Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» What are you eating from your garden today?
by brianj555 Today at 8:47 pm

» A great offer for a local SFG,er
by jimmy cee Today at 8:40 pm

» Garlic Growing Lovers
by Turan Today at 5:14 pm

» Lower south Oct 2017
by brianj555 Today at 5:02 pm

» Sowing Experiment! Anyone Tried This?
by brianj555 Today at 4:50 pm

» Thumbs Up????
by brianj555 Today at 4:47 pm

» BOOK GIVEAWAY - ENDS 10/20/17
by CapeCoddess Today at 3:48 pm

» Turan in the Western Mountains
by countrynaturals Today at 3:37 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by countrynaturals Today at 3:34 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by countrynaturals Today at 3:31 pm

» Gardening & Homesteading Skills Summit REGISTER NOW!
by countrynaturals Today at 3:28 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by Turan Today at 12:01 pm

» Hello from West Coast Of Scotland
by walshevak Today at 11:44 am

» Hello from Gilbert, AZ
by No_Such_Reality Today at 9:57 am

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by sanderson Today at 12:17 am

» Today's Harvest
by brianj555 Yesterday at 8:21 pm

» new greenhouse got drafted
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:08 pm

» Monarch Supporter
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:55 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:50 pm

» New England October 2017
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:09 pm

» October Avatar: Don't Fence Me In
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 11:45 am

» Does MM improve with age?
by countrynaturals 10/15/2017, 3:51 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver 10/15/2017, 3:28 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals 10/15/2017, 11:34 am

» Leaf-Footed squash bugs
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 11:21 pm

» N & C Midwest: October 2017!
by Scorpio Rising 10/14/2017, 9:12 pm

» Tomato Questions
by Scorpio Rising 10/14/2017, 9:06 pm

» large plant ID stakes
by has55 10/14/2017, 4:02 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 3:12 am

» First time growing corn
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 3:07 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Questions from a newbie

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Questions from a newbie

Post  TooterBelle on 2/28/2012, 1:58 pm

Hi, I'm new to SFG but I'm really excited about it...the big gardens are getting to be too much work now that we are getting older. I do have a couple of questions. I'm in SW Arkansas, 5 miles to the Texas border and 9 miles to the Louisiana border. I wanted to try to plant Purple Hull peas and old fashioned tiny brown field peas in 2 of the raised beds but I've been told since childhood (many years ago), NOT to fertalize the peas or they will grow vines and no peas. (We've never even added compost to the peas fields.) Has anyone had luck growing the purple hulls in the garden boxes?

I'm also curious about companion planting in the garden boxes. I know that I can only plant one tomatoe per square foot but can I put my peppers next to the bottom of the tomatoe like usual or do I have to put them in the next square?

I would appreciate any help you can give me.
avatar
TooterBelle

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 52
Location : Ark-La-Tex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/28/2012, 2:54 pm

TooterBelle! We are really glad to have you join us. This is a great group of people and we enjoy talking about our favorite subject, SFGng.

I can appreciate wanting an easier way to garden and this surely is it! Admittedly, making raised beds, mixing Mel's Mix and filling the beds is not work free, but when you compare it to digging or double digging and amending for row gardens, this is a snap. Once your beds are filled, you plant, water and nurture with next to no weeding before you harvest. How great is that?

Sorry I cannot help with the field peas as I have never grown them and am not even sure they would do well in my wet cool climate. We do have other members that grow field peas in Mel's Mix and I am sure someone will jump in and let you know their thoughts and results.

As far as your tomatoes and peppers, each will require it's own square. You certainly could put them in adjacent squares if you wish. That is still close enough for companion planting.

Have you already established your SFG beds with trellises for those indeterminate tomatoes and made your Mel's Mix? If you want more information on making the best Mel's Mix ever, check out this link >>> MELS MIX

Again, Welcome and please keep us posted on your progress.
avatar
Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 70
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  TooterBelle on 2/28/2012, 11:16 pm

Thank you for your reply. I'm very excited about trying this way of gardening, last summer really made the difference for me...over 100 degrees and trying to get water to a huge garden...we lost almost everything.

From what I've been reading ( I bought the book this winter and I've been lurking around here and other places online) I think this will work out nicely for me and my husband. I do like the idea of scaling down the size but not the end product. We built beds this last weekend and are now looking for "ingredients" to fill them with. I have found the vermiculite and peat and I'm trying to find adequate compost. (It's not as easy as I would have thought.)

