Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
How to start with your own dirt... Toplef10How to start with your own dirt... 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.

How to start with your own dirt... I22gcj10How to start with your own dirt... 14dhcg10

[/td][/tr][/table]

Join the forum, it's quick and easy

Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
How to start with your own dirt... Toplef10How to start with your own dirt... 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.

How to start with your own dirt... I22gcj10How to start with your own dirt... 14dhcg10

[/td][/tr][/table]
Square Foot Gardening Forum
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Horsey poop
by MrBooker Today at 5:39 pm

» Calling all juice bar waste composters...
by KiwiSFGnewbie Today at 5:21 pm

» Sealing Barrels Flowers Struggling-Need Ideas
by Scorpio Rising Today at 10:10 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by Scorpio Rising Today at 10:00 am

» Compost bins: Open vs. closed
by Scorpio Rising Today at 9:59 am

» Famous Gardening Quotes
by sanderson Yesterday at 10:53 pm

» Hello From the Kern River Valley from Kernville, Ca
by sanderson Yesterday at 9:52 pm

» N&C Midwest January & February 2024
by OhioGardener Yesterday at 2:46 pm

» Mark's first SFG
by sanderson 2/25/2024, 1:36 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson 2/25/2024, 1:26 am

» Prefab compost question
by DMann 2/24/2024, 12:37 pm

» Starbucks for coffee grounds!
by OhioGardener 2/24/2024, 7:44 am

» Kiwi's SFG Adventure
by sanderson 2/23/2024, 5:39 pm

» Hello from Surrey
by sanderson 2/23/2024, 12:29 am

» Kitty Control
by sanderson 2/22/2024, 10:49 pm

» Western Mount/High Plains: Seed Planting Dates
by Turan 2/22/2024, 4:07 pm

» Jjean59 first SFG - 2024
by Scorpio Rising 2/22/2024, 11:00 am

» Winter Lag - Waiting for Sprimg
by sanderson 2/21/2024, 4:36 pm

» TDs 2024 SFG
by Turan 2/21/2024, 12:09 am

» Hello! From GA! Newbie
by sanderson 2/20/2024, 9:53 pm

» Sweet Potato Slips - Buy or Grow?
by sanderson 2/20/2024, 1:27 pm

» Seeds 'n Such Free Shipping
by sanderson 2/20/2024, 1:09 pm

» Ohio Gardener's Greenhouse
by OhioGardener 2/19/2024, 5:46 pm

» Hi from Central Oregon
by donnainzone5 2/18/2024, 5:50 pm

» Mealybugs?
by OhioGardener 2/17/2024, 11:02 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by OhioGardener 2/17/2024, 10:59 am

» Second Life for Determinate Tomatoes?
by OhioGardener 2/16/2024, 7:35 am

» Recommended store bought compost - Photos of composts
by sanderson 2/9/2024, 10:52 pm

» Now is The Time To Take Seed Inventory
by sanderson 2/5/2024, 5:34 pm

» Homemade Seed Starting Mix
by sanderson 2/4/2024, 4:05 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

How to start with your own dirt...

+2
kimbertangleknot
Jenny
6 posters

Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty How to start with your own dirt...

Post  Jenny 3/4/2011, 6:37 pm

I have a home where the boxes are already built. I have three boxes that are 10 feet by 4 feet. I want to use one of them for SFG (this is my first time trying it). Since they already have dirt in them, how do I incorporate MM? Should I dig out a bunch of the dirt and add the new stuff or can I mix them together or what?
I know that the soil is not great - I tried tomatoes last year and they had problems! I'm hoping that I can perk that area back up and get some great yields!
Thanks.
avatar
Jenny

Posts : 2
Join date : 2011-03-04
Location : Chico, CA

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Re: How to start with your own dirt...

Post  kimbertangleknot 3/4/2011, 6:56 pm

What I've had to do with fill dirt in our yard when my garden was in the ground:

I used a tiller (so slightly different but bear with me) and tilled up the ground a little. I then bought some rich cow manure and a few bags of miracle grow soil, spread half of what I had on top of the tilled earth, tilled it again. Then I did the process with the rest and just used a garden rake to even it all out.

It worked like a charm and I had so many tomatoes that I couldn't keep up with it all. I actually just tried to give up and neglect them towards the end but they wouldn't stop producing until I ripped them up or frost took them.

In your case, I think doing something similar would work and it's pretty cost effective to do more than making Mel's Mix from scratch (if you don't have the money up front to do it, it's pretty pricy off the bat). It'll give you time to figure out if you want to make Mel's Mix for the next year or just work with what you have. If you want to take the time to remove the dirt fully and mix it up well, the more power to you! But if you want to do it easily and work on it year after year until the dirt is nice and rich it's a good way to go.

