Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello from Sacramento,CA

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Hello from Sacramento,CA

Post  squisheez on 1/20/2013, 9:17 pm

Good evening everyone, I am Laurie, and this is my first year doing SFG. I have two 4x8 established, raised beds. I had a good year last year just doing raised beds, but this year I wanted to try something better. I have the book, and just got all the components of the MM. Now I am curious, do I need to remove all the soil from my raised beds? It is improved soil. I was hoping I could use it as part of my compost. If anyone one here is in or around Sacramento, CA, I was able to find vermiculite at my local Green Acres nursery. They are 4cu(?) big bags, for $18. I am so happy I found it, after reading about the difficulties finding vermiculite, I was sure I would have the same problem. Yea! I am planning on planting potatoes in buckets, outside the garden. I haven't ever grown them, and thought it might be easier to hill them in a bucket. I am anxious to get started, and nervous as heck. Gonna start my seedlings anytime now. I want to grow carrots and green beans, do I leave their squares open if I am doing later plantings? I hope to get some great advice/ideas from everyone, and share a few nuggets of knowledge that I have. Let's get growing! cheers

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Re: Hello from Sacramento,CA

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/21/2013, 12:17 pm

I'm about 3 hours south and east of you in the foothills of the Sierra. I have a similar issue with a 5 x 10 bed I built last year (before reading the book) and had filled with a local commercial grow mix. It grew well, but is much too sandy so it dries out really quickly. I'll be amending it with a great deal of compost this year and eventually get the soil up to snuff, I spent too much last year to simply rip it out.

I've never tried potatoes and am going to give sweet potatoes a whirl this summer. Good luck and welcome!

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Re: Hello from Sacramento,CA

Post  Goosegirl on 1/22/2013, 11:15 am

What about adding 6" to the box (stack a bottomless one on top of the existing one) and make the top 6" MM?


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Re: Hello from Sacramento,CA

Post  quiltbea on 1/22/2013, 11:28 am

Welcome to the forum. We love having new gardeners here.

I sure would hate to lose that good soil so I, too, would also advocate adding the MM to the top 6" of your box. Even if you have to remove some of the soil, set it aside to be the filler in your next box. Believe me, we usually find room for another box.

Whenever you are growing later crops, grow something quick in the empty squares, like radishes or lettuce or spinach which can be harvested in short order. You get two for one that way.

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Re: Hello from Sacramento,CA

Post  Turnip on 1/26/2013, 12:14 am

Thank you for the tip for vermiculite..did you go to the Roseville Green Acres? I am currently reading the book and saw 'vermiculite' and thought 'where am I going to find that in quantity??'

I have grown potatoes in potato bins before, also new plastic garbage cans with hole drilled in them. Fresh potatoes taste like no store bought one ever could. I just bought this house and moved in 6 weeks ago..if I can locate my potato bins I might just get them started. I also have strawberry pots and Sequoia strawberries (bare root) that I need to get started.

Have you veggie gardened here in Sacto before last year? I have been here (from the Bay Area) 6 years and veggie gardened in the Auburn/Greenback area for that time. I'm now near AR. Starting from scratch. My neighbor and co-worker has had an edible garden up the street for years. I have an established Meyer lemon in my yard, a Mandarin (I had to leave my Satsuma Mandarin behind) a lime, plus the Meyer and lime in pots I brought with me, a bare root ultra-dwarf golden delicious apple, ultra-dwarf Blenheim apricot, huckleberry bushes (small, currently not planted..) red onions ready to go in (but where???)

At the old house I had fantastic success with Roma tomatoes, Sungold tomatoes (cherry), Japanese eggplant (but Black Beauty was a bust..)onions, potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and general peppers of all sorts, lavender, oregano, rosemary. Had real problems with basil..too hot here???

Looking forward to sharing ideas, successes, etc with you since you are right here in town!


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Re: Hello from Sacramento,CA

Post  squisheez on 1/29/2013, 11:53 pm

Hello Turnip, I was wrong about the price on the vermiculite..I heard my hubby say something about the total at the checkout, but didn't catch it all. I found the receipt, and it says that the v was $28 a bag. They will probably have it in Folsom too, I got mine here in town off Jackson hwy.

I have been having good luck with the heat lover veggies here in Sac for a few years. I haven't had a problem with Basil though. I had way to much last year. I read that Basil was great for growing with tomatoes and onions, so I planted a bunch...and I had lots and lots of basil. For whatever reason last year was pretty bad for my tomatoes. Until the end of summer, then it was a bumper crop through Nov. This year I am gonna pass on corn. I planted Ruby Queen, and Illini Super sweet, and they were small and not healthy looking stalks, and ears.
I am going to try for a continued harvest garden this year, so that should be another part of the adventure. Thanks everyone for the insight about my soil. I was really dreading shoveling all that good soil out of the beds. I made a small mm batch with some of my bed soil, and put it in containers for onions and potatoes.
With potatoes do you do one planting and store the potatoes, or a continued planting?

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Re: Hello from Sacramento,CA

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