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Hello from my new urban garden...

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Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/19/2013, 11:22 pm

I am in Philadelphia,PA usa, just a few minutes from center city. My neighborhood is all tightly packed row homes. most people have tiny cement yards. I happen to have a section of land beside my house which is 3 house lengths. A huge amount of space for an inner city neighborhood. I just cleared the land and I'm working
on landscaping it now.

For years it has been a mess. I tried in ground garden for a few years but quickly gave up due to the amount of weeding, time and maintenance it takes. The ground is also not good (gravely mess) and I didn't have a tiller so doing it by hand was horrendous.

I found Mels book and thought what a great idea... I have now built some 12 4x2 foot boxes (not 4x4 since 4x2 would fit in my existing flower beds great)

Doing alot of other landscaping as well, totally transforming this space. I'm hopeful that the square foot garden method and the raised bed boxes will provide plenty of
organic vegetables for my family.

I will be building 8 more boxes tomorrow I hope, since I have one large flower bed on the other side of the property thats more or less just weedblocked and woodchips on top so its pretty empty.

I suppose this means I'll then have 160 square foot of garden? (20 4ftx2ft boxes)

This is getting expensive fast. Any tips on making the mels mix as cheaply as possible? the boxes are 6 inches in height... but filling 20 of them will get expensive I think. I'm considering just doing 4 at a shot because thats alot of trips to the home center also.

Also, any suggestions on good vegetables or vegetables that do well in a square foot garden? So far I have already got many seedlings started just about ready to plant, including green beans, corn, peppers, honeydew, watermelon,tomatoes,
lettuce, red cabbage, cucumbers, peas, and I got 8 strawberry plants today.

I think I have enough plants to fill 8 or 12 boxes already. I plan on starting more seedlings next week and just buying plants to fill the rest of the boxes.

I saw potato plants and sweet potato plants at my local home center, do this work
or is the soil too shallow? What about carrots and turnips?

Excited and getting ready to plant. I can't wait because I've been up to my eyeballs in just brute force work (ripping out 8 stumps, leveling ground, making flower beds) for 2 weeks now. Looking very forward to the planting phase after the
boxes are all done and seeing a brand new organic garden in what used to be wasted space!




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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  Lindacol on 4/20/2013, 1:11 am

welcome Cambian.

Check the Vermiculite database on the home page for vermiculite sources. Call to check on prices as they may have changed since posted. Uline has a PA location(don't know how close it might be) and they do not charge shipping if you can call in and order and pick up at their location.

Check your local Craigslist for compost. I took a quick look and a couple look promising:

2 yds Dairy Compost delivered $85 - $85 (7100 Henry Ave Philly)
Saul High School dairy barn compost is perfect for your garden. We compost the manure mixed with vegetable waste from the Weavers Way Coop stores. We will deliver 2 yards in Philadelphia for $85. We can deliver to other areas as well, charges based on location. You can also come to the school and we will load your truck, $30 per yard, no charge for loading. Call Scott for information at 815-546-9736.


Container Mix - Square Foot Gardening Mix (Aston, PA)
Great for raised beds. This is the most popular mix for container gardening and square foot gardening.

Our Mix Contains:
1/3 vermiculite (#3 sized)
1/3 peat
1/3 compost (locally made, all-natural, and lab tested)

Available in 1 cubic foot bags for $8.50 each.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  drixnot on 4/20/2013, 2:14 am

I personally haven't kept 100% to the recipe all the time just because of the cost involved. Even Mel has written about it in his book... the recommendation is compost in the place of vermiculite. Another thing that I have read about is using lava rock instead as well... except those are bigger rocks so you would need to break them up with a hammer or something. I'm going to try that this year side by side with a box that has the recommended recipe just to see the difference.

Considering the large amount you will need and not knowing what your budget happens to be I would say get as much compost as you can get your hands on and fill in as many of the boxes with that ... the rest just fill in with dirt and use them anyway. Replace a few boxes of the dirt with mels mix every spring as money allows.

The dirt boxes won't be as productive but you still will get something from them.

One last thing.... make you own compost if you can. You'll save money and get better quaility compost to boot.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/20/2013, 2:51 am

Thanks guys for everyones thoughts and suggestions. I have a friend who works at my local home depot garden department. She's going to see if they can get mels mix. At 8 or 9 bucks a bag, it would be cheaper than mixing my own I think.

