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I want to start but dont know where to begin.

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I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  bigluelok on 9/7/2012, 6:11 pm

sorry if this is the wrong place to post this mods can move it.

Alright I am really looking forward to starting a SFG but I don't know where to start. I would like to start my first SFG as soon as possible but don't know what to plant or how many I can put in 1 Square Foot.
I would like to start of with a 4x4x6. I know I can make my own bed. I know i can get some Mels Mix to start. I am just confused on the planting part of this whole thing i have never planted anything before.

all help is welcome. I live in ALtadena, CA zip code is 91001 if that helps any.

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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  plantoid on 9/7/2012, 6:36 pm

Welcome to the site.
Judging from your post you seem to have an understanding of the terminology used . Do you have the All New Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew 2006 edition ? It is the guide line for our style of square foot gardening

Logically you'll need to start organising a raised bed and the materials to put in it.

Sometimes people are a wee bit to eager and jump in with both feet before understanding the importance of a well balanced compost made from quality materials and as a result end up with an inferior filling for the beds which is very demoralizing for them when things don't grow as exp[ected. .

In Mel's book he tells about the siting of the bed and how to make the soilless growth medium we use called Mel's mix ( MM ) the book also holds loads of useful information like first and last frost dates and seed sowing/cropping using that information to get the best times to do things in your area.

I'm from the Great Britain / UK so much of what Ii do will not be applicable to square foot gardning in you locality .
Hopefuly someone will come online soon and help you out more.


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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  Lindacol on 9/7/2012, 6:50 pm



Do you have the All New Square Foot Gardening book? If not, get it or check it out from the library. Most of your questions are answered in it.

Search this forum. There are lots of discussions and info here. Also look at our local part:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/f14-southern-california-inland-valleys

Our moderator for so CA has been very good about listing what can be planted each month. You can look thru recomendations for each month for the last year and that will give you some ideas.

I am about 60 miles west of you in SW San Bernardino county. I am just now starting lettuce seeds and plan on starting some brococoli, carrots, beans, maybe some garlic soon. I have tomatoes, corn, carrots, squash, beans, bell & gypsy peppers and sweet potatoes in the garden right now. Plus maybe a few things I forgot.

We have a very long growing season. I can grow all year with nearly no protection.
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  camprn on 9/7/2012, 7:18 pm

Firstly, get the BOOK!

glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum! Use the search feature at the bottom of the 'Latest Topics list for anything specific. there are a lot of threads and a lot of info already here. Enjoy!

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  CharlesB on 9/7/2012, 7:35 pm

You want to plant seeds or buy starts?
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  Jerry Nielsen on 9/7/2012, 8:05 pm

bigluelok,

I'm in Pasadena, so it would be my pleasure to help you think through what you might plant. If you feel safe doing so, send me a private message and suggest a place we could meet over a cup of coffee or tea and we can talk about what you might plant.

Here's a post by Chopper, our Southern California Inland Valleys regional forum host, about what you might plant around here in September.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t13782-september-in-so-cal-transition-monthhttp://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t13782-september-in-so-cal-transition-month

I'm just completing my online certification to be an SFG Certified Instructor, so you can be my first official student.

Seriously, it would be my pleasure to help.

Jerry Nielsen

To send a private message, just click on the little square symbol below my picture that has a little man and the letters PM. That will take you to the private message page. Type in a subject and your message and click the send button. I hope to hear from you soon.
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  walshevak on 9/7/2012, 10:41 pm

Yea for new instructors. Good for you

Kay

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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  Unmutual on 9/8/2012, 8:31 am

bigluelok wrote:sorry if this is the wrong place to post this mods can move it.

Alright I am really looking forward to starting a SFG but I don't know where to start. I would like to start my first SFG as soon as possible but don't know what to plant or how many I can put in 1 Square Foot.
I would like to start of with a 4x4x6. I know I can make my own bed. I know i can get some Mels Mix to start. I am just confused on the planting part of this whole thing i have never planted anything before.

all help is welcome. I live in ALtadena, CA zip code is 91001 if that helps any.

Your local Cooperative Extension (County) Agent is a great place to start when you want to find out planting dates and what cultivars grow well in your area. If you know any Master Gardeners, you can ask them too. I'd have found you a link, but my internet is still suffering from Isaac.

