Square Foot Gardening Forum
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New to SFG this year!

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New to SFG this year!

Post  Momof5Js on 6/23/2012, 6:19 pm

Hi! I started my SFG experience this year after finding Mel's book at the local Dollar General store last year at such a low price I just picked it up for "an interesting read."
I am a city girl, from Houston, TX, and transplanted to western Kansas about 15 years ago. Even then, darling hubby and I lived in town. Last April we moved to an old farm house on 12 acres. The previous owners where BIG TIME trational gardeners. They left use with a beautiful little orchard with peaches, cherries, apricots and pears. We also have wonderful stands of rhubarb and asparagus.
I convinced my dear sweet hubby that this SFG THING would be a good option for our family of 7. We own a residential/commercial construction company so our plans may be a little over the top for a typical beginner.
We poured a 24' x 30' concrete slab, put a cedar post and wire fence around the slab and a gate with a beautiful arbor. Then we built 4 "rows" 4' wide and 16' long. The beds are 6" deep except for one 4x4 box on each end that is 8" deep for potatoes, onions and carrots. The boxes are enclosed on the bottom with plywood with drain holes then covered with weed barrier to keep Mel's mix safely in the boxes and then set on 2x4s.
Once construction was complete we set about making Mel's mix. What a process. We located places to purchase 5 types of compost, the peat moss and the vermiculite. Thankfully we have some pieces of equipment at our disposal. We got the mix mixed and out in the boxes.
I love, love, love my garden. And I am excited to learn many new and wonderful things on the forum.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Nicola on 6/23/2012, 7:03 pm

glad you\'re here Momof5Js! (Does that mean all 5 of your kids' names begin with "J"?)
I would love to see pictures of your SFG, when you can post some. It sounds like a beautiful start. What have you planted, and how are they doing?
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  ramarks on 6/23/2012, 7:29 pm

Welcome to the forums. Funny how an "interesting read" can turn into a passion. I know it did for me.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  walshevak on 6/23/2012, 8:38 pm

Me too. I found the book at Lowes and sat on the outdoor furniture display to leaf through the book for about an hour before deciding to buy it. Never going back to the old way.

Kay

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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/23/2012, 9:11 pm

Hi Momof5Js! I, too, would LOVE to see photos of your SFG!

I found Mels first book at the library just this past March, read it and knew I had to own it. When I went online to order it I saw there was a newer book so ordered that instead. But by that time I'd already filled 2 'boxes' with the mix from the old book, which is working out fine. I have some newer 'boxes' with the new mix, but since I've planted completely different things in them I can't tell if one is better than the other or not. *shrug* It all seems good.

Anyway, welcome to the forum! Very Happy
CC
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Momof5Js on 6/23/2012, 9:43 pm

Hey everyone! Thanks for the welcomes. I would love to post pics. Any tips on how? I have a few on my computer I could post.

And yes, all 5 children's names begin with J. 3 boys - Joseph, Judah and Jensen & 2 girls - Jayce and Jillian. All ranging from 14 to 3.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Nicola on 6/23/2012, 10:19 pm

If you go to the SFG Forum Homepage there's a How-to section. I found a thread, near the bottom, that'll help. Let's see if I can figure out/remember how to put a link here. (Been a member for awhile, but some forum things I have to walk myself through, step by step)
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t129-how-to-post-a-picture-located-on-your-computer
Hopefully, we can both do these "techie" things okay... Very Happy
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Momof5Js on 6/23/2012, 10:50 pm

Thanks for the info. I am not very good at techie things Very Happy but I will give it a try.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Momof5Js on 6/23/2012, 11:22 pm

Trying a picture or 2 or 3. Maybe I should just try 1 Smile

Concrete Slab with boxes before fencing and plants.



General Picture today.

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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Momof5Js on 6/23/2012, 11:23 pm

Yeah! It worked. Thanks Nicola! I think you are great at these techie things.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  walshevak on 6/24/2012, 1:21 am

I just love those cattle panels.

Kay

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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Goosegirl on 6/24/2012, 8:55 am

Looks gorgeous!

GG
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  cheyannarach on 6/24/2012, 11:15 am

Looks AWESOME!!!! Great work!
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Pepper on 6/24/2012, 4:50 pm

Momof5Js. WOW what a setup! And I thought I got bit bad.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  plantoid on 6/24/2012, 7:29 pm

Brilliant set up no more muddy feet , easy with a wheel barrow and no weeds growing up through or any probing tree roots .

