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Are you expanding this year?

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Are you expanding this year?

Post  llama momma on 2/22/2013, 11:23 am

Are you expanding?
Two and a half years ago I started SFG and expanded a bit each year. Think 2013 will be the final expansion with the addition of 3 new boxes. Some have different shapes but the total equals eight 4x4's or 128 squares. Close to half the squares are dedicated to asparagus, tomatoes, strawberries and potatoes. This is not an addiction... is it? :drunken:

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  camprn on 2/22/2013, 11:39 am



I plan on expanding my Sq. footage as well as rearranging them.


Last edited by camprn on 2/22/2013, 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/22/2013, 11:53 am

I started last summer with a 5 x 10 raised bed (pre-SFG). We built 3, 4x4 table tops for this year and I'm doing 10 straw bales. So if I calculate that, 50 SF plus 48 SF plus about 60 SF in straw bales (for the straw bale gardening method) or approx. 158 SF

Since we're empty nesters that should be quite enough for a while, LOL!

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  llama momma on 2/22/2013, 12:01 pm

We're empty nesters too. I still hand water and sometimes use the hose wand. Think this will be all I want or it'll turn into work...and we don't do that w/sfg. Cool

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  bnoles on 2/22/2013, 12:11 pm

No expanding here LM... just installing first time beds for the last 7 months and after calculating my squares I find myself with a total of 96. WOW! No wonder I am worn out AND broke lol!

Like yourself, a good many of mine are going to be strawberries and asparagus. Maters cukes and large items are going in earthbox type buckets and tubs so that will leave me lots of space for the fun stuff in my SFG's.

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Andrea13 on 2/22/2013, 12:16 pm

I am adding a 4x4 to the one lonely 4x4 that I got last year. I'm super excited and overwhelmed at the same time. I know it's not much compared to what most of you have...baby steps! Very Happy

Does any have an opinion regarding raised bed spacing - are there any pros/cons to having my two 4x4 beds attached to each other, versus an aisle between them? I have a very small backyard, so space is at a premium for us.

Thanks!

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Gunny on 2/22/2013, 12:35 pm

Everything in my garden is an expansion lol!
as it is a first time garden for a salty old crust.

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  quiltbea on 2/22/2013, 12:46 pm

Andrea....As for spacing, if I could do it over again I'd put 3 ft between all my beds so the mower could handle the weeds.
Where space is an issue, I don't see a problem with putting two 4 x 4s together. You can still reach into the middle from at least two sides. You have to work with what you've got.

I'm decreasing my work space, if anything, but not at home. I started with nine 4 x 4s and 3 berms in 2009. Loved it. I can manage those just fine.

Then I leased space in the community garden. They were traditional rows and after 3 years the fights with weeds and watering became too much for me and took so much more time than my home beds. I won't be doing those community rows at all this year. I'll only volunteer some hours to the Food Pantry rows and keep the blog for them.

I plan to keep to my original SFG at home and enjoy it. I can handle the size just fine even at my age.
My only expansion at home will be adding a greenhouse cover to one of my beds. I can't wait to extend my fall growing season as well a start more diversity of crops sooner this year.

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Andrea13 on 2/22/2013, 12:49 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Andrea....As for spacing, if I could do it over again I'd put 3 ft between all my beds so the mower could handle the weeds.
Where space is an issue, I don't see a problem with putting two 4 x 4s together. You can still reach into the middle from at least two sides. You have to work with what you've got.


Thank you for the insight!

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  yolos on 2/22/2013, 12:52 pm

One thing you might consider. If you are going to use hoops for anything like extending the season or shade, it is easier to work with a 4 x 4 than an 8 foot long bed.

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  plantoid on 2/22/2013, 1:12 pm

I'm thinking my waist line is expanding ..in fact I'm certain it is Laughing

Depending if the moonbeam fairy slides down a moon beam from off a rainbow will depend upon the final phase for our square foot beds . ... another 24 feet of beds that will be 2 foot 6 internally and split into six bed lengths of four feet
This may or may not be made into an "L " shape so I can get maximum sun hours on the beds .

The reason for the two foot six of the beds is that I want to grow tall crops at the back and small quick growing salad stuff at the front . Access to the proposed beds is limited for me & it will have to be Alison or Munchkin who harvests the beds

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Turan on 2/22/2013, 1:13 pm

I think I am, maybe, not sure yet. Depends on how deeply I fall into planting asparagus. Before I joined here I thought I was done expanding. Then I saw the carrot week and realized I had no room for it, so I added a 4x8 bed. Now I have come to realize that if I do asparagus I really need to do a full bed so there is enough mass to protect the crowns in the winter. SOOOOO I could use an old 4x8 bed and have the same number of squares I had before I joined here. But I like the extra room.... Or I can add another bed. So it is going to depend on how busy I am this spring I guess. My bet is on a new bed Razz

Andrea, 4x4 is easy to reach from directions. My first SFG garden was 4, 4x4s. Worked a charm (this was in 84?) But since then I have made my gardens with 4x8s and now 3x8s for reasons of maximizing garden space. I like the 3x8s because they are easy to reach across from the sides. Covering them is easy enough. Make your paths at least 2' wide, 3' is nicer if possible. I have one end of each bed reachable by a 3' wide path that my wheel barrow can fit down. You might think also about 2' wide long beds that are along fences if that is how your yard is.

