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Hello from Montana

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Hello from Montana

Post  Turan on 4/3/2012, 12:37 am

Hi, I live in Montana, the Gallatin valley near Bozeman. This is zone 4 with wind out where I am. I found this forum because I was looking for advice on growing okra in the north and with SqF methods (or at least spacings).

I think I was introduced to this method by an article in Organic Gardening in 83/84? I bought the book and used it to plan what was my 2nd and 3rd veggy gardens of my very own. That was in SanDiego while at college and first jobs etc. At some point in time I gave that book away. And then I moved again back home to Montana and more land. Here I put in a big sort of traditional garden, with lots of SqF organizing ideas. Now with time I am liking raised beds again. My kids made me a nice little 6X8 greenhouse for tomatoes. I like soil, I love the idea of feeding the soil to feed my family.
I recently bought myself the original book again. I looked at the new one, but it seems really excellent for patio/suburban gardeners, not me. I hope that is ok here.
I am looking forward to seeing what you all are up too. I have been enjoying exploring the site a lot.
Cheers, Turan
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Turan

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Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

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Re: Hello from Montana

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/3/2012, 9:43 am

glad you\'re here Turan!

Of course it's okay for you to hang around. Smile You may want to read the "for experienced gardeners" message at the top of the home page. Just be aware the forum was created to support the methods in All New Square Foot Gardening book. (I do highly encourage you to see if you can get a copy through your library system since you would probably find it interesting.) We have several members who started using the old book and gradually converted to the new system (which wasn't a stretch for most of them - Mel just improved the old system). You sound like you have lots of experience, so you might have fun trying one raised bed with Mel's Mix this year just to compare... okay

There is still lots of great information in the old book. (I too got it back in that same era right out of college but didn't implement it...it was one of those things I "always wanted to try".) About a year ago I bought the new book and started out following that and haven't looked back. So I am still a relative newbie. Smile

Growing okra in the North eh?? Well if it CAN be done, SFG would be the way to do it. I'll let someone with more experience respond to that.

Have you checked out Boffer's H3s...?? They are Heated Hoop Houses (tabletops with a heating element under the soil and coverings over the soil). Here is how he combats the cold Pacific Northwest...

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6953-heated-hoop-houses

Here is a recent thread where he posts pics of his SFG - almost all tabletops and nothing like a patio...the great thing about the new method is it is as infinite as the creativity of those who implement it...take a peek Smile Now he's the extreme tabletop king! Smile

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t11272-pnw-first-of-april-updates#109637

I have never been to Montana but everyone I know that has been there says it's absolutely breathtaking... Smile

We are happy to have you here!
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UnderTheBlackWalnut

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Re: Hello from Montana

Post  Turan on 4/3/2012, 1:38 pm

Thanks for the welcome and indulgence. I had read the for experienced gardeners blurb and that is why I was not sure of the welcome. The ANSFG seems to have some good ideas on growing vertically. I worry about the wind and hail here, but last year I tryed tall peas and they did ok. Squash is a challenge, if I let it sprawl through uncut grass the grass protects it. If I put it on a fence/trellis it would be like a sail and catch both wind and hail and with those big leaves I fear be badly set back each time.

Those TTs or H3s are wonderful and I can see many uses for them. I think a wheeled TT would be wonderful to grow winter herbs and greens in, if I
had the sun room we dream of. That dream room with the deep bed for the orange
and lemon trees and a hot tub. It gets to -40 here, or used to, hasn't
last few years and I do not know if that is the new norm or not. Eliot Coleman in Four Season Gardening reminds me that I am at the same latitude as the south of France. If I can protect from the cold and wind there is enough sun hours for amazing things in the winter. Someday.....

Meanwhile I think I should plan for 1 okra per square in the green house. But I
suspect if they are happy they will muscle into their neighbors room.
Welll,,,,, here I will be delighted if I can get them to grow after
transplanting. Wall o waters all summer might do it.

I have good garden soil. I don't see why I would want to abandon
something that is part of my home to bring in bags of some one elses
home. But I use a bit of peat moss and sand mixed into
my home grown compost for top dressing the beds. The worms seem to
like it and the plants too. The last bed I made I filled with the
results of my experiments with potato towers. This springs new bed is
full of barn stuff and old garden stuff and chicken coop cleanings. It
is heating rapidly. I hope it will be done in time to plant winter
squash in the end of May.

I saw a garlic sprout this morning, time to plant out the onion sets. The 'feral' orach is sprouting, time to seed greens out side. Our spring is way ahead of itself and this confuses me, do I trust it and seed outside or be cautious?
cheers, Turan
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Turan

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Location : Gallatin Valley, Montana, Intermountain zone 4

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New Member Montana

Post  Alkalibill on 4/13/2012, 4:45 pm

Hi, I am from Shepherd Montana, a few miles north and east of Billings. The area was rural, but is becoming a bedroom community for Billings. Many folks still raise sheep, and cattle however. Large gardens are the norm. Zone 4 with the last average killing frost the 15th of May. Microclimate at my place is a bit harder. Since "home" is in a shallow basin the cold air drains into it, and lookout on a clear still night. This spring has been strange, very nice days 60's to upper 70's, and low 30's at night, but down to 14 for my place.

I have cleaned up the garden and it is ready for planting. I have completed 2 raised beds, each 3 x 6 foot, which gives me 48 square foot spaces to try out. This will be my first attempt at square foot planting. If I like it, I will make more raised beds next year.
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Alkalibill

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Re: Hello from Montana

Post  mschaef on 4/13/2012, 7:48 pm

We just got orders, my husbands is military, to Malstrom, MT. ITs in Great Falls and I was wondering about the weather. Reading your post makes me sad.Sad I hate the wind!!! But at least now I know what to expect!
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mschaef

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Age : 31
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Re: Hello from Montana

Post  Turan on 4/13/2012, 10:21 pm

Hello and welcome, Alkalibill and mschaef!

I am in the Gallatin valley near Bozeman. Last average killing frost here is June 1rst or so.
The raised beds warm faster in the spring, and raise the plants above those real light frosts that set on the ground. On the other hand, they freeze more thoroughly in the winter which can be hard on fall planted garlic etc.

Whatja gonna plant?
cheers
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Turan

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Re: Hello from Montana

Post  walshevak on 4/14/2012, 8:22 am

mschaef wrote:We just got orders, my husbands is military, to Malstrom, MT. ITs in Great Falls and I was wondering about the weather. Reading your post makes me sad.Sad I hate the wind!!! But at least now I know what to expect!

Consider vermiculite in your HHE. It's light. And good luck transporting the carrot pot.

Kay

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walshevak

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Re: Hello from Montana

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