Square Foot Gardening Forum

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New to everything

Post  4gtfl1 on 3/8/2013, 5:24 pm

Howdy from north Texas! I'm not sure this is where to start posting, but it's the forum for my region so thought I would, trusting someone will correct me if needed (thanks!).
I just moved up here from west central Texas where I had a small yard in a new development that was very recently barren caliche goat pasture. Now I have many acres of rich, brown, fertile soil at my disposal, and no idea where to start! I've been reading gardening books and websites like crazy, and most are written for urban yards. I settled on SFG because it made the most sense (even with all the land at my disposal) water- and time-wise. I have a half-finished house with well-established grass around the yard area, an 1/8 acre garden spot loose enough to til with a fork, a few scattered pecan trees (one at the southern edge of the garden spot), and no restrictions to speak of. Should be a gardener's dream. I'm hoping that some of the more experienced amongst you will take the opportunity to plan big, and help me out. (Pretty please!) I love trees and antique roses in particular. It's pretty much a blank slate!

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Re: New to everything

Post  plantoid on 3/8/2013, 5:35 pm

Welcome to the site .

Do you have the same song sheet as in my strap lines ?
It helps if you have it .

No doubt some other Texan or from similar region will be along shortly and give you the update in your region.

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singing from same song sheet

Post  4gtfl1 on 3/12/2013, 1:29 pm

thanks for the reply! Yes, I've got, and read, Mel's "ANSFG." I am using most of his concepts, though not completely. I can't afford to build all the SFG structures needed to put in the amount of gardening I want to do. And though I see the benefit of using Mel's Mix, I can't justify buying peat and vermiculite for such a large area, nor can afford to (I have the compost). I will put in one orthodox SFG plot, and use it as a "control" to convince myself (and/or my husband!) of the need for it or not. For the other beds, I'm using my own (extremely rich and friable) soil, in raised, 4 sq ft beds. A dozen or so of them. I have some salvage concrete drain pipe sections (6" dia x 12" L) that I'm upending for the borders of the beds, putting soil in them and growing some of the more invasive beneficial plants there. So the main difference is that I have no barrier between my native soil and my SFG and am not using MM in most of the beds. I guess that disqualifies me, though I am putting in the one orthodox SFG bed. My main need for input is in design ideas. With all this space it's almost overwhelming to figure out what to put where. Though I'm getting there.

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Re: New to everything

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/12/2013, 2:05 pm

People often ask if it is okay to use something other than MM in the boxes. I would not recommend buying something to use in place of MM because if you buy something else this year and then buy the real stuff next year you paid more in total than just buying the right stuff to begin with. I would recommend starting smaller and doing it right. Sounds like that is what you are doing. Do one box with MM and be sure you have the 5 different types of compost. For the other boxes use your soil since it's free. Future years you can remove that soil and replace it with MM if you wish.

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Re: New to everything

Post  Turan on 3/12/2013, 2:19 pm

If you have delicious fertile wonderful garden soil you can use the organizational ideas of SFG and thus gain many of its benefits. By focusing your efforts into beds and planting intensively you save much effort in weeding and amount of compost needed to replenish the soil and watering. The old SFG book is a good guide in this. The new books are based on MM which not all of us need when we have good soil to begin with.

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thanks for replies

Post  4gtfl1 on 3/12/2013, 10:47 pm

I think I'll find a copy of the old book then, since I have the new. Thanks for that tip!
I'm going to a large garden center tomorrow, hoping for design inspiration. I think usually the dilemma is not having enough room for everything you want to plant; I'm not buying started plants and setting a full garden this year, but I am trying to come up with a basic layout so that over the next few seasons I have a game plan, and never realized it's as hard to figure out where to put all kinds of things as it is to decide what to narrow it down to!

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Re: New to everything

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