Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Toplef10Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  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.

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  I22gcj10Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  14dhcg10

[/td][/tr][/table]

Join the forum, it's quick and easy

Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Toplef10Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  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.

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  I22gcj10Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  14dhcg10

[/td][/tr][/table]
Square Foot Gardening Forum
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Jjean59 first SFG - 2024
by Jjean59 Today at 7:48 pm

» Prefab compost question
by DMann Today at 7:02 pm

» N&C Midwest January & February 2024
by JAM23 Today at 6:13 pm

» Hello from Surrey
by Scorpio Rising Today at 5:53 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising Today at 5:49 pm

» Winter Lag - Waiting for Sprimg
by sanderson Today at 4:36 pm

» Kitty Control
by sanderson Today at 4:25 pm

» TDs 2024 SFG
by Turan Today at 12:09 am

» Hello! From GA! Newbie
by sanderson Yesterday at 9:53 pm

» Kiwi's SFG Adventure
by sanderson Yesterday at 9:45 pm

» Sweet Potato Slips - Buy or Grow?
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:27 pm

» Seeds 'n Such Free Shipping
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:09 pm

» Mark's first SFG
by markqz 2/19/2024, 11:25 pm

» Ohio Gardener's Greenhouse
by OhioGardener 2/19/2024, 5:46 pm

» Hi from Central Oregon
by donnainzone5 2/18/2024, 5:50 pm

» Mealybugs?
by OhioGardener 2/17/2024, 11:02 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by OhioGardener 2/17/2024, 10:59 am

» Second Life for Determinate Tomatoes?
by OhioGardener 2/16/2024, 7:35 am

» Calling all juice bar waste composters...
by KiwiSFGnewbie 2/12/2024, 12:14 am

» Recommended store bought compost - Photos of composts
by sanderson 2/9/2024, 10:52 pm

» Now is The Time To Take Seed Inventory
by sanderson 2/5/2024, 5:34 pm

» Homemade Seed Starting Mix
by sanderson 2/4/2024, 4:05 pm

» Stop warping in pine planks
by sanderson 2/4/2024, 3:56 pm

» Here's my purple cauliflower.
by markqz 2/1/2024, 11:40 pm

» Alfalfa Pellets and Epsom Salt for Tomatoes?
by sanderson 2/1/2024, 12:24 pm

» Bokashi
by sanderson 1/27/2024, 3:24 pm

» What can I do to fix my Mel's Mix?
by OhioGardener 1/24/2024, 8:23 am

» Re-Starting My Gardens
by Scorpio Rising 1/23/2024, 9:15 pm

» Lemongrass
by sanderson 1/23/2024, 2:37 am

» Dozens of seedlings in my compost tumbler, should I worry?
by KiwiSFGnewbie 1/19/2024, 8:15 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

+5
BeetlesPerSqFt
sanderson
Scorpio Rising
trolleydriver
brianj555
9 posters

Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  brianj555 12/10/2017, 1:03 pm

After clearing out and cleaning up the bed, do you turn, fluff, stir or otherwise re-mix the MM?  It seems like I have read a little about leaving it alone and then also read about people who re-mix it up because the vermiculite has a tendency to sink to the bottom.  What do you do?
brianj555
brianj555

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2017-08-22
Location : Zone 9 - Mississippi

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  trolleydriver 12/10/2017, 1:24 pm

brianj555 wrote:After clearing out and cleaning up the bed, do you turn, fluff, stir or otherwise re-mix the MM?  It seems like I have read a little about leaving it alone and then also read about people who re-mix it up because the vermiculite has a tendency to sink to the bottom.  What do you do?
Rightly or wrongly, at the end of the growing season I add new home-made compost to each square and stir it in with a three pronged hand held thingy that I got at the dollar store. The beds are then left exposed to the elements (rain, snow, freezing, thawing) until the following Spring. As I replant in the Spring I add another trowel full of compost to each square. I'm looking forward to hearing other comments.
avatar
trolleydriver

Forum Moderator

Male Posts : 5395
Join date : 2015-05-04
Age : 76
Location : Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  Scorpio Rising 12/10/2017, 1:48 pm

I have done both, or a combination of the above!  Last year, I added compost to my old existing beds at Fall.  To my new 3x7 I added it in Spring, of course.  That bed was full of grass, apparently from the incomplete composting of the weeds in the straw...or just weeds.  

