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New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 8/22/2012, 10:47 pm

Hi Everyone,
I am new. My name is Kathie, but my knickname is Pookie (I'll answer to anything, just don't call me late for dinner LOL)
I just moved into Philadelphia, still haven't gotten everything into the little house, but was working on chopping down the forest of weeds Shocked affraid Sad in my back yard (very small), and was thinking, "gee, this would be good for a raised garden". When I got back to the place I am moving from, I got on the computer and started looking. I found this site Very Happy . I am hoping to be able to learn some things, and make a few friends.
Some info about me: I am a widow, I have an adult daughter that lives with me, and we have 2 crazy loveable dogs. I love flowers and veggies, but hate the hours it takes to tend to a large in the ground garden. We are moving from a large place, that I can no longer afford, in New Jersey, to a little house with a small yard, in Philadelphia. Since I am renting, I cannot really tear the yard up (although it could use it, since it is mostly weeds right now), so in order to have something nice, I think square foot gardening for flowers and vegetables is the way to go.
Thank you in advance for being here.
Pookie
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Re: New here tonight

Post  GWN on 8/22/2012, 11:49 pm

wow glad you\'re here
Your situation sounds PERFECT for Square foot gardening.
This is really a very fun site with a lot of support for getting started as well as questions along the way.
Let us know where you are at with it and we can give you TONS of information.

Janet
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Re: New here tonight

Post  cheyannarach on 8/22/2012, 11:53 pm

Welcome to the forum! I highly recommend you get the All New Square Foot Gardening book to get you started with your raised beds! And you're right raised beds are the way to go, so much less work and bonus, if you move you can take your boxes filled with Mel's mix with you! You could always talk to your landlord about trading work/rent and see if you can tear up the yard if you want too!
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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 8/23/2012, 12:00 am

Hi Janet, and Cheyannarach:
Thanks for the welcome. Right now I am in the thinking of planning something stages. Have so much other stuff to do first Sad I wish I could just forget everything else and start in with gardening.

I'm a little on the broke side (okay, A LOT on the broke side....most of my money went for rent, security, etc to move in.), so I'm not up to buying kits. Is it possible to build a small raised bed? What kind of things would I need?

I did trade some work time (that's why I'm chopping down the weeds), in return for a little bit off of the rent. Its a property management company, so I don't know if they would go for anything more. But the yard was atrocious when we went to sign the lease (no one has mowed in a very long time). Its a cute yard, fenced in on each side, and a stone/rock section at the end of the wall. Big enough for my grill, a table and a couple of chairs, a small raised bed garden and my 2 fur children. At least I don't need a tractor to mow it LOL!

Kathie


@GWN wrote:wow glad you\'re here
Your situation sounds PERFECT for Square foot gardening.
This is really a very fun site with a lot of support for getting started as well as questions along the way.
Let us know where you are at with it and we can give you TONS of information.

Janet
[i]
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Re: New here tonight

Post  cheyannarach on 8/23/2012, 12:16 am

I (and hubby) built all of our boxes out of wood from an old deck! If you know any construction people it's pretty easy to get scrap lumber for free! And for your Mel's mix (I am not sure when/if you can garden in the winter) but if you plan on starting next spring it will give you plenty of time to round up different sources of compost, get creative and find horse farms, cow, sheep, llama, rabbit, chicken and see if they compost the poo (you can use llama and rabbit uncomposted too) you can usually find places like this farms/trailrides that will give it to you for little to nothing as long as you haul it. Then you could by a bags of peat moss and vermiculite as you cn afford it throughout the winter and just stockpile it until the spring! Hope this helps, I am always on the broke side so I love a good bargain! Very Happy

Oh I almost forgot, start a compost pile now!!!! It's free!!!
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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 8/23/2012, 1:11 am