I do have trellises for the tomatoes, we use fence posts and cattle panels and they seem to be very adaptable to the garden beds. I've been working on a garden plan which is a big change from what we did in the big garden. (Not quite as easy as I thought it would be.) We have seeds and seedlings and are just waiting on compost to be able to jump in.

I'll keep you posted on how things turn out. Thank you again for your help.
avatar
TooterBelle

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 52
Location : Ark-La-Tex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/29/2012, 4:07 am

I'm trying to find adequate compost. (It's not as easy as I would have thought)
I truly understand. I ended up going to big box stores, groceries stores, hardware stores, nurseries, farm and garden shops, the grange and a County Agricultural Co-op, before I found enough varieties of compost that were not full of peat and sand and topsoil. It is a big deal reading the labels, and sometimes they don't even list the ingredients Shocked It is not always easy finding 5 different types of compost from multiple sources. We have a couple of threads going right now with members discussing their search for compost.



I've been working on a garden plan which is a big change from what we did in the big garden. (Not quite as easy as I thought it would be.)

I designate crops for the trellis squares first. Once that was done, it was easier placing the rest of the veggies. For convenience in reaching, I placed longer maturity veggies like carrots, in the center squares of the box. Things I would be harvesting often, like bush beans, lettuces, spinach etc, I placed on the outer squares. Not very scientific, but it worked for me. With your warmer temperatures, you might not be able to grow bush beans and lettuce at the same time.
avatar
Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 70
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  Ha-v-v on 2/29/2012, 9:08 am

Hi TooterBelle!! Welcome to the forum Very Happy I have not grown purple hull peas or anything that needs to be dried yet. I would love to as well. I know what you mean about finding the 5 different types of compost, I have finally this year been able to find five different types and two of them came in one I ordered from a local place. I just had them deliver two yards of finished compost. I have joined a couple groups in my local area on facebook too that has helped to find some sources, I found "bunny berries" as the gal calls them, cant wait to get those, but it just rained and now they are too messy to get. Horse and worm compost will be picked up this week or next, all again depending on the rain. I have seedlings too waiting for their forever beds Smile but still okay in their warm place.
So glad to have you here with us, share pictures anytime you like, we like lots of pics Smile
Ha-v-v
avatar
Ha-v-v

Female Posts : 1123
Join date : 2010-03-12
Age : 57
Location : Southwest Ms. Zone 8A (I like to think I get a little bit of Zone 9 too )

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  TooterBelle on 2/29/2012, 3:20 pm

[quote="Furbalsmom"]
I truly understand. I ended up going to big box stores, groceries stores, hardware stores, nurseries, farm and garden shops, the grange and a County Agricultural Co-op, before I found enough varieties of compost that were not full of peat and sand and topsoil. It is a big deal reading the labels, and sometimes they don't even list the ingredients Shocked It is not always easy finding 5 different types of compost from multiple sources.

You would think with the economy being what it is and more people trying to start small gardens, that they would have more choices for compost.


I designate crops for the trellis squares first. Once that was done, it was easier placing the rest of the veggies. For convenience in reaching, I placed longer maturity veggies like carrots, in the center squares of the box. Things I would be harvesting often, like bush beans, lettuces, spinach etc, I placed on the outer squares. Not very scientific, but it worked for me. With your warmer temperatures, you might not be able to grow bush beans and lettuce at the same time.

I figured out the trellis squares first too. But I've decided to plant the things with trellises in their own beds. Tomatoes and corn each in a 2X7 bed. The onions and beets are together in a 2X7 bed and the lettace and spinach is in a 1X4 bed. Everything else is in 3X4 beds. (I'm short, so the smaller beds are easier for me to reach the middle.) I like your idea of planting longer growing items in the center, that makes a lot of sense.

Thank you for your suggestions, I do appreciate them. I'll try to post some pictures when I get some free time....and compost. Very Happy

I think a lot of my problem is I have to learn to forget how we row planted. It's harder than it sounds, we've been exposed to it or doing it for almost 50 years now.
avatar
TooterBelle

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 52
Location : Ark-La-Tex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  TooterBelle on 2/29/2012, 3:28 pm

Ha-v-v wrote:Hi TooterBelle!! Welcome to the forum Very Happy I have not grown purple hull peas or anything that needs to be dried yet.

