Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello From Upstate New York

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Hello From Upstate New York

Post  RUTBUSTER on 3/20/2012, 12:01 pm

Hello to everyone on SFG. I used to garden, but haven't in the past 5 years. I always wanted to try raised bed gardening, and this is going to be the year. I stumbled onto your site while searching for topics on: How to buld raised bed boxes. It certainly looks interesting and I am open to any suggestions anyone might have. I usually am not even thinking about gardening at this time of year due to all the snow. This has been one of the best winters that I have ever seen. With 80 degree temperatures it's time to get serious about it. Again, I'd like to say hello and look forward to all the information you want to send my way.
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RUTBUSTER

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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  Dunkinjean on 3/20/2012, 2:04 pm

Hello and Welcome to our forum!

I have a son, daughter-in-law and grandson that live in Upstate New York. Two years ago my husband and I built them a Square Foot Garden and they love it! They are surprised also with the warm weather they had this past winter.

There is a wealth of information on our forum. flower
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Upstate New York

Post  tomperrin on 3/20/2012, 3:03 pm

You mean the Westchester County line? or really upstate? Very Happy

Tom

(first garden was in St. Lawrence County, which is upstate like Down East is North)
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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  RUTBUSTER on 3/20/2012, 3:13 pm

No I mean really upstate. I live in Jefferson county. I am just outside of Fort Drum NY. Home of the: 10th Mountain Division Army.

Thanks for the welcome and look forward to advice on this SFG, as it is all new to me. My first task is to make some boxes for the raised beds. Does anyone have any suggestions on material to make them out of?
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RUTBUSTER

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Well, your're North Country, aren't you?

Post  tomperrin on 3/20/2012, 3:53 pm

Otherwise known as God's Country!
http://northcountrythen.blogspot.com/

Cedar is what I use. I use rough sawn white cedar, 1" x 7" x 4'. If I had to do it all over again, I would have the boards sawed 8" wide. That said, cedar can get a bit pricey. But you might find a local Amish sawmill that will give you a deal. You'll have to ask around, as they are not on the web or in the Yellow Pages. Alternatively, Amish sawmills will sell you a pickup truck full of slab wood for $10. That is probably the best deal going, whether for firewood or boxes. I use Strong Ties zinc plated MPA1 angles to tie the boards together. HD is cheaper than Lowes.
see:
http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/productDetails.aspx?SKU=59310
I use 6x1" round head phillips screws as fasteners. I also use nylon string instead of wood strips to mark my squares. (Blasphemy! Inquisition, please note bounce ). I use 6x1/2" round head phillips screws driven half way as anchors for the string.

I am experimenting this year with pine 2" x 10" x 8', only because I had some scrap lumber. I like the idea of 2" wide boards. It's very strong, and should take a few years to rot. Even so, I put bricks underneath at the corners. Anyway, pine is ridiculously cheap, but not as cheap as slab wood.

I'm thinking the rough sawn wood keeps the creepy crawlies out, tho I have no way of proving it. Or maybe it's the natural insect repellent properties of the cedar.

As a very young child, my mother drove us through Fort (then Camp) Drum in a blizzard, being a short cut to NYC from Potsdam. Not a wonderful experience. Be sure to carry space blanket, matches and candles when you're driving in winter, just in case you get stuck in one of those 10 foot drifts.

Tom
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It is God's country for sure

Post  RUTBUSTER on 3/20/2012, 4:07 pm

Thank's so much for the info Tomperrin. I was thinking about using cedar but the price scred me away. I guess I should check with the Amish and see what they have. I was thinking also about using 2" x 8" pine boards as well. I just hate the thought of having to replace them in a couple of years.

Well you do know the area up here. It can get quite cold and a lot of snow at times. Before it was Camp Drum it was called Pine Plains. That's before my time and they stayed mostly in tents back then. I have seen many pictures of it. Times have certainly changed.
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RUTBUSTER

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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 3/20/2012, 10:35 pm

glad you\'re here Rutbuster!

You mentioned you stumbled on us while searching raised bed gardening. Most of us use a book by Mel Bartholomew called All New Square Foot Gardening (2006) as our guide. If you can get your hands on a copy of that book (your local library, Amazon, Lowes, bookstore, or the SFG Foundation), it will definitely give you the basics from which most of us work. Many of the members will tell you that the critical critical component is the mix: 1/3 fluffed peat, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 5-way blended compost. Without a good medium, the raised bed intensive gardening, is normally not very successful.

We are happy to have you here. Smile
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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  boffer on 3/20/2012, 11:06 pm

tomperrin wrote:... I also use nylon string instead of wood strips to mark my squares. (Blasphemy! Inquisition, please note bounce )...

Several members have made similar comments in the last couple days so I thought I'd offer some encouragement to continue living dangerously! A lot of us use string. My personal theory is that Mel likes hard grids because they show up better in pictures. (That's purely speculation.) String of any sorts is so ubiquitous and inexpensive that if it rots in a season, there's nothing lost but a couple minutes to re-string the grid. Plus, I like to remove the grid in the fall to add compost and fluff the whole box at once which is easier done than one square at a time.

I have grids made of mahogany slats that I ripped, re-bar welded together, 3/8s rod welded together, cheapie 1¼ inch tall foam baseboard, 1 inch mini blinds, and bamboo sticks lashed together. They're all sitting in a pile behind the woodshed being swallowed up by weeds. The plants don't mind having string grids! Here's to breaking the rules!
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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  Dunkinjean on 3/20/2012, 11:17 pm

I agree with Boffer with using string in lieu of the wood grids. I do have both - bought the grids as a newbie.

I do prefer to mix the compost in before I lay the new string grid or wood grid.

We have one SFG made of lumber and two SFG made of plastic resin. The resin was on sale for only $9.99 a kit so we figured why not!

My family is outside of Buffalo, NY - Orchard Park/West Falls. They get a bit of snow each winter except for this past winter.

Best of luck in your new SFG's! sunny
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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  RUTBUSTER on 3/21/2012, 9:02 am

Thank you all for the information you provided and the welcomes. I ordered the book yesterday, and look forward to it's arrival. I am really looking forward to trying this new method. We are never to old to learn new ideas. I'm sure I will have many questions to ask before I am through.

Thanks again
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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  shannon1 on 3/24/2012, 4:33 am

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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  2010barb on 3/24/2012, 11:52 am


glad you\'re here
I am in NE VT and this weather has bewen incredible.

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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

Post  RUTBUSTER on 4/9/2012, 12:46 pm

Hello 2010 barb. I am sure we have very similar weather. Have you been able to plant anything yet? I haven't here but I am almost ready, just waiting for the weather to cooperate.
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Back in CNY...

Post  hruten on 4/16/2012, 4:24 pm

Hi we just moved from Oswego...to SW New Hampshire

I'm trying sfg too, but mine is more container based now. We move too much to kill the grass *laughs* There is a ton on information here, all great. Welcome, and take a trip to the NY living zoo in watertown for us! We miss it already Smile
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Re: Hello From Upstate New York

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