Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Post  jbh29 on 4/10/2011, 9:51 pm

I've just begun reading this forum and love it! But I have so many questions to ask. I'll start with this one: When prepping to plant this spring, I'll add a spadefull of new compost to each square (I did not do this last fall...), but do I also add a bit of vermiculite and peat moss as well? It seems that if you continually add more compost, over time the mix will be a bit heavier if the other conponents aren't added also.

OK, I'll add one more question about planting this spring. How important is rotation of the crops? A specific one I'm thinking about is tomatoes. When I pulled them out last fall, their roots had spread literally across the entire 4 x 8 bed! (They simply thrived!) So it seems like no matter where I'd "rotate" my tomatoes, last year's roots had touched every other square. Will disease be spread easily from last years roots to this year's tomatoes?
jbh29
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Post  sistabelle on 4/10/2011, 10:05 pm

Can't answer your question but would like to ask one!
How did your first year garden do?
sistabelle
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Post  WardinWake on 4/10/2011, 10:14 pm

@jbh29 wrote:I've just begun reading this forum and love it! But I have so many questions to ask. I'll start with this one: When prepping to plant this spring, I'll add a spadefull of new compost to each square (I did not do this last fall...), but do I also add a bit of vermiculite and peat moss as well? It seems that if you continually add more compost, over time the mix will be a bit heavier if the other conponents aren't added also.

OK, I'll add one more question about planting this spring. How important is rotation of the crops? A specific one I'm thinking about is tomatoes. When I pulled them out last fall, their roots had spread literally across the entire 4 x 8 bed! (They simply thrived!) So it seems like no matter where I'd "rotate" my tomatoes, last year's roots had touched every other square. Will disease be spread easily from last years roots to this year's tomatoes?

JBH:

When prepping to plant this spring add a TROWELfull to each square, not a spadefull. It is not nessassary to add more vermiculite or peat moss.

Most plants in the SFG do not need to be rotated, however, in the case of tomatoes and potatoes, it is generally thought to be best to rotate these veggies to a different box each year and not to follow the planting of one with the other. There is a root disease that can take hold in the soil. This is general advise for any garden not just the Square Foot Gardening.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.


WardinWake
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Post  WardinWake on 4/10/2011, 10:16 pm

@sistabelle wrote:Can't answer your question but would like to ask one!
How did your first year garden do?

Sistabelle:

Please check the PM box at the top of the page for a PM from me.

Ward in Wake, VA.
WardinWake
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Post  Blackrose on 4/10/2011, 10:23 pm

@jbh29 wrote:but do I also add a bit of vermiculite and peat moss as well? It seems that if you continually add more compost, over time the mix will be a bit heavier if the other conponents aren't added also.

The vermiculite does not break down and will always be there. The peat moss is pretty much the same from what I understand. The compost on the other hand will break down over time and needs to be replenished in order to keep the nutrient levels up in your SFG.

I hope that helps!
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Post  jbh29 on 4/11/2011, 1:25 pm

Thanks for the info. Trowel full - yes, a spade would be quite a bit. My mistake. Embarassed We are trying to make our own compost, but we don't have any yet. I think I'll just buy a bag. I'm assuming that this trowel of compost doesn't have to be a mix? I can buy a bag of something at the garden center and that one kind will be good enough to replenish the nutrients?

About rotation (and a little report on my first year) we had 4, 4x8 beds and I attempted to have salad fixings on a staggared schedule. I didn't do too well with that and I know I'll approach that better this year. My tomatoes were the best thing in all the boxes. I had several in 3 different boxes. So for getting some roation with the tomatoes, should I plant tomatoes only in my 4th box (that had no tomatoes last year?) ? Is it wise to make almost one entire bed tomatoes and then rotate that through my 4 beds each year? Would they shade each other too much?

I want to do even more tomatoes this year. My goal would be 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes, and several brandywines - I'm not sure how many yet, I'd like to make tomatoe juice and I'm not sure how many plants I should have to get a large enough crop to process.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown on 4/11/2011, 1:40 pm

I know that you are supposed to rotate crops, however I rarely rotate tomatoes. I just do not have enough space with 17 plants. I switch up what I can and do not worry about the rest. I would be more concerned with disease, but so far so good, that has not been a problem. At the risk of cursing myself, I have not had a problem in 10 years. Happy gardening.

Patty in Yorktown
Patty from Yorktown
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Post  Goosegirl on 4/11/2011, 1:58 pm

@Patty from Yorktown wrote:I know that you are supposed to rotate crops, however I rarely rotate tomatoes. I just do not have enough space with 17 plants. I switch up what I can and do not worry about the rest. I would be more concerned with disease, but so far so good, that has not been a problem. At the risk of cursing myself, I have not had a problem in 10 years. Happy gardening.

Patty in Yorktown

+1

I have read that tomatoes actually like to be grown in the same place year after year, and the only issue is if you have a disease problem that requires you to rotate them.

I have grown my 'maters in the same spots for the last 4 years with only one problem and it was last year: Blossom End Rot on 5 specific tomatoes, the ones that I had to replace because the barn bunny ate the first ones down to nubs and I had to plant and stake the replacements way late and I damaged the root system.
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