Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 8:51 pm

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by AtlantaMarie Today at 8:46 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by donnainzone5 Today at 8:35 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by sanderson Today at 8:30 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality Today at 7:21 pm

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by GardenGal Today at 6:38 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver Today at 4:14 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Today at 1:32 pm

» New England, December 2016
by sanderson Today at 12:57 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by sanderson Today at 12:40 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:32 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Today at 10:56 am

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals Today at 10:36 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Kelejan Today at 9:46 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by sanderson Today at 3:39 am

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by sanderson Today at 3:30 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson Today at 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson Today at 2:53 am

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson Today at 2:50 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson Today at 1:28 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson Yesterday at 5:46 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker Yesterday at 5:17 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:14 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 2:59 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:14 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:13 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 12:52 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Big plans for Spring 2013!

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 9/22/2012, 9:44 pm

Hi, all!

DH and I have been working on this project for years (at least we've been talking about it & gathering the materials needed for years), but we were only able to really get going on the plans this summer.

SO...here is where we were at in mid-August:



We've since mulched all around the beds and are waiting on the manure to get delivered so hopefully we'll be ready to plant by next spring--we're so excited! DH is already licking his lips in anticipation of the first crop of radishes.

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  camprn on 9/22/2012, 10:09 pm

Those are wicked nice! you are going to grow so much food you'll have to give some away! after you've canned what you need for winter that is. So excited for you! cheers

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
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

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 9/22/2012, 10:15 pm

Thanks for the compliment, camprn! We're planning on only planting a few of the boxes to start so we can get used to the SFG system, but I imagine even with pacing ourselves that we'll still have plenty of fresh veggies to eat, share and can too!

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  Kelejan on 9/22/2012, 10:59 pm

I just love seeing things from the start. Look forward to seeing the results next year. Very Happy

Kelejan

Female Posts : 4488
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 81
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

View user profile http://www.castlegarinkspot.ca

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  CindiLou on 9/23/2012, 2:59 am

@mollyhespra wrote:We're planning on only planting a few of the boxes to start so we can get used to the SFG system,

Uh oh..famous last words? Empty squares MUST be filled rofl I have definitely had that problem anyway!

Congrats on some great looking boxes!

CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 57
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  Kelejan on 9/23/2012, 5:08 pm

@CindiLou wrote:
@mollyhespra wrote:We're planning on only planting a few of the boxes to start so we can get used to the SFG system,

Uh oh..famous last words? Empty squares MUST be filled rofl I have definitely had that problem anyway!

Congrats on some great looking boxes!

Do you have enough MM to fill all those boxes for this coming spring? If you have, I bet you will fill them all with something. Very Happy

Kelejan

Female Posts : 4488
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 81
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

View user profile http://www.castlegarinkspot.ca

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/24/2012, 5:26 pm

Wow, those are nice. Makes my heart rate increase just looking at the potential! cyclops Can't wait to see those boxes in action!

CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5366
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 9/24/2012, 8:49 pm

Thanks for the compliments, all! Smile

We should have enough MM to fill all the boxes--but unless I'm able to get 2 more sources of manure/compost we may decide to only fill what we think we're going to start with and then as we get more variety in the compost, we'll do the rest. I know that the temptation is going to be there to plant, plant, plant!

Having admitted that, I confess to currently having a strong temptation to head to the box stores to get a variety of manures even if just to fill half of one planter with the compost needed. I'd really like to get some garlic in the ground before it freezes.

I'm still in withdrawal from not having been able to do any veggie planting this year due to the construction of the beds being delayed, but it was a monstrous task. I had to start by relocating all my perennial flower beds since they were unfortunately in the way of the anti-critter fence, THEN wait for the contractors to install the fence, THEN cut the boards (I ended up finding a carpenter who could finish it for me--it was just too much to cut all those boards in my garage), THEN level the ground under each bed before installing the raised planters, etc. I'm still trying to find homes for all my displaced pretties & I'm running out of warm weather. Sad

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  quiltbea on 9/24/2012, 9:14 pm

I congratualate you on a good, sound plan for your garden in spring. Sounds like you've covered all your bases. The best of luck to you both.

quiltbea

Female Posts : 4613
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 9/24/2012, 9:36 pm

thanks quiltbea!

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Garden Update & manure question

Post  mollyhespra on 10/7/2012, 3:53 pm

So this is what our garden looks like as of today:



Notice the still-not-filled-beds? That's because we haven't had a chance to mix these 3 piles of manure...



