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Hello From Arizona

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Hello From Arizona

Post  wantagreenthumb on 2/17/2013, 9:34 pm

Started a square foot garden about 2 years ago. No success. I have Mel's book and used his mix. Made compost and everything. All my lettuces grow beautifully but they always taste horrible and bitter. Everything else grows micro size then dies. My melons grow a tad but and then shrivel up. I am heart broke. So last year I gave up and planted all flowers and I watch the birds sun bathe and nap in it. This year I wanted to give it another try. I found this site and I can't wait to read and learn to see where I am going wrong.
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wantagreenthumb

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Location : Surprise, AZ

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Re: Hello From Arizona

Post  cheyannarach on 2/17/2013, 9:58 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum! It is frusterating to put in all that hard work just to be disappointed. I am guessing it has a lot to do with your Mel's mix. What did you use to make it? Is it watered completely though to the bottom, if it dries out it can be a chore to get it saturated again so dig down it there and see if it is moist! Glad to see a new face here! Also you being in a warmer state you might find it helpful to mulch it the hot months!
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Re: Hello From Arizona

Post  Gunny on 2/18/2013, 11:38 am

Howdy from Yuma,
I am a first year newbie and am trying this method as my first garden. Yesterday was the last average frost date for my area and I have already planted seeds. Now to see what happens. What a great experiment. I have spent most of my life in uniform and never grew much as I was always having to go from one place to another. We fell into this property and couldn't pass it up. It used to be a junk yard with cars and such all over the place. It has taken almost 20 years to get it cleared so now we have room to grow. I was considering traditional gardening when I found SFG and I can really say that this is a blessing. I don't have to work the ground here. I was dreading that because the ph is 8.5. Hard heavy clay. This was once the Colorado river bottom. Hope all those dams hold up or we will be in deep water Laughing . Welcome to the forum. This is a great group of people and all are willing to help you get through the rough spots. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Gunny

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Re: Hello From Arizona

Post  elliephant on 2/18/2013, 4:55 pm

@wantagreenthumb wrote:Started a square foot garden about 2 years ago. No success. I have Mel's book and used his mix. Made compost and everything. All my lettuces grow beautifully but they always taste horrible and bitter. Everything else grows micro size then dies. My melons grow a tad but and then shrivel up. I am heart broke. So last year I gave up and planted all flowers and I watch the birds sun bathe and nap in it. This year I wanted to give it another try. I found this site and I can't wait to read and learn to see where I am going wrong.

Lettuce is bitter when it grows in hot weather. And by "hot weather" they don't mean over 100...more like over 80. Also, I've found it takes a little getting used to in general if you aren't growing the same varieties as you are used to buying the supermarket.
Melons are tough to get sufficiently pollinated. Trying to decide if I want to give it a go again this year or not after all the heartache of seeing the little babies shrivel and die due to insufficient pollination.
What, specifically, grew micro sized and then died in the past? Maybe we can give you some clues as to what to do differently.

elliephant

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Living in Arizona

Post  female on 2/19/2013, 2:07 pm

Hi, just joined a few moments ago! Wow, I have been studying this concept of sfg and plan on redeeming some of my acreage from large far away and difficult for me to manage to a cozy, in my face, close to my house: garden centers.

Follow the planting schedules of local farmers for your zone. My area has just harvested all the cold type vegetables and lettuces. I found some charts on planting times and companions on the university ag sites which I believe will be helpful. My husband has been able to keep his late planted tomato growing through winter (here is maybe 31 at night) by covering. He brought some fruits of his labor in the other day and enjoyed them with peppers and cream cheese...

There seems to be some strong groups of gardeners in Phoenix and Tuscon, especially into permaculture which appears to be sfg with a strong emphasis on companion to the point of edible forests. (Our new home has an orchard of citrus and fruit trees. I would like to grow stuff under to compliment, insect repel, and use productively for food, rather than fight weeds.)

Hope this is helpful and encouraging? Very Happy
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female

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Re: Hello From Arizona

Post  victoria on 2/19/2013, 4:05 pm

Howdy - I just wanted to say welcome and make sure you find all the information to be successful this year - don't forget that there is more then all the knowledge you could ever read here - plus at www.squarefoorgardening.org and melbartholomew.com - Mel even answers all his own mail from his blog if you want one on one advice. Also - you happen to be one of the lucky few who live where we make the Mel's Mix .... it comes straight from Arizona! Happy Gardening - Victoria
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Re: Hello From Arizona

Post  Triciasgarden on 2/19/2013, 11:18 pm

Welcome Wantagreenthumb and Female! welcome

I have seen where people have planted their cool weather crops in the shade and the temperatures stay much cooler so lettuce would do great there. Others use shade cloth. There are posts on this forum about shade cloth if you want to do some searching. In your area at some point it will probably just get too hot to keep the lettuce from getting bitter. It's important also to keep your lettuce watered and soil moist to keep it cooler.
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Re: Hello From Arizona

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