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In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

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In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

Post  boa3532 on 5/4/2013, 10:12 am

So last spring, I decided to try my hand on a vegetable garden. Ripped out grass from a 8x8 plot in back corner of yard. Planted a row of corn, a row of watermelons, a row of summer squash, a row of pumpkins and morning glory. Life got super busy and the grass reclaimed the area and choked out the garden before the middle of summer. Accomplished little, but learned a lot. I can see everyone here shaking their heads. Very Happy

This past March, my wife asked if we could try again, but try another way. I researched raised garden beds. Built a bed 4x8 and 18 inches high. Found a lawn service nearby that had free compost and filled the first 14 full of compost. The last 4 inches, i put in top soil and cow manure compost. Keep in mind I still haven't heard of SFG yet. Late March, I started one of those seed starter greenhouses. By mid April I was ready to plant. I was looking at the back of the seed packs and seeing thin seeds to x number of inches and thought, that's stupid, why don't I just plant seeds every x inches. So in "spirit" I was already embracing the SFG method! Within 2 weeks, most of my transplants were dead, save for some carrots, 4 butternut squash and 2 summer squash.

About this time, a friend of mine told me about SFG. I looked into, got excited and transformed the garden into a grid and moved the butternut squashes into a square. 2 are thriving the transplant and 2 are barely hanging on. Chalking that up to experience.

As of now all 32 squares have been planted. I had no idea the summer squash plant could grow so big, that have nearly taken over about a third of the garden. I'm willing to pull up one to give my tomato plants a chance (I bought them at home depot and transplanted them into the garden)

Garden has... Butternut and Summer squash, green beans (vine), three varieties of tomatoes, petite bell peppers, sweet bell peppers, a watermelon, a pumpkin, carrots, onions, radishes, chili pepper, petunias, lavender, marigold (dunno if that will make it, summer squash is majorly invading it's plot) lettuce, sunflower and nasturtiums.

Radishes will be ready in 6 days and everything else staring late May.

Already planning to convert that bed into a flower/potato/carrot/peanut bed at the end of the year and getting some true 4x4x6inch raised beds built (using Mels' Mix of course).

Happy Gardening!
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Re: In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

Post  boa3532 on 5/8/2013, 3:47 pm

Bummer... I have a stink bug infestation. Saw two and some eggs on top of one of the squash plants... looks like I got work to do.
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Re: In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

Post  johnsonjlj on 5/11/2013, 7:07 am

boa, welcome to the forum! Where are you located? I'm in Lake City and this is my second year with a SFG. Had traditional raised beds 3 years ago (two 4'x16'), moved them and converted it to a SFG garden in January of last year, also adding a 4'x12'. This winter we added two more 4'x12' and six 2'x8' beds. So be careful- it's addicting!! I currently have about six types of tomatoes, cucumbers, a lemon cucumber, crookneck squash, zucchini, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, corn, bell peppers, hot pepper, basil, parsley, swiss chard, lettuce and strawberries planted. My current fight is with powdery mildew on my squash and zucchini plants, but I'm determined to win!! Just pulled up my new potatoes- during all of the rain we had a week or so ago I realized that worms had gotten to the plants and, because of the rain, couldn't do anything to kill them. I tried to pick them off by hand, but obviously missed some because they ate through my potato greens during all of those rainy days. Evil or Very Mad So we'll just have green beans and new potatoes with our Mother's Day dinner tomorrow! (Mental note: plant twice as many next year with more space in between!!) Every year is a learning experience, especially since we find new things to try each year. Have fun!!
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Re: In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

Post  boa3532 on 5/14/2013, 8:10 pm

I'm in the Jacksonville area. With the ton of rain we got two weekends ago the squash just took off. I am thinking of tearing one of the squash plants up since they got much much bigger than I expected them to. The other one has at least 8 squash growing. The two butternut plants have 5 squashes growing. Nothing on the tomato plants yet, I forgot about keeping the main stem from branching off. My father-in-law clued me on that fact, we got to work on that the other day, so we'll see.
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Re: In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

Post  boa3532 on 5/21/2013, 8:22 pm

I think I got the stinkbugs under control. Haven't seen any in a few days since I've captured a few and put them in a tin can to leave in the hot sun Twisted Evil

I can't believe how many bugs hang out in a garden. Not sure what is good and what is bad. Found something else that causes my squash to wilt and die.



Already posted in the "Pest" thread looking for answers.

The tomatoes have finally started producing fruits and the vine beans are looking really good. So far the butternut squash looks excellent.
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Re: In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

Post  littlejo on 5/21/2013, 9:10 pm

@boa3532 wrote:I think I got the stinkbugs under control. Haven't seen any in a few days since I've captured a few and put them in a tin can to leave in the hot sun Twisted Evil

I can't believe how many bugs hang out in a garden. Not sure what is good and what is bad. Found something else that causes my squash to wilt and die.



Already posted in the "Pest" thread looking for answers.

The tomatoes have finally started producing fruits and the vine beans are looking really good. So far the butternut squash looks excellent.
The pic is of a millipede. I have tried a lot of things, but organic products haven't worked. I'm using Sluggo, Plus, and hope that will help.

You might try growing the squash vertically. I haven't done it myself, but will try it this yr. You can do a search, on the left, top or bottom.
Jo
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Re: In NorthEast Florida and new to SFG

Post  johnsonjlj on 5/22/2013, 4:08 am

Boa, that's a new one on me. That's one nasty looking creature! I've had problems with powdery mildew (it took all of my squash, zucchini, cucumbers & cantaloupe last year before I knew what it was), but I've been able to keep it under control this year. I lost a couple of squash plants to it during that really rainy spell at the beginning of May, but replanted and they're growing like crazy. Lost one squash plant to svb, hoping that will be the only one!!
Picked my first tomato yesterday! rock on It wasn't deep red yet so I'm going to let it finish ripening on the kitchen windowsill. I didn't get to enjoy many of my tomatoes last year (some type of wilt got to them about the same time that powdery mildew took out my cucumbers), so I was a little nervous about letting it stay on the vine until it was fully ripened! Can't wait for them to all start ripening- I've got about 6 different varieties and all the bushes are loaded, with tons of flowers!
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