Square Foot Gardening Forum
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New from Coastal Maine

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New from Coastal Maine

Post  jlw0427 on 5/8/2012, 10:54 am

I'm new to square foot gardening. My husband and I came across this site a few years ago while doing some research on companion planting and raised beds, edible landscaping and things like that. We live in the middle of our small town and have very limited area to work with, but have 4 kids in addition to ourselves to feed!

Anyway, in our 5 years together we have done traditional row gardening, in an 80x30 foot bed at my sister-in-laws house (hard to manage due to the size and distance from home), we managed to get a bunch of cherry tomatoes, some peas and beans, a few carrots and radishes, not much else from ALL of that... at home that year we had a small salad garden and got a bit of Romaine, and a couple peppers. After that we did some small raised beds just behind our house and had a pretty good yield for the space we used... the beds were 3x6 I think and ran along the edge of the retaining wall that holds our house up (it drops down 15 feet to pretty wet area with a spring and a stream), we got a bunch of baby salad greens, our tomatoes did well until they caught a blight (a shame, they were Roma tomatoes and they at fruited really well, large ones, but then were no good), we did get a bunch of carrots (and left some in the ground at the end of the season and were able to pick them the following spring!), also got some bush beans and some squash and zucchini, but not much.

After that season the area we were gardening in got contaminated with lead paint from the house being renovated so we moved to the kids play area and tried to grow there, two years in a row now, and every year, our plants have been devoured by Groundhogs! We caught two groundhogs earlier this spring and relocated them and have seen no signs of anymore, so here's hoping this year will be a success!

The last couple of years I worked outside the house (I owned a consignment store but closed it this past winter to stay home with the kids, 2 are special needs) and I wasn't able to help out much because I was working 6 days a week... now that I'm working from home (I own a Soap and candle company called Lupine Ridge Botanicals) I've been able to do a LOT.

I have no real experience with gardening, but this spring we bought a collection of Heirloom seeds from Baker's Creek (rareseeds.com) and they are all specific to northern climates. At the same time we ordered books from them about Saving Seeds (since these are heirloom seeds we should be able to store the seeds for future plantings without too much trouble so the $100 investment in our initial seed package should hopefully be worth it!) and we bought the All New Square Foot Gardening book (as well as a book about keeping bees, and we ordered a hive which will be arriving in about a month... and a book about chickens, we have 2 and plan to get more!)

Anyway, we started tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions and some salad greens inside. We harvested some of the salad greens for dinner one night, and then I transplanted them outside the next day (too much for them I'm sure but some have stayed in good shape and are producing new leaves!).

We are planting Square Foot Gardens in our side yard, and I sat down today and figured out exactly how much I've got in there, and I was amazed!

I currently have 2 areas of the yard with garden beds, one bed is 64
square feet, it runs along our front fence (2 feet deep by 32 long) and
another that is 4 sections that are 8x4 for a total of 192 square
feet..... Following this method, this is
what I currently have planted:
144 corn seeds (80 more will be planted
this weekend in a new bed that will 10x4 feet and will also include more
beans and squash/Pumpkins)
90 (+/-) Tomato plants (8 varieties - Hubby planted 2 seeds in each spot in our starter trays, I know the book calls for 1 plant per square, but I wound up with 4, and will cut them back as need be now that they are transplanted)
16 Zucchini plants
8 Japanese Cucumber plants
8 Winter Squash
8 each of 3 types of beans
8 sugar peas
24 Cauliflower and 24 Broccoli plants
a ton of lettuce and other greens
24 of 2 varieties of garden peppers
12 each of two types of hot peppers
2 varieties of eggplant
I have 4 rows of 4 squares that are left empty waiting for peat moss so I can plant 2 types each of carrots and radishes
Also put some Sunflowers in the ground lol

I'm determined to make this work! We aren't using the Mel's Mix from the book, before we read through the book we had already purchased a mix from a local farm... its Composted cow manure, vermiculite and something else (I forget what he said), but it's really rich! two of our beds we wound up just using the soil that was already in the ground for this year because we are broke at the moment... we did use our home made compost for those beds at least and have some good seaweed fertilizer we can put on the plants to help. They'll get a better base later Smile

I'll try and post some pictures in a big, I have to resize them first Smile

Female Posts : 3
Join date : 2012-05-08
Location : Mid-Coast Maine, Zone 5B

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Re: New from Coastal Maine

Post  TejasTerry on 5/8/2012, 11:40 am

Sounds exciting. YOu have a lot of beds going there.

My son owns a restaurant in Lovell, and one outside Portland in Brunswick, Maine.

We are planning a trip up in July....

Tejas Terry

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Age : 56
Location : Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio

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Re: New from Coastal Maine

Post  quiltbea on 5/8/2012, 11:46 am

jlw....Welcome from another Mainer. I'm in Raymond, southwestern Maine zone 5a. I'm SFGardening now 4 years and love it. This is the best and most productive way to grow. Hope to see pics of your garden as you proceed.

If you have questions, many here can help you.

Female Posts : 4708
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Age : 76
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

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Re: New from Coastal Maine

Post  jlw0427 on 5/8/2012, 12:08 pm

Thanks for the welcome, I'm near Belfast, actually went to Raymond last summer to buy a dresser out of the Uncle Henry's for my consignment store! LOL! Small world Smile I got caught up in reading the forums and forgot to resize my pics and get them uploaded, hehe, I'll get on that soon!

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Location : Mid-Coast Maine, Zone 5B

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Re: New from Coastal Maine

Post  camprn on 5/8/2012, 12:43 pm

My grandparents used to live in Penobscot, but now it's my aunts summer home. Welcome to the SFG Forum.


43 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau



Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

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Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

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Re: New from Coastal Maine

Post  jlw0427 on 5/9/2012, 9:53 am

I haven't had a chance to post pictures on here, but I got some up on my blog today if you'd like to look at them! soapmamainmaine.blogspot.com

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Re: New from Coastal Maine

Post  gregrenee88 on 5/9/2012, 10:03 am

Welcome! This is our first year too and we are really enjoying it. If you have any questions, someone will be able to answer them here.

Have fun!
Renee glad you\'re here

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Re: New from Coastal Maine

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