (how's that?) in 8 cubic feet" as the search argument.  I found this web page (Metric Conversion) and read the chart below and rounded the result.

Hope this helps.
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Post  plantoid 5/30/2014, 6:17 pm

@sarahmitzie wrote:So, I'm just getting my SFG up and running but I'd prefer not to use peat Moss, Is ther an alternative?

Also, being in the UK all our compost etc is sold in litres, anyone know how many litres of each element of MM I'd need for a 4ft x 4ft x 6inch bed

Sarah ,
 This year is the first year I'm trialling compressed coconut fibre  .
A block weighs 10 pounds ( 4.5 kg )  I purchased 10 blocks for £48 ish on line carriage included.
Don't try and reconstitute it in a plastic dust bin unless you are very strong as it becomes a very tight filled bin that's heavy to move.

 You'll need a large barrow and 30 litres of water , put water in barrow  float the block in it and shave off the fibre as it absorbs water and becomes free . , in about 10 min  it goes from a 12 x 12 x 7 inch block  (300 x 300 x 165 mm ) to about 80 litres volume when fully fluffed up .




  I got mine from eBay store Elixir-Garden-Supplies look in the index for coir.
 
You can also get a nutrient pack for tomato growing from them to add to the water so you can  grow tomatoes & capsicums in a sterile growth medium of plain coir .
I've added half quantities per block reconstituted just to be sure I have got everything needed for growing my TOM- TATO's
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