Tuesday, May 15, 2012

questions about feeding the soil

I'm getting some questions
 about "how much to feed the soil"

This is a question that has plagued us for ever.  The old timers
seem to have a sense of what the soil needs more of, the scientist
are sure they know but what do you put in the Square foot garden?

First off compost around here is NOT what is used to be.  Some times
barely composted and often so wet I'm sure it came from our
 own water soaked world.  Often they are full of peat moss.

The Square foot idea is one of compost not fertilizer.
 But here in the Pacific Northwest some years
 we'd wash away
everything our
soil had to give a growing plant.  

If your compost seems full of peat moss,
 if it seems overly soaked, 
if it is full of large chunks of wood pieces 
or other un-composted materials you should
 consider adding some
 supplements to your mels mix. 

Oh slap me square foot traditionalist!  I began French
intensive gardening when it hit the San Fransisco Bay area in the early 1970's
and I have a right to know when something needs correction. 

Second I must say that less is more.
 If you over feed your soil
you will cause all kinds of issues.
 Most not good.
 So please 
remember less is more. 

In class we talked about our soil needs being contained in
Kelp meal
Lime (ag lime/ dolomite mix)
seed meal
bone meal/phosphate rock
 Opt. Fish meal

Newly planted seeds don't need food
Plants in a full growing season NEED food
Plants with ripening food don't need food

You can side dress or make teas etc to adjust for these different 
growing seasons.

BIG HINT:  If you just want to add to your square foot box 
when working your soil in the spring,
 and you copied the recipe from the chalk board,
add 1 to 2 gallons of "the recipe"per each 100 square feet of your box over
the top of your garden, spread evenly. 

 Just work this into the top couple of inches of your box. 

Oh and I found Dr. Earth all purpose fertilizer has a nice
group of just what I want to add to my garden and
 I didn't even have
to mix it up! 

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