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jcrous
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Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:29 pm
Location: Cape Town (Brackenfell)

Soil mix question

I have recently changed over to raised beds:
https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapev ... 76879.html

The second bed is now complete and filled with 8 inches of mushroom compost, but not digged. The first on was digged to 12 inches, giving a soil mix of 25% soil (sand) and 75% compost). This mix is 12 inches deep, above soil.

I can hear mus stuff grow. Visitors started the same sowing time as me asked me what I do to get the stuff grow so fast. My first cucumber was harvested before their's even flowered. My Swiss Chard is growing very large. The squash and pumpkins grow like never before. I however experienced signs on the pepper leaves that there is a calcium shortage, but there is no blossom end rot so far. The soil mix keep very damp. there is no signs of wilting. Even above 40 degrees of C / 106 degrees of F. I know mushroom compost is not the richest of compost but it is very good still.

What difference can I expect if I do not dig the second bed? I know the soft part then will only be 8 inches deep. I am planning to dig but I am curious.
Regards

Johan

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Soil mix question

I have used mushroom compost before. It is harder for me to find now. The locally made green waste compost is much more common. I think adding compost benefits the soil no matter what the source as long as it is used correctly.

Compost is not soil. It will hold much more water than soil and it doesn't behave like soil. So, if you are planning to plant in compost alone, the plants may start out ok, but may run into problems later. Adding organic matter builds up the soil web and feeds the microbes that are really responsible for the great results you got. Building good soil is not a one shot deal. Every time you harvest and eat or remove a plant from the soil, nutrients are not returned to be recycled, so more organics and the nutrients that were taken out need to be returned.

https://www.mushroomcompost.org/NPK2.pdf
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jcrous
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Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:29 pm
Location: Cape Town (Brackenfell)

Re: Soil mix question

I plan to top up with a 1 inch layer of worm compost as a mulch and that will be topped up with more and dug in when I plant each follow-up crop. I will later change to manure should the worm compost are used up.
Regards

Johan

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