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Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

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Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 11:28 am

It all started out so cute and small!

I'm Laurie and this is my first year Square Foot Gardening in Los Angeles! I bought the book, along with quite a few other books, after a great year with 4 tomato plants last year. This is my garden buddy, Newton.



We built raised cedar beds this spring and filled everything with Mel's Mix organic compost and installed a drip system (thank god... so much watering to do!) and it has been a shocking yield.

I've been reading so many posts in this forum, thought I'd intro myself and my Urban SFG!





Started so cute... right?



I figured since our property isn't sprawling, I'd use what I've got and go up the walls. I picked veggies that could be trained vertically and things that could go in the square in front of those too - started with Peas, lettuce, frisse, celery, onions, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes, and threw in some nasturtiums and marigolds for pollinating.





Here is a wider shot of the setup... in its' early stages.





Then it just WENT. Everything grew at a truly astounding rate.







I put in 17 heirloom tomato plants, from Early Annie, Japanese Black trifele, Stupice, Eva Purple Ball, Gajo de Melon, so many more. I put in a tomatillo, two spaghetti squash plants, several types of peppers, and sadly I murdered cilantro, dill, and a few other finicky herbs. (oops!)

It's wild and crazy! I'll add a few more images, but it's now topping out at over 12' tall, fruiting like you can't imagine, and I'm begging friends and neighbors to take my extras!
This is a few weeks ago. Isn't the spaghetti squash gorgeous?? This is well before all hell broke loose and the garden went wild...


Anyway, nice to meet you other veggie nerds. cyclops

LA Vertical SFG

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  GWN on 7/11/2012, 11:46 am

wow what a great garden, ESPECIALLY for a beginner.
17 different heirloom tomatoes, how many of each?Will be looking forward to more pics

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Thanks!!

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 11:57 am

Hey @GWN thanks! It's been the most gratifying year in the garden. I had a feeling the SFG and Vertical gardening would be friends, but had NO idea how explosive the combination would be.

It's not without work, though, the vertical stuff requires so much pruning to keep it manageable, but the veggies seem so happy in the soil!

I planted only one of each tomato type! (brave, huh?)

How is your garden today?




LA Vertical SFG

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  GWN on 7/11/2012, 5:48 pm

Your pictures are great, i am at least 2 months behind you, I am just seeing the very first few flowers on my zucchini and squash, very first tomatoes starting to ripen, only hope I can have at least ONE ripe tomato to use as my avatar for July....
We are eating LOTS of peas, some strawberries, raspberries, basil and have had a few potatoes, but am leaving the rest for latter in the year.

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 5:58 pm

Aww the best is seeing that first tomato flower and baby tomato appear!!

Can't wait to see!

Do you have a very short growing season for summer stuff or is it just later?


LA Vertical SFG

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  GWN on 7/11/2012, 6:12 pm

We have a shorter growing season, HOWEVER much longer days, and so it is amazing how quickly we catch up once it gets hot here.
We had steady rains for the past month and we got hot weather a week ago, and so any day now....
I WOULD have zucchinis except that them DARNED FEMALE flowers budded first with not a male in sight

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 6:19 pm

Male vs female buds first ... so interesting.

My tomatillo is doing nothing this year. Someone told me you need two!

I grilled my organic grower and she was adamant you don't need two for pollination....

Now it's just a giant monster with tons of flowers and no lanterns!

Yesh.

LA Vertical SFG

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  No_Such_Reality on 7/11/2012, 6:29 pm

Looks great. I'm assuming your wall is a north wall so the space faces south?

I'm hoping to redo our backyard and do something similar with our raised beds and wall. Right now our back yard is too shaded and any space near the walls is in shade too much.

BTW, how high is that wall?

It's amazing what the right combination of soil, water and sun will do. It's equally amazing how difficult that mix can be and how frustrating it is when one is out of balance.

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 6:39 pm

Hey, @no_such_reality! Yes, that wall is a North wall so it's getting incredible sun.

The planter box is 18" d and 24" wide, the wall itself I think is 13' ...

I was very stubborn with my gardener about the mix and he kind of got into it by the end. Almost every single plant I've put into the stuff is like it's on steroids...

The spaghetti squash and the tomatoes (stupice especially) are almost obscene how prolific they are. All in one little foot of dirt!!







I need to take a few current pics...

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  songstriss on 7/11/2012, 6:59 pm

Wow! That looks pretty impressive! Great job! Something for me to aspire to. flower

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 7:18 pm

Thanks @songstriss! It's so fun to walk outside and just eat stuff I grew.

Here is a shot from today...





It's crossed over from what felt like Garden Bonsai (well pruned, things growing on nets) to a vegetable factory!

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  Lindacol on 7/11/2012, 7:39 pm

from another southern Californian. I have to ask, how do you keep the vegggies on the trellis and off the wall? What plant is growing up the wall?

Everything looks so nice & green.

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  camprn on 7/11/2012, 7:47 pm

I love your garden! Beautiful nasturtiums ( i always kill mine) and I'm really digging the privacy shrubbery! glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum!

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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: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 7:49 pm

Hey @Lindacol!

The garden is basically in front of a cinder block wall I grew Creeping Fig on over 3 years ago. I trimmed them back pretty far, and then we made brackets (I think the idea was in Mel's book) and I used Cedar and copper pipe from a remodeling job to hang our trellis netting from.

I sort of hand clip the creeping fig (although the veggies keep it in check pretty well) and we made the brackets stick out about a foot, so there is some distance behind the trellis for air flow. It worked super well!

It's sort of funny - it's a little tough to see in pictures how the plants are growing because there is little difference between the vine and the fig - it's all green until the veggies hit!

Boy it's hot where you are today, no?





The cucumbers seem the happiest with the deal. Tomatoes too!

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  Lindacol on 7/11/2012, 7:52 pm

It hit 108 here a couple of hours ago but we now have wind & some clouds, so may get thunderstorms.

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  LA Vertical SFG on 7/11/2012, 8:21 pm

Hi @Camprn! Thanks for the high praise.

The nasturtiums look a little raggedy lately, but the bees and bugs love them! I'm not sure if maybe I should plant another few, because they looked really lovely before...



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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  cheyannarach on 7/11/2012, 8:27 pm

WOW! Your garden is beautiful! cheers

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/12/2012, 1:23 pm

Absolutely beautiful garden and welcome! glad you\'re here

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/12/2012, 1:26 pm

Lindacol that is just too hot!

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Re: Vertical SFG Newbie in Los Angeles! Nice to meet you all.

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