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
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Hello from North central FL Toplef10Hello from North central FL 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.

Hello from North central FL I22gcj10Hello from North central FL 14dhcg10

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Hello from North central FL

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Hello from North central FL Empty Hello from North central FL

Post  Kjay450 4/27/2022, 9:15 pm

I’ve been growing vegetables every season for sometime now not an expert by any means, but I think the SF gardening would help with soil quality and harvest. I’m interested in meeting like minded people  that may be in my area for helpful tips and advice.
 “darn that mels mix is expensive one 12x4 row in vermiculite is 100$ for 1 row.”  And one raised bed is another 100$ In materials. It would cost 2k for supplies for 7 beds.
I can get get a dump truck full of high quality top soil for 200$.
Look fwd to meeting people on our area cheers!
Kjay450
Kjay450

Posts : 2
Join date : 2022-04-27
Location : Florida

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Hello from North central FL Empty Re: Hello from North central FL

Post  OhioGardener 4/28/2022, 8:50 am

Kjay450 wrote:I’ve been growing vegetables every season for sometime now not an expert by any means, but I think the SF gardening would help with soil quality and harvest. I’m interested in meeting like minded people  that may be in my area for helpful tips and advice.

Welcome to the forums from Ohio!  Be aware that this forum is not for meeting other people in your local community, but an international forum of persons helping other persons with Square Foot Gardening. Post your questions/comments in threads of the forum, and others will respond.

 “darn that mels mix is expensive one 12x4 row in vermiculite is 100$ for 1 row.”  And one raised bed is another 100$ In materials. It would cost 2k for supplies for 7 beds.

Not sure what is meant by "one 12x4 row in vermiculite".   If you are referring to a 12'x4'x6" raised bed, that would be 19.2 cu ft of Mel's Mix. Of that 19.2 cu ft, the vermiculite would be 6.4 cu ft (1.5 bags of 4 cu ft). It would also contain 6.4 cu ft of compost, and 6.4 cu ft of peat.

I do know that material costs are high right now because of the supply channel issues, but there isn't much we can do about that.  I am looking to buy some new fire rings for small raised beds, and the price of them has increased from $34 each to $50 each just because of inflation. That hurts.

I can get get a dump truck full of high quality top soil for 200$.

Top soil in raised beds typically is very unsuccessful for raised bed gardening. It neither provides the nutrients plants need, or maintains the desired friability for plant roots to be able to breathe. The one-time cost of MM is usually more than worth it.

Look fwd to meeting people on our area cheers!

See my first comment above.

____________________________

"In short, the soil food web feeds everything you eat and helps keep your favorite planet from getting too hot. Be nice to it."  ~ Diane Miessler, "Grow Your Soil"
OhioGardener
OhioGardener

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Hello from North central FL Empty Re: Hello from North central FL

Post  Soose 4/28/2022, 9:42 am

Kjay450 wrote: “darn that mels mix is expensive one 12x4 row in vermiculite is 100$ for 1 row.”  And one raised bed is another 100$ In materials. It would cost 2k for supplies for 7 beds.
I can get get a dump truck full of high quality top soil for 200$.

I am currently building a bunch of SFG beds and while it's been an investment, and I haven't kept up with the costs, it's surely not near the cost you're talking about.
And I am building a bunch -- nine 3x4 beds, plus 5 more the same size but we're filling grow bags and setting them in the space for now, plus a bunch of 18gal tubs.
All told, I calculated my Mel's Mix needs at 91 cu ft, and spent the last -- six or eight? -- weeks accumulating ingredients.  We'll see how far that goes.  I've spent some
money on ingredients that turned out not to be what I wanted to use.  But for what I did use:

_____
3cu ft compressed bales peat moss $13.98 at Lowe's this morning but I think I paid less.
3.8cu ft compressed bales of peat moss $14.98 at Rural King this morning but again, I paid about $12. 
You double peat moss (at least) when it's uncompressed.  Right?
My cost/cu ft 6-8 wks ago:  $1.58/cu ft  (Now, $1.84/cu ft)

_____
Coarse Vermiculite -- I got mine ordered from Uline, grade 4, from a post on this forum. 
4cu ft bags, and they show this morning at $39 or 40?  I think I paid that or $38 but shipping from GA to AL did add to my order,
and I seem to remember the cost at over $50/bag by the time it shipped.
I would say it was excellent service, overnight UPS.  Amazing.
My cost/cu ft, again some weeks ago:  $14/cu ft shipping included.
_____

My compost sources were a struggle for me. (Most of that was coming to an understanding of what fit or didn't fit; part was our old truck was unavailable at the time.)  I started looking for bulk sources, and started by being very wary of bagged products after reading reviews. 

I bought a truck load of mushroom compost for $45 from a landscaper but reviews of a photo I posted here said it wasn't actually composted enough, so I screened it.  50% yield would have been more than enough.  But I got worried about not knowing the source of any manures they might have used.   In the end I am using some bagged mushrm and some bagged manure ... 

If I were to go back I would probably find a way to drive to the fellow 45 miles or more away and get some his bulk organic compost in a truck load.  I got two of my sources from a gardener who had both worm castings and his own compost pile, drove 30 minutes away for that when I got my truck working.  Then, we screened my own compost pile for the fifth. 

So I needed six cu ft each of the five ingredients for the compost mix.   Costs:

My own compost (mostly black leaf mold, some kit waste in the one we emptied):  Free, turned out I had more than expected.
I'll have enough...  just hope it's not been leached of nutrients over the time it's been sitting there.

Black Kow manure:  $5.38 per cu ft bagged at Lowe's.

Black Velvet (Old Cascade?) mushroom compost:  $5.48 for .75cu ft bagged at Lowe's = $7.31/cu ft

Steve (gardener):
5 gal Buckets of screened worm castings:  $20 for .75cu ft =$26.667/cuft
5 gal buckets of screened compost:  $6 for .75cu ft = $8/cu ft
_____

You can do the arithmetic yourself if you want to figure out the cost.  If interested, double check my arithmetic as I am rushed.

I had to decide that the investment in MM would pay off.  I failed at my first SFG about 40 yrs ago -- because of the soil mix around my first house.  No nutrients, I assume, looking back.

I know there would have been cost savings if I had only started earlier.  All our local co-ops and such had already sold out of bulk ingredients by the time I went looking.  That was pricey for the worm castings, the going rate is a lot cheaper.  I'm going to start a worm bin!  I've always wanted to.
Soose
Soose

Posts : 409
Join date : 2022-02-23
Location : North Alabama

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