...with the bags of vermiculite you see lined up next to the fence in the picture above.

Which leads me to a question...the piles above are 2 cow on the left and 1 horse on the right. The pic actually shows the second pile of horse poo we had brought in. The first was absolutely no good--almost looked like they used sand in their stalls, so DH carted the whole thing and used it as fill in the back yard to even out the terrain.

But anyway, this second pile of horsey poo looks well rotted as far as the poo itself goes, but these folks used sawdust, I guess, because it's got TONS of very small bits of wood still visible in it. I'm wondering if we shouldn't try to cook it some more--I'm worried about the wood chips stealing too much nitrogen as they decompose. I was assured the pile is at least 2-3 years old, which I believe. Here's a picture with a maple leaf for size reference & then a close up of the wood chips.





On the other hand, the cow manure looks kinda...dense...like it could use some filler to fluff it up perhaps?...



I know the vermiculite will help with the texture, but remember that we've opted not to use peat, so should we worry about the wood chips in the horse poo or just go for it?

I'd really like to get at least one box filled so I can plant the garlic bulbs I bought...

Oh, and P.S.: I should also add that we've decided to leave the loam that's in the boxes as "bottom fill" for our 10.5" tall beds, so only the top 6-7" will be our modified MM. After reading through the posts in the forum, we're thinking we'll be better off doing it that way than mixing the native loam in with the compost & vermiculite.


Last edited by mollyhespra on 10/7/2012, 4:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added P.S.)

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  walshevak on 10/8/2012, 12:08 pm

Oh, and P.S.: I should also add that we've decided to leave the loam that's in the boxes as "bottom fill" for our 10.5" tall beds, so only the top 6-7" will be our modified MM. After reading through the posts in the forum, we're thinking we'll be better off doing it that way than mixing the native loam in with the compost & vermiculite..

Excellent idea.

As to the wood chip poo, get enough of the least chippy poo and mix up enough for the garlic bed. It needs to get planted now. Maybe add a commercial chicken poo to it. Black Hen and Chickity Doo Doo are two brand names I've seen on the forum. Next spring top dress the garlic bed for extra nutrients. That garlic will have been sucking up nutrients for several months by then.

That compost looks pretty good to me and I would use it, but since you are not planting until spring, mix up the remaining poo and let it sit over the winter just to be sure. Tarp over it to prevent rain from washing away nutrients Be on the lookout for some rotted chicken poo over the winter or use some commercial next spring. Some commercial mushroom compost is usually pretty good too.

I figure you have already started a compost pile of kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper, cardboard boxes, leaves, leafy yard cleanup and such. Coffee grounds from a local coffee shop is good. And you need to think big since you choose not to use peat. Find some fresh cow and horse and chicken to help cook the pile.

But you are right, the garlic needs to go in soon.

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

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4310
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 10/8/2012, 4:36 pm

Thanks for your input, Kay.

So you think the chippy horse manure is OK to use so long as we mix in some chicken poo with it? Is that because chicken manure has high nitrogen content which you're thinking will offset any depletion by the wood chips? So then, is my instinct that the pile of horsey poo needs some more cooking on target?

I tried to find local chicken poo this year, but unfortunately it was all spoken for. I'm on a list with a farmer who says he'll have some in the Spring but it will still be pretty "hot". I don't mind (the neighbors might), but I'll take what I can get. It can always just sit there cookin' until it's ready to use.

thanks again, Kay!

P.S. I forgot to clarify: You're thinking we should go ahead & mix up all the three piles that we have now in the Fall and just leave them there until the Spring? Those piles are pretty big. The camera angle doesn't really do them justice. Each pile is easily 3 cubic yards of poo. We were thinking to just tarp over each as best we could & mix them as we go. The cow manure looks pretty good & done, so the only potential issue is with the chippy horse poo. I'm almost afraid of "messing" up the cow by adding the possibly-not-done-enough horse to it.



Last edited by mollyhespra on 10/8/2012, 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added P.S. & fixed typo)

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  walshevak on 10/8/2012, 7:19 pm

Least chippy poo, commercial chicken and mushroom would be a good base. Leaf humus dug out of a forest area and sifted could be added for an even better blend. I wasn't thinking about the chicken and mushroom as an offset to the nitrogen/chips issue, I just was trying to get you closer to the needed 5 blend. I think Plantoid use leaf humus in his blend.

If the piles are that big, just cover them up for the winter and check back next spring.

Good luck no matter how you proceed.
What ratio of compost to vermiculite have you decided on?

