We went with 6″ of Mel’s Mix over weed cloth. The plants looked stunted and they did not produce any fruit. I didn’t come up with this mix, we can thank Mel Bartholomew, the author of Square Foot Gardening, for simplifying the best soil to use for raised bed vegetable gardening. Click to select the duration you give consent until. Mr. Bartholomew’s innovation saved water and space by folding traditional rows of vegetables into a raised bed that could fit on porches, patios, decks or roofs. The tomatoes in Mel’s Mix continued to be strong and vibrant. However, these looked so unhealthy that I started watering them with fish emulsion to try to save them because I feared I would lose them. We have about 10 raised beds, most are filled with just bagged compost. Journey with Jill is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Instead, the drainage capacity of the peat moss proved helpful in our rainy spring. This encourages the roots to branch out into surrounding soil. You are right, it was an investment! I love my desert gold peach! Thank you so much for your feedback, Julie! I too have had very poor results when using bagged garden soil and bagged compost. I am getting compost from AZ Worm farm tomorrow for a fair price -it’s the other two i’m finding to be pricy! How many inches of Mels Mix do you use? He was so frustrated with all… It’s best to plant them in the native soil rather than in an amended planting hole. Here are the three raised bed soil blends I tested: I first chose Mel’s Mix from Mel Bartholomew’s book Square Foot Gardening. We are putting in 6 raised beds with maybe 1 or 2 more. Raised Raised bed gardens can be contained to keep the bed intact, or they can be more free form, with soil and amendments merely I have a few theories: It seemed like these bags of soil had a lot of tree bark and perhaps it hadn’t broken down enough. Welcome to the blog of Mel Bartholomew, the founder of the Square Foot Gardening method for growing food in your backyard. Loved this information. Success! My first beds were only 6 inches – it is possible to grow in them. But between the soil test and my own observations, I have some thoughts about the differences in the soil mixes. How you connect them is a matter of preference, you could use nails and string, sticks, old blinds, or simply draw lines in the soil. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a9cb11846bae77b8494241160c98d556" );document.getElementById("dc9f99420f").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Organic master gardener in Arizona sharing garden inspiration & helpful tips for growing your own garden. Jill, simply love your site so informative and leads an old 77 year old long time gardener to try different things and ideas. It was light and fluffy and wonderful to work with. The use of five types of compost is so that your plants get a range of nutrients. I didn’t come up with this mix, we can thank Mel Bartholomew, the author of, After reading Square Foot Gardening for the first time over 12 years ago, I decided to start my own garden. You have various options for making soil for your raised beds. Many thanks. All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. This year, I challenged myself to fill our raised garden beds for under $20. I also had more weeds in this soil than in the Mel’s Mix, though that was probably due to the higher percentage of my homemade compost. | Your Landscaping Help, How To Develop Meals At Residence (Even In A Tiny House) – Breaking World News, How To Grow Food At Home (Even In A Tiny Apartment) -, How To Grow Food At Home (Even In A Tiny Apartment) – Go Shops2U, 7 Common Mistakes in Raised Bed Gardening, Growing Blueberries? I am buying the ingredients to make mel’s mix for some raised beds- but I am finding it quite expensive! I’m discouraged but determined to persevere and remove the tainted soil. Thank-you for your time. Mel's system is the easiest, most efficient gardening method that has ever been invented! Click to play video . Aim for a depth of 6-8 inches of new soil. First time into gardening, and have newly built raised beds and received the book yesterday. I had no weeds in the first month and my tomatoes started out incredibly healthy. And you can’t beat free! And as such, I’d recommend more of a potting soil mix to ensure good drainage. First, we had a record spring rainfall year in 2019, and the topsoil I purchased for the “perfect soil recipe” seemed to contain a lot more clay than I have seen with other topsoil mixes. Mel Bartholomew, a construction engineer who turned lattice into lettuce by popularizing a gridlike framework for what he called square foot gardening, died … I have heard many reports from gardeners who are very happy with this mix and the rest of Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Garden plan. Hi, I know SFG says 6 inches of soil. The use of five types of compost is so that your plants get In your pictures it looks like perlite in your Mel’s mix instead of vermiculite. Hoping to transplant my plants from containers. I’ve found with our heat, 15 inches is a great depth. Your email address will not be published. I followed the advice for how to make Mel’s Mix, which he calls “the most important, productive, essential, necessary, critical” ingredient for square foot gardening success, and it worked! I looked at raised bed kits on HomeDepot.com, and in the product reviews someone said they bought this for a Square Foot Garden, and filled it with Mel’s Mix. Mel Bartholomew. We should all be so fortunate to leave such a legacy, positively impacting so many lives in perpetuity. Bartholomew’s square foot gardening method centers around a 4-foot square raised bed, divided into a grid of 16 squares, in which vegetables, herbs and flowers are densely planted. This soil mix absorbs moisture well and is light and friable. Hello and happy spring! For those who do not know, Mel's mix is a great solution for square foot gardening. After reading Square Foot Gardening for the first time over 12 years ago, I decided to start my own garden. Will be going today to the local nursery for the soil. I tried 50% top soil and compost, turned out badly, seeds all germinaded, only grew about 1 inch high, never higher,so if I buy pete moss and vermiculite and mix in it will change it, for the better, I’m a little bumbed and apprehensive.
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