Should I convert my raised beds from soil to Mel's mix?

cinnamon_girl4(z6 ny)April 17, 2009

I just discovered SFG last week and am thrilled at the prospect of gardening with such ease. I've been growing veggies and herbs for years. I never seemed to mind the digging and weeding but, now that I have kids, I just can't find time for it.

But, nonetheless, last fall I converted my traditional, flat garden into raised beds but filled them with soil. I now have 2 long beds (4w x 12d x 1h ). I suppose somehow I thought it would be easier with raised beds.

But now I've been enlightened by SFG! I can see just how much easier it will be. And perhaps I can get the kids to help, too!

So..... what would do you? Would you remove the soil and replace with Mel's mix? Or simply build a separate SFG box or 2?

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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Why? Do you have extra money you want to bury in the yard? Or is your soil deficient in something? Either case the ONLY thing in Mel's Mix that adds any nutrients is compost. If your soil is deficient just add the compost.

When I converted, I simply placed my frames on top of the row garden soil. NO Voodoo required. Been working fine for me.

Good Luck
ps. You can send your extra money or any savings to Gumby.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:20AM
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gardener_mary(6 MA)

I agree with Gumby, if you already have good soil don't worry about it. If you feel that your soil could use more organic matter then add more of any of the components of Mel's mix that you can get. I don't worry about the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 mix, I started SFG before he came out with the new book. In the older book you start w/ garden soil and just add to it.

Good gardening, Mary

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:42PM
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cinnamon_girl4(z6 ny)

Sure Gumby! Please email me a link to your paypal account. :-)
Yeah I suppose my question sounded kind of silly; I was thinking that Mel's mix had some miraculous properties that would prevent weeds from growing. But I'm relieved there's no Voodoo involved!

Thanks for the advice Mary. I actually have alot of bare spots on the lawn (from my big golden retriever) that need to be filled so I'll use some of the existing soil from one of the beds for that. Then I'll add Mel's mix to the one bed. The other bed will be regular soil. Maybe I can get the kids to do a science project to see if the Mel's mix works better than the soil.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 3:03PM
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carolynp(z7)

I would be torn, personally. I have a box in the front with four squares of peas in compost only. I have a box in my backyard with six squares of the same varieties in mel's mix. These were planted at exactly the same time. I know there are too many variables to count, but the mel's mix peas are definitely taller and more mature by several inches. The compost only peas are all around four inches tall. The Mel's mix peas are almost all more than a foot tall trellising nicely. I'm a bit surprised because the leaves in the back are also larger. It could be anything: sun, placement, or garden gnomes, but the most obvious difference is the mel's mix.
Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 3:52PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

If your soil drains poorly or is weed infested beyond belief, replace it. If it works, add some compost and be happy you don't need to spend the money.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 5:13PM
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