what type of soil mixture to use in square foot boxes......
I currently have both books on square foot gardening check out at the moment.
The first book tells how to make the perfect soil mixture
for the square foot boxes, and tells how many boxes it will fill.
The 2nd book, which is the more recent and revised addition entitled "All New Square Foot gardening" advocates the use of "Mel's Mix" which he says is the perfect and ideal soil mixture to use in the square foot boxes. You make it by combining 1/3 each of peat moss, 1/3 of coarse vermiculite, and 1/3 of compost; he also says if you're using the prebagged variety of compost (like you find at hardware stores), you should use several different kinds. I don't have time to make my own compost or I would. As far as
his suggestion of buying a variety of commercial composts this isn't a feasible option for me, because I'm on a very tight budget with gardening.
I went to a local hardware store where I live and I was given the suggestion to mix loam with peat moss and
cow manure based fertilizer (which can also be used as compost, according to the description on the bag).
Now I realize that to an extent square foot gardening is
similar to container gardening. However despite the fact that square foot gardening is similar to square foot gardening in some aspects and vise versa, square foot gardening and container gardening are not the same thing.
I have heard numerous times to not use loam and/or topsoil
in container gardening because it's not suitable for container gardening. My question is this; is square foot gardening similar enough to container gardening that I should avoid using the loam mixed with peat moss and the cow based fertilizer, or could I get away with using my mixture of loam, peat moss, and cow manure based fertilizer as my mixture for my square foot boxes without it having
any negative or detrimental affects on what is being grown in the square foot boxes?
My other option is to use Miracle gro potting mix
as the soil medium for my square foot boxes. I'm trying to avoid this route, because as stated before I am on a tight budget. I would like to use the soil mixture of loam, peat moss, and cow manure based fertilizer mixed together as this will help me cut costs.
Essentially what I need help with is figuring out a decent substitute soil mixture for my square foot boxes that IS NOT Mel's Mix that I can use without it being detrimental to the plants being grown in the box.
I plan to use one 4' x 4' box and maybe three 1' x 1' boxes
for root crops. I would use one 1' x 1' box for carrots, one 1' x 1' box for turnips, and a 3rd 1' x 1' box for
icicle radishes which are white radishes. These boxes would be 9" or 12" in height since I know that
the recommendation for root crops is the soil depth needs to be deeper for them to grow well; the reason for this is cause they're root crops.