Oh wow, do I know how that being broke all the time is....not fun! (When my husband was alive, we always had money, but he spent it just as fast as it came in.) One of the reasons I moved. I don't know about gardening in the winter, it might be able to be done in a raised bed and keep it covered. We do get snow (yuck!!!!).
Don't know any construction people any more, but there are some areas near me that look like they might have some lumber laying around. Next time I'm out, I will ask. Can you compost in a trash can? I don't know about having a compost heap in the yard, management company mightn't like that. I have the lease for a year, we shall see how it goes. I love the little house, so so on the neighborhood at least until I get to know some of the people. That's why I like my little fenced in yard, its fairly private, and I don't have to worry about too much back there unless they climb over the tall fence. LOL! I will post pictures if I'm able to here, so you can see it, but that's going to have to wait until I can find my camera LOL!
Have a good night all. Gotta get to bed early...have a very long day filled with not fun things tomorrow.
Kathie


@cheyannarach wrote: I (and hubby) built all of our boxes out of wood from an old deck! If you know any construction people it's pretty easy to get scrap lumber for free! And for your Mel's mix (I am not sure when/if you can garden in the winter) but if you plan on starting next spring it will give you plenty of time to round up different sources of compost, get creative and find horse farms, cow, sheep, llama, rabbit, chicken and see if they compost the poo (you can use llama and rabbit uncomposted too) you can usually find places like this farms/trailrides that will give it to you for little to nothing as long as you haul it. Then you could by a bags of peat moss and vermiculite as you cn afford it throughout the winter and just stockpile it until the spring! Hope this helps, I am always on the broke side so I love a good bargain! Very Happy

Oh I almost forgot, start a compost pile now!!!! It's free!!!
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Re: New here tonight

Post  Kelejan on 8/23/2012, 1:36 am

Welcome Pookie with your daughter and two fur-babies. You are so lucky to be able to rent with two pets.
Many of us appreciate having to garden on the cheap, e.g. I have started a worm farm with worms gleaned from my compost tumbler. It is surprising what some of us have come up with to make do.
Look forward to seeing how you do. Keep reading here, there is so much information and good advice available. Best advice is concentrate on building a compost heap as compost is the ehart of SFGing along with the peat an vermiculate. happy hi
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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 8/23/2012, 1:54 am

Hi Kelejan!
Your post made me smile Very Happy It wasn't easy to get them to agree, had to put a hefty pet deposit down. Also have to find new homes for my two cats, but even though it breaks my heart, it is for the best. Its just too much for me to handle these days. But my dogs have to go with me. They keep me sane, even while they drive me crazy. My oldest dog just had a stroke, so I couldn't leave her, and she is always by my side.
The worm farm sounds neat. I remember having to find earth worms for a science teacher's garden many years ago. Got an "A" in his class.
It is amazing what you can do when you have to. I want to be able to have some veggies for spring and summer, as produce in this area (Greater Philadelphia area), is not cheap. And sadly, so much of it goes bad before you can use it up. Plus I don't like the chemicals that are sprayed on things, and the waxy icky stuff they put on veggies to keep them from bruising just makes me sick. If I wanted to eat wax, I'd go cook a candle!
I am sure that I will find many good things here, along with a lot of helpful information. If I'm not on for a few days, I am kind of busy this week, trying to get things sorted here and over at the little house, so I beg forgiveness now. There will be a time when I will be here a lot.
Pookie happy hi thanks



@Kelejan wrote:Welcome Pookie with your daughter and two fur-babies. You are so lucky to be able to rent with two pets.
Many of us appreciate having to garden on the cheap, e.g. I have started a worm farm with worms gleaned from my compost tumbler. It is surprising what some of us have come up with to make do.
Look forward to seeing how you do. Keep reading here, there is so much information and good advice available. Best advice is concentrate on building a compost heap as compost is the ehart of SFGing along with the peat an vermiculate. happy hi
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Re: New here tonight

Post  camprn on 8/23/2012, 7:27 am

Hey Pookie, Welcome to the Forum. I started small on a very tight budget. I am usually pretty good at scrounging stuff but in the end I went to the big orange box store and just bought simple pine planks. I picked out two 2x8x8foot boards and the store employee cut them in half for me. After that all you need is a drill and a few deck screws. If you don't want to buy the weed barrier just use some cardboard from your moving boxes in the bottom of the garden boxes. This may be a good time of year to get a deal on the sphagnum peat moss. If you get to the garden center, ask them about any damaged bags they are willing to sell for less money.

Check the vermiculite database for possible sources near your new home. This is a data base built by the members here so it is not all inclusive and if you find the vermiculite elsewhere you can add that info.

Good luck with the move.