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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  llama momma on 9/8/2012, 9:02 am

bigluelok -

Everything you need to get results is in the book which this forum supports, All New Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew.
Like you I wanted to start a sf garden but I got the book, didn't know about the forum, still had successful results right away. Now, more than two years later the book is still a source of reference for planting times and more.
Enjoy and welcome to the forum.
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  darci.strutt on 9/8/2012, 10:25 am

With a new teacher, that happens to live close to you, willing to help and all these great people to give you support you are well on your way to great fresh food. The one thing I'd add is to grab your camera and start snapping a photo diary of your progress. Seriously! Experience is a wonderful teacher, and photo's and notes are much better than memory alone. Have fun on the journey! Hope you share your progress here.
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  bigluelok on 9/10/2012, 1:21 pm

yes i will be sending Jerry Nielson a pm soon to set up a day we can talk about getting me started. Very Happy I will be checking out the book from the library then will be buying it after i get everything started.\

also i would like to thank everyone for the welcome and for all the helpful info

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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  bigluelok on 9/10/2012, 1:24 pm

CharlesB wrote:You want to plant seeds or buy starts?
either would be fine for me to start. I know starting seeds would be more difficult than just using starters. so i think for the first plants i would use starters then i would use seeds if/when all goes good.

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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  funfoodie on 9/10/2012, 6:29 pm

I'm just about to get started too. I'm having difficulty locating all the materials for Mel's Mix. I've checked out Home Depot, Lowes and OSH. None of the ones near me have Mel's Mix nor 5 different types of compost. I don't live far from Altadena. Which stores near you have Mel's Mix or the ingredients for Mel's Mix?
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Sources of compost mixes for Pasadena/Altadena area.

Post  Jerry Nielsen on 9/10/2012, 7:54 pm

I have been able over time to find a variety of compost mixes shopping at a combination of stores in the area.

I've always gotten my vermiculite at the OSH on South Fair Oaks just before the Pasadena Freeway.

Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH)
452 Fair Oaks Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(626) 403-8115 (Never hurts to call ahead.)

I've gotten compost mixes at OSH in Pasadena on Colorado Blvd.

Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH)
3425 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena
(626) 395-7115

And at . . .

Home Depot, Monrovia.
1625 South Mountain Avenue
Monrovia, CA
(626) 256-0580

I've always been able to put together five or more different composts. ALWAYS check the ingredients on the bag to make sure that it isn't "fortified" or that it doesn't contain herbicides or pesticides.

You should also be looking for different types of raw materials used as the source material for the compost.

I nice big blue tarp is the ideal way to make up what you need for a good portion of Mel's Mix. Having said that, get your compost pile started NOW! It should be the ongoing source of compost for future additions to your boxes.

BTW, the City of Pasadena sells plastic compost bins for $50.00. They will even deliver them to your house. I have never bought one, but they look pretty good.

Check it out at this link: http://www.cityofpasadena.net/PublicWorks/Ordering_Compost_Bins/

If that's too great an expense, by all means just use a trash can or 10 to 15 feet of hardware cloth. It doesn't have to be fancy. After all, we're SFG gardeners, and we believe, "Simplify, simplify, simplify!" Laughing

Happy gardening! Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Jerry
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  RoOsTeR on 9/10/2012, 8:01 pm

Great advice Jerry! Cool

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living in another country

Post  decorpe on 9/10/2012, 8:50 pm

hi
I live in REp of Panama Central America
we have a tropical climate and here almost all things grow very well
I bought Mel´s book in MIami in 2009
I´m retired now so I have enough time for this and to do it well.

I am reading the posts for the SFG table and I am going this way
I found already a technic in agriculture from our goverment and Thank   he wants to help me.

I promise I am going to post here all my experience because I want to teach SFG in my country. Of course I need all the help all of you can give to me, so please DON´T LEVE ALONE

thanks
Dolores from Panama










I
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  plantoid on 9/11/2012, 6:07 am

Welcome to the site .
May I suggest you get a mixed material compost heap going as soon as possible made from from vegetation , straws and animal manures .... try to keep wood & really woody plant products to a minimum as they rob the compost of nitrogen whilst they are decaying , which can take several years before they become useful compost.
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  Goosegirl on 9/11/2012, 7:55 am

welcome

What is your climate? Are you in the mountains or lower (hotter) elevation? I visited friends in Volcan in May! Drove from Panama City through the length of the country to Volcan. GORGEOUS! Saw plants and trees I can only dream about here in South Dakota, USA.

