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When your SFG boxes will sit unplanted for awhile...

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When your SFG boxes will sit unplanted for awhile...

Post  kat51415 on 4/3/2012, 6:25 am

do you need to keep the unplanted squares and/or boxes watered? We are placing our brand new boxes this week (after tilling, raking, weeding...ugh) in the garden plot. For purposes of staggering the harvest, some of these will sit empty for awhile. What care needs to be given to the unused squares before they are planted? Is Mother Nature's watering all that is necessary or do we need to water them and keep them covered? This is probably a dumb question but still...
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Re: When your SFG boxes will sit unplanted for awhile...

Post  llama momma on 4/3/2012, 8:15 am

I would cover them with tarps to keep out cats and critters and to prevent introducing weed seeds. Increasing temperatures can dry out beds. So I would moisten them, cover with a tarp and check a couple days later to see how it feels. My beds were covered all winter and were surprisingly moist when I took off the tarps. But yesterday I wet down everything a little bit as they seem to be dryer than what I'd like to see. I'd rather spend a little time moistening the beds than a massive effort to re-hydrate the entire box later on. Just stick your hand down to the bottom to see if it really needs water or just a good mixing to moisten the top.
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Re: When your SFG boxes will sit unplanted for awhile...

Post  CindiLou on 4/3/2012, 10:40 am

I put hardware cloth over mine when it is the entire bed. I keep it on till my seeds are germinated in the spring. Keeps the cats out and I can water through it if it looks too dry...

The squares IN a box I don't worry about. I have 3 outside cats and they don't actually go IN the garden once it is planted.
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Re: When your SFG boxes will sit unplanted for awhile...

Post  boffer on 4/3/2012, 10:46 am

@kat51415 wrote:do you need to keep the unplanted squares and/or boxes watered?

I water them as I do the planted squares. First, it gives the weeds a chance to sprout before I plant. Second, the squares are hydrated and ready to use at any time. Third, they will help you learn how to water properly. Don't just stick your finger in the top an inch or two; reach to the bottom of the box to see if the MM is moist there as well.

I don't cover anything during growing season.
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Re: When your SFG boxes will sit unplanted for awhile...

Post  plantoid on 4/3/2012, 12:54 pm

Kat I've been thinking along the lines that you have mentioned ..... what to do with empty squares ?

I'm starting to use off cuts of unused black pond liner cut into 13 inch squares and lay it over the empty squares to preheat the squares to they are nice and warm ready for sowing seeds direct as well as planting out starts.



This has also led me to another avenue to use the pond liner ..I have cut out 3/4 inch dia holes to correspond with the planting / sowing pattern and laid them over some squares .

Any rain gets guided either into a hole or along the perimeter of the square and it slows down any evaporation . The seeds should benefit from the extra warmth & protection fromthe cover /shelter of the liner as it's miserably wet & cold here this week .

Pictures to follow .

My planting guide . masks



I took it one stage further to make several masks to leave in place on vacant squares this is just one of them ... the cloches are made form the big water dispencer refill bottles cut in half

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Re: When your SFG boxes will sit unplanted for awhile...

Post  plantoid on 5/2/2012, 8:27 pm

Today I found a small ish slug under an un holed mask that I've had in place on a square to warm it up.

Emergency use of slug pellets under all masks too place. Now I've ordered some bio control in the guise of nematode slug eating beasties called " Nemasys. They should clear the beds very nicely as the temperatures are ideal for them to carry on and reproduce.
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