This year, I left them naked and unstirred.  James Bond coming to mind!  Will top off with compost and more volume of MM in Spring.  My beds have deflated.
Scorpio Rising
Scorpio Rising

Female Posts : 8649
Join date : 2015-06-12
Age : 62
Location : Ada, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  brianj555 12/10/2017, 5:23 pm

Yeah, mine has deflated as well and I also plan to top it off with new mix (prob 2”) but I’m wondering if I should mix the old and the new all up or just leave the new stuff on top.  I would like to stir it all up , not sure why I’m itching to do that, but I don’t want to disturb any kind of beneficial micro ecosystem that could be going on or developing down there.
brianj555
brianj555

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2017-08-22
Location : Zone 9 - Mississippi

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  sanderson 12/10/2017, 5:30 pm

I have done all three: added and roughly mixed, added as a thick top dressing only, and done nothing. What I have noticed is that come spring, the microorganisms and red wiggler worms have turned the MM into a fine, wet mix of the consistency of fine ground coffee with a few vermiculite sparkes.  So, this year I am waiting until spring to add more chunky compost to the beds.  That will allow some air pockets.

Brian, I want to protect the microbes, also. But, if I don't roughly mix new compost in, then the vermiculite stays in the bottom. My final decision is that veggies are short term plants so roughly mixing in is the best compromise. Just my thoughts. If I have an orchard, I would not plow.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast
sanderson
sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 21443
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 75
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

https://connect.xfinity.com/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  trolleydriver 12/10/2017, 5:31 pm

Brian, I figure, we have plants densely packed in our SFG beds and when we pull them out that disturbs the micro ecosystem anyway. I don't worry about that stuff but maybe I should. We are essentially growing in a soilless mixture and for most of us on a small scale. If we keep adding good compost we should be golden.
avatar
trolleydriver

Forum Moderator

Male Posts : 5395
Join date : 2015-05-04
Age : 76
Location : Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  brianj555 12/10/2017, 6:21 pm

I think I will mix it since that doesn’t seem like a bad thing to do.   I am very very curious to see if I have a population of worms inside my mix. I don’t think red wigglers are native to my area though.
I am still curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on this though.
brianj555
brianj555

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2017-08-22
Location : Zone 9 - Mississippi

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 12/10/2017, 6:55 pm

I have mostly been putting the new stuff on top, but I think my beds could use a good fluff. The texture has gotten a bit stiff below the top half on some of them. I think that's why all my carrots came up 'short.'
BeetlesPerSqFt
BeetlesPerSqFt

Female Posts : 1439
Join date : 2016-04-11
Location : Port Matilda, PA Zone 5b/6a LF:5/11-FF:10/10

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  Scorpio Rising 12/10/2017, 10:33 pm

That’s interesting.  I pull out a good bit of MM with my plants at end of seasons...and there is just plain old gravity.
Scorpio Rising
Scorpio Rising

Female Posts : 8649
Join date : 2015-06-12
Age : 62
Location : Ada, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  CapeCoddess 12/12/2017, 12:18 pm

For the first time, I've decided to leave the roots in, leaving the microbes undisturbed, and cover the bed with compost without mixing. This may change come spring but for now that's the plan.
CapeCoddess
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6824
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 67
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  Scorpio Rising 12/13/2017, 7:54 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:For the first time, I've decided to leave the roots in, leaving the microbes undisturbed, and cover the bed with compost without mixing.  This may change come spring but for now that's the plan.
I will be so interested in what you deal with in Spring!  I thought about it for Sure!
Scorpio Rising
Scorpio Rising

Female Posts : 8649
Join date : 2015-06-12
Age : 62
Location : Ada, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  countrynaturals 12/13/2017, 11:16 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:For the first time, I've decided to leave the roots in, leaving the microbes undisturbed, and cover the bed with compost without mixing.  This may change come spring but for now that's the plan.
Same here. I like the ease and simplicity of this plan. Cool
countrynaturals
countrynaturals

Female Posts : 5704
Join date : 2016-04-12
Location : Redding, CA

http://countrynaturals.com

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  meatburner 12/14/2017, 1:09 am

Suz, this fits right into the BTE gardening method.  Keeping it simple which is what nature does.  We try our very best to make it more complicated because "It cannot be that easy....we need to do more work".  Remember the old commercial, "It's not nice to fool mother nature".  In nature, the roots would be left to decompose so why disturb them.  Just my thoughts.
meatburner
meatburner

Male Posts : 362
Join date : 2012-10-24
Age : 73
Location : zone 6b, southwest missouri

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  brianj555 12/14/2017, 9:32 am

meatburner wrote:Suz, this fits right into the BTE gardening method.  Keeping it simple which is what nature does.  We try our very best to make it more complicated because "It cannot be that easy....we need to do more work".  Remember the old commercial, "It's not nice to fool mother nature".  In nature, the roots would be left to decompose so why disturb them.  Just my thoughts.

This that you are mentioning is sort of where my initial question originated from.  I read somewhere that it was recommended to simply leave the roots in place to break down on their own in the bed.  I can certainly see how this would make perfect sense.  Although when thinking on this, two questions (with a couple sub-questions tongue ) came to mind.  

If I leave the mix alone and only top with new compost, will my vermiculite sink to the bottom?  If so, would it serve it's proper purpose once it does? I certainly see the benefits of strictly adding new compost due to the fuel it would provide, but I'm wondering if topping with new MM would be better???

How long would it take for all of those roots to decompose?  In my zone, I only have 3 months where tomatoes, peppers, cukes, corn ect. aren't in the ground.  Will those roots have time to decompose that quickly in those cold temperature months?  Could it cause problems if they don't get broken down before I put new transplants in?  

I really do want to keep things simple, but in a contained area like a raised bed, is this the best thing to do? Basically, I can see both sides of this coin.  It seems like they both have pros and cons.  I'm just wondering which has the most pros and the least cons.  Wink

Either way, I will be re-mixing this year.  I want to see if I have a worm population becoming established in my mix.  Also, I filled the bed with a 25% vermiculite, 25% peat and 50% compost in July.  I plan to mix in a few new inches of MM, going a little heavy with vermiculite and peat in an attempt to bring the ratio closer to what is suggested in the book.  I will say that my plants produced very well for the most part with the ratio above, (i can only imagine how well they would have done if I knew how to identify and control the critters and then without hurricane nate) but I would think they would only do better with the correct proportions.
brianj555
brianj555

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2017-08-22
Location : Zone 9 - Mississippi

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  sanderson 12/15/2017, 2:50 pm

brianj555 wrote:I read somewhere that it was recommended to simply leave the roots in place to break down on their own in the bed.  I can certainly see how this would make perfect sense.  Although when thinking on this, two questions (with a couple sub-questions tongue ) came to mind.  

If I leave the mix alone and only top with new compost, will my vermiculite sink to the bottom?  If so, would it serve it's proper purpose once it does? I certainly see the benefits of strictly adding new compost due to the fuel it would provide, but I'm wondering if topping with new MM would be better???
If you top with compost, the vermiculite will stay where it is, at the bottom.  It doesn't migrate.

How long would it take for all of those roots to decompose?  In my zone, I only have 3 months where tomatoes, peppers, cukes, corn etc. aren't in the ground.  Will those roots have time to decompose that quickly in those cold temperature months?  Could it cause problems if they don't get broken down before I put new transplants in?
Only one way to find out.  Wink I remove the biggest roots.  Mel pulled out the plants.  But, then, Mel devised a gardening method that works and would allow people to grow some fresh veggies.
  
