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]
Question about replenishing squares after harvest  Toplef10Question about replenishing squares after harvest  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.

Question about replenishing squares after harvest  I22gcj10Question about replenishing squares after harvest  14dhcg10

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Question about replenishing squares after harvest

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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 5/28/2024, 1:51 pm

I'm beginning to think that the compost component of MM is all that you use to replenish the squares. For years, I have used straight MM to replenish the squares. I keep a 55 gallon drum of MM and use that whenever I harvest anything. My weakness with the MM is finding the 5 different kinds of compost. Most of the time I only have 3 or 4 different kinds. I'm still living in the past when it comes to the new square foot garden methods.

I would appreciate any help that you can provide.
SMEDLEY BUTLER
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Post  Scorpio Rising 5/28/2024, 8:41 pm

I make my own compost and use that to replenish squares.  But I hear you, it isn’t easy to find 5 commercial sources of compost.  I have done it with less, and still had good results.
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Post  Guinevere 5/30/2024, 1:22 pm

I think you only need to add compost when replenishing, because the peat and vermiculite are supposed to last some years. It's the compost that gets used up.
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Post  sanderson 5/31/2024, 8:38 am

2nd or 3rd Edition of All New Square Foot Gardening - add and mix in enough blended compost to bring the height back up to where it started. 2 or 3 quality composts trump 5 crappy composts.

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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 5/31/2024, 7:31 pm

sanderson wrote:2nd or 3rd Edition of All New Square Foot Gardening - add and mix in enough blended compost to bring the height back up to where it started.  2 or 3 quality composts trump 5 crappy composts.
Thanks sanderson, mine are really good composts. I usually use a home-made compost that is at least 2 years old as the main compost. I go up to the farm and get what I call leaf mold/black gold. I makes a manure based compost which I keep separate from the aged compost. Occasionally I find some worm casting, but not very often.

I've been replenishing my harvested squares wrong for years. On the bright side, that will save me a little money. I do have Mel's second book somewhere, just finished the first one a few days ago. It's  amazing how much I had forgotten. Can old dogs really learn new tricks? I hope so because I am going to try.

My gardens has always been extremely productive. One year on a non square foot bed planted with 4 NYAGEOUS plants, we harvested almost 400 lbs of tennis ball sized tomatoes. I was so impressed that I made the kids quit eating them and weighed every harvest. As a caveat, it was on the down hill slope of the dog kennel. Best production I have ever had. The following year only about 30 lbs. per plant. 

One thing that I know, as my grandmother used to say: Mel's Mix is the berries. I don't use anything else, even in my containers.
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Post  sanderson 5/31/2024, 11:48 pm

SMEDLEY BUTLER wrote:. . . I do have Mel's second book somewhere, just finished the first one a few days ago. It's  amazing how much I had forgotten. Can old dogs really learn new tricks? I hope so because I am going to try.

When you say you just finished the first one, are you referring to the in-ground original method Mel cam up with 40+ years ago? Or the 1st Edition of ALL NEW SFG? The original method is no longer supported by the Foundation.

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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 6/1/2024, 8:27 am

sanderson wrote:When you say you just finished the first one, are you referring to the in-ground original method Mel cam up with 40+ years ago?  Or the 1st Edition of ALL NEW SFG?  The original method is no longer supported by the Foundation.
1981 book with a picture of Mel kneeling, gray beard and all, in the bottom right corner.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/1/2024, 2:25 pm

Read the next book, it will be a game-changer!
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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 6/13/2024, 11:39 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:Read the next book, it will be a game-changer!
You are so right, I am about half way through the second book. It's hard to believe that I am so far behind the game. I've never been one to change anything I do that works really well. My garden has always been extremely productive. Every time I met Mel, you could see that he was always figuring and thinking of ways to do stuff. I should have realized that he would change things.

It will take me awhile to absorb all of the new information. old dogs, I guess.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/15/2024, 8:01 pm

I wish I had the chance to meet Mel.  That would have been super cool.  But yeah, the 2nd Edition really shines a lot of light in the nuances that have been made to the SFG method.

I started out in the late 90s with a 4x4, made from rail ties….yeah.

Now I am doing this whole thing!  I love it, and it is my addiction!  There are worse….

Glad you found some value, SMEDLEY BUTLER!!!!
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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 6/17/2024, 12:14 am

I had a bad motorcycle wreck when I came back from Vietnam. It took more than 20 years to fully recover. So I had the opportunity to attend a bunch of Mel's seminars in the early 80s. I would wait around until most people had left so that I could ask him a lot of questions. 

The man was extremely analytical and inquisitive, he was always thinking about how to do stuff. Only one time did he not stay and answer questions. My grandparents had a 15 or 16 acre garden (truck patch) that I grew up on. I mentioned it once and he had 500 Smile questions about their garden. 

I have been using Mel's Mix for years, I think I have the second book somewhere or I wouldn't know about the MM.
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