Square Foot Gardening Forum
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I am new also!

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I am new also!

Post  Jenelle on 3/20/2012, 8:42 pm

I am moving into a new house in Hemet on an acre of land. Is it too late to get started? I only just learned about SFG a week ago! Should I have already started compost? Can I buy it at Lowe's or Home Depot? What should I plant first?

I am ready to learn all there is to learn!

Thanks! Jenelle
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Jenelle

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Re: I am new also!

Post  quiltbea on 3/20/2012, 8:46 pm

Welcome to the forum Jenelle. I have no idea what zone you are in so can't help when to plant but many in Calif will be checking in. I'm sure they'll help you. I know you'll enjoy the experience.
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Welcome

Post  curio on 3/20/2012, 8:49 pm

it's never too late.
You can probably get some of the ingredients for the MM at Home Depot, but I doubt you'll be able to find enough variety of good composts for the five needed. Also, many of them don't have a place to display the big bags of vermiculite (all they have is medium, too), but they might have it if you ask.
If you haven't already got the book All New Square Foot Gardening (2006) that would be a good first purchase.
You might not have time to start from seed, but buying transplants are perfectly fine.

Others will chime in... I have no idea where Hemet is, so can't help with your timeline on planting.
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curio

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Re: I am new also!

Post  Jenelle on 3/20/2012, 8:51 pm

I am Zone 8B
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Jenelle

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Re: I am new also!

Post  Jenelle on 3/20/2012, 8:57 pm

Do I need a special container for the compost? Can I get started with the bags of compost and then add a more natural one?
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Jenelle

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Re: I am new also!

Post  B maier on 3/20/2012, 9:02 pm

Its early enough.... I don't think your mix needs to be 100% according to the book. Just do your best and keep track of what is in your soil and next year add what you missed this time around. In my case I don't have enough vermeculite but have plenty of peat moss and compost. So next year I will try to get extra of that to work into the soil.
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Re: I am new also!

Post  AvaDGardner on 3/20/2012, 9:27 pm

glad you\'re here

Hey Jenelle! I'm near you, just more coastal. flower

Yes...buy or borrow the book (there are several in the library system). It's a fast read. If nothing else, get the abridged version ($5; I got mine at HD). Even faster read. It doesn't cover verticals in depth, but you'll get everything else.

You right on time to start! It's SPRING!!!

BIG QUESTIONS:
How much room do you have for your box(es)? (full sun)
What do you eat that you want to grow?
Do you want to grow year round or only in the summer? (We don't have a winter...do you?)
What is your budget?

Those will determine your parameters.

It's really great as it comes together.
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AvaDGardner

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Re: I am new also!

Post  Jenelle on 3/21/2012, 5:58 pm

Our winter is about 3 whole days! Haha

I have a HUGE yard with full sun. I want to do about 6 boxes, 3 with vertical backings.

I want to grow it all, zuchinni espcially, which there is very little about in the bokds. I have both versions of the SFG book. I also want to grow lettuce, cabbage, pumpkins for Halloween, watermelon, melons, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, onions, berries, brocolli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potato, carrots anything and everything they sell that is ready to transplant at Walmart and Lowe's! We eat alot of fruit and vegetables, so I want to do it all! Am I being to crazy? Should I start with only a few?

Will the store bought mix work well? My budget is fairly open. My husband is making my boxes and I have start up costs for the mix and all supplies. I am thinking the mix is the biggest expense.

Do you make your own compost? If so do you have a special container they sell or will any big container do like a big garbage can? Is the store bought Mel's Mix just as good?


Last edited by Jenelle on 3/21/2012, 5:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : wrong word was used)
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Jenelle

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Re: I am new also!

Post  Lindacol on 3/21/2012, 7:16 pm

@Jenelle wrote:Our winter is about 3 whole days! Haha

I have a HUGE yard with full sun. I want to do about 6 boxes, 3 with vertical backings.

I want to grow it all, zuchinni espcially, which there is very little about in the bokds. I have both versions of the SFG book. I also want to grow lettuce, cabbage, pumpkins for Halloween, watermelon, melons, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, onions, berries, brocolli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potato, carrots anything and everything they sell that is ready to transplant at Walmart and Lowe's! We eat alot of fruit and vegetables, so I want to do it all! Am I being to crazy? Should I start with only a few?