My budget for filling these boxes is perhaps a couple hundred bucks. I'm new to this and I have no idea what a yard of dirt is... is that 4cubic feet?

The whole cubic feet thing confuses me, but I do know that my boxes are 6 inches high and 4x2 so does this mean I need 4 cubic feet per box? (Like 4 bags of soil at 1cubic ft per bag)? I guess I'll find out tomorrow how many cubic feet I need to fill each 4x2 box.

I happen to have been given some bags of perilite, a some bags of humus/manure and bags of top soil, spare stuff from a friends huge garden. When he was finished his work he left me take a big bunch of his extra stuff. I'm going to try a few boxes filled with 1/3 humus/manure, 1/3 perilite and 1/3 top soil. I'm hopeful that plus liquid fertilizer will be okay.

Also, strange question, but my friend suggested topping off the boxes with mulch, she gave me a couple big bags of red mulch. She said that stops weed seeds from getting in the surface of the soil, since the tops of the boxes will have the plants and be covered at the top with mulch... Is this worth doing in all my boxes?

Wow this is alot of trial and error I guess to get things right.
On mels mix.... Its 8.97 a bag at 1.5 cubic feet. I think it will take 2-1/2 bags to fill each 4x2 x 6inch high box. 21$ or 22$ a box isn't bad, but At 20 boxes it would cost me like 440$ to fill the boxes. (And I planned on building a couple bigger boxes, like 2 or 4 8x4 boxes after getting these 20 smaller boxes filled)

So I suppose I am a bit discouraged. I didn't really factor in spending like 500$ on
the mels mix or mels mix components. Somehow, I was thinking 200$ to fill all
the boxes. I don't really have much of a budget past that.

I think I understand the compost and the peat moss function, but what is the perlite or vermiculite do, retain moisture?

Thanks!
Cambian





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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  TejasTerry on 4/20/2013, 8:28 am

Cambian:

Craigslist is your friend. Last year I posted an ad looking for rabbit and llama manure and the farm section. I got free manure that way, so that helped.

I had to buy a lot too because I did want to have 5 different composts. It got very expensive even with the offset of the free stuff.

This year I've added more boxes. Just using what I can find plus some that I've been able to create in my own compost pile...but still had to buy a bunch. I think one of these days it's all going to pay off. I had good results last year, but it will take a few years to recoup all the costs.

Sounds like you have a great area to work with. You should do a video and post it to youtube. I love seeing urban farms in the middle of a city. This guy has a great video to watch. So awesome, and very motivating.He's in the middle of L.A. I thought of him when I read your post:



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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/20/2013, 4:05 pm

Thats an awesome video thanks. I happen to have a couple patches of grass on each side of my sidewalk here, which is about 2 feet wide on each side but like 4 house lengths long. The locals around here think its a dogpark since its the only grass around here for miles. Drives me nuts because I don't have a dog and 1/2 these idiots don't clean up after their dogs. Planting vegetables there may be a good idea, but I fear these idiots will still have their dogs go there anyway. I think the older I get, the more I realize people in urban cities tend to be awfully rude and disrespectful to other people.

My square foot garden project is in high gear today. Being in an urban environment has its challenges. There is no place within 35 or more miles of me that has vermiculite in stock. All I could find was small bags of that and perlite, so I got a bunch. Looks like I can't do 1/3 that but perhaps a small bag in each box will work for a start. Maybe next year I can just add more?

Also, I was only able to find 2 different kinds of compost mix (mushroom, and some other compost mix) I suppose that will have to suffice for this year. I'm
going to start a compost pile for next years needs very soon...

Finding peat moss was no problem... I'm going to start filling the boxes today and just hope for the best. I think I got enough stuff to fill 4 or 8 boxes, hard to tell until I get mixing...

Also got a bunch more plants and some flowers to accent each box where there is room...

Steven






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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/20/2013, 4:46 pm

Oh that reminds me of another question... I have zero experience with compost. What goes in there, grass clippings, household garbage, what else?

Can I put newspaper, or any organic material in there? I have some big old plastic trashcans I intended to use, should I put some of that "compost starter" stuff in there or someone else suggested adding some lime?

Hoping that next year I'll have an ample bunch of stuff. If I put stuff in those cans all year and mix it up occasionally, I should have alot I think?


