Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello from Central Alabama!

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Hello from Central Alabama!

Post  Fox on 12/19/2012, 3:21 pm

Hello everyone!

My sister and I have just decided to start a garden this year after long debating the idea. We both love fresh produce and fruit but we both have spouses that don't prefer their veggies much at all. So we usually have trouble keeping fresh produce on hand as it will spoil before we can use it all. We thought a small garden might encourage both of us to enjoy more fresh produce and we'd love to have garden-fresh, tastier, healthier products. My 5 year old should enjoy learning about where her food comes from as well!

We are located in Central Alabama, and fortunately live just 3 miles apart, so we're going to make a communal garden in my sister's back yard. I'm going to keep the herb containers on my end since I have experience with herbs and probably tend a cherry tomato plant. We found the All New Square Foot Gardening book and started reading and we are really in love with the ideas so far. (I still have a lot of reading to do! She reads faster than me! But we're in planning stages on our garden. It's kinda our holiday gift to each other, working on this together this year!)

A little about us...
We're a pair of computer junkies who need to get out and about more. Not gonna lie! We are not used to gardening or other things that make us go outside. We are trying to make some lifestyle changes that will get both of us more active, and one of our hopes is that needing to tend a garden will help us both to get out of the house a bit more this year. We're aiming for balance in all things so we're starting small. We were thinking 2 SFG containers at her house and a smaller set of containers at my house for Herbs because I have less space and we don't really need 16 sq feet of herbs. I think this is a modest enough idea. I've grown herbs before so this is not a new thing for me. Vegetables however kinda are. Haven't done that since I was a kid and my grandparents kept a garden!

So we'll probably be looking for a bit of advice and information here and there. I'd stumbled upon this forum looking for blended compost prices and had no idea it was here before this!

I guess if anyone has any advice to a couple of total newbs, we'd appreciate it! We're in Zone 7b and we'd like to get the longest growing season possible out of our gardening, so we're planning and preparing now. I'm probably going to sew a few garlic bulbs in the next day or two and let them get set up for planting in the Spring. Beyond that, we're looking for the materials and seeds we need right now. We've run into the issue of having way too many options for seed stores! There are so many of them! We'd like some good healthy seeds, even some heirlooms, but if anyone has a good online seed supplier they want to share, please go ahead!

Good to meet you all, thanks for having us!

Fox and Cat
(Well that's what everyone calls us around here, anyway!)

Posts : 13
Join date : 2012-12-19
Location : Central Alabama, Zone 7b

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Re: Hello from Central Alabama!

Post  happyfrog on 12/19/2012, 3:36 pm


so exciting!!!

your child is gonna have such fun! all of my kids caught on young to fresh produce. gotta warn you, you might have to cut out giant size 'bug' holes (aka child bite, lol) from green peppers, etc. my children are notorious for wanting a quick bite so they'd literally bite a hole into the green peppers, lol. i figure they're eating fresh veg so it's all good. i just treat the hole like a 'real' bug spot. cut around it and all is good.

as for garlic, i'm actually zone 5, and i planted my garlic in october. so i'd think you'd want to get your garlic in the ground now.

i harvest mine in june or july- usually when i notice how the top is brown on the scapes (and honestly, mostly because i need the squares for more peppers and tomatoes, *grin*)

garlic is the easiest thing EVER to plant. i love the smell of garlic.

so glad to have you here on the forum.

ps not sure how many containers is good. we actually choose to grow carrots in mel's mix in 5 gallon buckets (we get them free from local grocery store bakery department) - drill holes in bottom. works well to have really long straight carrots. and fun for the kids - they drag those buckets all over the backyard - my youngest talks to 'her' carrot bucket and nibbles the green tops often.


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Re: Hello from Central Alabama!

Post  quiltbea on 12/19/2012, 3:43 pm

Hey, Fox and sister Cat, welcome to the forum. I can't help you with your location numbers since I'm in the great Northeast, but I know there are many here than can and if you have specific questions, someone will surely have an answer or two.
Would love to see pics of your two separate gardens as you get going. We love pictures.
Get thee to a library and take out some gardening books, like Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening and any pertaining to growing in the south.
I think you are wise to start small so you don't get overwhelmed. Plant what you like best to eat. If you can't start seeds indoors early, buy plants from the big box stores or a local nursery. It makes it simpler for beginners.
Happily gardening will get you out of the house and away from all that techy stuff for a few hours a week. Great exercise, too.
There's a thead here about favorite seed catalogs that might help you. Enter the words in the search engine upper left. For southerners, there's Southern Exposure Seed Exchange that will carry many crops that feature well in your area.
There's also a seed exchange thread you can find on the main forum page. We often send out a few seeds to those just starting out for the asking.
Good luck and Enjoy.

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Age : 75
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

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Re: Hello from Central Alabama!

Post  Fox on 12/19/2012, 4:35 pm

Well thank you for the warm welcome everyone!

I really appreciate all the friendliness and help.
We really are new at this, with limited plant-growing experience each but we're fast learners, and we really wanna give it a good go.
We just don't want to overwhelm ourselves, so season 1, we're going to start small.

I tried to find that seed exchange thread you mentioned, but I am not sure which one it is. Can you link it to me please?
There seemed to be a whole forum about seed exchange, but I'm not sure which one I'd say hi in to hope for getting involved in seed exchanges.

I'll search for those other things you mentioned. Thanks again.

Posts : 13
Join date : 2012-12-19
Location : Central Alabama, Zone 7b

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Re: Hello from Central Alabama!

Post  camprn on 12/19/2012, 4:55 pm

Welcome to the SFG Forum. Being computer savvy you should be able to do search for any questions you may have, and most likely find an answer in the back threads. Use the search feature at the bottom of the 'Latest Topics' list on the left; that's the one that actually searches the SFG Forum.

That being said, if you cannot find an answer to your question, go ahead and ask.
As to the seed exchange sub forum, go ahead and post if you are ISO (in search of) of HA (have available) for trade.
Also, the old farmer's almanac has a good tool on what to plant when in your area.


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

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



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Female Posts : 14167
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

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Re: Hello from Central Alabama!

Post  Pepper on 12/22/2012, 5:35 pm

glad you\'re here Fox and Cat I live not far from yall in Columbus Ga. This was my first year gardening; oh I had helped my wife by ground preping the old way. I got the new SFG book and had a fair first year, the learning curve is sometimes daunting( the bugs are the worst). My biggest mistake was to try to over produce each item. I did find this mother earth link to tell you what to plant and when: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/What-To-Plant-Now.aspx

Any way I have documented most of what I did my first year feel free to 'track' my garden as it developed. I will be posting todays pictures this evening to "bump"(bring back to the top) it back into the list on the left.

Good luck to yall!!!!! we LOVE pictures

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Re: Hello from Central Alabama!

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