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  llama momma on 2/22/2013, 1:25 pm

It's very nice to see Camp and everyone else's plans! I can't believe myself how excited I get picking up all the supplies. Feels like being a kid again.
The only advice I can think of for everyone is remember to keep the compost expanding to support the new boxes.


Last edited by llama momma on 2/22/2013, 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/22/2013, 1:26 pm

Yes, now that the garden space is well protected from deer/elk etc., the 2 former strawberry beds will be redone, and their 4X4 frames moved to lower end of garden area. Strawberries will be in new bed next to greenhouse, and we'll put in a new 10X2 bed next to the east end of the garden against the fence so I can use the fence as a trellis for two kinds of dry beans (our experiment with Good Mother Stallard beans was so successful, I'm a convert to growing my own beans for drying). The former space the strawberry frames occupied will be prepared for an expanded potato plot. Nonna

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  llama momma on 2/22/2013, 1:29 pm

I highly recommend putting low growing strawberries in a tabletop if you can.. It is soo wonderful to stand there and tend to them up close without bending over.

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/22/2013, 1:33 pm

LlamaMom, excellent suggestion. I shall consider it seriously as an addition to the deck garden. Just when I think I have a plan, a better idea comes along! Nonna

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Coelli on 2/22/2013, 2:22 pm

Yes, I have already broken down my two 4x4 beds and rebuilt one into a 2x12x12" and added a 3x12x8". Unfortunately the 3x12 will still be in the shade for a few more weeks as my garden is on the north side of the house. I don't have any more room in the backyard (it's small, mostly patio, and my dogs have part of it for themselves) so if I want to expand beyond this, it'll be the front yard and a huge project. It makes me sad, there's so much I want to grow but don't have room for! Smile And it seems such a waste to have a garden in the shade half of the year when our weather is warm enough to grow year-round if it were only in the sun.

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  llama momma on 2/22/2013, 2:40 pm

Front yard sounds good to me.
I am waiting for that "someday" when the publishers clearing house prize patrol van comes along Laughing so I have unlimited funds for lots of pretty white vinyl fencing beds with flowers dotting across the front lawn.... 250 wide by 200 would fit a lot of beds Dreams, dreams, dreams...

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Are you expanding this year

Post  johnp on 2/22/2013, 4:34 pm

This is my third year doing SFG. When I started I was also doing straw bales so I expanded slowly. I gave up on straw bales and added two 4x 8 boxes this winter. They are all ready to plant as of two weeks ago. I guess this is not really expanding just changing. My total squares now are at 152 plus a 4x4 and a 2x4 for six paste tomato plants. I also have a 4x8 in strawberries, a 2x8 for rasberries, a 5x5 in the ground with MM for rubarb and a 4x4 for garlic. My wife is asking questions like what are you going to do with all this stuff?

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Kelejan on 2/22/2013, 4:37 pm

@johnp wrote:This is my third year doing SFG. When I started I was also doing straw bales so I expanded slowly. I gave up on straw bales and added two 4x 8 boxes this winter. They are all ready to plant as of two weeks ago. I guess this is not really expanding just changing. My total squares now are at 152 plus a 4x4 and a 2x4 for six paste tomato plants. I also have a 4x8 in strawberries, a 2x8 for rasberries, a 5x5 in the ground with MM for rubarb and a 4x4 for garlic. My wife is asking questions like what are you going to do with all this stuff?
Eat it?

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  llama momma on 2/22/2013, 4:38 pm

You are going to eat like a king and queen! Preserve the extras and enjoy right into the entire winter too. Very Happy

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Kelejan on 2/22/2013, 4:43 pm

@llama momma wrote:You are going to eat like a king and queen! Preserve the extras and enjoy right into the entire winter too. Very Happy
A much more sensible reply than mine. Very Happy

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  llama momma on 2/22/2013, 4:56 pm

Nah, yours was funny so it ranks higher than a sensible answer Very Happy
At least in my little bubble world. (as you put in the other thread)

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  johnsonjlj on 2/22/2013, 10:56 pm

This is our 3rd year with raised garden beds, the 2nd year using SFG. We share our garden with my husband's parents and grandmother who live next door. Because of this, we have decided to expand in a big way! We currently have two 4x16 and one 4x12 beds and will be adding two 4x12 beds, four 2x8 beds and two 2x6 beds, which will double our growing space. One of our 6' beds will be our daughter's strawberry bed and we will be growing potatoes for the first time, which I am so excited about! I already have the seeds planted for our tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peppers, cantaloupe and watermelon and will probably take a chance next weekend planting them- we're in the process of hardening them off now. We're also installing a drip irrigation system to assist us in watering all of these squares!!

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Re: Are you expanding this year?

Post  Dadoo on 2/23/2013, 3:23 am

This year I am adding an additional 32 squares to the current 48 squares we planted in our raised SFG garden this past year. Our special needs garden at the St. Matthew's Lutheran Church will attempt to grow Kiwi vines as well as additional greens, roots and other veggies and flowers.

Two Pawpaw trees will be planted in Mel's mix in above ground air pots.

Since one of the goals of this particular garden project is to provide fresh produce to local food pantries, we will be contacting said pantries to see what is in constant demand and focus more of our growing energy into providing those items if possible.

Last season we tried proof of concept ideas in the raised beds and grew things the pantries do not usually see like Jerusalem Artichokes and yard long beans. With the added growing space we can provide a more consistent flow of needed produce.

Another goal is to learn and have fun with the participants so it will be an exciting growing season.

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