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Beginner Questions

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Beginner Questions

Post  BigBlueGardener on 3/17/2013, 7:30 pm

Hey guys, I am brand spanking new to the SFG method. I have done some research, read the forums, and have gotten through about 3/4 of the new book. I have a couple of questions that I haven't seen covered in anything I read.

1) Can I use cardboard as a bottom material in my garden box? Pros or Cons?

2) When it comes to compost types and getting 5 different sources, do you consider horse manure compost different from cow manure compost?

Thanks for any help! I Hope to be showing off some nice gardens in a few months!
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Re: Beginner Questions

Post  Tris on 3/18/2013, 12:21 am

Also a beginner, but wanted to reply Smile
1, I am using cardboard along with landscape fabric. Cardboard alone works well for a bit from what I've read, but will decompose and leave you with nothing.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t11152-cardboard-vs-garden-cloth-for-weed-block-under-raised-beds?highlight=Cardboard

2, http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t14581-mel-s-soap-box-february-18-2013-compost talks about manue compost Smile
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Re: Beginner Questions

Post  CindiLou on 3/18/2013, 1:12 am

I use weed block. Don't have to bad of grass to fight.


Horse manure counts as the same kind as cow. Sorry. Both are manures.
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Re: Beginner Questions

Post  camprn on 3/18/2013, 6:25 am

@BigBlueGardener wrote:
1) Can I use cardboard as a bottom material in my garden box? Pros or Cons?
Yes, however... if you have Bermuda grass where you want to put the garden it is advisable to remove it before you put down the cardboard. It is suggested that better results will be had if you lay down cardboard that is larger than the box foot print. This will smother the grass at the edges so it wont grow under the edges of the box and up through the garden.

@BigBlueGardener wrote:2) When it comes to compost types and getting 5 different sources, do you consider horse manure compost different from cow manure compost?
Yes, but the manures must truly be composted. If you are shopping for compost at the store I suggest reading all labels, avoiding anything that has peat or sphagnum or soil listed on the label.
http://www.plantea.com/manure.htm


Manure .... N-P-K
Chicken 1.1 .80 .50
Diary cow 25 .15 .25
Horse .70 .30 .60
Steer .70 .30 .40
Rabbit 2.4 1.4 .60
Sheep .70.30 .90
Sources: Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, An Illustrated Guide to Organic Gardening, by Sunset Publishing, and the Rodale Guide to Composting.
Note: Nutrient values of manures vary greatly, depending on the diet and age of the animals, and the nature and quantity of bedding in the mix.



@BigBlueGardener wrote:Thanks for any help! I Hope to be showing off some nice gardens in a few months!
Good luck, don't forget to post photos.
Welcome to the forum!

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Beginner Questions

Post  BigBlueGardener on 3/18/2013, 8:26 am

Thanks for the quick replies!

Tris, the links you posted were very helpful. Good information about using cardboard. I considered the fact that the cardboard would eventually break down, but our plan is to move in the next three years so this may not be a problem.

CindiLou, I would rather use the 'best' tools for the job, but considering what I am spending for all the more important components like MM I am looking to save a couple of bucks anyway I can.

camprn, good information about the Bermuda grass. I do have some in the yard, but not where I plan to put the boxes. Finding the five types of compost is going to be a lesson in persistence. I don't have my own yet, the bins are going up in the next few weeks so hopefully I will have plenty for next season or maybe a fall planting.
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Re: Beginner Questions

Post  mtottle on 3/19/2013, 11:34 pm

@BigBlueGardener wrote:
camprn, good information about the Bermuda grass. I do have some in the yard, but not where I plan to put the boxes.

Give it a year or two.. It'll get there.. Very Happy Very Happy

My advice is to try and get rid of it while it is still limited to a certain area because it WILL take over your entire lawn given the chance. And it is just an ugly grass to have an entire lawn of because of how it completely dies back in the winter. Now ask me how I know... Wink
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