GG
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  gregrenee88 on 9/11/2012, 12:12 pm

Hello!
You've come to the right place for help! My husband and I are just completing our first year doing SFG and really enjoy it. We all look forward to see how your garden grows once it get's going.
Renee
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in Panama

Post  decorpe on 9/11/2012, 9:18 pm

hi
thanks for your quick answer
I live in Santiago, province of Veraguas
the climate here is very humid and very hot
right now is rainy season and the thermometer marks 34°C in the afternoon and then begins to rain, so in the night its 25°C,
it is a very large temperature shift
but i will live with this to see my plants grow

glad to know about all of you

Dolores
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  Daniel9999 on 9/11/2012, 10:35 pm

Goosegirl wrote: welcome

What is your climate? Are you in the mountains or lower (hotter) elevation? I visited friends in Volcan in May! Drove from Panama City through the length of the country to Volcan. GORGEOUS! Saw plants and trees I can only dream about here in South Dakota, USA.

GG

I would love to be able to grow my own vanilla.....I envy decorpe too.
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  Goosegirl on 9/11/2012, 11:25 pm

We drove right through Santiago on our way to David from Panama City on the Pan Am. From David we left the Pan Am and went up into the mountains to Volcan. Such a beautiful country! Wish you the best with your SFG's!

GG
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choosing plants

Post  decorpe on 9/14/2012, 9:10 pm

hi
following SFG instructions I began with a wish list
but I want to know wich plant may be next to other
sorry if my english is not good......
the list:
garlic, celery, onion, broccoli, kidney bean, bean, lettuce,
yam, potato, cucumber, tomato, radish, carrot, pumpkin,
oregano, chives, basil, peppermint, mint, rosmery,
parsley, thyme, vetiver,
cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberry, , passion fruit, corn
marigolds

it appear to me that I want only a little list.............
of course this wish list will be planted little by little in six months I think

remember that I live in a tropical country
your advice please...
thanks
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  Goosegirl on 9/14/2012, 9:31 pm

decorpe wrote:hi
following SFG instructions I began with a wish list
but I want to know wich plant may be next to other
sorry if my english is not good......
the list:
garlic, celery, onion, broccoli, kidney bean, bean, lettuce,
yam, potato, cucumber, tomato, radish, carrot, pumpkin,
oregano, chives, basil, peppermint, mint, rosmery,
parsley, thyme, vetiver,
cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberry, , passion fruit, corn
marigolds

it appear to me that I want only a little list.............
of course this wish list will be planted little by little in six months I think

remember that I live in a tropical country
your advice please...
thanks

You will probably need to divide your list into 'cool weather' and 'hot weather' crops. Your broccoli, lettuce, radishes, and carrots will do better if planted in your cooler season, or planted in the shade of your hotter weather crops. Carrots and tomatoes get along very nicely, so if you plant your carrots where they will get some shade from the tomatoes they will be very happy. Basil plays nicely with just about everything. I envy your climate where you can have rosemary all year long! The mints will be very invasive, so it is wise to put them in their own containers or boxes where they cannot crowd out and kill whatever is planted next to them. Marigolds are good just about anywhere in the garden. Your vines (cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, etc.) can be trellised to save space, or can be planted with the corn to keep critters out - lots of 4-legged pests do not like walking through the sprawling vines.

Someone else please jump in with more suggestions!

GG
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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

Post  walshevak on 9/14/2012, 9:36 pm

decorpe wrote:hi
following SFG instructions I began with a wish list
but I want to know wich plant may be next to other
sorry if my english is not good......
the list:
garlic, celery, onion, broccoli, kidney bean, bean, lettuce,
yam, potato, cucumber, tomato, radish, carrot, pumpkin,
oregano, chives, basil, peppermint, mint, rosmery,
parsley, thyme, vetiver,
cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberry, , passion fruit, corn
marigolds

it appear to me that I want only a little list.............
of course this wish list will be planted little by little in six months I think

remember that I live in a tropical country
your advice please...
thanks

Your English is a lot better than my Spanish and you are doing extremely well.
Heat may be a problem for celery, broccoli and lettuce. The rest are warm weather crops and will probably do well. I do have one suggestion, put the mints in separate pots. They are very invasive and will take over everthing. I hope some of our gardners from the tropical zones will step in with their successes.

Kay

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Re: I want to start but dont know where to begin.

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