You may find that the concrete draws out the bed moisture a bit quicker than expected though , unless the concrete has had a waterproofer in it or you have sealed the areas under the bed .
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  boffer on 6/24/2012, 7:39 pm

A concrete slab is quite a commitment to gardening! I love it. Is it possible the size is for re-purposing into a garage down the road?!

@plantoid wrote:... You may find that the concrete draws out the bed moisture a bit quicker than expected though , unless the concrete has had a waterproofer in it or you have sealed the areas under the bed .
They thought of everything: the boxes have plywood bottoms and are raised off the concrete.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/24/2012, 7:51 pm

Shocked wowzers!! Shocked .....what a great set up you have there for your SFG!!...i love it!!

welcome to the forum and cant wait to see more pics of your pretty garden Very Happy

hugs

rose
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  plantoid on 6/24/2012, 8:05 pm

@boffer wrote:A concrete slab is quite a commitment to gardening! I love it. Is it possible the size is for re-purposing into a garage down the road?!

@plantoid wrote:... You may find that the concrete draws out the bed moisture a bit quicker than expected though , unless the concrete has had a waterproofer in it or you have sealed the areas under the bed .
They thought of everything: the boxes have plywood bottoms and are raised off the concrete.



I saw that Boffer , my thoughts run that the dry concrete will be kept very dry by air passing along the spaces by the battons the bases are sitting on , possiblly make for a big draw out of moisture from the underside of the beds .

I've just had a wee thought ..... that if this does happen then closing in the edges of the battons could slow things down considerably and /or slip a thick construction grade poly sheet under each of the beds as well.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  floyd1440 on 6/24/2012, 8:10 pm

Best set up I have seen to date. Also like the fence as well but it is a SWEET layout.....

Shocked
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Momof5Js on 6/24/2012, 10:59 pm

Thanks for all of your comments. You are all so encouraging. thanks

Yes, that large of a concrete slab is a commitment. Darling hubby and I joked that if my gardening ability proved to be nonexistent we could leave the fence up and use it as a containment area for the children! However, I have decided even if things I plant die, I will just plant more. I can not explain how much I love my garden. I have a sitting area in one corner and I enjoy just hanging out there sunny

So far I have planted onions, carrots, potatoes, beets, peas, beans, corn, cabbage, broccoli, okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, musk melons, strawberries, sage, thyme, cilantro, jalapeño pepper and garden salsa peppers. We have a wonderful local green house close by. I bought all my seeds in bulk and have had decent success I have had some difficulty with the beans and the peas.

I planted the peas early when I planted the potatoes and onions. They started beautifully then turned a sickly yellow, wilted and died. I thought that was because we were gone on vacation and the substitute irrigator missed a day. So I replanted. Sadly problem returned and I don't think we will have our own peas this year. I will try again in the fall.
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Re: New to SFG this year!

Post  Momof5Js on 6/24/2012, 11:05 pm

@plantoid wrote:
@boffer wrote:A concrete slab is quite a commitment to gardening! I love it. Is it possible the size is for re-purposing into a garage down the road?!

@plantoid wrote:... You may find that the concrete draws out the bed moisture a bit quicker than expected though , unless the concrete has had a waterproofer in it or you have sealed the areas under the bed .
They thought of everything: the boxes have plywood bottoms and are raised off the concrete.



I saw that Boffer , my thoughts run that the dry concrete will be kept very dry by air passing along the spaces by the battons the bases are sitting on , possiblly make for a big draw out of moisture from the underside of the beds .

I've just had a wee thought ..... that if this does happen then closing in the edges of the battons could slow things down considerably and /or slip a thick construction grade poly sheet under each of the beds as well.

Thanks for the comments on the concrete drawing the moisture out faster than usual. I have noticed the some boxes seem more damp than others. I thought maybe some of my drain holes might be clogged, but maybe I am over watering some boxes due to others drying out faster. Interesting. We had not thought of that. We just knew the we wanted drainage and did not want the boxes sitting directly on the slab.

I do notice that most of our really hot, drying Kansas wind comes from the south of our property and the 2x4s run east and west. So, they would block the wind from the south. Do you think that could help keep it cooler under the boxes?
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Re: New to SFG this year!

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