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Newbie- Needs help

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Newbie- Needs help

Post  rose1971 on 2/17/2012, 11:34 am

Hello I am a newbie - My husband was so nice to build me a wonderful raised bed garden. It has (5) 4x8 and 23 boxes see photo. We still of course need to fill it with compost filling which will be done in the spring. I'm excited but overwhelmed.

I am going to attempt to do the SFG as I used to do row gardening but everything just grew all together and couldn't keep up this is why I decided to build the raised system and I am sure it will be much better :-)

I do not know what to plant with what. I will be planting Corn, onions, green beans, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes/as well as cherry, zucchini, pumpkins (outside to the far end) lettuce, spinach, carrots, broccoli, radishes, kale ( I love kale chips), strawberries, sunflowers, asparagus. I have no clue what to plant with what. Can you give me some help ... please!

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  llama momma on 2/17/2012, 1:05 pm

glad you\'re here Rose1971
I'm a former NY'er, Suffolk County, L.I. now living in central Ohio.
You have certainly jumped into sq. ft. gardening with both feet!
Are you planning to fill the boxes with Mel's Mix as described in the book, All New Square Foot Gardening? The newest book is the 2006 edition. As with row gardening I am sure you will remember to keep your taller veggies to the north, and do you plan to use a trellis for others? Just a couple thoughts to get you started. Again Welcome and feel free to also look up topics in the top left side of this page too and keep taking pictures of your progress, we love pictures!
llama momma

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  rose1971 on 2/17/2012, 2:04 pm

I have not actually read Mel book so I'm really unfamiliar with the mix or where to get it. Maybe I'll find it on ebay and order it or go and see if they have it at Barnes and Nobles book store or even check out my local library. I've been learning what I know from watching YouTube videos and Google :-) I do plan on use some form of trellis but have not decided which just yet. I am also learning about composting.

Are there any plants you should not plant with? I defiantly will post progress pictures. Cannot wait until spring to get it going.

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  Beav395 on 2/17/2012, 2:48 pm

I'm totally new as well so I don't have any advise but I love your layout. Really nice.


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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  rose1971 on 2/17/2012, 3:08 pm

Here is our garden Finished we fenced it in the only thing I want to do is put some solar lights up on the post :-) as well as fill the walkway.

We had a lot of fun building and planning it. Hopefully, in the next month we'll be filling it with soil. Not so sure I'll be doing the mixture of Mel's but something similar. I'm now working on plans what I want to plant and where.

So far I've got a lot of ideas from this forum - I find it is a great useful source :-)

I am just hoping that I have some success growing....

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  Squat_Johnson on 2/17/2012, 3:33 pm

That looks great! Welcome to the Forum!
This will be good to look at when considering what to fill your boxes with...


Also, have a look at the articles on the Home page - hover on the "fence" on the left side of the page.

As far as what to plant where... You have to envision a time when plants are big and bushy. Where will the shade be?

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/17/2012, 3:34 pm


Here is a link for all sorts of information on MELS MIX If you want to SFG this is an important part of doing so.

Can't tell you how important it is, especially if you have had problems with weeds in the past.

To determine what and when to plant, check out your local extension service. You can find it by searching for your state university, followed by extension service.

Hope this is helpful

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  rose1971 on 2/17/2012, 5:42 pm

Thank you so much for the advice...... That link has lots of useful information :-)

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/17/2012, 10:31 pm

Rose, I thought I was 'thinking big.' Your husband's labor is INCREDIBLE! I am trying not to drool over having that much land available for the yard and the garden! You and your little one will have a blast with it. I loved gardening with my little ones.

If you've been doing single rows before, then you have a good idea what to plant.

Is it the spacing per plant you are concerned about?

Did you do companion planting with your single rows (i.e., "what to plant with what")? I understand it cuts down on the "tending" of the garden a lot! I found a list of companion plants on Wikipedia. I can't post a link yet, but you'll find it.

You'll soon recognize that there are inconsistencies in the list. It helped me a lot.

I've broken it down and sorted through it, and refined it (theoretically). I'll share it with you, if that would help. Maybe by PM or email? (I'll be testing it this year, too.)

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  camprn on 2/18/2012, 6:13 am

Rose, that is going to be a beautiful garden. I cannot recommend highly enough the ANSFG book and the benefits of using the Mel's Mix, which you can make yourself. It is available at Half.com What a Face


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau



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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  quiltbea on 2/18/2012, 10:35 am

I started my SFG with Mel's first book filling my boxes with top soil, peat moss, compost and a couple of amendments. I didn't even know about Mel's Mix til later but adding it on top of my soil beds worked for me. It would have been cost prohibitive to empty out my beds and re-start from scratch. I know that in Mel's teachings in So America he's more intent on compost, compost, compost because they can't get the other ingredients easily so they make do with what they have to start with and work from there.

If you can, I highly recommend starting with Mel's Mix to get a great start, few if any weeds, less watering, and healthy crops. Its just less labor intensive.

There are sites on google you can find with lists about companion planting and what crops do best beside which others and which to avoid together. Mel believes that hop scotching the crops works best to prevent insect damage, loss of one whole crop to disease, and also for rotation so you can put different ones beside each other or a few together to make pest prevention, shading, warming easier for a specific crop. It also means each time a square is emptied, you can find something in which to grow another crop after adding some compost.

Get thee to a library and get Mel's book 'All New Square Foot Gardening" to help you. For more crop information, also read Barbara Damrosch's 'The Garden Primer' and her husband Eliot Coleman's 'Four Season Harvest.' I found that 'The New Victory Garden Book' by Bob Thomson also very helpful for the more northern gardener.

You have a wonderful garden plan and don't forget a compost bin or two and maybe a cold frame to start early crops and transplant into empty squares as they become freed. Wish mine were as nice. Enjoy.

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Re: Newbie- Needs help

Post  rose1971 on 2/22/2012, 9:10 pm

Again - Thanks so much for all the advice it is greatly appreciated.

I went to Barnes and Nobles and picked up the SFG book. Boy does this book have so much information that I didn't know. I have a couple more chapters to read. This site has been very helpful and useful and not to mention other awesome gardeners. It's so nice to share what works and what don't.

When I did the row garden I didn't know anything about compainion planting. Only learned about that recently and going to try it into the garden. My row garden was an absolute mess. The weeds over took the garden year after year and I said to myself there has got to be another way to make this easier so I started researching and found this site.

I am working on my plans where I want to plant what. Got it half - way done. I'm so excited and cannot wait until I get out and start planting. My boys are also so eager to help plant too :-) and Yes, I am definatly going to be going with Mel's Mix and making my own compost. I have a compostin bin. Will take photo's of that later.

Thanks for welcoming me and I'm sure you'll be seeing me more on the forum.

:-) Have a blessed nite!

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