soil to compost ratio

giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)August 14, 2008

I am starting a small veggie garden and am purchasing top soil and cow manure compost at what ratio should this be mixed.

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junkyardgirl

If you're planting in plain sand, I'd suggest 50/50.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 1:18PM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

This is what they call hardpan I believe, it is a compact clay type soil hard and compact.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:40AM
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nativemel

Are you going to do a raised garden (on top of the existing clay soil)? Or are you trying to incorporate the topsoil and compost into the clay? I would suggest the raised garden, and then you could just mix your top soil and compost 50/50 like junkyardgirl suggests. I would not suggest trying to incorporate the ingredients into the clay - too much work, not necessary.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:00AM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

I wouldn't use just compost and topsoil. It will pack down too easily. I use a 30/30/40 mix of potting soil,compost and pine bark.

This combo stays crumbly, drains well, is rich and easy to work with. I can bury my hands in it at least 12" deep, easily.

The finer (small particles) the ingredients, the more it compacts and becomes hard. It does not allow good drainage, and that can kill off a veggie garden in a hurry.

If you want to use compost and topsoil, please consider adding perlite and pine bark to loosen the mix.

Lisa

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 4:47PM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

I will be doing a raised garden about 10 inches of soil and compost can somone tell me the diffence between perlite and vermiculite and will either of the two work.Also someone told me to mix humus but I can't find it at home depot.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 9:24AM
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tclynx

Hi there. I garden over sand so my situation is a little different but my methods would probably work just fine over clay too. Notice I said over. I don't like digging, seems like too much work for me. I also have a problem with buying bagged dirt (or anything that seems sort of like bagged dirt.)
Anyway, I've only been gardening here in Central FL for about two years.

You asked about perlite or vermiculite, for this purpose either would probably work but in my view, a bit costly for mixing into an on the ground garden bed. As to hummus, it is really just very small bits of organic matter. Compost should have loads of hummus. Peat is a type of hummus. Coco peat or coco coir could work as hummus. Shredded leaf mould is essentially hummus.

My gardens are all sort of raised beds (they started as raised beds on the ground without any sort of side boards, just mounded up) but over time they have shrunk down a bit over time. They started as lasagna type gardens where I put down layers of cardboard/newspaper and then covered over it with layers of compost, other people's bagged leaves, mushroom compost, other people's bagged grass clippings, used coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, free mulch from tree services, etc. Basically, whatever I could find for free/cheap.

The nice things about such gardening include good water holding capacity but freely draining.
Rich improvement of the soil.
Weeds are easy to pull out (at least if you get them while they are small, some grasses can still be a real pain.)
It is really easy to do and little/no digging or tilling involved.

I know there are people out there who insist that you need mineral soil to grow in but I've found that not to be the case for most plants I've been growing.

Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: www.TCLynx.com

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 3:02PM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

I just want to thank everyone for their input.
Sal

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 8:04AM
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natives_and_veggies(10b)

Also, if you don't have a lot of cardboard, consider using newspapers. They break down and compact much more quickly than cardboard, so they won't help as much in those respects, but they're great at holding down weeds if you spread them under mulch. I've stopped putting mine in the recycling bin in preparation for the veggie bed I'm just itching to start the minute it cools down here.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:05PM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

Newbie veggie gardner I am stating a new raised bed veggie garden 144 sq ft. I will be using top soil and cow compost 50/50 what is the best additive and how much in cu. ft should I add approx. 10-12 inches of new soil.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 4:07PM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

Newbie veggie gardner I am stating a new raised bed veggie garden 144 sq ft. I will be using top soil and cow compost 50/50 what is the best additive and how much in cu. ft should I add approx. 10-12 inches of new soil.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 4:14PM
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WOODSGRANNY(Z9 S LA.)

lisa,you said30/30/40 mix,which is which?
patricia

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:44AM
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giants_2007(10 PSL FL Sal)

How do you start a new topic or message. I keep on going back to my one and only post.
thanks, SAl

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 3:26PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Go back to the LIST of topics. Now SCROLL all the way to the bottom. Sign in if you aren't already.Then you will see Subject .Write whatever in there. Hit preview to check and SUBMIT if you are happy. Good LUCK!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 3:44PM
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