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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Post  OldTrout on 7/26/2018, 1:40 pm

Hello from Renton Washington. My name is Gary and am new to the square foot gardening concept, but have use the French intensive method before.  I am recently retired and not have time for my three main interest, Fly Fishing, Fly Tying and Gardening. I have 5 raised vegetable beds, 4 4x12 and 1 6x10. working on the flower beds.  Looking forward to learning from everyone. I do practice organic gardening.
Now to open with a question for everyone.  My beds are filled with 50% sifted (1/8 in mesh) top soil and 50% organic compost.  Then I added and inch or 2 of organic chicken manure. I have had very poor seed germination and am growing tons of little mushrooms.  I have always used steer manure in the past. What do most people use? is one better than the other?

Thanks Gary( aka Old Trout)
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Post  Bunny J on 7/26/2018, 5:09 pm

Hi Gary, I'm in Tacoma by the Narrows bridge! I've had poor germination with some things too, I was attributing it to our crazy weather. This is the first time I started everything except tomatoes and peppers from seed, so I'm certainly no authority. Haven't had issues with mushrooms; I use worm castings, mushroom compost and chicken manure as amendments, along with some of our own compost.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/26/2018, 5:33 pm

Hi Bunny J!  Ohio here!  Welcome to the forum!

So poor germination; did you water or get enough rain?  Was the soil the right germination temperature?  Lettuce is notoriously difficult to get to germinate outside a fairly narrow temperature range.  Tell us more details.  What did or didn’t germinate?

Have you read Mel Bartholomew”s book, All New Square Foot Gardening?  It is a great place to start, or even the original book.  Your library probably has them both.
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Post  sanderson on 7/27/2018, 3:43 am

Hi OldTrout, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here Fresh chicken manure is a little hot to add directly without it being aged. I'm thinking the little mushrooms are growing because there are wood particles in the bed. ?? They are okay. As Scorpio recommended, read the All New Square Foot Gardening book for a new look at raised bed gardening using the SFG method. Mel's Mix per the formula in the book is an easy way to garden. Sort of no-brainer once it's set up. Just add a blend of several composts each time you plant.

PS: I'm jealous of the amount of raised bed square footage that you have. Wink And, organic is a good way to go.

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/27/2018, 6:15 am

Hi OldTrout & Bunny J.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA!  Glad you've joined us...
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Post  bluelacedredhead on 7/27/2018, 7:40 am

Hi Old Trout, 
Welcome to SFG forum.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/27/2018, 11:04 am

Hi Gary! Chicken manure tends to have more nitrogen – some plants prefer that, others don’t. The ANSFG method recommends using a diversity of compost sources, so if you can get both chicken and steer, I’d say use some of each. (I can’t seem to find composted chicken manure for sale locally, so I’m a little envious!) Mushrooms are generally good in the garden – they are helping to break things down and bringing the resulting nutrients into your soil food web, making them more accessible to your plants.

I know fur and feathers are used for fly tying -- are there also plant parts that are used, and if so, will you be growing any of those in your garden?

Hi BunnyJ! Welcome to the forum! I’m on the other coast, and I had some probably-the-weather germination issues this year, too.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/27/2018, 6:40 pm

Oops!  Missed you Old Trout!  Welcome!  Wonder what’s up with the germination?  I am organic as well, you take the hit a little, but when you price organic at the store, and look at the great variety you can grow, no-brainer!

cheers
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Post  OldTrout on 7/28/2018, 3:49 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Hi Gary! Chicken manure tends to have more nitrogen – some plants prefer that, others don’t. The ANSFG method recommends using a diversity of compost sources, so if you can get both chicken and steer, I’d say use some of each. (I can’t seem to find composted chicken manure for sale locally, so I’m a little envious!) Mushrooms are generally good in the garden – they are helping to break things down and bringing the resulting nutrients into your soil food web, making them more accessible to your plants.

I know fur and feathers are used for fly tying -- are there also plant parts that are used, and if so, will you be growing any of those in your garden?

Hi BunnyJ! Welcome to the forum! I’m on the other coast, and I had some probably-the-weather germination issues this year, too.
Beetles,
No plants are used in fly tying that I am aware of. I have used beet juice to dye white wool yarn.
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