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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/20/2013, 8:26 pm

Hi!

Hold off on the Aston, PA site. It's actually Veteran Compost and if they travel up to Aston, they MAY go all the way to Philly. IF so, Justen will get it to you in bulk at $175 per cubic yard plus delivery. 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet. Twelve 2x4 boxes would require just under 2 cubic yards and twenty 2x4 boxes would require 3 cubic yards.

I can ask him for you or you can contact him at justen@veterancompost.com and tell him Kim Roman sent you.

I have a question, is there a reason you're starting off with so many raised beds/squares?



Last edited by sfg4uKim on 4/20/2013, 8:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : More info given)

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/20/2013, 9:15 pm

My wife says I'm starting with so many boxes because I'm stupid. Smile

In my defense, I did have a very large in ground garden in there in the past (maybe 30ft by 30 ft), but it didn't do well because the soil was a mess and I
did not properly amend and till it (no tiller, and doing it by hand is rough)

I had these big beds bordering the yard already there, just covered with weed blocker material and pine bark nuggets, bordered off with cobblestones that came with the property (there was once a huge pile of them in the yard) In these beds,There was just some small rose bushes every 5 or 6 feet. I figured I could build a bunch of boxes to sit in between the roses there, because besides the
roses, those beds are empty. This would also leave the rest of the yard space for
grass (someday, its a mess right now)

Honestly, I only thought about the price of the wood, some paint and the plants.
So I figured building 12 or 20 2ft by 4 foot boxes and filling them with plants would not be hugely expensive. I did not realize that the largest expense would be filling them with peat moss, vermiculte/perlite, compost and so on.

Spent about 200$ today at lowes and homedepot but managed to fill all 12 2ft by 4 foot boxes. Today, I got a bunch of compost (3 different kinds), peat moss, some small bags of vermiculite, though I did find just two big bags of perlite.

Finding perlite or vermiculite turned out to be quite a hassle,So my mix won't be 1/3 vermiculite/perlite but more like 1/5 I suppose. I also mixed in a small bag of humus/manure mix in each box.

Hopefully, this will suffice for this year. Its certainly 10 times better than the ground soil in this place. The people who owned this house before we roofers,
and they dumped gravel, slate and all kinds of crap all throughout this yard. I've
been slowly trying to clean up the soil for a few years now, but its still gravely,
full of rocks broken up bricks, sand, a real mess.

I found a local community garden that will let me have tons of free compost for a
small cash donation or trade of some seedlings, so I'm okay on the compost.

Anyhow, I have 12 2ft by 4 ft boxes ready to plant. This covers the front bed of my yard and one side bed. The other side bed runs the whole length of the property (maybe 50ft long by 5 feet wide) I may be crazy enough to build another 12 2ft by 4 foot boxes for the side bed. I'm afraid if I don't it will look strange (2 beds with boxes one bed without any?) We'll see. Honestly I'm so tired already. This "farm work" is rough!

I'll take some pictures to post here in the next couple days. I'm hoping I can get all the boxes planted in the next few days.


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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/20/2013, 10:23 pm

LOL cambian. We always suggest starting off slowly - we don't want you to burn out and you'll be surprised how much you get from the number of squares you have. Remember, you'll be able to grow 2 and sometimes three crops in each square through the seasons especially if you protect some of the beds for fall/winter gardening.

I've got to admit that I LOVE your enthusiasm and could only DREAM that my hubby would work with me on the SFGs.

Enjoy!
Kim

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  Turnip on 4/20/2013, 10:34 pm

Sounds fantastic!! I want to see pictures!!

MM is expensive..I just filled (today) my 8x4x9D box...probably $150. The vermiculite was the worst...$29 plus tax per 2 cu ft bag. I had to go to 2 stores to get it..it is sold out everywhere. Home Depot has it but it's several dollars more.

I also found MM in bags..already to go..you have it at $8 per bag..ours is $12 per bag. It was cheaper for me to do the labor myself. I have 2 more boxes to do later...but I'm hoping I can get some sheep bedding from the sheep farm next door for part of my compost, plus my compost in my bin that is not quite ready now. I can also get free horse manure from the racetrack/stables. But it was too much to mess with this time around, since I just bought this place and have a million things to do to it before summer (I'm in Sacramento..we can only plant in spring and fall..it's blistering hot here in summer..and dry)

Keep us posted on your progress..and let us know what you are planting (just veggies? also flowers??)