I've never dried purple hulls Shocked (we blanch and freeze them), are they similar to pintos when it comes to storage? Do you cook them about the same way? I may have to try this!!





Ha-v-v wrote:I found "bunny berries" as the gal calls them, cant wait to get those, but it just rained and now they are too messy to get.


"Bunny Berries" I like that! I just wish I still had rabbits...right now, the "berries" would almost make them worth the work.Very Happy
avatar
TooterBelle

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 52
Location : Ark-La-Tex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  BackRiver_SFG on 2/29/2012, 4:02 pm

TooterBelle wrote:I have found the vermiculite and peat and I'm trying to find adequate compost. (It's not as easy as I would have thought.)

When I went to the big home and garden stores I found the options were limited too. Google search your local gardens and nurseries in the area. I had much more luck with varieties at these stores and supported local businesses too. Between 3 different locations (I should've called in hind-site Laughing) I found all sorts of options to make my 5 types of compost to create my Mel's Mix. Good luck and enjoy!
avatar
BackRiver_SFG

Male Posts : 108
Join date : 2011-07-06
Location : East Weymouth- Zone 6B

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  TooterBelle on 2/29/2012, 10:15 pm

[quote="joe.patmos"
When I went to the big home and garden stores I found the options were limited too. Google search your local gardens and nurseries in the area. I had much more luck with varieties at these stores and supported local businesses too. Between 3 different locations (I should've called in hind-site Laughing) I found all sorts of options to make my 5 types of compost to create my Mel's Mix. Good luck and enjoy![/quote]

I hear hind-site is 20/20! Wink I called our feed store today, she said they could order just about anything I need...they even carry the vermiculite! We are really excited about being able to get started this weekend.
avatar
TooterBelle

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 52
Location : Ark-La-Tex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  Ha-v-v on 3/2/2012, 8:50 am

Bunny Berries" I like that! I just wish I still had rabbits...right now, the "berries" would almost make them worth the work.Very Happy

Oh man do I know that one, the work. I would also have stress during the hot summer months, then in winter I would worry too. For my needs buying it on occasion doesn't bother me. I do like getting to know my community this way and maybe one day they will buy my vermicompost.

I've never dried purple hulls Shocked (we blanch and freeze them), are they similar to pintos when it comes to storage? Do you cook them about the same way? I may have to try this!!

I have wanted to try the purple hulls, I just like their name. I folks eat them fresh out of the pod dont they? Well cooked etc, I want to try them, will put that on the list for next year, if its not too late for this year I will pick up a pack.

Ha-v-v
avatar
Ha-v-v

Female Posts : 1123
Join date : 2010-03-12
Age : 57
Location : Southwest Ms. Zone 8A (I like to think I get a little bit of Zone 9 too )

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  TooterBelle on 3/2/2012, 12:00 pm

Ha-v-v wrote:Oh man do I know that one, the work. I would also have stress during the hot summer months, then in winter I would worry too. For my needs buying it on occasion doesn't bother me. I do like getting to know my community this way and maybe one day they will buy my vermicompost.

I know what you mean! We use to freeze the water bottles in the summer and put pans of ice in front of fans trying to keep them cool. In the winter we would cover the cages with heavy plastic and put lights out there so they wouldn't get too cold...we even put hot water in the water bottles....talk about stressful! (of course if I had let them be rabbits instead of "babies" it probably wouldn't have been so stressful. Wink

Ha-v-v wrote:I have wanted to try the purple hulls, I just like their name. I folks eat them fresh out of the pod dont they? Well cooked etc, I want to try them, will put that on the list for next year, if its not too late for this year I will pick up a pack.

Ha-v-v

As far as the purple hulls, they are easy to grow (of course my experience is in a big row garden.) and since the hulls turn purple when they are ready it takes the guess work out of when to pick them. The peas grow mostly on top of the bush so they are easy to pick. We plant them after Good Friday, so you still have plenty of time. We usuall buy the seed at the feed store, we like "Texas pinkeyes". I just don't know how to do it in a square foot garden...we NEVER fertalized the peas in the row garden and the SFG is all fertalizer just about.