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

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4310
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 10/8/2012, 8:16 pm

@walshevak wrote:
...snip...
As to the wood chip poo, get enough of the least chippy poo and mix up enough for the garlic bed.
...snip...

OH! dangit I think I understand what you mean now. You didn't mean to use the least chippy chunks of the chippy poo, you meant don't use the chippy poo at all & just use the cow poo (which isn't chippy at all) for the garlic beds this year & let the pile of chippy poo rest/cook for another season!

As to the ratio, we originally thought to do 1/3 loam, 1/3 vermiculite & 1/3 blended composts (using the loam instead of the peat) but now it's probably going to be more like 3" loam at the bottom with the remaining 7" made up of 1/3 vermiculite mixed with the remaining 2/3 compost. So in essence, instead of using loam as the peat substitute, we're using compost. We're crossing our fingers that the veggies will do OK in it.

Ilma
(Who thinks that frequent use of the word "poo" is doing something to her brain...)


Last edited by mollyhespra on 10/8/2012, 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info)

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  camprn on 10/9/2012, 7:08 am

Ilma, try chopped composted leaves as a filler ingredient to fluff up the compost in your mix... Pretty soon, we will have plenty of those. Very Happy

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
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

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 10/9/2012, 7:56 am

@camprn wrote:Ilma, try chopped composted leaves as a filler ingredient to fluff up the compost in your mix... Pretty soon, we will have plenty of those. Very Happy

You're right about that, Camp! I've got a co-worker who usually brings me all his leaves, but I'm thinking the more the merrier, so I'm going to spread the word that I'll take all the leaves I can get, LOL!

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  RoOsTeR on 10/9/2012, 9:55 am

Your beds and garden area look great mollyhespra. Looks like you've got a heck of a critter fence going there too! Good catch on the sand. Lot's of people do put sand in their horse stalls. We've got one horse with arthritis, and another with a hock injury so we're thinking of adding sand to our stalls too. When the horses are hurting, the sand is easier on the joints. Also looks like you've got wood shavings galore in your horse manure. Lot's of shavings unfortunately that don't appear to be broken down much. Shavings do take a long time to break down and I've been guilty of using compost that still had some chips that could have decomposed a bit more with no real ill effects. Yours looks to be a bit much though. Embarassed If it was me, I'd start a new heap with that manure adding all your kitchen scrapes, grass clippings, leaves etc. and allow it to compost over the winter. Come spring, you should have some good stuff. With all your efforts, don't skimp now!
Is there a way you could section off one of those beds and purchase some good bagged composts, mix your Mel's and plant your garlic? Maybe it's just me, but I would hate to see you compromise at this point with everything you've done.

____________________________


I am my gardens worst enemy.

RoOsTeR

Forum Administrator

Male Posts : 3879
Join date : 2011-10-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  mollyhespra on 10/9/2012, 11:02 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:
...snip...
Is there a way you could section off one of those beds and purchase some good bagged composts, mix your Mel's and plant your garlic? Maybe it's just me, but I would hate to see you compromise at this point with everything you've done.

That's probably exactly what we'll end up doing. I've just got to figure out how many squares I'll need--so far I need 2 for the elephant garlic plus another 2-3 ish each for 6 kinds of soft/hardneck garlics, so that's up to...about 20 squares! cyclops YIKES! That's the first time I'd calculated that.

I've been resisting the temptation to break apart the heads of garlic I bought to count the cloves inside, so I may be over-estimating (wishful thinking perhaps). I figured I'd wait until we filled some of the beds and then break them apart and then make the decision as to how many to plant, etc.

I don't want what's happened to the elephant garlic cloves I bought to happen to the rest. Those cloves arrived separated from the head and some of the skins have broken off. The skins are very fragile & dried-out. The cloves themselves look mostly OK with the exception of a few that look like this:







Should I be worried that the cloves are diseased? It looks like damage from handling & getting dried up where the skins broke off, but that first pic looks like it may have some fuzzy white stuff growing at the injury site. Fuzzy stuff isn't good. Do you think if I do that pre-soak-that-kills-the-cooties-thing they may be OK to plant? Or should I just not take a chance with this batch? They were purchased from a reputable seller, but I don't want to start fresh only to plant diseased stock.


Last edited by mollyhespra on 10/9/2012, 11:04 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  walshevak on 10/9/2012, 7:13 pm

Call the seller and email pictures to them. There was a garlic disease this year and producers have short supplies.

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

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4310
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Big plans for Spring 2013!

Post  Sponsored content Today at 8:59 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum