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How Did You Discover SFG

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How Did You Discover SFG

Post  Hardcoir on 3/28/2013, 2:23 pm

I was wondering how others discovered Square Foot Gardening. I believe this form of gardening has some of the largest word-of-mouth endorsements of any DIY hobby.

I was shopping for groceries one 1981 summer afternoon at our then local health food store, trying to find organic Swiss chard. A really cute produce department employee told me that she had a square foot garden and grew Swiss chard. I wanted to get a date with her, so I told her I would love to see her garden and learn more about it.

The relationship lasted just that summer, but I was hooked on SFG. That Saturday afternoon, I watched Volunteer Gardener and Square Foot Gardening on PBS. Mel was harvesting some veggies and showing how easy it was to replant.

Being an impulse buyer in those days, I immediately drove to the bookstore and purchased the original book. It was too late to start a regular garden that year, but I grew some fall crops in one tiny space. It worked, and the next year, that one tiny space grew into 100SF.

I happened across the new SFG book by accident. I was shopping for a garden book written by a local biodynamic farmer that my wife and I have known for years, and lo and behold, I saw the new book and bought it as well.

BTW, my sweet and sassy soulmate is a much better square foot gardener than the grocery store girl who introduced me to it.

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You sly devil you..

Post  Windmere on 3/28/2013, 2:44 pm

What a charming story about how you discovered square foot gardening.

I found out about it through my wife. We decided to finally attempt a garden on our property, but Georgia clay is horrible. Raised beds were the logical choice. My wife did some research and came across the new SFG book. She bought it for me...

Later, when she found out exactly how much everything would cost, she sort of wished she hadn't found me the book. However, the method makes sense, so we bit the bullet and paid the price.

Hoping get a nice harvest.

Hardcoir, am so glad you have a sweet and sassy soulmate. And a bonus that she is a better SFG to boot! love the idea

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  southern gardener on 3/28/2013, 3:42 pm

I first saw Mel on PBS in the 80's while being a stay at home mommy. We made several boxes and had FANTASTIC results. My children helped too and loved it. We even made boxes at the local school and got a garden going there too. We went off of the original recipe which is quite different than the current one Mel recommends.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  jimmy cee on 3/28/2013, 3:48 pm

While browsing through the garden section in a Barnes & Noble I came across the Square Foot Gardening book, it looked pretty so I purchased it.
2 years later (DEC 2012) I started reading it because I couldn't get to sleep.
That was all it took...the rest is history

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  NAR56 on 3/28/2013, 4:28 pm

Being from the South, my family has always had a garden. My Grandmother Saw Mel on PBS back in the 80s and decided to try it. I help her setup the boxes, MM, string out the grid lines, etc. I was a young teenager at that time. Her SFG did well compared to my Mom's row garden and she was hooked.

Forward many, many years when my Wife and I purchased our home I wanted a garden. I tried to plant a row garden, but the soil was terrible. I remembered my Grandmother's SFG and how well it did. I purchased Mel's latest book at that time and the rest is history.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/28/2013, 4:55 pm

In early 1992, my new chiropractor and I were having a discussion that included mutual interests.

I mentioned that I used to help my dad in the garden but had developed a brown thumb.

He suggested Square Foot Gardening. I bought the original book, scrounged around for those recommended materials, and cajoled a neighbor into building me a raised bed. I was off and running!

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  jazzycat on 3/28/2013, 7:48 pm

I saw the book on Amazon awhile back, and I finally ordered it last month. What a Face

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  johnsonjlj on 3/29/2013, 8:51 am

We actually had 2 traditional row gardens while I was growing up- one for smaller crops that was 1/2 of our backyard and 2nd larger garden out in the country for the larger crops like okra and corn. (One year I was allowed to push the seeder and plant everything, but nothing came up. So, Dad had me get the seeder out and do it again. Once again, nothing came up. From that point on, I was only allowed to help with the harvest and was deemed to have a "black thumb".) Spring of 2011 my husband and I decided to try a couple of raised garden beds. During that process a dear friend and coworker told me about Mel and square foot gardening. She retired from teaching in November of 2010 and died of a brain aneurysm on the first day of school in August of 2011. Three months after her death I walked into Lowe's and saw the book, bought it and converted our raised beds into sfg beds in February of 2012. Every time I go into the garden (it is where I go to destress!!) I think of Connie and can still hear her voice telling me about sfg and I know how proud of our garden she would be. She was an avid gardener, nature lover, and loved people and somedays I still can't believe she's gone.


