Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello all, from north Texas

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Hello all, from north Texas

Post  Kida on 1/4/2013, 12:31 am

Hi everybody, my name is Stephanie and I have a black thumb.

I come from a long line of black thumbs and I desparately want to break the curse. I'm thankfully good with animals, so I've focused thus far on growing my family's (me, hubby, 2yr old girl, & twin 10 month old boys) food that way; we have chickens for eggs, rabbits for meat, and goats for milk (and occasionally meat). I decided it was time to take the plunge and give gardening another go. My GFIL's best friend is a master gardener and has offered quite a bit of hand holding (in exchange for goat, chicken and rabbit poop when he comes to visit lol) to try to avoid the usual mass slaughter of vegetation, and he suggested square foot gardening as a way to have fewer variables for me to mess up Embarassed Construction begins this weekend on my two beds, 4'x4'x~6" each and made from cedar.

I do have one initial question though, how to I figure out how much of each compost type I need? For instance bat guano comes by the pound and I know how many quarts by dry measure I need and how many cubic feet I need, but I've no idea how to convert to pounds.
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Kida

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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  Triciasgarden on 1/4/2013, 1:30 am

Welcome Kida! welcome Your animal farming and young children seems quite similar to a young lady in my church! She lives here in Utah though. She was not experienced when she started raising her animals but can skin a rabbit quite quick now! She is also about to start gardening, lol! She has four children but she does not have a set of 10 month old twin boys! Your kids will learn so much and you will have loads of fun teaching them, when you aren't spending your time keeping them from eating the dirt, lol! About your question, I think you would have to pour a pound of guano into a container and find out how many quarts or gallons that equals. So say a one pound package is 2 quarts and you need 4 gallons of guano, you would need 8 bags (1 lb. each) of bat guano. I am pretty sure that I did this right. It is very late at night. I don't know if there would be another way of figuring this, but if there is, someone will be along to help!

Square foot gardening will sure be easier for you than row gardening and will save you lots of time!
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  walshevak on 1/4/2013, 9:12 am

as an estimate for purchasing only, I use
50lbs = 1 cubic foot.
40lbs = .75 cu ft
20 lbs = .5 cu ft
I base this on one bag of compost that actually had the weight and cu ft measurement printed on the bag.

Not scientific and not mathmatically accurate, but it seems to work out in the end.

Kay

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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  Kida on 1/4/2013, 12:20 pm

Thank you both! With the kids I try to do as much pricing online as I can to avoid being out shopping very long so I was trying to figure out where to get everything and how much before heading out.
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  Triciasgarden on 1/4/2013, 1:26 pm

Something I noticed with bloodmeal is how extremely heavy a small bag was, a lot heavier per volume than say rabbit pellets. I would think that compost in a bag would be quite similar in weight as another bag of compost so the general volume would be about the same. Those suggestions for purchasing are very helpful Kay!
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  FamilyGardening on 1/4/2013, 1:48 pm

welcome to SFG kida!!

with all of your animals you should be able to make an awesome mel's mix for your SFG cheers

we love pictures here....look forward to seeing your garden grow Very Happy

happy gardening
rose
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  Kida on 1/4/2013, 2:14 pm

Yeah thanks to my critters I really only need to find one more source for my compost, so I was window shopping online for my last one and the other parts. Home depot is supposed to sell 2cf of vermiculite and the peat is everywhere. I have a black soldier fly larvae composting bin for chicken treats, so would that count as a fifth source? I thought it would be the same as my regular compost (I have a few bins for yard waste), but my hubby says it's the same idea as worm castings so it would be an additional source. They eat kitchen scraps (including veg, meat, eggs, and dairy) if that matters.
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  FamilyGardening on 1/4/2013, 2:43 pm

not sure about the black soldier fly larvae ....but your yard waste compost would count as one! Very Happy

happy gardening
rose
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  Kida on 1/4/2013, 3:07 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:not sure about the black soldier fly larvae ....but your yard waste compost would count as one! Very Happy

happy gardening
rose

I was counting my yard waste in my four that I have. I've got: yard waste, rabbit, goat, and chicken. All in separate bins so that I can trade my local gardeners for produce Once I get my gardens going I'm going to sell it to pay for animal feed
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

Post  quiltbea on 1/4/2013, 4:39 pm

Kida, Welcome to the forum.
I, too, was a black thumb, even with houseplants. The only thing I could grow indoors are African violets with good results.
I started my SFG in 2009 with nine 4 x 4 boxes. I've loved it every year. Things get better and I learn more each year. So don't worry about the black thumb. Some people, like us, just need to plunge in and try it.
Lots of good advice here on the forum if you're stumped.

I know that rabbit poo doesn't even have to be composted so that's a winner right there. Good luck.
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Re: Hello all, from north Texas

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