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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  jazzycat on 4/20/2013, 11:41 pm

You should check the local nurseries/landscapers for compost. I got a cubic yard(?) of it for $55 here in Savannah at one local nursery/landscaper. And it's really high quality compost. They use one of those things, what are they called... backhoes? and just dump a load in your truck bed. You have to have a truck though. But that is a GREAT deal! I imagine there are places where you live that have something similar. Also, some cities do composting and sell it/give it away. You might try contacting the city to find out. Good luck!

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  jazzycat on 4/20/2013, 11:44 pm

D'oh. Nevermind. I posted the previous response without reading the whole thread. silly me

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/21/2013, 12:40 am

I hooked up some work lights and worked all night. Its 12:36am and I just finished up planting for today... I have planted 6 of the boxes so far. (6 other boxes already built,filled and ready to plant next)

I did not get the stuff to make the grids, honestly i don't think I will in most of the
boxes...

Box 1 ) 4 tomato plants, 2 yellow marigolds and one orange one ( Flowers in the middle)
box 2) 4 tomato plants, 2 pansies and hmmm... some kinda pink flower (middle)
box 3) Full of romaine lettuce plants.
box 4) 4 pepper plants, 2 yellow marigolds and one big orange one. (middle)
box 5) More lettuce romaine, red, and Something called butter crunch lettuce.
box 6) Romaine lettuce and red cabbage

Next up (I think) Have seedlings, ready for tomorrow and monday planting.

box 7) Will be all broccoli, maybe a few flowers.
box Cool Will be all cucumbers, maybe a few flowers.
box 9) Will be green beans maybe a few flowers.
box 10) Will be green beans, onions maybe a few flowers.
box 11) Will be honeydew and cantaloupe
box 12) Will be white corn

After that, more boxes need to be built and filled still :

box 13 Carrots and some flowers
box 14 Red, and white radishes and some flowers
box 15 Eggplant and peas
box 16 Broccoli and some flowers
box 17 Celery and cabbage
box 18 Spinach, maybe flowers
box 19 Kale and a few flowers
box 20 Mesclun greens and a few flowers
box 21 Yellow corn
box 22 Cherry tomatos and hot peppers
box 23 Spinach and a few flowers.
box 24 Strawberries

I think I'll finish up to box 12 tomorrow and monday, then I'd like to get boxes
13-24 built, filled and planted in the next two weeks after monday, depends on
my schedule. I feel like I should have started a few weeks earlier, but the frost date here was april 11th.

I will take some pics once I am done up to box 12... and post them here.

This will, I suppose be 192 square feet. All in space that used to be empty
wasted space. I hope we get alot of vegetables out of this. We eat all organic
and that gets expensive. If this works well, I'll be overjoyed. I suppose though,
if only half of what I'm planting does well, we'll still be pretty good.

Steven



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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  Nicola on 4/21/2013, 2:43 am

First, let me say, welcome to the forum, cambian !

{I started writing this about 18 hours ago, and never finished & hit send, so I hope it's not too similar to anything that was posted since I closed my laptop}
@cambian wrote:
....Also, any suggestions on good vegetables or vegetables that do well in a square foot garden? So far I have already got many seedlings started just about ready to plant, including green beans, corn, peppers, honeydew, watermelon,tomatoes, lettuce, red cabbage, cucumbers, peas, and I got 8 strawberry plants today.
I saw potato plants and sweet potato plants at my local home center, do this work or is the soil too shallow? What about carrots and turnips?

Thanks guys for everyones thoughts and suggestions. I have a friend who works at my local home depot garden department. She's going to see if they can get mels mix. At 8 or 9 bucks a bag, it would be cheaper than mixing my own I think.
My budget for filling these boxes is perhaps a couple hundred bucks. I'm new to this and I have no idea what a yard of dirt is... is that 4cubic feet?
The whole cubic feet thing confuses me, but I do know that my boxes are 6 inches high and 4x2 so does this mean I need 4 cubic feet per box? (Like 4 bags of soil at 1cubic ft per bag)? I guess I'll find out tomorrow how many cubic feet I need to fill each 4x2 box

I'm hopeful that plus liquid fertilizer will be okay.

