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Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Turning existing garden beds into SFG Toplef10Turning existing garden beds into SFG 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.

Turning existing garden beds into SFG I22gcj10Turning existing garden beds into SFG 14dhcg10

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Turning existing garden beds into SFG

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Turning existing garden beds into SFG Empty Turning existing garden beds into SFG

Post  jemm 9/17/2023, 11:47 am

Hi, 

I just started SFG and my new bed looks great! 

My plan is to top my existing beds with Mel's Mix. I'm in western PA, zone 6a. Would it be better to try to get that done this fall (assuming my existing harvests and the weather gods cooperate), or to do it in the spring? I am doing my fall gardening in the new SFG bed, so don't necessarily need to plant the other beds this fall...though I might not be able to help myself!

Thanks for your experience and advice!

jemm
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Turning existing garden beds into SFG Empty Turning Existing Beds....

Post  donnainzone5 9/17/2023, 12:13 pm

How many beds are we discussing?  If you have the time, energy, and $, it would be great to get them ready this fall so that they can be planted as soon as temps permit in the spring.  Also, giving the compost component time to break down further is an advantage.
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Post  OhioGardener 9/17/2023, 12:15 pm

If it were me, I would put in the MM this fall, cover it with a mulch, and let it mature over the winter so that it will be ready to plant next spring.

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Post  jemm 9/17/2023, 12:43 pm

Thanks! I was talking about a total of 3 existing 4x8 beds. Highly unlikely I will get to more than 1...or 2. I appreciate the advice!
jemm
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Post  sanderson 9/18/2023, 2:59 pm

Jemm, What is your plan for converting? Is the current fill dirt? Organic matter? Is there room for 6-7" of Mel's Mix and mulch, or do you have to remove the existing material? If the existing fill is high in organic matter it will continue to shrink until there is only inorganic matter. Can you post a photo of the 3 beds you want to convert.

As far as doing it now or in the spring, I agree it should be done now, and mulched with bedding straw, fall leaves or pine needles.

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Post  sanderson 9/18/2023, 3:12 pm

AN Leonard is having a one-day FREE SHIPPING SALE on coarse and super coarse vermiculite. Score for your new Mel's Mix.

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Post  jemm 9/20/2023, 7:35 am

Hi, Thanks for the info! The current beds have had soil and my own household compost and occasionally amended with mushroom compost or composted sheep manure for over 20 years. The dirt has settled some and boards have been replaced, so right now there is room in 2 of the 3 for 6-7 inches of Mel's Mix which I intend to put on the top.

And I missed the window of opportunity for the AN Leonard Free Shipping Sale, darn it!!! I've been order coarse vermiculite from Target and Walmart with free shipping. They were charging $54 for 4 cubic feet earlier in the summer. It is now $57. But free shipping every time, and pretty quick delivery.

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