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Hello. I'm new and need help.

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Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  Granny on 4/21/2012, 6:26 am

This is my first ever post to any forum anywhere. Also, I'm new to SFG. I've built my beds, and am ready to plant. My main problem is I'm not sure of a good plan. Is there a place where I can see several garden plans? Should I put all of the same type of plant together? Any suggestions will help.

My zone is 6a. My gardening experience is somewhat limited. This is my third year, with first two as traditional gardens.

Thanks. Granny.

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/21/2012, 8:03 am

Granny and welcome to the Forum!

A few basic questions . . . have you had the chance to read the All New Square Foot Gardening book (2006)? You say your beds are ready . . . did you make up "Mel's Mix"? Did you have any problems finding the ingredients?

The beauty of the SFG method is that you plant different squares with different crops which adds to the beauty of the garden (like a patchwork quilt). It also gets you to plant "thoughtfully" with the harvest in mind - you don't want ALL your cabbage ready for harvest at the same time, etc.

If you go to the upper left, you see a search. Make sure the box is checked that says "Search SFG Forum" then type in - planting plans - which brings up several Forum posts relating to plans. Hopefully you'll see something you need.

If not, you'll want to give everyone an idea of WHAT you want to plant and post a draft plan of your own which others will help you tweak.

Again, welcome!

Kim

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  jennifer37918 on 4/21/2012, 9:12 am

This is my first year with any kind of gardening. Planning the squares had me fairly overwhelmed, so I decided to skip the planning. I realize I might pay the price for that later, but the lack of stress right now is worth it.

Each week, I look at what can be planted that week according to the charts in the back of the book based on frost week. From that list, I decide which I want, have room for, can find locally, etc. and plant one square of each.

I'm keeping notes on which ones worked well for me or what mistakes not to make again. Hopefully, next year I'll have a better idea of what I'm doing and be able to plan better.

Good luck!

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  subsonic on 4/21/2012, 10:14 am

best 2 pieces of advice I can give you is to keep notes. all year long keep notes, that way you can refer to them if something goes wrong and learn from your mistakes
every place is different in what grows so look around at any neighbors who garden or lk around for a gardening club in your area
second bit of advice, experiment, I have found out all kinds of stuff by experimenting, both good and bad.
and as a bonus, enjoy yourself, no matter what happens find the good in it, it was either a lesson or a harvest, both make you a better gardener. Smile

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  kbb964 on 4/21/2012, 1:54 pm

Great advice Subsonic!
First thing I did after making my boxes was to go out and buy a journal to write in. I have pages for each Veggie/fruit and write down everything.

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  camprn on 4/21/2012, 5:38 pm

Hi Granny, welcome to the forum! The way I plan is, basically, the tall things go in the back, on the north side and the smallest things go in the front, south side. Then you decide what you want to eat from your garden and then commence planting.

What would you like to grow? Very Happy

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  quiltbea on 4/21/2012, 7:01 pm

Welcome Granny. I agree wtih camprn. Tall crops (tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans) on the north side with trellises or stakes, smaller plants in front (broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, Swiss chard, bush beans), smallest in the very front (spinach, lettuce, turnips, carrots, onion sets). Plant things you like to eat. Try one of this, one of that and see how it works for you. Keep notes and take pictures. Take out books from the library to help you. Try Bob Thomson's 'The New Victory Garden' (he gardens in your general area) and Barbara Damrosch's 'Garden Primer' for a little more help. First and foremost, plant what you like to eat.

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one newbie to another

Post  asilcox on 4/21/2012, 7:35 pm

Granny,

I am new, also. I began by making a list of all the things that I wanted to plant based on what I like to eat (I used the back of the book for inspiration). Then, also on paper, I drew my 4 x 4 grid with the gridlines. After that, I made about 15 versions of what I was going to plant. It was actually fun to sketch the plan, and I ended up with a garden that I am, so far at least, thrilled with! :-)

Let us know how you do - I would love to see your plan when you come up with one. I can't say that I will have much of a critique (being new myself), but I sure can be supportive! cheers

~Amanda

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  philct on 4/21/2012, 7:43 pm

@subsonic wrote:best 2 pieces of advice I can give you is to keep notes. all year long keep notes, that way you can refer to them if something goes wrong and learn from your mistakes
every place is different in what grows so look around at any neighbors who garden or lk around for a gardening club in your area
second bit of advice, experiment, I have found out all kinds of stuff by experimenting, both good and bad.
and as a bonus, enjoy yourself, no matter what happens find the good in it, it was either a lesson or a harvest, both make you a better gardener. Smile



+1... Keep notes and keep updating on here... I try to add pictures as I go as when I was planning a few months ago I really liked seeing pictures over words... Good luck!!! cheers

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/21/2012, 8:32 pm

I'm a granny, too, and have been gardening for --mumble-mumble-- years. Long enough to know I love fresh produce and I love to experiment. Ten years ago, I found a used SQF gardening book, and began making raised beds. Therefore, some of my beds are still based on the old Square Foot Gardening book, with boards between 4-foot sections to walk on for crop care and harvest. Then, last year, I bought the All New SQF Gardening book. Much more usable, so we are converting our garden to the new plan. Learned the aisles between the beds is almost as important as the beds themselves. Leaving adequate space to easily care for your square foot beds, is extremely important. The more four-foot beds, the easier it is to plan a workable rotation for crops year to year. And, the older I get, the more I enjoy experimenting with new ideas: cattle panel trellis, hay bale bed for 3 sisters experiment last year, hoop house over plants to speed up the seasons, etc. Bottom line: Better tasting and more nutritious food, great exercise, satisfaction for having done it yourself, smile on the faces of those you deliver produce to. You'll find many other wonders in your new gardening adventure. Proud of you for beginning! Nonna

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Lettuce for sure!

Post  nanny on 4/21/2012, 9:33 pm

From one Granny to another;

Plant some lettuce (Black Seeded Simpson) for certain. It grows fairly quickly and is so good and sweet. Also plant some onion sets. I planted mine very early. The lettuce seems slow to grow this year but we are eating green onions already. You can't go wrong with these two vegetables. Good luck with your garden. Oh, I always plant one square of flowers. That's food for the soul.

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  jponderjones on 4/21/2012, 10:15 pm

I too am new to sfg. i have gardened off and on all my life. I've mostly used containers over the last 7 or 8 years, due to living in rented places. I stumbled acorss sfg on the internet, then read the original book because my mom had a copy. then I bought the all new sfg. I am having good luck with broccoli, tomatoes, squash, my sugar snap peas were planted too late and I'm not sure they'll make, my purple hull peas aren't doing good either but my seed are very old and i blame it on the seed. I also struggled with what to plant where in the garden. then finally just planted with an eye to height so I didn't shade out anything. with the very early spring and getting a late start I didn't get any spring veggies like lettuce or spinach.

good luck

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  Chopper on 4/22/2012, 12:46 am

The thing to remember is each square is its own crop. So start by deciding what you want to be able to pick from your garden. Then you will have a better idea what to plant where if you already know anything about its growing habits. Just think of each square as its own thing with a different planting and harvesting date from any other square. As soon as a square is empty decide what goes in next.

You probably understand the difference between summer and spring crops. Spring (lettuce, cabbage, peas, etc) like it cool and summer (tomatoes, peppers, most herbs, eggplant, corn etc) like it hot.

In MA there is some overlap as hot is a relative term. But if you start planting now, you should get some spring, some summer and some fall (same as spring).

A simple guide that is also in the book:

Here are examples of what can be planted in each square foot:
16 carrots or radishes, onion (or 9)
9 onions, beets, peas, garlic, spinach. bush beans, pole beans
4 lettuce, chard, marigolds, or kohlrabi, strawberries,
1 tomato, pepper(try 2 next time), eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, or corn, cabbage, celery, potato
1 squash, or melon per 2 sq.ft. (or 3ft space – zucchini)
2 cucumbers

1 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 12 inches apart.
4 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 6 inches apart.
9 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 4 inches apart.
16 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 3 inches apart

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/22/2012, 1:01 am



@Granny wrote:This is my first ever post to any forum anywhere. Also, I'm new to SFG. I've built my beds, and am ready to plant. My main problem is I'm not sure of a good plan. Is there a place where I can see several garden plans? Should I put all of the same type of plant together? Any suggestions will help.

My zone is 6a. My gardening experience is somewhat limited. This is my third year, with first two as traditional gardens.

Thanks. Granny.
YES! If you go to the forum's homepage (http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/), and you scan down to the third sub-forum entry "Showcase of Gardens." It has two subsections: "show us yours" and "garden plans." In the latter one, you'll find posts by members who are displaying their plans graphically, and getting help on how to improve it. You'll also find some under the former one, and if you watch the column of "Latest Topics" you'll see current ones that are in discussion.

There's lots of great information on the board...after you read the book, check out what others are doing. Ask questions whenever you need!

If you are used to gardening in rows, there is a lot to simplify! It's a wonderful mind-shift.

Ava

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Wow! So many strangers helping

Post  Granny on 4/24/2012, 1:02 pm

Thank you for the wonderful words of wisdom. I do have Mel's new book, as well as the old one. I'm still reading through all of the information.

Finding vermiculite was a challenge, however I was finally successful. I did not put in 5 different kinds of compost, which I may regret. Originally I wasn't able to get the vermiculite, so some beds have perlite. Also, before I read about Mel's Mix, we had already purchased garden soil and my husband, who is still not able to read my mind, had no idea that I was bringing it back and changing to Mel's mix, surprised me by filling a few boxes. For this year, therefore, we're going with two beds done correctly and the others with the mix plus garden soil.

I'm having a big party with family from all over staying, so I won't be looking at the posts until early next week. I intend to reread, more thoughtfully, all the responses and incorporate all the ideas.

As I said, this is the first forum I've ever joined and have to say I'm stunned at the number of strangers who are willing to take time from their busy schedules to help me with my project. Thank you so very much. Smile

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

Post  martha on 4/24/2012, 1:06 pm

Welcome, Granny! We are neighbors!

What will be interesting is to compare the two types of beds throughout the season.

We'll look forward to hearing back from you once your resettled from your family. Have a great visit/party!

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Re: Hello. I'm new and need help.

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