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I finally did it!

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I finally did it!

Post  songstriss on 7/11/2012, 6:14 pm

I made my first SFG! I started by removing the existing bermuda grass which is so invasive. I sprayed the ground with Round up and waited a couple weeks to make sure nothing was growing back. Then I made an outline with cinder blocks and laid some thick plastic panels in the bottom. Then since I was without assistance I laid a tarp inside the garden box and removed the end cinder blocks for easier access. I mixed half of the 5 different sources of compost in the wheelbarrow and poured it on the tarp.



Then I added half the vermiculite and mixed it with a rake. Then I added the peat moss. Mixed it with the rake and rolled the tarp back and forth.





Then replaced the end cinder blocks and slowly pulled the tarp out and raked the mixture evenly over the bottom. I lightly watered the mixture. I placed the tarp next to and partly over onto the planter bed.



I mixed the remaining compost in the wheelbarrow.



I dumped it onto the tarp and mixed the remaining vermiculite and peat moss. Then I brought up the sides of the tarp and the outer edge and slowly dumped it into the planter box. Using the rake I mixed the two layers together and Voila!



Then I placed my grid.



I even put some mix in the cinder blocks so that I can put flowers in them.



And there you have it! Now am I supposed to water it before I put my seeds in? It's taken me so long to get this far. It's quite a substantial investment and I don't want to do anything wrong. Do I need to shade the box for awhile until the seeds come up and seedlings get established? It got up to 116 degrees today.
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Soak it, soak it good.

Post  No_Such_Reality on 7/11/2012, 6:21 pm

Great job on the bed!

Did you pre-soak your peat? The mix looks really good and fluffy which makes me think it might be a little dry. If so, with the heat, you'll have a challenge.

I'd suggest a good thorough soaking. The kind where you will take the hose and get down on your hands and knees and literally flood the bed and then use the hose and water to stir it up. That way you make sure you've got the whole thing moist. If the peat is dry, it actually repels water and your plants will struggle. Plenty of that on the board.

As for planting, it depends a bit on what you want to plant. If you can keep them moist, until they establish, they should start really fast.

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Re: I finally did it!

Post  songstriss on 7/11/2012, 11:46 pm

Thanks for the advice. I didn't know you were supposed to soak the pete first. I sprayed it with the hose for quite awhile. I'll do it again in the morning.
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Oops

Post  songstriss on 7/12/2012, 9:55 pm

When I was preparing the mix for the garden I had to go buy more supplies because it didn't fill up the planter. I thought that was odd because I was certain I did the math right. Well when I was fine tuning my grid I discovered that the cinder blocks were 15 inches not 12. So I have instead of a 4'x5' I have a 5' x 6'3" So should I have 15" squares or should I still section it off in 12" squares and have some larger? I also have a question regarding the mix. As part of the compost portion I added 8 gallons of worm castings. I was reading some of the other posts and someone mentioned worm castings are really potent. Is that too much? If so what should I do? thinking
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Re: I finally did it!

Post  cheyannarach on 7/12/2012, 11:47 pm

Way to go! That's a lot of work for one person! I have a few beds that were built before I discovered SFG so I just measured them as close to the nearest foot as I could! I have two that have 15 inch squares and they work just the same a the actual square feet! Happy gardening!
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Re: I finally did it!

Post  songstriss on 7/13/2012, 12:25 am

Thanks cheyannarach! I also have a regular garden that I had already started before I heard about and researched SFG. I will try to incorporate the SFG method with those areas next planting. But I think I have to get rid of all my existing soil as everything except the corn is looking like it's diseased or being eaten. Is there a way to preventatively treat for this problems?
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Re: I finally did it!

Post  yolos on 7/13/2012, 10:53 pm

by songstriss on 7/13/2012, 12:25 am

But I think I have to get rid of all my existing soil as everything except the corn is looking like it's diseased or being eaten. Is there a way to preventatively treat for this problems?

I had a similar problem and decision to make last year concerning my regular garden (old row style garden) soil that was diseased. I had a fungus in the soil that the literature said would last "indefinitely". So I did a lot of research trying to figure out what to do. I can't remember all the solutions - but here are a few:
(1) Poor boiling water on the soil? Yea, right.
(2) Remove the soil and bake it? Ha
(3) Solarize the soil. This looked promising.
(4) Remove the soil.
I decided to remove the topsoil. I have a tractor, so we scraped the top 2-4 inches off the garden down to the hard clay below. Then had a dump truck load of soil brought in to replace the topsoil. I now only have a 4 foot by 32 foot patch of the old garden left. Everything else is now SFG. But I kept a long patch to use to plant corn. I am having to add large amounts of compost materials to the remaining row garden to try to improve the soil. It was easier everywhere else to just build raised beds and fill them with MM.
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Re: I finally did it!

Post  Damon on 7/19/2012, 8:13 am

Very nice. Keep us posted. I usually mechanically kill the Bermuda grass. You're right the only way to deal with grass is to kill it!
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Planted my seeds

Post  songstriss on 7/19/2012, 11:39 pm

Ok I finally planted seeds in my first SFG.



I have been so concerned about doing things right that I've been progressing rather slowly. It's in the low 100's during the day. Do I need to water them more than once a day to keep them moist? thinking
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Re: I finally did it!

Post  songstriss on 7/20/2012, 12:07 am

I forgot to mention I planted spaghetti squash, Armenian cucumber, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, green beans, wax beans, green onion, peppers, garlic, carrots and a few marigolds in the cinder blocks on the corners. I left a few squares open to plant in a couple weeks. I wasn't sure what I could plant this time of year.
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Re: I finally did it!

Post  walshevak on 7/20/2012, 5:42 pm

With high temps that are plaguing everybody, I, personally, would give the seeds an extra misting in addition to the regular soil soaking if I could. Once you have decided everything that is gonna sprout has sprouted and developed leaves, then you can settle down to once or twice a day soakings. And congratulations on becoming a SF gardener.
Kay

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Re: I finally did it!

Post  Damon on 7/20/2012, 6:14 pm

I hope I'm not going over ground already covered--no pun--have you considered drip irrigation or some sort?
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Re: I finally did it!

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