Hi! I'm Belinda, a Square Foot Gardener and a Certified Instructor of the Square Foot Gardening method. I am also the Head of Operations at Square Foot Gardening.Com and a Master Gardener with the Utah State University extension.
Square Foot Gardening is by far the most hassle free way to grow food. Read on and see why!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

10 Basics of Square Foot Gardening #4 The Soil: Mel's Mix

Mel's Mix is the name of the soil we use in square-foot gardening. I like to think of it as a professional growing mix that we make ourselves. It does resemble the growing mixes nurseries use to start their plants in. One main difference however, is that we use coarse vermiculite instead of perlite. Some people may resort to using perlite for their square-foot gardening soil because it's less expensive. Mel believes that vermiculite is superior to perlite because of its weight, texture and water retaining capabilities.
   So our professional growing mix that we put together consists of 1/3 Peat moss 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 blended composts.

Mel's Mix should look something like this

These ingredients can be found at most garden centers or nurseries. Of course buying them in the largest quantities will often give you the lowest price. The blended composts may be the more difficult to find as you will need 4 to 5 different types. I recommend Poultry manure, mushroom, forest hummus, worm castings, food scraps. Some local good name brands are Bumper Crop and Harvest Supreme. These bags as well as others come already blended but I recommend not buying all of that one bag but using a variety of brands. You basically want to get the best variety of composts that you can. You will eventually want to learn to make your own compost so that you can keep your garden completely self-sustained.
    Making Mel's Mix does take some monetary investment initially but the vermiculite and Peat Moss which are 2/3 of your soil will not break down like compost but will last several years. Don't cut corners on making your soil. It is the most important aspect to successful square-foot gardening.
   Don't forget we can provide you with Mel's Mix! In fact a customer ordered 140 bags last week... it kept us busy for a day or two! My new iBook has video segments about Square Foot Gardening including "How to make Mel's mix correctly" Check it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment