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Does anyone here use soil amendments? Toplef10Does anyone here use soil amendments? 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.

Does anyone here use soil amendments? I22gcj10Does anyone here use soil amendments? 14dhcg10

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Does anyone here use soil amendments?

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Does anyone here use soil amendments? Empty Does anyone here use soil amendments?

Post  John5678 6/6/2021, 6:04 pm

I'm mixing soil for my raised bed vegetable garden. I'm using 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 peat moss. Many vegetable gardeners recommend many soil amendments such as:rock dust, biochar, mychorrizae, vermicompost, kelp meal, bone meal, etc.  Does anyone here include any soil amendment in their vegetable garden soil, or do they just stick with the Mel's Mix?  Thanks for any replies.
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Post  OhioGardener 6/6/2021, 7:11 pm

John, no amendments are necessary with Mel's Mix, and the constant addition of new compost when a vegetable is done producing and removed continues adding nutrients.

That said, of course, many SFG gardeners experiment with various and sundry amendments to test their effect on plant health and productivity. I have experimented with various products, and will continue to. It is the engineer in me. For example, after reading the Jeff Lowenfels trilogy of books, I add mycorrhizae to the roots of every transplant, and will continue to do so.  I also use a lot of coffee grounds from Starbucks as an organic mulch/fertilizer, both in the gardens and in making compost.

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Post  Mikesgardn 6/6/2021, 10:13 pm

When I first started my garden many years ago, I did not use a wide variety of composts because it was hard to find.  So I did supplement with Miracle Gro.   Nowadays, I am lucky to have a local compost company that makes their compost from a wide variety of sources, so I don't need to bother with all that.
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Post  sanderson 6/7/2021, 3:32 am

John, It's not necessary to add anything more that just more compost after each crop. I did add liquid kelp per instructions for micro-nutrients a few years ago when testing showed they were low, but I have found that over the years of adding more compost, it gets better and better.

That said, it's getting difficult to find a variety of composts for blending together. It started last year when people started getting food insecurity. Supplies flew off the shelves. This year hasn't been much better, and it seems there are more wood pieces in the bags, necessitating screening with 1/4" hardware cloth affixed to a wood frame. Here in CA, it's near impossible to find real composts. Even products like Malibu, Miracle Gro, Coast of Maine, and Black Gold Compost have peat moss in them which throws the Mel's Mix ratio off.

Worm castings can used as up to 10% of the total compost. All manure-based composts count as one source and should be limited to 20-25%. Mushroom compost plus one other, like Gardener & Bloome Purely Compost, Ecoscraps Compost or Nature's Care Really Good Compost, and you can consider yourself really lucky at this time. Do make sure the mushroom compost doesn't have any fillers like peat moss.

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Does anyone here use soil amendments? Empty What brand mycorrhizae

Post  Hawgwild 2/14/2022, 7:26 pm

OhioGardener wrote: I add mycorrhizae to the roots of every transplant, and will continue to do so.  I also use a lot of coffee grounds from Starbucks as an organic mulch/fertilizer, both in the gardens and in making compost.

The mycorrhizae sounds like something I would like to try especially since this is my first year with a SFG. What brand of the mycorrhizae do you prefer?

You are someone listed some book about microbes in the soil. Been reading one of those and learning about things that make healthy soil...very interesting..

Scottie
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Post  sanderson 2/15/2022, 12:09 am

This is a good book on soil microbes. It is a little technical, but that doesn't detract from the story of underground life.

Does anyone here use soil amendments? Book_t13

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Does anyone here use soil amendments? Empty Teaming With Microbes...

Post  Hawgwild 2/15/2022, 9:41 am

sanderson wrote:This is a good book on soil microbes.  It is a little technical, but that doesn't detract from the story of underground life.  


Thanks sanderson...that is the one I am reading now...
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Post  OhioGardener 2/15/2022, 9:51 am

Hawgwild wrote:The mycorrhizae sounds like something I would like to try especially since this is my first year with a SFG. What brand of the mycorrhizae do you prefer?

You are someone listed some book about microbes in the soil. Been reading one of those and learning about things that make healthy soil...very interesting..

I use MYKOS mycorrhizae by Xtreme Gardening. Be aware that mycorrhizae is not effective on the Brassica family of plants since they do not use it, but it is beneficial for other vegetables.

In addition to the book Sanderson recommended, you might also want to check out these books:

Teaming with Fungi: The Organic Grower's Guide to Mycorrhizae, by Jeff Lowenfels

Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition, by Jeff Lowenfels

Mycorrhizal Planet: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility, by Michael Phillips

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Does anyone here use soil amendments? Empty Thanks a bunch..

Post  Hawgwild 2/15/2022, 10:04 am

OhioGardener wrote:

I use MYKOS mycorrhizae by Xtreme Gardening. Be aware that mycorrhizae is not effective on the Brassica family of plants since they do not use it, but it is beneficial for other vegetables.

In addition to the book Sanderson recommended, you might also want to check out these books:

Teaming with Fungi: The Organic Grower's Guide to Mycorrhizae, by Jeff Lowenfels

Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition, by Jeff Lowenfels

Mycorrhizal Planet: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility, by Michael Phillips

Thanks and will be ordering the MYKOS mycorrhizae by Xtreme Gardening from Amazon shortly...really great ratings on this brand...

Also I am putting those books on my reading list also...The Teaming With Microbe book is very interesting...

Scottie
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