Honey, there is nothing better than a pot of fresh purple hulls (cooked with a little salt pork or bacon grease), a piece of warm cornbread, a slice of fresh onion and a slice of fresh tomatoe. We always look forward to the first dinner from the garden...this year especially, since we lost almost everything last year. Let us know if you decide to grow them.
avatar
TooterBelle

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 52
Location : Ark-La-Tex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Cheap (& often overlooked) source of compost

Post  Pisachi on 4/15/2012, 1:54 am

I saw where someone was asking about where to get compost, so I thought I'd bring this up.

MANY of the schools here in N.E. Texas have very strong FFA programs. The school where I teach is fairly small, but (as most small schools around here) has a very strong agriculture department. Because of this, the school has a barn where most of the kids keep their show animals (cattle, goats, pigs, etc). They clean out the pins in those barns pretty regularly, and that means they are shoveling a LOT of manure out behind the barn. The bedding for the cattle is usually pine shavings, and when mixed with the cattle manure, makes GREAT compost.

A couple months ago, I hooked up a flat bed trailer and got about 4 cubic yards of that "cattle compost" from the show-barn. They were more than happy to GIVE IT AWAY (that means "free") to me, just for the service of hauling it off for them.

I put it into the corner of my garden and added some more wood chips/shavings to it, and let it keep composting.

When I set up a new SFG box, I use my own "mix", (mostly because I can get it so cheap and have had great results with it). I "layer" my boxes like this: 1. I put a weed block down (In my opinion, THE most important part. If I don't use one, I'll be pulling grass out of my boxes every weekend) which is usually either cardboard from boxes I have saved from take-out pizza or shopping

2. Then I put down a layer of the cattle manure compost,

3. Then comes a layer of mel's mix.

4. Then I cover the top with a layer of the wood chips. The wood chips really help conserve water when the hot & dry weather comes.

The cattle manure compost has given me GREAT results. HUGE veggies and fruits. The watermelons and okra REALLY love it! I'm not really sold on the idea of using pig manure in the same fashion, though I wouldn't shy away from goat, horse, or cattle one bit. I probably should mention that I don't plant tubers or root crops in it until it has had time to compost for at least a year, just in case. I have no qualms using it for squash, tomatoes, corn, okra, or other heavy-feeding, above ground crops after only 3-6 months though.

Anyway, my point is this. LOTS of those schools would be more than happy to find a new, loving home for their excess manure. It makes an excellent garden amendment, especially if you can let it compost for a while before you use it. If you can't get it for free, I'm sure you could get it SUPER cheap...and in pretty good sized quantities too. Just call up to the school and ask to speak to the ag teacher. Ask him/her if they will have any compost next time they clean their barns out. Then ask if you could come and snag some. Its definitely worth the call
avatar
Pisachi

Male Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Northeast Texas, Zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/15/2012, 1:48 pm

Pisachi wrote:...snip...I'm not really sold on the idea of using pig manure in the same fashion, though I wouldn't shy away from goat, horse, or cattle one bit.

I think one thing that has been stated multiple times here on the forum, we want our composted manure from Herbivores only.

Pigs are Omnivores and will eat both plant and animal products. So, I would not use pig manure.
avatar
Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 70
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  TooterBelle on 4/16/2012, 2:55 pm

Pisachi wrote:I saw where someone was asking about where to get compost, so I thought I'd bring this up.

MANY of the schools here in N.E. Texas have very strong FFA programs. The school where I teach is fairly small, but (as most small schools around here) has a very strong agriculture department. Because of this, the school has a barn where most of the kids keep their show animals (cattle, goats, pigs, etc). They clean out the pins in those barns pretty regularly, and that means they are shoveling a LOT of manure out behind the barn. The bedding for the cattle is usually pine shavings, and when mixed with the cattle manure, makes GREAT compost.




Thanks for the information, I'll check with the schools around here and see what I can come up with.Very Happy
avatar
TooterBelle

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 52
Location : Ark-La-Tex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  Pisachi on 4/17/2012, 5:43 pm

Furbalsmom wrote:
I think one thing that has been stated multiple times here on the forum, we want our composted manure from Herbivores only.

Pigs are Omnivores and will eat both plant and animal products. So, I would not use pig manure.

Agreed. Which is why I said that I wasn't sold on it. (That means I don't use it) Also why I listed the three manures that I did. All herbivorous animals.
avatar
Pisachi

Male Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Northeast Texas, Zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions from a newbie

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum