Square Foot Gardening Forum
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New to SFG

Post  crunchy on 4/17/2013, 2:45 pm

This will be my first year working with a SFG. I have lots of questions.
1- economically ( by pre-made or go to home depot and buy wood?)
2- Where can I get all the ingredients that are needed for Mel's Mix? I live in Silver Spring, MD. I seem to be spending a lot of time on line and not really getting anything done.
3- If I do mix the 3 ingredients: They never come exact amounts. Compost - where to buy and what type and how much?
4- Is there anywhere local that I can purchase Mel's Mix?
5- There are deer and rabbits. Any suggestions as to what type of fence and how tall?
thanks everyone and hope to have a garden growing soon. Smile

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Join date : 2013-04-17
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Re: New to SFG

Post  jazzycat on 4/17/2013, 3:14 pm

I'm not in your area, but I will say this. I got the lumber (cedar) to build my bed at a local lumber yard, and it was WAY cheaper and WAY better than anything they had lowes or home depot. I would check around before buying the lumber from a big box store. I also got most of the "mix" ingredients from local a local nursery and a local hydroponics store. Some was less, some was more, but it was all stuff that I couldn't get at a big box store.

I'm also new at this, btw. My first year. What a Face Good luck, and happy gardening! You will love this place. The people here are very helpful. Smile


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Box material cost

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 4/17/2013, 3:18 pm

Hello crunchy,
I just joined the forum this morning so I have no experience other than building my box. I built my box using materials from Home Depot. I bought 4-2x12x8's(I used 12 inch instead of 6 inch in an attempt to keep my dog and cat out of them), 1 2x4x8, 3in deck screws, trim material $00.30/ft(for my grid), some weed block and some lawn fabric stakes. I spent a total of $75 and change right on the button. That's after a 10% sales tax. Also I used Beefy material, so you could probably save money on smaller materials. Another place I could have saved money was on my grid material. I looked at the wooden lathes (or whatever those wooden strips of lattice are called, sorry I'm not a carpenter and don't know the lingo) bc that would be the cheapest way to go, but the bundle in my local Home Depot was way too warped to use. Before this project, I wasn't aware that Home Depot would cut wood for you. Guess what I found out? They do!! For me this is huge. I told them what I wanted and they had it cut for me in ten minutes. All I had to do was assemble everything when I got home, took me maybe an hour. In conclusion, I bought two boxes worth of material from Home Depot, they cut it for me for free, and I spent right at $75 for big beefy overkill boxes. Hope this helps.


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Re: New to SFG

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/17/2013, 3:58 pm

Welcome crunchy and StinkyFeetMendoza. Crunchy I found a place that is in Maryland that makes compost and it is recommended by a sfg teacher who is also in Maryland (her website is sfg4u.com). I am not sure where it is in relation to where you live. The website for the compost is: veterancompost.com. With your ingredients, you will have different amounts when you purchase them but you can get your equal parts by measuring. Some people will use a 5-gallon bucket or other container and measure equal ingredients of each, like one bucket FLUFFED peat moss, one bucket compost and one bucket vermiculite. Some people put these on a tarp and mix by moving the sides from one end to another until it is all mixed extremely well. Some use a wheelbarrow and put in equal parts and mix with a shovel. Make sure you mix everything really well so you do not have patches of one thing. When you first mix your ingredients, the peat moss takes awhile to absorb the water so you will have to mix it up and make sure everything gets wet.

There is a learning curve and at first it seems like there is a lot to learn, but as you get through each step you will realize you have learned so much. It is important to follow the All New Square Foot Gardening book and the Second Edition is the newest.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  plantoid on 4/17/2013, 6:11 pm

Welcome people,
How did you find the site , what was the reason you came looking?

Like has ben said we use the book mentioned in my strap line as a sound guidance ,. it has all you need to know about starting up and growing in a square foot garden with a soilless growth medium . The system works well all around the world so long as you follow what's in the book and don't cut corners .

may I be so bold and suggest that you take a peek into the left hand side of the home page & the index of the home page wrt compost & vermiculite and mug up on making your composts for these are the very heart of our system .
Get that right from day one and I doubt you'll have any difficulties at all.
The sooner you get making your own home made composts the better your beds will be , for what you make at home if correctly made will most certainly out perform the original MM you use to fill your beds .

Would you guys please take pictures of your square foot gardening and post them as you progress so that others following you can see recent up to date pictures of how things are being done and the successes you attain ?


Don't be afraid to ask questions if you percieve difficulties , as lots of folk on here are happy to help answer them . Do read up things though , not only on the site but also in the book so that you get a good flavour of what we are all about. .

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Re: New to SFG

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