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Square Foot Gardening

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I have recently read the book on square foot gardening and seen your memebers photo on this blog.
I am having trouble finding large quantities of vermiculite required for the compost following the SFG formula. I wondered whether I really need to use this formula or would organic vegetable compost bought from my garden centre proved to be just as effective. Last year I created 3 raised beds and had a ton of organic compost delievered. Unfortunately the beds were not very productive. I would lover to know if anyone has followed the SFG method but not the compost formula of 1/3 Peat, 1/3 Vermiculite, 1/3 midxed compost.



Hello, I am probably one of just a few who are actually using this method ongoingly. I have had great luck with it for 2 years now, that being said I must admit that I have not followed the formula exactly.... my problem was in finding enough DIFFERENT composts.
In the formula the composts are supposed to add nutrients and he says you need at least 5 different types. I just could not find that many. I used hen manure, cow manure, worm castings and mushroom compost.
The vermiculite is to aerate the soil and make it hold water better and it was also difficult to come by, I had to ask an long established nursery to special order it for me, the chain garden centers just didn't have it. You could try to use a subsitute mix of sand and perlite and see how that works.
I still found that to get maximum growth and production I had to fertilize. So I used a water soluble 10-10-10 once every 2 weeks.
Protection from pests was also necessary here in the humid south. I used a soap based pest remover on some things and I use beer traps to kill slugs, and I added my own worms to each bed to enhance the soil.
I think my conclusions would have to be that in theory his method is good, but needs to be adapted for the realities of different areas.
I hope this has helped you out and that you can make your Sq Ft gardens work for you!

4 Mar, 2009


Thank you for your speedy reply. As I live in the UK. London area I would be interested to hear from any UK based gardeners also re SFG.
Are the majority of memebers based in the US or UK.
Many thanks

4 Mar, 2009


Most members on this site are in the UK. So info from them would be more helpful to you. The man who wrote the book is based in Utah USA, out west. So my guess is that most people who use it are Americans, however a lot of UK members have written about it and I think use a modified form in raised veg beds.
Member Genuisscuffy had a lot of info so if he doesn't reply you could send him a private message asking about it.

4 Mar, 2009


Hi all

bit of a newby to this SFG stuff but I just sumbled on a good supply or Vermiculite.

I had tried all the normal garden centres, but managed to get a HUGE 100Litre bag from a builders merchant.

Down this way(Devon) we have RGB building merchants and they have a ready supply of large Vermiculite. Considering it used to be used for loft insulation it was lmost the last place I checked.

Give some of your Builders merchants a call and i'm sure they will have some. I did try Wickes but they had discontinued it.

hope this helps

23 Mar, 2009


I am just about to set up my first box and if you are still looking for vermiculite I have sourced some at a very good price on ebay (100L medium). Also an alternative to peat is coir which I have also sourced on ebay also at a very good price.

If you need more details email me.

Good luck. It would be good to know how you get on.

4 May, 2009

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