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Re: New here tonight

Post  GWN on 8/23/2012, 10:26 am

Also check out used building material stores, usually bits of lumber is very cheap there, ... say from old decks etc
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Re: New here tonight

Post  Treefrog on 8/23/2012, 11:54 am

Welcome to the forum Pookie! Hope you and your daughter get settled in ok and get your SFG built.
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Re: New here tonight

Post  Goosegirl on 8/23/2012, 11:55 am

@pookie22 wrote: Can you compost in a trash can? I don't know about having a compost heap in the yard, management company mightn't like that.

You absolutely can! (no pun intended) To keep it from being slimy and STINKY you need to make sure that it gets air. Get a plastic can, cut the bottom out, and drill holes all over the sides and in the lid. I used a 1/4" drill bit and it was so fast - like a hot knife through butter. Put the cut off end right on the ground (you can even dig a hole a few inches deep, set the can in, and load the dirt back into the inside of the bottomless can to give it a bit of stability in the wind). Then you are set! You get air through the holes, some rain/moisture through the holes in the lid, and earthworm access through the bottom so the local wormies can do their compost miracles.

GG
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Re: New here tonight

Post  walshevak on 8/23/2012, 6:58 pm

Welcome!!! I started reading the ALL NEW SQUAREFOOT GARDENING BOOK in Nov 2010 and built my first beds in the early spring of 2011. I haunted the forum all that winter getting ideas and gradually collecting the compost, vermiculite and peat needed.

On the issue of using garbage cans for compost, I have 2 of these cans going. They were the first composting containers I had. I now have 2 piles, the 2 cans and a worm bin going.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4557-18-compost-bin
Easy for this old lady to make and handle.

You are in a great position to get compost going right now. A lot of that vegetation you are chopping down will make a good start for you compost pile/can. Also all the packing material you have been using. A haul of coffee grounds from a local Starbucks will get it cooking. I use the compost created to top off beds. I had to purchase compost to start my beds.

If the landlord doesn't want you to dig up tear out what is there, consider tabletops. Also easier on the back and knees. Search the forum for tabletops or TT. There are several threads on building or just putting up on cinderblocks like I did. (I'm a bit construction challenged)

Kay



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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 8/26/2012, 8:21 pm

Hi Everyone,
Gee, I feel so welcome, y'all are so nice. I have an old trash can with a lid that I actually was going to throw away (how do you throw away a trash can...think about it, the garbage men never take them lol), but I will be taking it over to the little house next week to make my compost heap. I have a couple of those green trash bags full of stuff that I've cut down, so I'll put that in there and coffee grounds are abundant in my house (I go through lots of coffee LOL! You could say I am a coffeeholic)
Thank you all for some great suggestions. Have been trying to get caught up on everything, plus waiting for the landlord to deliver my icebox (refrigerator to most folks, but I grew up calling it an ice box, so to me it is, although there is no ice involved unless I make it).
I'm hoping to be able to post pictures soon. I took some just after I started weed whacking, now have to figure out how to get them here from my computer (think I did, now to find them). I have one corner in the back that is rocks, and I have an old wheel barrow I am going to put Hens & Chickens in in that corner, and maybe a small border fence to keep my fur children away from that corner, since there is a small gap between fence post and stone wall behind it. Don't want to have the babies exploring the neighborhood without me!
I hope everyone is having a good weekend.
Kathie
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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 8/26/2012, 8:30 pm

The three pictures of the backyard are in Pookie22's album. Have a look! Very Happy
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Re: New here tonight

Post  Goosegirl on 8/26/2012, 8:55 pm

@pookie22 wrote:The three pictures of the backyard are in Pookie22's album. Have a look! Very Happy

You have done lots of work with those weeds. Love that big stone wall!

GG
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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 8/26/2012, 8:59 pm

What was done took me about 8 hours spread over a couple of days. But it will be worth it in the end. I have learned, having fibromyalgia, that I truly need to pace myself, that is why it has taken so long. Going back over tomorrow with some stuff for the house, and while the laundry is going, I will be whacking more weeds.
The stone wall in the back goes all the way up to the back yards on the street behind me. Some of the streets are kind of steep LOL!
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Re: New here tonight

Post  gregrenee88 on 8/27/2012, 1:25 pm

Hello Kathie,
Welcome! You will find great information & very nice fellow gardeners here. If you have any type of question, ask...someone will know. Smile
When you have the chance, browse through the site. You are located in the Mid-Atlantic region, just as I am. Sometimes fellow SFGers from our region will post stuff particular to our area. So, if you see a post for Mid-Atlantic...check it out.

