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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Preparing Soil for Spring Toplef10Preparing Soil for Spring 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.

Preparing Soil for Spring I22gcj10Preparing Soil for Spring 14dhcg10

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Preparing Soil for Spring

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Preparing Soil for Spring Empty Preparing Soil for Spring

Post  mamalampert 4/5/2011, 5:21 pm

Last year was my first year with with Square Foot Gardening, and I don't know what I need to do this spring to start over again. I know I need to add compost before I plant this year, but am not sure how much per square foot, or if there is a specific way to do it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/5/2011, 5:25 pm

Welcome back from hibernation! And, welcome to the forum period!!

How many squares do you have to replenish? A trowel full, about a cup or so, of blended compost per square should suffice. If you replenished as you went last year, there shouldn't be anything to do.

If you don't have plants in yet, I would just count the squares, count the trowel fulls, and mix it all around with a large rake and call it good.

I will likely do this in the late winter/early spring myself each year. I like doing things in bulk when I can.
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Post  Healing Garden 4/5/2011, 5:35 pm

I also just started last summer so this is my first spring with SFG. I had some settling over the winter of my boxes so I mixed up some fresh Mel's mix and added it to my boxes. I had covered all the boxes with cocoa husk mulch at the end of the season last year so I turned that over when I mixed in the new MM. I then covered all my boxes with clear plastic to help heat the soil. My soil temp went from the 40s to the 60s. I've been taking off the plastic as I plant each bed and replacing with row cover. We've still had cold nights so I have a heavy row cover on my boxes that I've planted. I did add a handful of compost (not blended because all I had left was the Lobster compost) to each square and aerated the square as I planted it.

Not sure if that was the right thing to do or not. Time will tell....
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Post  camprn 4/5/2011, 6:04 pm

@Healing Garden wrote:I also just started last summer so this is my first spring with SFG. I had some settling over the winter of my boxes so I mixed up some fresh Mel's mix and added it to my boxes. I had covered all the boxes with cocoa husk mulch at the end of the season last year so I turned that over when I mixed in the new MM. I then covered all my boxes with clear plastic to help heat the soil. My soil temp went from the 40s to the 60s. I've been taking off the plastic as I plant each bed and replacing with row cover. We've still had cold nights so I have a heavy row cover on my boxes that I've planted. I did add a handful of compost (not blended because all I had left was the Lobster compost) to each square and aerated the square as I planted it.

Not sure if that was the right thing to do or not. Time will tell....
That sounds great to me!!!
As for how I prep my beds for spring,,, well I did it in the Autumn. Mel recommends adding a trowel full per square of renewing compost. At the end of the growing season last year I took off my grid and spread a few bags of various types of compost into the beds, then mixed it all with a garden fork and voila! Ready, set... wait all winter.All I will have to do now is give it a light raking, install the grid and start planting.
So far it has been too cold and I have been waiting for the mix to thaw. Today it has rained so I am hoping for a good day, soon, for planting seed and setting out my cold weather starts. cheers
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Post  dizzygardener 4/6/2011, 12:01 am

Preparing Soil for Spring 396615

First and foremost welcome to the forums! We're so glad to have you here.

As others have said, all you need to do is add a trowel of blended compost per square. If you've had some settling then you can mix up some more MM and top your boxes off. Don't forget to fluff/aerate your boxes.

If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask. I think you'll find that there is always someone around who is willing to lend a helping hand. Also, be sure to check out the regional forums. You'll find lots of information there including some that is specific to your area.

So, what was your first SFG experience like? Do you have any tips/tricks to offer those who are doing SFG for the first time? BTW, if you get a chance we'd love to see some pictures of your SFG set up.

Take care and happy gardening! Preparing Soil for Spring 965819
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