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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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maintaining Mel's Mix Toplef10maintaining Mel's Mix 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.

maintaining Mel's Mix I22gcj10maintaining Mel's Mix 14dhcg10

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maintaining Mel's Mix

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Post  stevenfstein 11/26/2022, 7:15 am

quick question - keep reading about when I remove plants for next planting to bring some compost with me to fill in the hole. At some point, doesn't this change the ratio of Vermiculite/peat moss or am I overthinking?

Best.. Steve
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Post  OhioGardener 11/26/2022, 7:39 am

stevenfstein wrote:quick question - keep reading about when I remove plants for next planting to bring some compost with me to fill in the hole.

Question 1:
 At some point, doesn't this change the ratio of Vermiculite/peat moss

Yes, it slowly does that.  After a number of years, maybe 5, 6, 7 or 8 years, it becomes necessary to refresh the vermiculite and/or peat moss.

Question 2:
 or am I overthinking?

Yes.  No need to fret or worry over it.  You will notice when the soil mix becomes less friable or less able to retain moisture.  When that happens you need to start working in some vermiculite and/or peat moss.

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Post  stevenfstein 11/26/2022, 8:01 am

Much appreciated. This year was not that great what with a resident groundhog, squirrels, chipmunks and deer. One section has to be redone where the groundhog took up residence, dug down and brought up lots of rocks and clay type soil.

Best... Steve
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Post  sanderson 11/27/2022, 2:30 am

stevenfstein wrote:quick question - keep reading about when I remove plants for next planting to bring some compost with me to fill in the hole. At some point, doesn't this change the ratio of Vermiculite/peat moss or am I overthinking?

Best.. Steve
Each season, add enough compost to bring the level back up to where it started.  Then mix it in.  That will help keep the blend the same throughout the bed.  Over a few years, the coarse vermiculite will break down and the peat moss will slowly start to decompose.  At that time, you can add like 1" of coarse vermiculite and the next year 1/2-1" of fluffed peat moss, along with some new compost. I think it was around year 6 or 7 that I noticed the mix was heavier and I started adding one ingredient one year and the other ingredient the next year.

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