Renee flower
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Re: New here tonight

Post  Daniel9999 on 8/30/2012, 10:22 pm

You can pick up to 30 gallons of free compost from Fairmount Park Organic Recycling center.

http://www.fairmountpark.org/recyclingcenter_citizen.asp

The compost they are giving away is safe for gardening, contains no sewage sludge, and has been tested for anything nasty.

http://www.fairmountpark.org/pdf/Compost_Analysis_Report.pdf

A good free source of compost might help you control costs a bit...
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Re: New here tonight

Post  southern gardener on 8/31/2012, 12:21 am

@Daniel9999 wrote:You can pick up to 30 gallons of free compost from Fairmount Park Organic Recycling center.

http://www.fairmountpark.org/recyclingcenter_citizen.asp

The compost they are giving away is safe for gardening, contains no sewage sludge, and has been tested for anything nasty.

http://www.fairmountpark.org/pdf/Compost_Analysis_Report.pdf



A good free source of compost might help you control costs a bit...

That is really great that they test the compost they are giving/selling. I wonder sometimes if the "city compost" isn't tested, and herbicides end up in the compost and compromise the mix we use in our gardens? Kudos to them!! cheers cheers
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Re: New here tonight

Post  floyd1440 on 9/1/2012, 6:48 am

@gregrenee88 wrote:Hello Kathie,
Welcome! You will find great information & very nice fellow gardeners here. If you have any type of question, ask...someone will know. Smile
When you have the chance, browse through the site. You are located in the Mid-Atlantic region, just as I am. Sometimes fellow SFGers from our region will post stuff particular to our area. So, if you see a post for Mid-Atlantic...check it out.

Renee flower

First great to have you on this board Kathie and I agree with Renee. I am fairly new to SFGing and had LOTS of questions that many on this forum answered to help me along; and it helped greatly!!!
Also form the Mid Atlantic and may share the same problems that you have currently and going forward.

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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 9/7/2012, 3:04 am

Thank you Daniel9999 and Gregrenee88 so much on the information about the compost. I actually was looking for the place the other day, but had run out of time and didn't find it. I will be over there later today, so maybe I will get a chance to check it out. I have a garbage can (green kind with lid), that I need to take over there, as I have finished pulling all the weeds, and have almost three 30 gallon trash bags full! Oh my aching back LOL!
I apologize for not getting in here last week, I have been so busy with little house (Phila), the place I am moving out of, and a thing I am trying to take care of for my daughter. Once I get more things moved over there (oh how I wish I had a truck and a few strong people LOL), I will be able to visit on here more often.
Kathie
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Re: New here tonight

Post  gregrenee88 on 9/7/2012, 3:32 pm

We'll all be here!
Renee sunny
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Don't be afraid to use smaller boxes/beds

Post  Jerry Nielsen on 9/8/2012, 11:03 am

Kathie,

I suspect many of us started out with 4' X 4' beds. It seems so simple to do so. But if you think about it, we call it SQUARE FOOT GARDENING for a reason. We plan and plant our seeds and starts in a 1' square grid.

If the lumber you can find or afford is smaller, build smaller boxes. I have even used flat containers that are close to a 1' or 2' square for planters.

Mel talks about window boxes in his book. With your fibromyalgia, you may want smaller beds you can move or reach more easily.

Just make sure you put your Mel's mix in whatever bed/container you use, plant in the appropriately spaced grid, and go from there.

You got some great tips on composting, so check the vermiculite database, build your mix and go, girl, go! cheers

Jerry Nielsen
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Re: New here tonight

Post  pookie22 on 9/8/2012, 11:14 pm

Thank you all! Yeah, I'm thinking small or smaller boxes, since the yard is small, and I have 2 dogs that are going to be using the yard also. The fibro has been kicking me this week, with all the humidity here.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend.
Kathie
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Re: New here tonight

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