Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hi from Charlottesville, VA!

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Hi from Charlottesville, VA!

Post  Rie on 4/19/2012, 2:58 pm

Hi, my name is Rie and I'm brand sparkling new to vegetable gardening. I just moved from New York City to my boyfriend's 200 acre hay farm (I am originally from VA) and, while it would be a waste not to use the land, my dream of planting cute little seeds into Mother Earth and a quaint garden Springing to life are slowly being shattered. The more I read, the more I realize how hard and scary this gardening business is. Stink bugs, and ground hogs and white tail deer, OH MY!

The good news is that we had the soil tested by my friend who is a Southern State consultant and he said our soil is excellent. I still want to put in raised beds (this weekend) with the soil from the farm because I like the organization of beds.

I really could use all the help I can get from this community because right now I just want to keep everything safe inside in my big bay window.

So, this is where I'm at:

I started cucumbers, chives, squash and sunflowers in trays a week ago and only the cukes and sunflowers have sprouted. I bought herbs (basil, mint, rosemary, cilantro, parsley) tomato and pepper starter plants and packets of seeds for beets and carrots. I'm bummed it is too late for lettuce, I didn't know that a homemade summer salad is out of the question in hot and humid climates. Is it too late for garlic and onions, too?

It's just a lot to figure out and then once you do figure it all out, the whole thing could become animal and bug food?!! Eeeek.
Thanks for your help, I really want to stay excited about this! Rie sunny
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Rie

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Location : Central Virginia

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Re: Hi from Charlottesville, VA!

Post  givvmistamps on 4/19/2012, 4:33 pm

I'm pretty new to gardening myself...totally new to anything other than herbs and the occasional patio tomato variety.

We of this forum base our gardening on the book All New Square Foot Gardening around here. There are people who have foregone using the Mel's Mix recipe for different reasons, though this site is really to support people who do use all the SFG methods including that recipe to mix up their own high-nutrient, water-saving soil. I have a condition which limits my ability to mix up the soil mix, so I had to opt for a bagged organic soil mix for now since I was getting started so late.

As for summer salads, it is possible to grow some lettuces by putting a shade cloth over them in summer; several people here have extended their growing season that way. There are also summer alternatives to lettuce. Some Swiss Chards will grow in summer, and I found a vining plant unrelated to spinach that has leaves that can be used exactly like you would spinach. It's called Red Malabar spinach, and I've seen a White Malabar somewhere. (Yes, they do call it spinach even though it's unrelated!) I'm looking forward to trying my faux spinach in salads and stuff!!! If you're interested, this is a vigorous vining plant so would need at least a 6' trellis, and some people use 8' or 10' trellises to support the plant.

I'm considerably farther South than you are, and I'm trying to grow lettuce and Swiss chard now. I have baby seedlings growing in the garden that look quite healthy and happy so far...and it's mostly been in the 80s and 90s here. I plan to put up a shade cloth on stakes over those two squares when the sun gets higher in the sky so the trees don't shade them part of the day. This year is more of an experiment for us; next year we'll have more raised beds and really get down to business!
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givvmistamps

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Location : Lake City, (NE) FL; USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Heat Zone 9, Sunset Zone 28

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Re: Hi from Charlottesville, VA!

Post  BetsyC on 5/7/2012, 11:51 pm

Wishing you all the luck in the world! I am new to this myself, and north of you, and I am optimistic- hey...all we can do is try our best! This SFG system seems to have all the ingredients set up for big success!
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BetsyC

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Re: Hi from Charlottesville, VA!

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