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SFG under ground instead of raised?

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SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 11:18 am

My husband has refused to make any more 4x4s until he has caught up with the irrigation. So I decided to make my own beds by digging down.
I dug down about 7-8 inches, put rocks all around, and then put down shredded paper as a weed block

Chewy likes to get in on the action.
Shredded paper LOTS of water then stomp it down

Mels mix and lots more water..

and a bamboo stucture to keep chewy out of bed, cucumbers and presto my CUKE bed.....approx 15 square feet by 7 inches deep.


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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  cheyannarach on 5/20/2012, 11:26 am

Haha, that's a great idea when stuck with a stubborn hubby! It's like a mix of original SFG and ANSFG! Looks like you have been working hard!

I love your bamboo stucture!
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 11:59 am

Fab, fab FABULOUS! What a Face

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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

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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/20/2012, 12:05 pm

Any drainage issues? I have more in the desert as the ground has lots of clay. Curious about you
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 12:09 pm

This area has gravel below, I seem to be able to water lots and lots without it puddling, so I guess that means it is good, perhaps I might have to wait awhile to know for sure.
Just did this this week
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  sfg4uKim on 5/20/2012, 12:47 pm

One of my customers did this too only he dug down more than 12" and filled with mix. He's had great success with this and so did I since he bought the mix from me. Very Happy

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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  llama momma on 5/20/2012, 1:46 pm

I've got giant pumpkin seed sprouts that I am transplanting into something very similar so when the season is over I could add Mel's mix back into a box that needs topping off. I didn't want to build a box just for giant pumpkin seeds with vines that will leap out of a box very quickly. Just using weed block in the hole to save as much mix as possible. Who knows I may save the hole and MM to use for other sprawling plants next year.


Last edited by llama momma on 5/20/2012, 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarify)
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  Turan on 5/20/2012, 8:16 pm

I would think this would be excellent for drought conditions.
I just made a long heap of the partial compost for the winter squash.
I heard we are supposed to have a frost Wednesday. SO I am waiting till after to plant anything.

I love the trellis and helper Very Happy
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 8:28 pm

Perhaps this is just wishful thinking but I am thinking that the shredded paper (which in my compost was the hottest item in there) might also provide some heat as it breaks down.
I am thinking of digging a few more holes and putting straw down at the bottom.
I am thinking that this might be great way to grow the pumpkins as well Llama mom
Turan, I sure hope you do not have frost, we SEEM to be out of the woods here.

My "helper" just dug up one of my artichokes......
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  gwennifer on 5/21/2012, 2:54 am

GWN, good job! I have certainly considered putting an SFG in the ground rather than then going up. But then I always balk at the idea of my custom made Mel's Mix mingling with the native soil. I'm oddly protective of that stuff! I keep thinking plant roots will go down past the MM and so when I pull out a plant, it will pull native soil up through the MM and after a couple of seasons it will be all mixed together. I hadn't thought about just lining the pit with landscape fabric though. Hmmmmm...
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  GWN on 5/21/2012, 10:58 pm

I actually do not see the difference with respects of mixing native soil, VS mels MIX
I am using shredded paper here, but just as easily could have used landscape fabric, both to separate the native soil from my MM.
I have not found landscape fabric to be superior to cardboard, and this is an experiment with a thick layer of shredded paper.
The way I see it, whether I create the barrier at ground level, OR 7 inches down, there still is a barrier between the MM and the native soil.
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/22/2012, 12:50 am

I have gone down also, but only some. The wood I bought for my frames was only eight inches high and I wanted to make sure I could plant anything in them so I dug down about four inches and laid down fabric weed block. I have been amending my garden soil for about 16 years and I didn't have enough money for just the Mel's mix exactly. My soil was quite good so I mixed my soil, compost, peat moss, well rotted manure and vermiculite together into the beds. In some of the beds they are not a full 12 inches full but as time goes on I have been adding more of everything except soil.

Love your ingenuity digging down and your bamboo protection! I have been trying for two years to get my son to build me two more boxes! He is getting married in August. I should hold our list for invitations ransom until he gets the boxes done for me, right!
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Re: SFG under ground instead of raised?

Post  givvmistamps on 5/22/2012, 1:34 am

This is a great idea for areas with good drainage! Folks with clay and/or silty soil wouldn't want to do this, but if you have gravelly and/or sandy soil I think it's an excellent idea. Wish I'd heard this idea earlier; with our sandy soil we could've planted more! What a Face
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