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New "recruit" from the Netherlands

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New "recruit" from the Netherlands

Post  isis1e on 4/11/2012, 7:05 pm

Hi all,

Here's another SQF newbie from the Netherlands. I'm just finishing my gardenplan for this year and can't wait to see how it all turns out.

I've been growing my own fruit and vegetables for the past few years. Up until now the only clear rule for my small garden and balcony was: "if you can't eat it I won't plant it". I didn't really implement a clear system but had a weird mix of plants in traditional rows and aesthetic spacing like you would use in a "normal" ornamental garden. My first year I used inorganic fertilizer, weedkiller etc. Later I switched to organic fertilizers, a more organic approach and implemented a crops rotation scheme (albeit haphazardly). I've learned loads and gained quite a few new skills along the way. In my continuous search for gardening-methods that use space efficiently and are more sustainable I stumbled across Square Foot Gardening. What a great system! Though I'm not implementing it fully in my own garden for now. Why? well...

My garden had extremely poor sandy/rubble soil when I moved in. Just a few years back, I started digging out patches and replacing the sand with garden and potsoil. I also made a large raised bed. I don't have that many weeds because the soil is quite new. Since I already have a raised bed placing more beds on top would look extremely silly and I don't fancy digging the stuff out again to make room for mels mix. It would be stupid anyway since I've got quite healty soil now. Thats why I am just going to use the grid and mix extra cocopeat (don't want to use real peat) and compost into the existing soil. I figure this should work out... and if not at least I will have learned something Wink . Looking forward to exchange tips and tricks with you all. Seems to be loads of useful stuff on the forum already and I hope I can add some too eventually Very Happy

isis1e

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Re: New "recruit" from the Netherlands

Post  plantoid on 4/11/2012, 8:08 pm

Hello and welcome to the site ,

There are now several Netherlanders doing All New Square Foot Gardening by the book written by Mel Bartholomew ( 2006 edition ) Do you have a copy so we are all singing the same song instead of imitation words from copy cat ideas ?

I sympathise about you having already made up your beds.

I was half way done with 10 of my 20 beds that I'd filled with improved mother natures earth based soil.. I even had crops in most of the earth beds . The more I read Mel's book and thought things through , the more I began to understand that even with premium earth based soils there are many advantages of running the correct Mel's Mix into the beds .



I took the plunge in January this year and transplanted all the crops that were in the sloil into the MM filled beds.



I'm please to say that everything has transplanted well and thrived beyond all expectations.

I put this down to the amount of air and consistant level of moisture in the MM moving the nutrients to the roots quickly and with out any contamination you get in ordinary soils.

The use of the new decaying compost as a replenishment nourishment to the square , when we clear out a square and put a trowel of the compost in is also much easier to do in a MM filled bed than in ordinary soil as the texture/density is so light .

It also has the benefits of being a well balanced compost when you make it correctly with all sorts of trace elements . Whereas the commercial stuff is basically a chemical factory of sorts making it as cheap as they can get a way with whilst using the most handy materials .

That all being said don't let it pout you off being here on the site... you might just decide to take the plunge in a year or so . Even if you don't , may I suggeest that you start locating the ingredients to make your own compost from the lists in the book and also to look up the threads about composting which are in the forum area list on the home page.

plantoid

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Re: New "recruit" from the Netherlands

Post  CCgirl75 on 4/11/2012, 8:57 pm


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Re: New "recruit" from the Netherlands

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/11/2012, 9:13 pm

Hi and welcome to the Forum

____________________________

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Re: New "recruit" from the Netherlands

Post  givvmistamps on 4/11/2012, 9:38 pm

It's wonderful to see people all over the world corresponding about gardening on the site. Even though you're so far away from many of us, you'll find others in your planting zone who will be able to give you advice when you need it.

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