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Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

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Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  FlyboyTR on 3/23/2012, 10:32 am


Hello,

My wife and I live in Mobile, AL and we are getting ready to start our first SFG. Until last year, we had never grown anything. Our neighbor gave us a couple of tomato plants and we just stuck them in two 5 gallon bucks on our patio. They didn’t get much attention, but the tomatoes were wonderful. I hadn’t tasted a ‘mater’ like that since I was a child. A few days ago we found ourselves talking about the tomato plants…and here we were!

Using companion planting guides, etc, etc, for the veggies we want, we have decided on doing two plots, one 4x8 and a 4x4. This will be going over our existing lawn. I have got to do some additional reading about how deep the box should be, how to kill the grass and whether or not to use a weed barrier under the frame (bottom of the box). …there is so much to learn!Shocked

Time constraints will prohibit me from doing Mel’s Mix for the soil. There is a farm close to our house that will sell me their compost in minimal quantities (a yard or two). This on-going compost pile is 17 years old and they work it with a large track-hoe.

After a long discussion on what I was doing, he recommended a 60% compost and 40% topsoil mix. When I inquired why the mix, he said the compost by itself would be too light (given the depth of my bed) and I could have plants that could possibly blow over (corn, etc). He said the topsoil mix would help hold everything together and it would still be a very light and airy soil. (he also concluded that that is what his wife uses on a small raised garden at the house).

We have greatly enjoyed reading all the info and I am in hopes of finding a few local folks that are doing a SFG. It would be nice to look at another project, first hand! Thanks again!

Travis Very Happy
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FlyboyTR

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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  Yus on 3/23/2012, 10:44 am

Welcome. No doubt your farmer neighbor knows what he's talking about, so fill your box with his suggestion since that's most convenient for you. You can always tear it out and re-do it with Mels Mix at another time.

There's no doubt that maters from the garden are to die for! (or at least learn how to grow)

Happy Gardening
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  FlyboyTR on 3/23/2012, 11:42 am

@Yus wrote:Welcome. No doubt your farmer neighbor knows what he's talking about, so fill your box with his suggestion since that's most convenient for you. You can always tear it out and re-do it with Mels Mix at another time.

There's no doubt that maters from the garden are to die for! (or at least learn how to grow)

Happy Gardening

Thanks Yus! The reply is appreciated. Good thought on doing a re-do on the soil, if needed! Yep...I'm looking forward seeing things grow...other than the weeds in my yard!Very Happy

Below is a link to my Garden Plan:

http://i48.servimg.com/u/f48/17/38/12/35/2012_l11.jpg
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  kittykat on 3/23/2012, 12:01 pm



I'm new to SFG, too, and put my new raised beds right over existing lawn. I had read somewhere to put down a couple layers of cardboard to kill the grass. The cardboard will break down over time and turn into mulch.

I can't say how it's worked over time, but it's what I did...
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  GWN on 3/23/2012, 12:03 pm

I have done the cardboard over grass several times in the past, with other raised beds and it worked well.
Killed everything underneath, then broke down and actually the carcasses of the grass once dead, have nutrient value in them as well Smile
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  walshevak on 3/23/2012, 12:16 pm

Time constraints will prohibit me from doing Mel’s Mix for the soil. There is a farm close to our house that will sell me their compost in minimal quantities (a yard or two). This on-going compost pile is 17 years old and they work it with a large track-hoe.




If you have time to make the 60/40 mix, you have time to make the 30/30/30 mix. Instead of top soil (ugg weeds) mix peat moss and vermiculite with that 17 yr old compost.

Kay

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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  FlyboyTR on 3/23/2012, 12:28 pm

Kittykat & GWN,

Thanks for the input regarding the cardboard. Sounds easy enough!



Kay,

The 60/40 (compost/top soil) is already mixed. ...so no time wasted on mixing, etc. I had inquired about any weed issues. He told me that his top-soil was high grade and, depending on what they are seeding, they do not have a weed problem. I guess time will tell!Shocked Thanks for the suggestion!

Travis Smile
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  kittykat on 3/23/2012, 12:30 pm

Ya gotta start somewhere - I say go for it... You can always ammend the soil next year if you find it wanting...

flower
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  FlyboyTR on 3/23/2012, 12:33 pm

@kittykat wrote:Ya gotta start somewhere - I say go for it... You can always ammend the soil next year if you find it wanting...

flower

Thanks...I believe that will be the "dirty" plan! Any input on the best depth to make the box? I have read just using one 2x6, some say stack 2 (roughly a foot high), etc...just not sure at this point.