I really do want to keep things simple, but in a contained area like a raised bed, is this the best thing to do? Basically, I can see both sides of this coin.  It seems like they both have pros and cons.  I'm just wondering which has the most pros and the least cons.  Wink

Either way, I will be re-mixing this year.  I want to see if I have a worm population becoming established in my mix.  Also, I filled the bed with a 25% vermiculite, 25% peat and 50% compost in July.  I plan to mix in a few new inches of MM, going a little heavy with vermiculite and peat in an attempt to bring the ratio closer to what is suggested in the book.  I will say that my plants produced very well for the most part with the ratio above, (i can only imagine how well they would have done if I knew how to identify and control the critters and then without hurricane Nate) but I would think they would only do better with the correct proportions.
I don't know that it is necessary to change your ratio.  People in other countries don't have peat/coir or vermiculite/perlite. And, yes, you did good this year. Very Happy

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast
sanderson
sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 21443
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 75
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

https://connect.xfinity.com/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  Robbomb116 12/15/2017, 3:52 pm

The main microorganism I am familiar with is mychorizal fungi,  as I worked as few summers under a soil scientist researching it.   From a mychorizal stance alone, tracing just the roots in doesn't do much more good for them then turning the bed.  

To survive , mychorizal fungi need a living root to attach to. So cutting off the plant and just leaving the roots does little to nothing for them.  That being said there are also some plants that don't form a relationship with the fungi.  A big group for us gardeners are brassicas( cabbage family) so those plants won't help.

Now, it is entirely possible  (and likely) that mixing the beds disturbs other parts of the micro ecosystem besides just mychorizal fungi... but I am only really knowledgeable on the mychorizal.

One option that my boss was researching was the effects of cover crops on the fungi  (long story short, it's really good!) So a cover crop of possibly some rye grass or alfalfa be a great option for your microorganisms if your winters are mild enough for them (but maybe too cold for most veggies, as I'd imagine you'd grow veggies if it was an option.) Bonus with cover crops is you can throw them into the compost pile, and alfalfa fixes nitrogen like beans and peas!

That all being said, I myself did add compost and mix my beds, for compaction reasons, and our winters are so so cold that I can't really do a winter cover crop even if I wanted to.
Robbomb116
Robbomb116

Male Posts : 364
Join date : 2016-07-07
Age : 34
Location : Bismarck ND, Zone 4a

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  brianj555 12/15/2017, 6:55 pm

Thanks Sanderson.  Very interesting Rob.
brianj555
brianj555

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2017-08-22
Location : Zone 9 - Mississippi

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  Robbomb116 12/15/2017, 7:11 pm

You can never be too heavy on compost.  In fact, a common problem is to have too much peat moss and/or vermiculite.   To play it on the safe side I am actually planning to use your initial ratio of 50% compost 25% each of the other two for any future beds I make.
Robbomb116
Robbomb116

Male Posts : 364
Join date : 2016-07-07
Age : 34
Location : Bismarck ND, Zone 4a

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  brianj555 12/15/2017, 7:27 pm

Robbomb116 wrote:You can never be too heavy on compost.  In fact, a common problem is to have too much peat moss and/or vermiculite.   To play it on the safe side I am actually planning to use your initial ratio of 50% compost 25% each of the other two for any future beds I make.
That is good to know.  Like I said, that ratio did work very well for me. Maybe I shouldn’t fix anything’s not broken thinking
brianj555
brianj555

Male Posts : 444
Join date : 2017-08-22
Location : Zone 9 - Mississippi

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  sanderson 12/15/2017, 7:50 pm

Wink

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast
sanderson
sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 21443
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 75
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

https://connect.xfinity.com/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  Scorpio Rising 12/15/2017, 7:53 pm

Great thread!
Scorpio Rising
Scorpio Rising

Female Posts : 8649
Join date : 2015-06-12
Age : 62
Location : Ada, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Garden Clean-Up/Preparation  Empty Re: Garden Clean-Up/Preparation

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum