Cathy wrote:Can you tell I went a little overboard?
Other gardeners are never the right people to ask if you've gone overboard. Can't wait for pictures! The mix sounds great... and perfect for a patio. I planted a salad box last year and I'm going to try short carrots this spring too.
philsov wrote:Recently set up a square foot bed in the backyard; the final dimensions are about 4' x 4.5' x 1', made from halved 8 foot and 10 foot 2x12 boards. I filled the raised bed with a combination of soil/compost and peat moss. It's like... 5-10% vermiculite. The recommended ratio was 33/33/33 but damn, vermiculite was difficult to find (and expensive), with my best find being a whopping 4 bags of 8 quarts each.
I think you'll find you do just fine with that little vermiculite. Just be sure to amend your soil with some more compost before you re-plant the beds. You can, of course, make your own compost if you aren't
I actually just have a mix of compost and topsoil for my beds. But the drainage with my raised beds and in my climate has been good enough that I don't need the vermiculite.
The plantings were staggered based on last frost date (ideally Feb 28 for where I am), but, eh, winter was warm this year and the last cold snap was like Feb 11. I planted bell pepper and jalepeno seeds last week, but everything else I've planted from seeds has already come up! Current array is swiss chard, spinach, carrots, beets, onions, the peppers, and okra (will be planted in about two weekends).
Carrots, onions and peppers benefit from consistent watering. I also found my peppers responded really well to mulching calcium in around the roots (which you can do after they're planted too). It'll help prevent blossom end rot. Epsom salt is cheap and readily available... although I believe it will lower your soil ph slightly so you might monitor that.
Spinach is super-easy to harvest. I harvest some of the biggest leaves from each plant and let the plants continue to put out new leaves. As long as you don't hit any given plant too often, it'll produce until it gets too hot and bolts. Lambsquarters and New Zealand Spinach are two great spinach-like plants that do well in heat that you might want to consider rotating in during the summer (I could be wrong, but warm enough for bell peppers for you now sounds like hot summers to me).
My garden update. I just started parsley and onions. I'm late on both but such is life. The planting spreadsheet called for starting two weeks ago. I started 32 parsley and 100 onion (two varieties of white onions). Once they're sprouted I'll post some pictures of the seed starting setup. I think I need to start some flowers tomorrow. 6" of snow outside so it's nice to get some things going and smell organic material (I use compost and coir to start my seeds)