My garden on 5/5/12- proof that I really don't have a black thumb!!

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  Lillyz on 3/29/2013, 9:52 am

I think it was in the early to mid 80s that I saw it on PBS. I bought the book and it wasnt exactly a "SFG" with all the precise measurements, I did use the vertical method (btw I know I have that conduit bender somewhere :scratch: ). I had a large yard with alot of clay and a veggie area that produced alot for my family. I also used a "lasagna" method too.

I since moved to another area here in Colorado and trying a veggie garden here in my new home with little success (sandy soil) I decided I was just going to do containers. I looked at my old book and the thought of bringing in tons (literally) to amend the soil and the back breaking work of tilling it in just didnt appeal to me anymore.

I found this forum and decided to buy the new book and here I am, with 2 new raised beds, snow peas sprouting and hoping that the Lord blesses me with homegrown food at least until it gets too hot outside.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  Unmutual on 3/29/2013, 10:15 am

John Kohler from Growing Your Greens on Youtube, even though he doesn't strictly follow the SFG method.

I had chosen to be transferred to a station without a graveyard shift and with a lot less overtime(being cranky all the time and not getting any time off from work is not a nice way to live IMO). So having found "regular" sleep and having the energy to do something, I decided to pick up gardening(I'm English, so it's in the blood. I also found out that my mother's side of the family were farmers in Germany before WWII...double whammy!). After doing much research(which I still do, I'm the curious type), I settled on SFG as my method of choice and have not regretted it after 4 years.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  TejasTerry on 3/29/2013, 11:44 am

I think I did a search on youtube for raised bed gardening, and came across it there. I'm also a John Kohler fan, and think his videos have helped a lot with my SFG.

Had great results last year considering it was my first garden and I had no clue what I was doing. (and still don't)...lol I actually went to a meetup group of preppers who were discussing their Fall garden last year. I showed them pics of my tomatoes, and a few of them said basically that my success with tomatoes was beginner's luck, and don't expect for it to happen again...lol affraid

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  quiltbea on 3/29/2013, 12:10 pm

I rec'd a book offer thru the mail from Rodale Books, titled Square Foot Gardening. I remembered Mel's shows from way back and remembered the easy manner he gardened. I already had a flower garden but wanted to raise veggies, too, but being a bit older, I wanted to make it easier on myself.

After reading the book, I was hooked. I went to a quilt retreat in April 2009 and when I got back, my son had built me nine 4 x 4s 12" deep and for a late birthday present, he and his wife got me started with some of the fillers.

I had to buy started plants that year but I've never looked back. Now I have a heat mat and 3 track lights for starting my own seeds.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  southern gardener on 3/29/2013, 12:12 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I rec'd a book offer thru the mail from Rodale Books, titled Square Foot Gardening. I remembered Mel's shows from way back and remembered the easy manner he gardened. I already had a flower garden but wanted to raise veggies, too, but being a bit older, I wanted to make it easier on myself.

After reading the book, I was hooked. I went to a quilt retreat in April 2009 and when I got back, my son had built me nine 4 x 4s 12" deep and for a late birthday present, he and his wife got me started with some of the fillers.

I had to buy started plants that year but I've never looked back. Now I have a heat mat and 3 track lights for starting my own seeds.

What a sweet sweet son! Awesome gift Smile

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  walshevak on 3/29/2013, 12:21 pm

Saw the book in Lowes in the fall of 2010. I had stopped gardening because of knee problems and age. The book gave the link to the forum and Boffer replyed to my first post telling me about tabletops. Started my first gardens in spring of 2011 and will never go back. I also convinced my son to do SFG and we made his first inground wicking bed.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  quiltbea on 3/29/2013, 12:23 pm

Southern....The truly sweetest thing about my son is he's a 'green lawn' guy and he had to remove the turf from all this section of his backyard to do it. Since I live in his in-law apt, I don't do anything in his yard without his permission. The gift of those raised beds was just short of a blessed event in my life.
Of course, he really loved the parsnips he had last Thanksgiving for the first time in his life.....along with all the other tasty and freshest of foods.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/29/2013, 12:30 pm

Our library displays books and other media by theme on a center of the room shelf/table thingy. The theme last March was Gardening. On the table was the set of SFG videos from the PBS show. I watched all of them, then checked out the original book, not knowing about the new books yet. I started right then and there by going to Mels website and asking him if it would be safe to use discarded kitchen cupboards for my boxes. He directed me to this forum to 'ask the experts' he said. Laughing I've been here ever since.

