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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
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Last Years Soil Toplef10Last Years Soil 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.

Last Years Soil I22gcj10Last Years Soil 14dhcg10

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Last Years Soil

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Last Years Soil Empty Last Years Soil

Post  cindyroo 3/20/2010, 4:07 pm

Hi Everyone! This is my 2nd year at SFG! I had a blast last year watching my plants grow and harvesting bountiful veggies and herbs to eat! I did have some squirrel problems once the "warrior-like" wrens finished raising their little peeps. Wren houses are great critter reducers! Fierce little birds!

I live in southeast VA (it's 76 degrees today - awesome). The climate here is pretty mild in the winter - rarely gets past 20 degrees in the winter but gets pretty hot in the summer. SOOO - I need to get some kale, collards and cabbage in the ground before it gets too warm.

Anyway - I am buying my plants next weekend so it's soil preparation time. Should I replace all of the soil from last year (I make my own Mel's Mix) or can I just replace some of it? I have some peat and vermiculite left over but will need some more compost. I have some soil I composted over the winter but not enough for both of my gardens. My compost is full of beautiful fat earthworms, btw, but that is another topic.

Any help, suggestions, advice, etc. would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

cindy
Ptown, VA
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Last Years Soil Empty Re: Last Years Soil

Post  camprn 3/20/2010, 4:21 pm

There is no need to replace last years mix. Throw in the compost. I would also test pH and other elements in the soil. You may need to add some other soil amendments. Well, that's what I would do. Good luck & Happy gardening! Cool Very Happy
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Post  Daynannan 3/20/2010, 5:01 pm

Mel says just to add a trowel-ful of compost. Mel's Mix is supposed to last 15+ years.
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Last Years Soil Empty Planning ahead

Post  Wyldflower 3/21/2010, 1:58 pm

Should I plan to cover the empty beds with tarps next winter to protect the mix?
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Post  LaFee 3/21/2010, 2:24 pm

Not sure there's much to protect it from -- the cold is the cold, but it won't hurt your mix any.

Biggest thing is that it would keep YOUR workload down in the spring, as putting a fleece over it would keep leaves and other debris out, and would keep the cats and squirrels from burying their respective "treasures" Last Years Soil Icon_eek in it. I think you want a cover to be air- and water-permeable -- although I'm sure someone will correct me if this is not the case.
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Last Years Soil Empty planning ahead

Post  cindyroo 3/21/2010, 2:41 pm

That is a good question! I know where I am (SE VA) the winter is mild enough for me to grow kale, collards, carrots, lettuce and other green stuff with a little extra care on frosty nights. So I just keep mine going. But in CO, I don't know. Hopefully someone from your zone can let you know or call your local extension office!

cindy Smile
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