Will the store bought mix work well? My budget is fairly open. My husband is making my boxes and I have start up costs for the mix and all supplies. I am thinking the mix is the biggest expense.

Do you make your own compost? If so do you have a special container they sell or will any big container do like a big garbage can? Is the store bought Mel's Mix just as good?

My local Lowes in Redlands has Mel's mix (Gardentime). If I were you I would get a couple of boxes filled with the pre made Mel's mix and get them going. Search back in this forum for suggested planting times for this area. Get a compost bin started. Craigslist is good for finding free manure and you can add food wastes, leaves, etc.

Lettuce will bolt when it gets hot. I am still starting some now. Last year (my first) my lettuce went bitter at about the time I started harvesting tomatoes. I have potoaotes, onions & garlics already growing. I am harvesting romaine lettuce and am starting more lettuce. I have corn, pole beans, carrots, kale, delecata squash & chard planted in the garden. I have started seedlings that are about ready to plant of tomato, cucumber, bell peppers and maybe a few others.

Be sure to put hardware choth or chicken wire on the bottoms or the gophers will get your plants.

You will find this kind of gardening fun & addictive.
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Re: I am new also!

Post  Chopper on 3/21/2012, 8:16 pm

Hemet is year round gardening for sure. And I concur with doing it right the fist time and avoiding varmints. I would go so far as to recommend table tops. But either way, it may be too late for the spring veggies, but there is something to plant every month. Watch this space for the first of the month when I put up a list of what can be planted now.

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Re: I am new also!

Post  AvaDGardner on 3/27/2012, 5:53 pm

Hi Jenelle...

Today is a great day to get started. It's never too late...you just might be early for the next season!

People told me in Feb to plant a winter garden. The lettuce has done the best. The jury is still out on the brassicas.

@Jenelle wrote:I have a HUGE yard with full sun. I want to do about 6 boxes, 3 with vertical backings.

I want to grow it all, zuchinni espcially, which there is very little about in the bokds. I have both versions of the SFG book. I also want to grow lettuce, cabbage, pumpkins for Halloween, watermelon, melons, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, onions, berries, brocolli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potato, carrots anything and everything they sell that is ready to transplant at Walmart and Lowe's! We eat alot of fruit and vegetables, so I want to do it all! Am I being to crazy? Should I start with only a few?
In Hemet, can you grow fruit trees? Do you have room for a small orchard? Or is it too hot? SFG will help you get maximum use of your veggy space.

Have you thought about going vertical? I came into SFG backwards. I had 100 sf to plant, decided because of flooding that I'd do boxes, filled them with the existing dirt from the plot, and was planning how to plant my boxes for maximum use of space & companion plants when someone told me about Mel's book. He took all the work out of "how many per square" which was great. So cool.

ANYWHO...in my search I found squashes (especially zuch's) can be 120 feet long. I've grown them on my 9 x 15 patio, and had them pretty much cover all the concrete! If you are planning a lot of squash, vertical will help control the sprawl.

And, it will provide you with shade necessary for other plants like lettuce and spinach!

I'm using tomatoes/pole beans and corn to provide my shade for those delicate plants.

@Jenelle wrote:Will the store bought mix work well? My budget is fairly open. My husband is making my boxes and I have start up costs for the mix and all supplies. I am thinking the mix is the biggest expense.
If money is no object, go with MM!

@Jenelle wrote:Do you make your own compost? If so do you have a special container they sell or will any big container do like a big garbage can? Is the store bought Mel's Mix just as good?
No, I don't compost. The community garden has a 3-part compost bin, but they've decided this year not to use it. Plotters don't know how to put their stuff in (throwing in whole 2' plants, trash, one person would be working it, and another would clean it out.

At home, I have no yard, so no place to compost. The only spot might be behind the pool house, but that would be in the shade.

If you are looking for something contained, I've seen barrel composters (mounted drums that can be turned). I've not used one, yet they look interesting!

A trash bin won't work because compost has breathe and be turned.

So instead, I ranch worms! (Giddy-yap little wormy! Back to corral!)

Ava
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Re: I am new also!

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