Square Foot Gardening Forum

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Hello from upstate New York

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Hello from upstate New York

Post  Judon on 5/15/2012, 11:28 am

Hi to everyone...we just had bramble, shrubs, and weedy mess removed and we're contemplating square foot gardening. The start-up cost seems high! We're looking forward to reading the forum and coming to an informed decision.
Thanks for any advice or input.
Judon

Judon

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Location : upstate NY

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Hello from upstate New York

Post  memart1 on 5/15/2012, 12:34 pm

I just started my SFG and being retired and on a fixed income I could not afford everything I wanted. My son-in-law knew I wanted a garden along one end of the front of my house, but he did not know I wanted a SFG. He used landscape timbers three high and fastened them with 18" rebar pounded into the existing ground. He filled this with a huge pile of compost I had. It is 30" wide by 26' long. I divided it up with blind slats with the half squares at the front. I put a geranium in each corner, and dwarf marigolds in each of the other half squares. The full squares are all for veggies. Next year I hope to be financially able to remove this compost and replace it with Mel's Mix on top of weed block fabric, but I think what I have will work for this year. I do find the 30" depth is just a bit too wide though.

memart1

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Re: Hello from upstate New York

Post  chjbr63 on 5/15/2012, 12:44 pm

Judon

The first place to start learning about SFG is the book. On the forum homepage hover you mouse on the left hand side and a pop up has some very important reading on the how and why SFG works so well.

Yes the startup cost can be high, but the rewards are higher. The vermiculite can be very expensive but the other ingredients can be found free/cheap. Use Craigslist, Google and search for compost then manure and then worms. Also check for farms in your area.

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY GARDENING


Chris

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Re: Hello from upstate New York

Post  littlesapphire on 5/15/2012, 4:47 pm

Welcome, Judon! So glad you've joined the forum Smile The folks here are really friendly and are always willing to help.

I agree with you that the startup price is pretty steep. However, I wrote down my expenses verse my gains (in the value of the produce), and it turns out I actually come out on top:

Vermiculite: $40
Compost: $60
Peat Moss: $10
Wood: $20
Weed Cloth: $6
Seeds: $30

That's $166 total for three 4x4 garden boxes. Now let's look at what those boxes produce and what their (estimated lowball) values are:

32 pole beans: $24
45 bush beans: $18
2 cabbages: $15
2 eggplants: $40
3 zucchini (given 4 squares at the corner of a box): $36
24 potatoes: $40
18 spinach: $10
4 tomatoes: $100
2 peppers: $20
64 onions: $20
2 watermelons: $20

All together, that's $343!
$343 minus $166 = $176 you actually made in the value of the produce.

And next year, you only need to add compost, so your cost goes way way down.

littlesapphire

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Great source of free plannter boxes in Syracuse.

Post  fernie5000 on 4/29/2013, 11:02 pm

Hey, Judon, and all you other Syracusers, just wanted you let you know that the Best Tile warehouse regularly has pallet boxes for free in the back of there warehouse in East Syracuse. They range in size from about 2 1/2'x4'x3' to 4'x4'x3'.
I transported 5 of them home on my roof rack and am now using them for my raised beds. I used additional free pallets (disassembled) to add a false bottom about half way up and have my fist box filled and seeded with the cool weather crops. The only cost to me was for screws and nails for assembly and A little white paint on the outside to match my trim on the house.
Almost every time I go there the place is overflowing with them, so maybe you can get some too.
Good luck! and nice to find so many from Syracuse on this site.

fernie5000

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Re: Hello from upstate New York

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