Travis Smile
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  Goosegirl on 3/23/2012, 1:18 pm

@FlyboyTR wrote:Thanks...I believe that will be the "dirty" plan! Any input on the best depth to make the box? I have read just using one 2x6, some say stack 2 (roughly a foot high), etc...just not sure at this point.

Travis Smile

I have also used the cardboard over grass for my lasagna beds (pre-SFG!) and it worked great. I now have my boxes on top of what was originally the lasagna beds. I used 1x6 cedar for my boxes and they are plenty deep for anything I want. After a year or so your cardboard will be long gone, will have killed the grass below it, and worms will have softened everything that was under it so you will actually have more than 6" of good soft soil depth (carrot time!).

GG
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  shannon1 on 3/24/2012, 4:10 am

@FlyboyTR wrote:Kittykat & GWN,

Thanks for the input regarding the cardboard. Sounds easy enough!



Kay,

The 60/40 (compost/top soil) is already mixed. ...so no time wasted on mixing, etc. I had inquired about any weed issues. He told me that his top-soil was high grade and, depending on what they are seeding, they do not have a weed problem. I guess time will tell!Shocked Thanks for the suggestion!

Travis Smile
Travis I can't recommend useing Mel's mix strongely enough look at it not as a waste of time but an investment in the future. It will save you a great deal of time this coming summer when you will be only spending a fraction of the time watering. No kidding, this is the voice of expierance. Also no wasted time next year when you are switching to MM. Best to do it right off the bat. Love your profile pic
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  FlyboyTR on 3/24/2012, 6:22 am

@Goosegirl wrote:
I have also used the cardboard over grass for my lasagna beds (pre-SFG!) and it worked great. I now have my boxes on top of what was originally the lasagna beds. I used 1x6 cedar for my boxes and they are plenty deep for anything I want. After a year or so your cardboard will be long gone, will have killed the grass below it, and worms will have softened everything that was under it so you will actually have more than 6" of good soft soil depth (carrot time!).

GG
GG, I hadn’t thought about the worms helping to “work” the soil. My neighbor has a huge worm bed…with monster earthworms. Usually one dig/scoop with a tine fork produces about 30-40 worms. I think I will add some of those to the mix. Thanks for the cardboard tip and your satisfaction with a 6” bed.Very Happy I have decided to use treated 2x8’s for the bed. They were priced right and were the Yellow-Wood brand. (Yellow-Wood is approved for use in garden boxes, etc. To my knowledge it is the only treated wood that is). Thanks again!



@shannon1 wrote: Travis I can't recommend useing Mel's mix strongely enough look at it not as a waste of time but an investment in the future. It will save you a great deal of time this coming summer when you will be only spending a fraction of the time watering. No kidding, this is the voice of expierance. Also no wasted time next year when you are switching to MM. Best to do it right off the bat. Love your profile pic
Shannon, Thanks for your input…appreciated! I am not looking at it as a waste of time…but a lack of time! It will be two weeks before I can get my hands on some course Vermiculite, etc… and Miss Kathy is ready for completion this weekend.Shocked Truth be told, me to! At least now the pressure will be off and I will have 9 months to get my MM in order.

Glad you like the profile pic! Some computer generated glasses, wide eyes and a crooked smile does give me a “different look.” …it’s cheap entertainment! Plus, I have several name/ID badges with that pic on them. It’s makes people smile and adds some twisted humor…especially when working in the O.R.’s at hospitals where they don’t know me. Regardless…I am impressed with your sharp eye and flair for good taste! LOL Very Happy

Travis
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  kolet66 on 3/24/2012, 8:40 am

Hi Travis!

Glad you found your way here.

Kim
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/24/2012, 8:57 am

Welcome flyboy Mel's Mix was designed to save you time. Very Happy And we can't recommend it enough.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone

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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  FlyboyTR on 3/27/2012, 8:47 am

@kolet66 wrote:Hi Travis!

Glad you found your way here.

Kim

Hi Kim!

Glad to be here. I sure enjoyed our visit in Fairhope! Lots of fun. Thanks for the encouragement regarding the SFG. It looks like lots of fun. So far, things are in the ground, I've installed an automated watering system (finished that last night). I will be headed out of town later this morning...so my gardening is done for a few days.

I will post pictures and an update to the gardens progress. Thanks again!!

Travis Very Happy
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

Post  FlyboyTR on 3/27/2012, 9:12 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:Welcome flyboy Mel's Mix was designed to save you time. Very Happy And we can't recommend it enough.
[url=http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone[/quote[/url]]

Thanks RoOsTeR! Glad to be here. I feel pretty certain that by the time next year rolls around I will have MM is the garden. I'm sure I will be better prepared by then. Thanks again!

Travis Smile
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Re: Mobile, AL: First Garden (Welcome and a few questions!)

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