Around the same time, I went to order the old book on Amazon, and there was the ANSFG book! So I got that and fell in love. I love you

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2013, 7:34 pm

About 3 years ago I was online looking up raised bed info and came across the sf garden forum.

Thirty-some years ago I lived about a 1/2 hour from Mel when he resided on Long Island just begining his sfg invention.
I didn't know anything about him or his pbs show. It was a personal time of those self absorbed teenage years and early 20's..


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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  Kate888 on 3/30/2013, 3:08 am

I heard about it probably 7 or 8 years ago from a friend who raved about it, but we just didn't have any money to spare to switch from a traditional bed to SFG. Then I quit trying for a few years because the weeding just took too many hours I didn't have. Finally, last year I convinced my husband to start with some of our tax refund money. I wish we could have started when we first heard, but at least we're finally doing it.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  jblessing on 3/30/2013, 4:29 am

For me, I only heard about it recently. I was on facebook and saw a post that someone shared from "Grow Food Not Lawns" and it had a reference to SFG. So I looked into it, and here I am. Got the book from my local library, read it, then bought it. I'm also working on becoming a certified instructor, although a couple of the requirements are causing me difficulty. I just recently got employed again, and so am just also starting to assemble my first official 4x4 SFG square or two. I had a garden in the back once where I grew some nice looking cornstalks with laughable ears, some nice cucumbers and um, well, that's all I really managed out of that space. I'm hoping for better results this time around. lol

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  TexasTracy on 3/30/2013, 8:16 pm

I saw it on a friend's facebook page ( her cousin's garden) and wondered why in the world she had divided it up into little squares. That was the first season I was attempting gardening and I was getting barely getting any veggies and she was posting pics of all kinds of things she was harvesting. I ended up friending her on FB and started asking questions. That Fall I started converting all my beds to SFG.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  Turan on 3/30/2013, 9:55 pm

I think it was an article in Organic Gardening in the early 80s. I was away from home and experimenting with my first gardens. A friend had introduced me to intensive gardening and OG was full of articles on that. SFG seemed a straight forward way to approach that. My first beds were 4 4x4s in the ground mixed with lots of bunny poo and grass clippings. Over the years I have varied on this but I like the contrast of restraint and opulence, the beds are like Persian carpets visually.

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  Triciasgarden on 3/31/2013, 12:30 am

A friend of mine told me that a man (Mel) was going to be talking about gardening at a library about ten minutes away from us. We both went and Mel's way of gardening seemed like such a great way of gardening! My friend used slats of wood level with the ground and I made the 4 x 4 frames and nailed them together (I didn't know I should screw them together). Mel's way made sense even way back then!

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  CindiLou on 3/31/2013, 12:40 am

I had heard it mentioned over the years but hadn't payed much attention. Then a few years ago I was in Half Price Books and found a copy of the original. I am no longer able to garden the row way. So I was interested. Then I had a bad family loss and my hubby believed that was the way to help me. So he got me to tell him how much the cost would be. But we combined it with a raised bed. I still grow in that bed but the rest are MM. I just can't seem to give up that original bed rofl

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  Turan on 3/31/2013, 1:10 am

Give that man a huge hug from me, and one for yourself too BIG hug

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

Post  floyd1440 on 3/31/2013, 8:31 am

I got the book maybe 30 years ago. My young kids loved to help me garden but would end up accidentally walking through rows, knocking plants over, etc.; so my wife got my Mel's book.

At first I built two raised beds for my kids and they loved it! In time I began to see the benefits of the SFG method but had to move to a more populated area for work, but know have any area to garden, got Mel's second book and am enjoying and learning every season!

What a Face

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Re: How Did You Discover SFG

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