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New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

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New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 4/19/2010, 6:28 pm

Hello Everyone!

This is my very first year gardening. I live in a condo with a north facing deck and was going a bit crazy not being able to play in the dirt so I was fortunate enough to find a local community garden! I now have a 20 x20 plot to call my own, at least for 6 months out of the year. Very Happy

I am somewhat of an "information junkie" and started doing all kinds of research on the best ways to grow vegetables and what to grow. I was so excited to come across the Square Foot Gardening method. I like to know all the rules and keep things neat and organized so to find a gardening method that gave me all that I was thrilled. I bought the book on Saturday, read most of it and on Sunday went out to buy my soil and pick up free wood I found on craigslist! It's ridiculous how excited I am, I can't hardly sleep at night thinking about all the things I can't wait to get done and start planting.

The only down side I am facing is that in October I will have to dismantle everything and store it over the winter as they clear the garden and plow it all up again. :cry: If anyone has done this before or has any ideas on how I should go about this I would greatly appreciate your advise.

Looking forward to this journey!
Stephanie

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  nancy on 4/19/2010, 6:38 pm

Stephanie - I also garden at a community garden! I'm so excited to find someone else who does!! My plot is 25x25 and so far I have 3 4x4 boxes and my dd has a 3x3. There is plenty of room for more boxes, but that will come slowly. I have enough for now (except for the pumpkin box!). We don't have to dismantle ours - we get to keep the same plot from year-to-year and many people plant in the fall for spring harvests. The Village has asked us not to go down there between November & February - I think there is some deer hunting going on.

Is your plot on an edge? Is there any way to ask them to go around you?

Best wishes! I put myself to sleep at night imagining all I can do with my space down there!

Nancy

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  boffer on 4/19/2010, 6:43 pm

Hi,
Welcome to the forum. glad you\'re here

The first thought I had was storage. Is some available? inside? outside? Do you have access to a vehicle that could carry a fully assembled box? Would the size of the vehicle determine the size the boxes would have to be?

Oh heck, just store them at Wyldflower's house. On second thought, bad idea, she'd have them planted before you picked them up in the spring! Wink

What have you considered doing in the fall?

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 4/19/2010, 6:51 pm

Oh Yay! I was hoping I wasn't the only one at a community garden. I am not near the edge of the garden at all, there are several others who garden in raised beds, not SF, and have to tear it all down each year. Bummer.I can make them with bottoms so we could put them in the back of a friends truck to transport or empty all my soil and unscrew my boxes. My biggest concern is how to store my soil. I am thinking of 5 gallon buckets? We will have to rent a storage shed to put it all in, my hubby's really excited about that, lol, he loves me.

I may be able to store them at a friends house too...

Thanks for the welcome!

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  Wyldflower on 4/19/2010, 7:07 pm

Hi, and good to see another Coloradoan here!

I don't know that I can really help with your dilemma... but yes, I think 5-gallon buckets would be good.... the ones with lids. It'll take a LOT of buckets, though, if you really utilize your 20x20 plot. I do see them on Craigslist now and then... or you may want to get some clean 55gal drums (make sure they are food-grade). How many boxes do you plan? And what sizes?

If you have a pickup or an SUV, you may want to make your boxes of a size that will slide right in the back. But I would really hesitate to try to transport them with the Mel's mix in them... they'd be over a thousand pounds each (Somewhere on the forums a few of us were doing those calculations -oh... HERE )

Good luck, and I look forward to seeing how your garden does!

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  boffer on 4/19/2010, 7:08 pm

It will take 9-10 five gallon buckets per 4x4 box. You could scrounge some plastic food grade barrels. When dry, the mel's mix fills one about 2/3 full. When wet, they will be heavy!

Hubby might grumble, but just remind him that he doesn't have to till, or hoe, or weed!

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 4/19/2010, 7:22 pm

I am currently planning on doing 3 - 4x4 boxes but I think I will make sure I can fit them in the back of my Jeep before I decide on the size for sure, great advise!

I know it will take a TON of 5 gallon buckets to hold all my soil, I had thought of trying to see if local restaurants were throwing them out, I could keep them out of a land fill. Thanks for the idea of the food grade barrels.

As excited as I am about this I am even more excited to buy a house and have my own yard... all in time, all in time. Trying to be content with what I DO have!

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  MasonGarden on 4/19/2010, 7:24 pm

Is there any way possible to try to get the organizers of the community garden to switch to SFG so that it doesn't have to be torn down each year - no plowing under is necessary! It would save a TON of work (dismantling gardens, moving soil, less cost for maintenance, etc.), and they would probably have room for more plots to serve more people by eliminating the space that tradition rows take up.

Renee


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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  nancy on 4/19/2010, 7:29 pm

restaurants get lots of things in 5-gal pails that i'm sure they would share...

i forgot to ask you - do you have a water source? we have a creek down a VERY steep hill, so we lug our water in. i have a rain barrel on my back porch that i use to fill 5 milk jugs every evening after watering. it's already getting old, but i think that is due to our lack of rain. my barrel is 55-gallons, which gives me a 10-day supply. it's less than half full already. ugh! i really hope it rains this weekend like they are saying. i think i will be getting another rain barrel to keep down there this summer. that might make a big difference.

keep us posted on how you do. and post pictures if you can!

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 4/19/2010, 7:40 pm

I am really hoping that my little square foot garden boxes will kick butt and convert a lot of people, if we get enough people we can gain some ground (pun intended, lol) and get at least a portion of the garden converted and left unplowed. I think I am going to call and ask tomorrow though about moving to a side or corner plot. It can't hurt to ask, right?

I do have water, we have a water spicket about every other plot and it's included in the $25 I pay for the year. I would love to have a rain barrel at least to use when we had rain.

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also in CO

Post  aspiegardner on 4/29/2010, 7:07 am

Please talk to your community garden organizer about doing a master gardner course and getting them to convert to sfg than it won't have to be torn down.

I'm in Sterling CO with my own yard and sfg's but our soon to be 1st community garden will be sfg only.

The master garden is doing it as his project and only wants to offer sfg's to allow more people to use it.

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  AtlantaAnn on 5/20/2010, 9:19 am

As excited as I am about this I am even more excited to buy a house and have my own yard... all in time, all in time. Trying to be content with what I DO have![/quote] <<<<<that's beautiful....and WHEN you're blessed with your home and yard....you'll have all the sfg'ing kinks worked out

maybe you could make an initial investment in the plastic trash-cans on wheels. they're not terribly expensive and could serve dual roles...storage during the off season and catching rain water during the summer for watering.

i'd love to start a community garden in my neighborhood. please keep us posted on your ideas and success.

happy sgf'ing!

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  herbarium on 5/20/2010, 9:35 am

Maybe there is a Certified Teacher in your area that could teach a class to those involved with the community garden. Or you could become Certified.
Bakeries also have 5 gallon buckets that you can usually get free or cheap.
Be careful of used buckets because even if they are food grade someone may have used them for something else.

herbarium

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 5/20/2010, 12:36 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments!

Things are going great so far. I have little sprouts coming up and am amazed that I have 20 something different plants in my 3 boxes. It is really interesting to watch all the other gardeners and their ways of doing things. I am making some new garden friends too which is fun.

I am going to approach the garden coordinator and see about having a plot for next year where they won't plow so I can just move my boxes at the end of the season to that plot and not have to worry about storing everything for the winter. Just not sure how to convince her to do that. Any suggestions on that would be great.
I'll post some more pictures soon in my gallery.
Thanks again!

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Re: New Square Foot Gardener in Colorado

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