Just my opinion though!
kimbertangleknot
kimbertangleknot

Female Posts : 274
Join date : 2010-06-21
Age : 42
Location : Charlotte, NC -+- Zone 7

http://www.moonflyart.com

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Re: How to start with your own dirt...

Post  Furbalsmom 3/4/2011, 7:02 pm

How to start with your own dirt... 654548 Jenny

We are really glad you joined us.

Jenny wrote:I want to use one of them for SFG (this is my first time trying it). Since they already have dirt in them, how do I incorporate MM? Should I dig out a bunch of the dirt and add the new stuff or can I mix them together or what?


If you have Mel's Mix, it would be better not to mix it with your existing soil if you can avoid it. Mixing MM with your soil would dilute the proportion of nutrients from your compost, fluffiness of your peat and water retention of your vermiculite, it could also bring in unwanted weed seeds.

To use your Mel's Mix and get great results, you could dig out the dirt already in the selected bed, place a layer of weed barrier, fill the bed with MM and top with a grid. Then you are ready to roll. Digging is really hard work!

Another option would be to build up the height of your existing box by adding an additional row of 2" X 6" lumber, adding a layer of weed block and filling the box with your Mel's Mix. Top it with a grid and get ready to plant!

I made an assumption that the bed is surrounded by wood. We have other members that have used cinder blocks, plastic panels and other materials.


I hope you find an easy solution to your situation.
Furbalsmom
Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 77
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Re: How to start with your own dirt...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/4/2011, 8:24 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing. Like Mel says, "Build up."

You already have dirt you don't want to deal with. So, just take one of your "extra" boxes and put it on top of your existing box. Fill with MM, and you've done all you need to do.

However, if $$ is an issue, you could do something really fun. 1) amend the soil you have with some versions of potting soil, top soil, composts, manures, peat moss, vermiculite, etc, and see how close you get. And, 2) start saving for MM ingredients. When you have the cash, move one of the extra boxes, or build one (the wood is the cheapest part of the SFG), and put MM in that one.

Compare the two over a growing season, and see which outperforms which.

My first year with SFG, I had to modify things slightly. I added some river top soil as "filler" and mixed it in. I still got a great yield, but it wasn't "true SFG" according to Mel. So, this year, I banked some gift cards for Christmas and bought the proper ratios. Now, I don't have that on my mind. But, I totally understand for those that do.

Choice is yours. Try and show us a picture...whatever you decide. And, welcome.
BackyardBirdGardner
BackyardBirdGardner

Male Posts : 2727
Join date : 2010-12-25
Age : 50
Location : St. Louis, MO

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Re: How to start with your own dirt...

Post  camprn 3/4/2011, 10:31 pm

Hi Jenny, How to start with your own dirt... 396615 to the forum. I have gardened for many years and all the ingredients used in Mel's Mix are classic soil amendments and conditioners. If you are not up for removing the existing soil, you may opt to add the peat, vermiculite, but add more importantly compost, to the bed and mix it with your existing dirt. There is no doubt that you will get better results than you had last year. Here are a few informational links
soil amendments

more

Soil Health

I would encourage you to avoid adding anything sold as Potting soil, top soil or garden soil.

All the best for your Happy garden! sunny
camprn
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14169
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 61
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Re: How to start with your own dirt...

Post  windrider1967 3/10/2011, 3:08 pm

This has been a real question of mine. I was having problems finding the vermiculite, and now that I have it is $30 for 4cf. I was planning on using my existing soil, adding 2 of bags of manure and 3 cf of peat moss. Would it be a waste to buy a bag or two of the verm and split it between the 9 beds, or just get it as I can and save for next year. If a little would be a waste then it really isn't worth doing it.
windrider1967
windrider1967

Female Posts : 87
Join date : 2011-03-03
Age : 56
Location : delmarva peninsula

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Experiment

Post  Jenny 3/10/2011, 3:29 pm

I decided to do a little experiment. I have three 4x10 beds. In one, I used just regular 10-10-10 fertilizer. In one I did it exactly as it explains it in the book - 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost. With the left over mixture, I put it in with the dirt in my third box. It is too expensive this year for me to do all three boxes with the good stuff, so I figure if all goes as well as the book says it will, I can do one box each year.
avatar
Jenny

Posts : 2
Join date : 2011-03-04
Location : Chico, CA

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Re: How to start with your own dirt...

Post  camprn 3/10/2011, 6:17 pm

I could not afford the Vermiculite either, so that is why I bought the seed starting mix, which is made from peat and vermiculite and perlite. I added that and compost together right on top of the dirt I put the boxes upon. It worked quite well for me. Mel advises in his book that if you cannot get vermiculite or perlite, extra compost is the way to go. If you can get a hold of leaf mold that would be great too. The idea about adding the V. or P. is to help the mix hold water. If you choose to go with extra compost instead, you can always use mulch to help the bed retain water.
camprn
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14169
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 61
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

How to start with your own dirt... Empty Re: How to start with your own dirt...

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum