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My 1st SFG - 2012

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/6/2012, 3:16 pm

@Hoggar wrote:Just a suggestion Michelle.

Last year my 6 squares of tomatoes took over the box even though I was
vining them on a string trellis.

The suggestion is to put your tomatoes in a separate box.

I will be planting mine in a 10' x 2' box with a 10' tall string trellis this year.
When I get it assembled Ill post pictures. I have to tear out a fence first.

.

That's a big question I had...is it safe to put tomato plants I want to grow organically into an old plastic planter, or will I have chemicals leaching into my soil? I wanted to put the tomatoes in three old planters I've had for maybe 5-6 years...but they look kinda rough around the edges and are fading an that got me concerned so I put the one tomato in my SFG.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/6/2012, 3:42 pm

@givvmistamps wrote:
@Hoggar wrote:Just a suggestion Michelle.

Last year my 6 squares of tomatoes took over the box even though I was
vining them on a string trellis.

The suggestion is to put your tomatoes in a separate box.

I will be planting mine in a 10' x 2' box with a 10' tall string trellis this year.
When I get it assembled Ill post pictures. I have to tear out a fence first.

.

That's a big question I had...is it safe to put tomato plants I want to grow organically into an old plastic planter, or will I have chemicals leaching into my soil? I wanted to put the tomatoes in three old planters I've had for maybe 5-6 years...but they look kinda rough around the edges and are fading an that got me concerned so I put the one tomato in my SFG.

Well, never mind...I brought the subject up to my hubby and he went out to pull a He-Man on me: He picked up a planter I had filled with my dense soil mix, then watered VERY heavily just last night, and he put it up over his head to look for a recycling number on the bottom! Gotta love that man! I love you I love you I love you

The results are: My planters are a 5, which according to a website I can't link to because I'm new here (healthychild.org), this is one of the SAFER plastics, commonly used in food containers, bottle caps, and dishware. Thought I'd share the information in case anyone else was wondering. If you want the direct link, let me know and I'll post it after my probation is over. Wink

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/6/2012, 5:12 pm

Hey I have the same raised bed kits!

Everything looks awesome and great.

About mixing the Mel's Mix....I saw a thread here where a member named Boffer mentioned he mixed his with the help of a concrete mixer....you can rent those at your local Ace Hardware or Home Depot. Would make it a lot easier to do.

As far as getting kids to eat veggies you might wanna try growing some unusual colored varieties.

"Weird" colored veggies like Dragon Carrots, Watermelon Radishes, Bright Light Swiss Chard and Purple Peruvian Potatoes often appeal to children.

I find they also attracted to "extreme" veggies like hot chili peppers or sour Mexican Gherkin Cucumbers, unusual veggies like Chinese Long beans (aka asparagus beans), or Luffa..... and vegetables that you can connect a story with like Cinderella Pumpkins (aka Rouge Vif d'Etampes).

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/6/2012, 5:53 pm

@Daniel9999 wrote:Hey I have the same raised bed kits!

Everything looks awesome and great.

About mixing the Mel's Mix....I saw a thread here where a member named Boffer mentioned he mixed his with the help of a concrete mixer....you can rent those at your local Ace Hardware or Home Depot. Would make it a lot easier to do.

As far as getting kids to eat veggies you might wanna try growing some unusual colored varieties.

"Weird" colored veggies like Dragon Carrots, Watermelon Radishes, Bright Light Swiss Chard and Purple Peruvian Potatoes often appeal to children.

I find they also attracted to "extreme" veggies like hot chili peppers or sour Mexican Gherkin Cucumbers, unusual veggies like Chinese Long beans (aka asparagus beans), or Luffa..... and vegetables that you can connect a story with like Cinderella Pumpkins (aka Rouge Vif d'Etampes).

Thanks Daniel! I did select a few things I thought might appeal to them that way, like yellow hot peppers, round zukes, rattlesnake beans, long & sweet carrots, Nasturtiums, plus the herbs they can eat right off the plants and some other things. I hope the pumpkins do alright, as I selected a variety they can not only carve, but also can be eaten. I only wish I could've had at least one more box to grow things in!

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/8/2012, 7:28 pm

@Daniel9999 wrote:
About mixing the Mel's Mix....I saw a thread here where a member named Boffer mentioned he mixed his with the help of a concrete mixer....you can rent those at your local Ace Hardware or Home Depot. Would make it a lot easier to do.

I just re-read this...we live in a VERY small "city"; while we have a (TINY) mall (it's really kind of a joke around town, the mall almost never has anything anyone needs), Lowe's, Home Depot, etc, our town is too small for them to have rentals. I was pretty surprised to find a Starbucks here...but then, we're at the junction of two Interstates so I guess that helps. We'd have to ask around and see if friends of friends might have access to something like a mixer.

@Hoggar wrote:Just a suggestion Michelle.

Last year my 6 squares of tomatoes took over the box even though I was
vining them on a string trellis.

The suggestion is to put your tomatoes in a separate box.

I will be planting mine in a 10' x 2' box with a 10' tall string trellis this year.
When I get it assembled Ill post pictures. I have to tear out a fence first.

I moved my tomato plant into a planter today, and my husband picked up some Romas and some cherry tomatoes which I put into the other planters. Then I moved my peppers to a corner next to my carrot riser. Hoping that things will go well now...the Romas look kinda spindly and pale, so I planted them deep and I'm hoping they'll green up with the soil mix I have. My other tomato and two pepper plants seem pretty happy; they're a nice healthy green and are putting out new leaves. cheers cheers cheers That's a good sign that my soil mix has some nutrients readily available.

It's just a waiting and watering game now...oh, and I still have to get Nantes carrot seeds somewhere before the big event around the 15th starts, and get nylon netting and 2 more corner joiners so I can build my trellis contraption.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  kinggarbear on 4/8/2012, 11:25 pm

@Daniel9999 wrote:Hey I have the same raised bed kits!

Everything looks awesome and great.

About mixing the Mel's Mix....I saw a thread here where a member named Boffer mentioned he mixed his with the help of a concrete mixer....you can rent those at your local Ace Hardware or Home Depot. Would make it a lot easier to do.

As far as getting kids to eat veggies you might wanna try growing some unusual colored varieties.

"Weird" colored veggies like Dragon Carrots, Watermelon Radishes, Bright Light Swiss Chard and Purple Peruvian Potatoes often appeal to children.

I find they also attracted to "extreme" veggies like hot chili peppers or sour Mexican Gherkin Cucumbers, unusual veggies like Chinese Long beans (aka asparagus beans), or Luffa..... and vegetables that you can connect a story with like Cinderella Pumpkins (aka Rouge Vif d'Etampes).

Mix yer stuff on a long & wide tarp... put all the ingredients (100-200 pounds) close to one end and pull/roll the tarp over the top of the heap as you stand/move along on the rest of the tarp. When you get to the point where you have no tarp to stand on, reverse directions.

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I have a sprout!

Post  givvmistamps on 4/10/2012, 2:27 pm

I'm so excited, I found my very first sprout today when I watered! It's an onion. I found a sprout in a box I didn't plant, also...not sure what it is, so will wait a bit to determine whether someone dropped a seed or if it's a weed.

BTW kinggarbear, Daniel9999 was trying to suggest a way I could make MM given my physical limitations. I simply cannot do the tarp thing, it will never happen.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  kbb964 on 4/10/2012, 2:35 pm

Congratulations! have you given him a name yet?

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/10/2012, 2:53 pm

@kbb964 wrote:Congratulations! have you given him a name yet?

The onion or the volunteer? LOL I'll let my boys do the naming.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/10/2012, 2:56 pm

Oh yeah, for those who wondered how my non-MM bagged mix is turning out...my peppers & tomatoes are looking very happy with it. Even the Romas that looked rather peaked are now greening up nicely and showing new growth after only two days in the mix. Maybe it isn't MM, but it's a decent 2nd choice for someone unable to create their own MM or find Mel's brand in a store!

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  plantoid on 4/10/2012, 3:32 pm

Michelle , like you I too have physical limitations ( not to mention the brain side of things on my part Laughing ).

Once I eventually assembled all the ingredients in hand easy to get at heights & places I tried to use a one cubic foot bucket and found it was too much , so .........

In the end I made my MM directly in the beds from the basics but used a small 9 inch dia bucket as the guage ..

5 small buckets of leaf mould , 5 of vermiculite mixed them with a kiddies sand spade on the butt end of an old carbon fibre sea fishing rod . Once well mixed I added a bucket of each of the five composts and mixed it in with a very lightweight fork and then used the spade again to turn it over . Then made a heap at one end the box & then started all over again till I had enough mix plus some left over . this was scraped off by the bucket full and put in other beds .

It took three or four days per bed but was do- able for me without ripping my self apart.

If the 9 inch bucket had proved too much to handle , my next choice was to use the kiddies sand spade and again mix it directly in the bed as before but with the volume of the spade as the guage measure insead.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  kbb964 on 4/10/2012, 3:38 pm

I used my trowel and mixed 15 of each into a bucket , mixed and dumped it in the beds. My right arm was dead afterwards!


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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/10/2012, 3:45 pm

Thanks for the suggestions guys. It might be doable if I spread the work out and do one bed per week or two. If I don't get sick all winter long again I'll try it this winter just before planting time.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  KDeus on 4/13/2012, 12:17 pm

Looking forward to watching yours grow!!

It looks like you have two great helpers there! My daughter will be 17 in a week and my son is 7. I can't wait to get these boxes down and filled this weekend so they'll have something to watch other than the trays that everything is still on.

My son's ES teacher runs the garden club at school for 3rd-5th graders. He needs to wait until next year to join, but their raised garden is doing great. They're going to sell the veggies and put the money raised back into the club. It's along side one of the main sidewalks to the playground so all the kids get to watch it grow. I like checking it out each day while I'm waiting for him. They inspired other teachers to do the same, so there are now several raised gardens on campus.

I think these types of gardens are much more conducive to getting kids involved. It's not so overwhelming to them as larger in-ground gardens. As soon as I get mine down, I'll post some pics, too! I'm liking these suggestions for mixing!

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  Kate888 on 4/13/2012, 2:53 pm

@plantoid wrote:Michelle , like you I too have physical limitations ( not to mention the brain side of things on my part Laughing ).

Once I eventually assembled all the ingredients in hand easy to get at heights & places I tried to use a one cubic foot bucket and found it was too much , so .........

In the end I made my MM directly in the beds from the basics but used a small 9 inch dia bucket as the guage ..

5 small buckets of leaf mould , 5 of vermiculite mixed them with a kiddies sand spade on the butt end of an old carbon fibre sea fishing rod . Once well mixed I added a bucket of each of the five composts and mixed it in with a very lightweight fork and then used the spade again to turn it over . Then made a heap at one end the box & then started all over again till I had enough mix plus some left over . this was scraped off by the bucket full and put in other beds .

It took three or four days per bed but was do- able for me without ripping my self apart.

If the 9 inch bucket had proved too much to handle , my next choice was to use the kiddies sand spade and again mix it directly in the bed as before but with the volume of the spade as the guage measure insead.

I'm fortunate to have children old enough to be a great help with the physical labor. If I had to do it all by myself I can't tell how long it would take. I'm encouraged to read how others manage with limitations, because I've just recently gotten a diagnosis and am having lots of physical problems and know things will probably only get worse as I get older (I'm 47 now), so as I adjust to the idea that I'm going to be limited in what I can do, it's an encouragement to know you (and others) are managing to continue to do something like gardening that you enjoy.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/13/2012, 4:53 pm

Oh my gosh, this is a great place to connect!

@ plantoid: I never did say "Thank you" for making it clear to me that I'm not the only one with limitations here. It means a lot to know there's someone else out there who has to figure out workarounds! Please do keep suggestions coming!

@ KDeus: My boys want to help garden...for a while! Wink They don't have my attention span though. I completely agree that the contained nature of these raised boxes makes gardening seem less overwhelming for children who have never gardened before...aside from a few failed attempts when we got a kit with tiny pots!

