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Hello from Louisiana!

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Hello from Louisiana!

Post  Carrot-top on 7/23/2012, 11:12 pm

I am new to SFG. I was looking for a way to garden that is feasible for me ( I really love vegetables and spend a fortune at the store buying them!). I work a full time job and am a full time single mom and I have tried to garden in the past and I can NOT keep up with the weeds affraid They are very daunting- to say the least! I was checking out different books in the public library study and came across Mel's SFG book and I felt like a light bulb had went off!! Hey, I think I can do this one!! I read the book from cover to cover. So I don't have anything in the beds yet- just got the beds put together this evening and I finally got all my different composts today- I plan to have a fall garden. Here in Louisiana many people have fall gardens and now is the time to plant. I have really enjoyed just reading everyone's posts, I have learned a lot! I have a question- I bought some "compost" at Walmart and it seemed VERY heavy. When I opened the bag it looks like there is sand in it. Ok, I know sand is organic, but is this good to use- I understood that this is a "soil-less" bedding?? thinking I tend to be a little OCD about different things, I know, but "if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right!!" Wink , (and I don't have time to try, try, try, try again. (No one ever accused me of being long on patience! LOL!).

Carrot-top

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  cheyannarach on 7/23/2012, 11:43 pm

What other kind of composts did you get besides the Walmart one? If it was me and I had a bunch of other good stuff I would use it, sand would help (along with the vermiculite) to keep the soil friable. So happy you get to get your garden going, good luck!

cheyannarach

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  southern gardener on 7/23/2012, 11:55 pm

welcome to the forum! I personally would not use the sand. Mel's first book called for sand in the recipe, then he changed it. We did our first set of 12 boxes with the old recipe, using sand and it was too "light", meaning the water went through it so fast we had to water often. We then bought the pre made mix and it holds water a lot better. Good luck, but be SURE you get your composts correct! That seems to be the key as far as I can tell. We are still working on getting the composts correct it seems...

southern gardener

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  Pepper on 7/24/2012, 12:37 am

glad you\'re here Carrot-top to the forum. Mel's mix is not cheap but well worth the one time cost. I made a batch then decided it was too much for the rest(what I had then) beds. I now have 4 big beds with a much inferior mix(does not retain water like SG said), constantly kicking myself in the hinney for that mistake. Here is a link to a thread in this forum about Mels mix and it's importance(in this forum) http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7451-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone
Although even dirt will grow stuff at the consentrated planting rates this method uses you need the best 'dirt' you can make.
Good luck with your garden

Pepper

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  walshevak on 7/24/2012, 2:18 am

Can you post a picture of the Walmart compost. Maybe we have some members who have experience with it. A list of the other composts would be helpful too.

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  NAR56 on 7/24/2012, 10:21 am

Welcome to the Forum from another person in Louisiana !

I have found that my local nurseries have better quality and knowledge than other stores in my area. The price may be higher but the products are better in quality in my opinion. Good luck on your Fall garden.

NAR56

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Welcome from a native Cajun!

Post  kat51415 on 7/24/2012, 1:50 pm

I'm a native Cajun (born and bred in the Bayou State, DeRidder to be exact) but am now transplanted to SE Oklahoma. It took us quite a bit of perseverance to get the 5 composts and the vermiculite but it has paid off. SFG is not cheap to get started but the costs will equal out over time (I hope...LOL) so our theory was to get it right to start with. Welcome to the forum. Lotsa good folks and invaluable information right here. This is my "go to" group whenever I have a gardening/food preservation/life (LOL) issue.

kat51415

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  Pepper on 7/24/2012, 3:27 pm

As a first year newbe to gardening and SFG let me say the learning curve for success is steep. It would have been great not to have had to fight the poor soil and everything else at the same time.

Pepper

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Again from Louisiana

Post  Carrot-top on 7/25/2012, 10:51 pm

Wow, Kat51415, I am also from DeRidder! Actually I was raised in the Ozarks in NW Arkansas but transplanted here 20 years ago, so I think of myself as a Cajun, too (although there are those who would argue with that Smile )!
As for the questions that were asked: the compost that I bought at Wal-mart is called Earthgro, it says "organic humus and manure" on a white bag with black letters. I don't plan on using it in my mix because I don't want to take a chance on messing the mix up! I will use it on some of my other plants that need a pick me up Laughing
The other ingredients are vermiculite, ( I was able to buy a 4 cubic foot bag at a local nursery) and peat moss, then for the composts I was able to get Black-kow, chicken, Happy-gro (made from forest products from Lowe's), cotton burr, and the last (one I found at the same nursery) was worm castings. The worm castings were very spendy but from what I have been reading they are well worth the investment. I told my children how excited I was that I had found some and they were like "WHAT are WORM CASTINGS?!? Do we even want to know????" When I told them and they weren't very impressed-go figure!! I tried to explain about how the worms are raised and how they get the castings. They just weren't interested, especially when I said that I was thinking about starting a worm bed, my youngest daughter almost fell out of her chair pale . I think they just need some ENCOURAGEMENT, what do you all think??? LOL!

