Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Post  LizShort on 3/3/2012, 9:49 am

My name is Elizabeth and I'm a noobie Smile Checked the farmer's almanac and started my seeds, got my space measured, and now... I need to learn MUCH more Smile I can't wait!!!! bounce cheers bounce

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Helloooo to you too

Post  curio on 3/3/2012, 10:24 am

Welcome to the forum! This is the place to learn a lot. If you haven't done so already, you might want to purchase the All New Square Foot Gardening book (2006). It is definitely the backbone of this gardening method.
You're going to have so much FUUUUUUN!!!

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Re: Hellooooooooooo

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/3/2012, 10:51 am

Hi Elizabeth and welcome to the Forum!

I agree, the ANSFG book is a MUST as is using the Search feature of the Forum AND the beginners topics.

On the Forum Home page look up in the upper left corner. You will see a bunch of "bumps" under the word Hover. Hover over one of them and you will see a list of suggested articles. At the very least, I'd read the first two (Mel's Mix & Compost). It will save you a LOT of time rather than having to wait for people to reply to your questions.

You're going to have a LOT of fun!


I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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Ramble Alert!!!!

Post  LizShort on 3/3/2012, 12:09 pm

Thank you all for the warm welcome Smile

I picked up the old SFG book yesterday. I've watched so many episodes of SFG on PBS... omg... Okay, here's the deal with my garden.... Across the back of my house, on the south side, I have a 13X3.2 foot area. My intent is to use that up completely.

I double dug it about a month ago. I lined the 2 foot hole with landscaping cloth because of the terrible problems with fire ants and crabgrass. Next, I'm going to ask my landlord to add another bucket full of soil (we have nothing but sand here) and I am going to add BlackCow or other compost from the evil walfart. (I live in the middle of nowhere and the ONLY gardening supply that is not 50+ miles away is walfart Sad I did get all my seed from an organic catalog, 100% heirloom varieties.) I am going to bury a soaker hose about 6 inches under the soil so that I won't be watering any weeds that might want to show up. I also have a six inch layer of leaves that I will put on top of the bed to help retain water in the broiling sun that we have here. I'm 2 hours from the coast of NC and 3 miles from Chesterfield SC.

My plan is to plant 12 tomatoes right up by the house (my book says 1 sf per plant, did I read that correctly?) plant 3' of bush green beans at the end by the driveway. From the bush beans back, I'm going to separate plant 2 bells then 1/2 a foot of onions, 2 belgian bells, 1/2 foot of onions and repeat so I have 4 bells and 4 belgians and 1.5 feet of onions. THEN!! I am going to plant 2 tomatillos (have no idea how they grow, and 4 eggplant. That leaves me with 8 sf left open. No ideas what to put there.

Along with the bed just behind the house, I also have another acre that my landlord plows and cultivates for me. I'm going to plant watermelon, cantaloupe, the any other tomatoes and peppers that sprout that didn't get in behind the house and edamame.

Any other ideas? I'm wide open to them Smile


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Re: Hellooooooooooo

Post  walshevak on 3/3/2012, 1:00 pm

Get thee to a bookstore, a library, or Lowes and get a copy of the latest ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING before you go any furthur. No double digging, no native soil so fewer weeds. less work for equal (or better) yields. Mel has completely revamped his recommendations and it is soooooo easy once you get set up.



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Re: Hellooooooooooo

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2012, 2:24 pm

You'd be better off placing a soaker hose on top of the soil with little drippers right beside each plant. Placing the hose deep only waters the weeds you want to avoid. Watering them will make them sprout and lo and behold, you've got more weeds than you want pushing their way to the top. The less action done below the better. Dormant weed seeds won't be disturbed and sprout if they are left alone. Double-digging only awakens those dormant weed seeds.

You could just fill the top 6" of your beds with Mel's Mix and work from there.

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Re: Hellooooooooooo

Post  plantoid on 3/3/2012, 5:34 pm

Hi Liz ,

Welcome to the site.

It looks like you and I both learnt our square foot trade from the older version of squarefoot gardening .

That it worked is beyond doubt but like has been said things change and the new book by Mel is far removed from the old one .

As I'm now 61 yrs old and doubley disabled , it is a godsend to find I have discovered a way that allows me to continue on gardening with flowers and food ..it's far less work once the initial set up is up and running.

Here on site most people use the new book .

I can see why , if my newly built & filled only with the peat vermiculite ,peat and five way compost mix Mel suggests is anything to go by .

For right now , I've got some of the most vibrant coloured flowers I've seen in any of my 45 years of earth based soil gardening . Even the garlic planted between Nov & mid Feb this year are a luxurious green and a lot taller than those I ever planted in well manured earth SF beds etc..

Do try and get the new book it is ISBN code ..9 781591 862024 and I'd say it's worth its weight in gold & it will help you no end .

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Re: Hellooooooooooo

Post  Chopper on 3/3/2012, 7:23 pm

And while you are getting your copy of the book, with your 13 X 3 space, you might get away with a 3' wide bed but it will be tricky if you only have access from one side - or at least one of the long sides. I would recommend 13 X 2 feet so you can easily access all of the squares. Otherwise it will be hard not to step in it at some point. With the efficient growing you should do all right with that space.


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Re: Hellooooooooooo

Post  shannon1 on 3/4/2012, 1:06 am

Liz, Like you and Plantoid I learned the old way first. I found out about SFG through the PBS show, got the book and did the hard work of double digging amanding the soil with loads of compost and then solarised it because root knot nems are such a problem here. I was forced into taking an extended brake from gardening by a 5-way heart bypass. After 2 years when I was ready to garden again I thought I would replace my worn out copy of square foot gardening but my DM bought the new book for me as a b-day prezzy. If she had not done that I would have never known of all the improvements Mel has made. I like the old book too for the info not contained in the new one so don't just ditch your copy of the old book. The new system if far less work and is just amazing I know you will love it. Truth be told I was a little sceptical at first, but wow it is so effective.

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Re: Hellooooooooooo

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