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Thread: Best way to fertilize new beds?

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    Default Best way to fertilize new beds?

    I just build a raised bed and couldn't find large quantities of "garden soil" so I got top soil and am trying to enrich it. I dumped a bag of manure in and mixed it all up. Should I add other stuff as well? Store bought fertilizers? Thanks for any info!

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    A pretty good mix already ,
    Compost a great additive to top soil to loosen it up.

    Some wet moldy leaves from the woods will bring in the essential underground bacteria & mold.
    A little 8-32-16 mixed in is a good all around garden fertilizer.

    Got a compost bin started ? " Garden gold "

  3. #3

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    I heard compost piles don't work real well in anchorage due to not enough heat, is that not true?

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    The heat is generated from the compost not the outside air temp. You will have plenty of warm weather to make compost.

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    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
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    Never hurts to put your compost operation where you get plenty of sun.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burntfrog View Post
    I heard compost piles don't work real well in anchorage due to not enough heat, is that not true?
    Yes
    That is not true.
    The proper ratio of mixed of greens & browns with the proper moisture & air, it will cook.

    Our problem with our cold winter temps, is it takes longer to break down.
    Mine takes a full year, I start a new batch in the Fall (Aug/Sept) with leaves, green grass clippings & garden plants,
    have had it near 150 in a week or so.
    It cooks down to 1/3 the volume by December & goes dormant until I mix & add some green grass clipping in the spring.
    By the end of sumer, it's "done compost" & stored in a bin for use next spring & a new batch is started.

    Some threads showing composting & what works for me:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...Alaska-compost

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...e-amp-it-works

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burntfrog View Post
    I just build a raised bed and couldn't find large quantities of "garden soil" so I got top soil and am trying to enrich it. I dumped a bag of manure in and mixed it all up. Should I add other stuff as well? Store bought fertilizers? Thanks for any info!
    I like to add some sand, perlite, and peat moss to what you already have.

  8. #8

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    Wow, thanks for all the info guys! I guess I was led astray about the compost, but since this is the first year I have room for one, I'm trying to soak up all the knowledge. So to start my compost, I can just go ahead and start dumping the lawn clippings, and any food wastes in it? when you say the greens and browns, whats the browns?
    Do I need to wait for the fall to start it?

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    Dump everything into your compost. Lawn-clippings, foodstuff, leaves. If you add salmon heads you need to also add wood chips or sawdust or something.

    But, now that you are composting for the garden you know that you can't use Round-up or Weed+Feed on your lawn anymore, right? And be careful about taking your neighbor's clippings. I take them, but make sure I ask about herbicides.

  10. #10

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    Im glad you mentioned the weed and feed. I don't currently use it but it never would have crossed my mind. So you guys dump fish heads in your compost, doesn't it stink to high heaven?

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    So long as I add enough wood-chips, fish heads in the compost smell great. They do smell. It's kind of a rich, musty smell. Reminds me of the zoo. If it starts to smell putrid, I just mix in some more wood-chips. I compost the heads, guts and spine from 80 salmon per year in a 64 cubic foot pile. The salmon, along with foodstuffs, wood ashes and lawn debris is all the nutrition I need for about 600 s.f of beds (not including path space). I do add commercial lime to the soil as needed.

    Neighbors have never complained. I suspect that they can smell when I turn the pile, and they may smell something between like day 4 and day 8 after adding fish scrap. But, it's not a bad smell.

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    Member trochilids's Avatar
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    I laid a bunch of fish heads and skeletons from dipnetting on the bottom of two of our brand new raised garden beds last summer and covered them with old hay and dead leaves. Covered that with partially completed compost and more old hay. Last fall the nearby forest provided tons more leaves... A few days ago I checked out those beds by turning part of them with a fork and couldn't find any evidence of fish. I was expecting some skull bones or something. Looks like even burying fish heads a few inches down (single 2x8 wall on the raised bed) works fine if covered by enough "browns." We don't have neighbor dogs to worry about, and the garden is fenced well for larger disturbers...
    Palmer, Alaska
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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    After seeing Mudbuddys success at composting fish, I buried 12 to 14 red carcasses in the middle of my compost pile. There was no smell that we noticed. The Dog did not attempt to dig them up.. No bears crawled over the fence to get at them.. and in a month or so we'll see what they do for our vegetables.. I had previously observed what burying fish entrails in a rose bed did for the Roses, and I'm expecting them to do the same for my vegetables.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    We always used to put our fish carcasses in the compost (not just toss them on top, but bury them a bit). If your pile is already making good heat the fish will turbo charge it and disappear in a few days.
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