Carrot-top

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Location : Deep South Louisiana

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  walshevak on 7/26/2012, 4:04 am

I think the kids will eventually get more excited about things if they are encouraged to participate. And a worm bin is very interesting. Ask my son. He wouldn't babysit mine because the 4 YO was so facinated by it.

Be sure to take pictures and post them. We love pictures and it shows you how you have been progressing.

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  toledobend on 7/26/2012, 11:46 am

Carrot-top, if you get up to Many, La, Family Farm and Garden has cotton burr compost, cow manure compost , and something called humus compost. That gets you a few more of the five. It's about 55 miles from you, but in case you are in the area, it's worth checking out. They usually have the 4 cu ft bags of vermiculite in stock though I'd call before I made the trip up here.

toledobend

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  toledobend on 7/26/2012, 11:48 am

Carrot-top Which place did you get the worm castings, was it in Deridder?

toledobend

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

Post  Carrot-top on 7/26/2012, 6:47 pm

I got the cotton burr compost from "Father's Hope" nursery off of 171 just on the south side of town at the city limit sign (it's not on the hwy and is a small place but I can get this and chicken manure compost there. Also, the worm castings and the 4 cubic ft of vermiculite I got from "Country Garden" ~10 miles south on 171 out of DeRidder. I had passed that same shelf where the worm castings were 3-4 times Shocked ( I was meeting someone there so I was just passing time) and I was thrilled! (What can I say, some of us are just slow learners lol! ). When I told her about my lengthy day in Lake Charles trying here and there to get what I could have picked up right there, Rose, the owner's wife, said "Never underestimate Country Garden!", I thought it was very humorous at the time but really they are extremely helpful every time I go there. bounce

Carrot-top

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Where in NW Arkansas?

Post  kat51415 on 8/7/2012, 9:07 pm

Wow, Kat51415, I am also from DeRidder! Actually I was raised in the Ozarks in NW Arkansas but transplanted here 20 years ago

My father's family is from DeRidder, my mom's family is from California. My middle daughter lives in Mena, AR. Is that close to your hometown or are you from the Benton/Fayetteville area? As for the kids, mine helped me get our SFG started. The grandkids had a ball. My son and grandson are out in the garden every morning and every evening, planting, watering and picking. My grandson is 5 yrs old. They just had their first watermelon from the garden this past week.

kat51415

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Location : SE OK

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Hey Kat!

Post  Carrot-top on 8/7/2012, 11:39 pm

I have been through Mena many times when going home to visit in Lincoln, which is directly north of Mena and due west from Fayetteville. Where in SE Ok do you live? I used to live in Stilwell as a child (do I even want to claim that?? LOL!!).
Have been side-tracked lately and haven't been able to get my beds ready to plant. Have been helping with a wedding but now I am back on track! I have the weed barrier down, had to treat all those FIRE ANTS!, have the boxes in place, and have 1 box and part of another filled with MM (I have the stuff but I just have to mix some more to fill the second one) this evening. You wouldn't believe how EXTREMELY DIRTY I got mixing that stuff, and how much fun I had!! I felt like a kid again lol! ! I am pretty much doing this on my own- the square foot gardening idea, my children are just standing back wondering what I am doing Laughing !!. I think that I am going to have some allies with my grandchildren though. They seem to be real interested, have been reading the post about worm towers and am seriously thinking of getting some started ( my grandson, age 2, will really be interested then! Smile ). Wish me luck!

Carrot-top

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Wow, am I behind!

Post  kat51415 on 3/10/2013, 9:04 pm

Sorry I missed your post. We live near Talihina, OK. I hope your boxes turned out well. The drought just about did our garden in but we're back at it this year. All the SFG boxes will be planted in tomatoes this time but not so densely as last year. The plants grew so well we couldn't get to the inside tomatoes to pick them. Watering was also difficult so this year, there will only be like 4-5 tomato plants to a box. We're doing alot of in-ground potatoes and green beans, turnip greens, okra and spinach. Just for the grandkids, we're gonna have a lima bean teepee. We'll have four SFG circles with nothing but strawberries. And, of course, there will be canteloupe, watermelon and some pumpkins. Going to try to get a fall garden in, too, after all the spring and summer crops are done. I just wish I was home more to be able to do more in the garden.

kat51415

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Re: Hello from Louisiana!

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