@ Kate888: I sent you a PM, but I'd like to add that I heard about "gardening therapy" before I ever got my diagnosis. It's something that many nursing homes implement. I can tell you that this has helped me get moving when my body would far rather not cooperate. Just a little more incentive, when I know the activity will REALLY pay off in a few weeks in culinary delights that won't make me gain more weight and might even help me feel better! Very Happy

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  plantoid on 4/13/2012, 5:24 pm

I've found that having the raised beds is a tremendous reason to get off my butt or bed and do something that needs doing , but it is something that can be left a day or two if thing gets too much . But it still needs doing & usually gets done by hook or by crook .

It's been a kind of life line to me for years , it gives some out ward looking puropse in life instead of inwardly focusing on things & slowly but surely sliding down the tubes .

Finding this version of SFG has been fantastic for me . Ive managed to get back a wee bit of health that I thought was lost to me even though it does hurt and make me very tired & lost 16 pounds of fat into the bargain .

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  quiltbea on 4/13/2012, 5:25 pm

I think there are a lot with limitations here. Many of us are older gardeners who came into this after retirment. For myself, I have a couple of limitations myself so whenever I plan anything, it always takes me a lot longer because I have to have rest periods in between or I have to sit down beside my garden beds just to transplant a couple of crops. Sometimes I have to take a whole day off away from my garden. I'm learning what those limits are so its working out a lot better, but at least I can still garden. With less weeding and watering, this is the way to garden when you are no longer fit and nimble.

Learn what you can do and do it. Its great exercise for your body so it doesn't atrophy.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  mschaef on 4/13/2012, 8:14 pm

I just want to add my thoughts about kids and gardens. I have two boys, one just turned 5 and the other is 17 months old. My older one has helped in a garden since he was 1 1/2 and loves to be outside in the garden. He is actually very mad at me because I took our gardens out last year do to moving this year. He wants his garden and has been asking at least once a day since the end of feburary when he can start planting seeds. My younger son enjoys being outside and hopefully next year we can have a garden that he can help in. They did enjoy having their own pumpkins last year to carve/paint and being able to eat green beans and tomatoes right out of the garden. Good luck to you and maybe this will help you boys like vegetables!!

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  givvmistamps on 4/13/2012, 10:13 pm

Dave/plantoid and Bea, you both make excellent points. Even after I was
diagnosed with fibro ten years ago and my (known) limitations explained
to me, I knew SFG would be the best way that I could produce my own
organic vegetables someday. It's a great reason to get out of bed each
day well before my son's bus brings him home from preK, even when the
muscles protest for no apparent or good reason...and it will help me to
keep fitter...and maybe I'll lose some weight too! Very Happy

When circumstances allow, I will probably have to build the rest of my boxes up and
put legs on them that will be just long enough so I can sit and work on it...or design something to put my own stamp on the idea
of TT gardening that my guys can have fun making for me...perhaps as a
Christmas present this year. Wink The trellised plants will have to stay on the ground, but that's okay; my guys have to help me somehow, or it won't be theirs to be proud of, too, and they won't be as inclined to try the veggies. But let's face it, this is my gardening therapy!

The boys also really want a cutting garden, so they can bring flowers to Mommy more often. (Poor Daddy often gets nagged about bringing Mommy more flowers when they go grocery shopping.) But the flowers will have to be in boxes on the ground, since many of the varieties they helped choose are tall!

mschaef, you have experience in pulling your sons deeper into the gardening. I love that your 5y/o is so upset that he doesn't have the boxes out this year! How adorable! I would like to hear how you've kept them interested through the "boring" parts...My sons have attention deficits, one due to ADHD and the other due to Autism, and they have drifted off to play pretty quickly after they've checked out the day's progress. They are looking forward to planting their carrots tomorrow. We're going to talk about whether each wants to try for weirdest looking carrot or whatever and my physicist husband will hopefully be able to come up with ideas to make their wishes come true if something unusual is called for. I know that'll appeal to them more than just planting a square and hopefully it'll hold their interest long enough to get their own planting done.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  bakermtb on 4/13/2012, 10:28 pm

One nice thing to remember about building the SFG boxes is that all the hard work is done the first time. Next year all you have to do is add some compost with a trowel to each square. The other work will be the harvest!!!

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/14/2012, 12:05 am

@mschaef wrote:I just want to add my thoughts about kids and gardens. I have two boys, one just turned 5 and the other is 17 months old. My older one has helped in a garden since he was 1 1/2 and loves to be outside in the garden. He is actually very mad at me because I took our gardens out last year do to moving this year. He wants his garden and has been asking at least once a day since the end of feburary when he can start planting seeds. My younger son enjoys being outside and hopefully next year we can have a garden that he can help in. They did enjoy having their own pumpkins last year to carve/paint and being able to eat green beans and tomatoes right out of the garden. Good luck to you and maybe this will help you boys like vegetables!!

I don't know much about the topic, but I have read a couple of articles that say to be careful of certain beans raw, that they can contain a toxin which goes away when cooked. I think some varieties contain more than others. You may want to research that if you are eating your beans raw out of the garden. LOVE that your kids are enjoying it! okay

Michelle - As you know I've parented sons similar to yours and even though their interest may not be held for as long a period, doesn't mean they aren't interested. They have a tendency to hear and see even when we think they are doing something else... I'm willing to bet that you'll be surprised how much checking the garden will become a part of their daily routine. Smile

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  floyd1440 on 4/14/2012, 7:19 am

@bakermtb wrote:One nice thing to remember about building the SFG boxes is that all the hard work is done the first time. Next year all you have to do is add some compost with a trowel to each square. The other work will be the harvest!!!



I have made two compost bins and the one I filled up first was cooking away quite nicely but when I turned it yesterday there was not much steam coming off the pile and it is only three weeks old and is not done. Could it have been to dry and it will rain today will it heat back up?

Made the other one for my wife to dump all of our kitchen scraps, beans, wrines, banana peals, etc in and that one is covered with fruit flies and not hot either.

Any ideas????

:scratch:

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  Kate888 on 4/14/2012, 2:54 pm

For now, I can get to the boxes on the ground and have lot of helpers if I can't on a bad day. But I may need to convert them to TT someday. Of course, I've plans for trellises on both boxes this year and most any I add since I want to grow lots of squash and tomatoes.

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

Post  Daniel9999 on 4/14/2012, 3:45 pm

@givvmistamps wrote:Dave/plantoid and Bea, you both make excellent points. Even after I was
diagnosed with fibro ten years ago and my (known) limitations explained
to me, I knew SFG would be the best way that I could produce my own
organic vegetables someday. It's a great reason to get out of bed each
day well before my son's bus brings him home from preK, even when the
muscles protest for no apparent or good reason...and it will help me to
keep fitter...and maybe I'll lose some weight too! Very Happy

When circumstances allow, I will probably have to build the rest of my boxes up and
put legs on them that will be just long enough so I can sit and work on it...or design something to put my own stamp on the idea
of TT gardening that my guys can have fun making for me...perhaps as a
Christmas present this year. Wink The trellised plants will have to stay on the ground, but that's okay; my guys have to help me somehow, or it won't be theirs to be proud of, too, and they won't be as inclined to try the veggies. But let's face it, this is my gardening therapy!

The boys also really want a cutting garden, so they can bring flowers to Mommy more often. (Poor Daddy often gets nagged about bringing Mommy more flowers when they go grocery shopping.) But the flowers will have to be in boxes on the ground, since many of the varieties they helped choose are tall!

mschaef, you have experience in pulling your sons deeper into the gardening. I love that your 5y/o is so upset that he doesn't have the boxes out this year! How adorable! I would like to hear how you've kept them interested through the "boring" parts...My sons have attention deficits, one due to ADHD and the other due to Autism, and they have drifted off to play pretty quickly after they've checked out the day's progress. They are looking forward to planting their carrots tomorrow. We're going to talk about whether each wants to try for weirdest looking carrot or whatever and my physicist husband will hopefully be able to come up with ideas to make their wishes come true if something unusual is called for. I know that'll appeal to them more than just planting a square and hopefully it'll hold their interest long enough to get their own planting done.


Try making "work" into "play" by singing while you doing the tedious stuff.

There a a lot of great garden themed kids songs....






Daniel9999

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Re: My 1st SFG - 2012

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