Also, strange question, but my friend suggested topping off the boxes with mulch, she gave me a couple big bags of red mulch. She said that stops weed seeds from getting in the surface of the soil, since the tops of the boxes will have the plants and be covered at the top with mulch... Is this worth doing in all my boxes?
I think I understand the compost and the peat moss function, but what is the perlite or vermiculite do, retain moisture?
Thanks!
Cambian
To decide what to plant, just think of what you like to eat, that you are less willing to pay for at the grocery store. Sounds like you have a good selection. Strawberries are perennials, so give them a permanent home, maybe build a pyramid box for them --it's in the book. Potatoes will want their own smallish box, that you add soil/Mels Mix/compost to, as the plants grow, upward. Carrots and turnips just mean building a "top hat" (called high rise in the book) for the squares they'll be in.
It's good to have a friend "in the biz". And if she can't get that for you, just concentrate on the compost. Apparently, when the SFG method is taught in some poorer areas, that's what they suggest--all compost, skip the other 2 parts. And when a crop is done, we are told to add a trowel-ful of compost to the square.
Your mention of "liquid fertilizer" affraid scares me. Please tell me you mean an organic one, like compost tea or something--no weird chemicals on the food!

The vermiculite holds water, as well as keeping the soil friable; think, letting the roots wiggle their toes.

Math is not my strong suit either; the whole cubic feet thing confuses me as well. But I just re-read that part of the book[Page 100 in the first edition ANSFG], and you've got it! Each of your 4x2, 6 inch boxes will hold a volume of 4 cubic feet, so, 12 4x2 foot boxes would be like 6 4x4s.
When I was starting, I had a post-it note that I copied the formula onto, then took shopping with me. I planned on 3 4x4's =24cu.ft. So my well-worn sticky --which is stuck in my book still-- reads:
2 c.f. bags of coarse vermiculite
One (3.9) bale peat moss
4-5 bags variety of compost to equal 8 cubic feet

So, for what you have, just double my shopping list--and if you build more boxes, maybe double it again.
No, I don't think the mulch is necessary; I have never used it--maybe if you are going to use native soil, which may have the weed seeds that Mel's Mix (or well-heated & aged compost) eliminates.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  plantoid on 4/21/2013, 9:46 am

All you guys just starting out in the all new square foot gardening remember it has been copied and diluted many many time with all the corners cut so it now looks like a round flat plate that bear no similarity to what Mel has designed and worked at for 30 odd years.

All this substituting of things and not bothering to read his latst book ( details in my strap lines ) means your heading for problems of one sort of another .

We don't now use mother earth for many reasons , in the USA it's usually the quality of it and the pH of it .
Mel's method works well all over the world becareful you don't do something quite different & end up blaming your MM or the system .

Mel uses a minimum of five different types of composted materials in the initial making of his MM formula for a very good reason .. it is to get as big a variety of nutrients and trace elements as possible to give your crops as good a start as possible and to contnue to feed then through the season .
those of you who only say I'll skip this and not bother with that are doing yourselves a massive disfavour that will usually come back and bite your butt hard.

The vermiculite is also there to allow air to get down to the fine hair roots of the criop and thus allows conversions in the MM of the slower release nutrients .

We've had lots of discussions on the site about trying to use different materials . sadly there does not seem to be a viable alternative if intend to follow Mel's system. Come to it from 50 years plus of my own gardening experiences I reckon it is the same for other such soil lightener. air entrainers the vermiculite can't be beaten by what is currently on sale no matter what the shopsales people say .

These Square Foot Garden iare yours not theirs , would you not want it as good as it can be or will you settle for second or third best instead ? If the latter don't expect premium crops and be prepared for sick plants etc.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/21/2013, 3:33 pm

When I teach I let my students know that what I'm teaching is the OPTIMAL method. IF they choose to make modifications and they are not satisfied with the results PLEASE don't badmouth Square Foot Gardening because the system works well in our area.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  Kelejan on 4/21/2013, 5:33 pm

@sfg4uKim wrote:When I teach I let my students know that what I'm teaching is the OPTIMAL method. IF they choose to make modifications and they are not satisfied with the results PLEASE don't badmouth Square Foot Gardening because the system works well in our area.
I completely agree with you. If you cannot afford the expense of doing MM properly, accept the fact that you will not get optimum results, then work on upgrading your MM as time and money permit.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  Lindacol on 4/21/2013, 5:45 pm

cambian, I would suggest you take 1 or 2 of those many boxes you are making and do it 'by the book - All New Square Foot Gardening'. Then you will be able to do your own little experiment. Get the 5 different composts, vermiculite and peat needed for those boxes, plant them according to the book and see how they compare.
Indeterminate tomatoes only need one square each if you prune & trellis them. Determinate (bush type) need 9 squares each.

