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Post  stevenfstein on 11/10/2020, 2:58 pm

Thank you for allowing me to join. Recently tore apart a multi level pressure treated wood garden and went overkill with a new one using concrete blocks used in retaining walls. Had them take out all the old dirt in each section to a depth of 12 inches. Each section is 4x3 and I have 12 of them. Looking for information on how to plant - some guides suggest 6 plants per square, some more or less. Some people suggest two cucumber plants per square, some say 3. I know each garden is different and I'm eager to learn. I used Mels Mix but guess I did not read thoroughly - I only used one kind of compost, Black Cow composted cow manure. I did do the 1/3 mix with peat moss and course vermiculate. Would like to hear suggestions of how to supplement. I had planned on topping off with another 2 inches after winter settling and thought that worm castings mighty help but from what I've read, 2 inches is way too much. Suggestions appreciated....

Best... Steve
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/11/2020, 6:37 pm

Hi Steve. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! Glad you've joined us.

Have you read the All New SFG book? That will give you a lot of the per square information.

Worm castings will be a great help. And I would encourage you to read the ingredient labels on your compost. It's surprising how many are mostly wood chips & sand... So pick up some other types of compost for your other 2 inches & mix it in well. And start your own compost pile, of course.

We like photos, btw..... ;-)
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Post  stevenfstein on 11/11/2020, 9:35 pm

As requested, here are some photos of the before and after. Didn't want to replace rotted out railroad ties again (2nd time) so went way overkill this time. Not installed yet will be blocks in each of the areas to split them in half (each will be 4x3 and 12" deep) and allow walking and 6 trellis structures for tomatoes and cucumbers made out of 3/4" pipe over rebar. Still thinking about support - tomato net, vertical string, both vertical and horizontal??

I do have a question about my mulch mix. I have the latest version of the sq ft book but missed the part about 5 different types of mulch - only put in the one. Is one inch of worm castings per section too much? Will probably also add one inch of mushroom. Easy to get at my local Home Depot or Lowes. Last picture was prior to mixing everything together.  Suggestions appreciated on how to correct my mistake.

Best... Steve

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Post  sharedsky on 11/12/2020, 8:13 am

What a gorgeous hardscape! 

As far as the compost goes, I have had the best luck with bokashi, which gets all sorts of different nutrients into the soil. But that is not a quick fix, rather more of a permanent gardening lifestyle addition. You might be looking for a new project, though, with that masterpiece complete-- and it is something you can get started with in the winter. 

Worm castings and mushroom compost sound great until you have your own compost of some sort to add. Just remember as you add more compost you need to add more vermiculite and peat. I've see gardens start fantastic, but then the mix gets very heavy over time because only compost is getting added in subsequent years.
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Post  OhioGardener on 11/12/2020, 12:53 pm

@sharedsky wrote:As far as the compost goes, I have had the best luck with bokashi, which gets all sorts of different nutrients into the soil. But that is not a quick fix, rather more of a permanent gardening lifestyle addition. You might be looking for a new project, though, with that masterpiece complete-- and it is something you can get started with in the winter.

I used to do Bokashi composting only during the winter months, and then put everything directly in the compost tumbler during the summer months. But now I do Bokashi composting year around and dump the completed Bokashi "pre-compost" into the compost tumbler - as soon as that Bokashi hits the microbes in the tumbler it becomes compost on steroids, and it is completely composted in two weeks.

I recently posted on a thread about some new buckets I made for my Bokashi:
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t14823p50-bokashi#298783

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