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Experimenting with different soil mixes

Posted by travelsfo 10 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 9, 09 at 1:41

After running into an issue with expensive vermiculite ($25 per 3.5 CF), I decided to experiment with my own soil mixes to bypass buying vermiculite and peat moss (for Mel's mix.) I'm starting with 4 - 4x4's and a different mix in each one:

1) Sta-Green Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables (this looks very similar to Miracle-Gro's product except I see evidence of Vermiculite in it.) (6 CF of it, $29)

2) Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables (6 CF of it, $33)

3) Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables + Kellogg Garden Compost Soil "for bigger vegetables and better flowers" 50/50 of each. (6 CF total, $17)

4) Sta-Green Garden soil (from 1) and Miracle-Gro (from 2) 50/50 mixture. (6 CF total, $31)

I guess I will go through the season and see how it goes. Does anyone have any advice for me? If you know one or more of the above mixes will fail, I'd appreciate if you will let me know so I change it now. I may go out and buy that bag of vermiculite if I get enough advice that I should do that and split it between the 4 squares.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Experimenting with different soil mixes

I think you'll be ok. Add a slow release fertilizer throughout since you don't have much in the way of compost or other nutrients in the soil. The main things to take away from square foot gardening, are the intensive planting methods, and the ways to reduce compaction of your growing medium.

RE: Experimenting with different soil mixes

Yep, you'll grow fine in all of them. Add compost from your own bin next time you replant. Mostly, I hope you don't have watering issues with little in the limited water retention/drainage components in significant quantities. Good luck and enjoy your garden.

RE: Experimenting with different soil mixes

I've been using "top soil" and cow manure from Lowes that I pay around $1 or a little more....per 40 lb bag. I add one each to each 4x4 bed each year now.

Takes maybe 6-8 bags (3 to 4 each) for each 4x4 box to start.

$10 to start and $2.50 each year there-after.

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