Like suggested before check out Craigslist for other composts.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/21/2013, 7:11 pm

Yes I have some organic fertilizer, and organic fish fertilizer as well. No chemicals here... Math was never my thing either. I estimated pretty well on filling the current boxes. Looks like it worked out well. Now I took notes of what stuff to get to fill the next 12 boxes.

Anyone have any tips for what works well in shady areas? I have one place that is shaded most of the day due to a neighbors house... Might put some more boxes there but the plants will have to be plants that work well in shade.


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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/21/2013, 7:17 pm

40 SHADE CROPS

BEST SHADE CROPS

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/21/2013, 7:53 pm

Like sfg4ukim stated, start slowly and small. That is the simplest way to begin and stay cost effective. You really will be surprised at how much you can grow in such a small area. The key to the SFG method is to keep it simple, which is very easily done provided you follow the method. Don't be sold and swayed to purchase feel good amendments that you simply won't need provided you make your Mel's Mix correctly. It really is disappointing when you see some folks make things incredibly complicated and add to the costs when it really doesn't have to be that way. For some reason, people have a hard time justifying the cost of making the Mel's Mix correctly, yet have no qualms about spending money all season long on additives and other items because they cut corners in the beginning, or simply felt there was no way Mel's Mix alone was adequate.
Start small. Make your Mel's Mix correctly, and start making your own compost as soon as possible, and I think most would be pleasantly surprised at how cheap and how much money they end up actually saving.

When I teach I let my students know that what I'm teaching is the OPTIMAL method. IF they choose to make modifications and they are not satisfied with the results PLEASE don't badmouth Square Foot Gardening because the system works well in our area.

I agree Kim, 100% and well said.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  jazzycat on 4/21/2013, 8:15 pm

@sfg4uKim wrote:40 SHADE CROPS

BEST SHADE CROPS

Good information. Thanks!

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  cambian on 4/21/2013, 11:20 pm

Going exactly "by the book" of course would be optimal... But its not always possible...

Remember, sometimes its not about just being cheap... In urban cities vermiculite is very difficult to come by. I went to 3 home depots,2 wall marts and 2 lowes... All out or not in stock. (or just tiny bags for 6$ each) The only place for sure that has it is a 35 mile drive from me. I would have probably needed 2 or 3 round trips because I have a very small car.

In my area also, I was only able to find 2 different kinds of compost (mushroom and something else) Because of that I also added one small bag of humas/manure to each box. Again, I'm doing the best I can with available materials and not driving far distances in a tiny car looking for 5 different kinds...

On the vermiculite,
I opted instead to go with perlite, but I was only able to get enough to make it perhaps 1/5 the mix in each box instead of 1/3.

I agree with the previous poster who said do the best you can and make improvements next year. As far as adding some fertilizers, a couple of different organic fertilizers will cost you 20 or 30 bucks and last 1/2 the season, maybe more, depends on the feeding.

I'm fairly certain my mix will yield good results. I have seen a community garden around here who filled boxes with really bad condition fill dirt, and just used organic fertizlier feeding often and had really great results.

In short, I appreciate the experience offered in the book, and by others here but people have to realize that sometimes, especially in inner cities, you are forced to make changes. I don't have the time (or the gas budget) to make 6 trips to new jersey to get all the exact stuff...

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

Post  jazzycat on 4/21/2013, 11:29 pm

cambian, is there a hydroponics store anywhere nearby? That's where I got most of my stuff.

I also used 1/2 perlite and 1/2 vermiculite for that part of my mix. The vermiculite was just too expensive to use for 1/3 of the mix. I have since found another source that is half the price, but they were out of it when I got my second bag. I did get a $10 discount (on the 2nd bag), but it was still almost $10 more than the other place.

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Re: Hello from my new urban garden...

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