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Hi from Boston

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Hi from Boston

Post  barneca on 5/10/2013, 5:26 pm

I've been lurking here a couple of weeks reading old threads, and this seems like a very supportive, non-toxic forum (rare on the internet, tho I guess gardeners as a group are probably nicer than average), so I thought I'd say hi.

This is my 4th year gardening, and my first with an SFG. In past years I had a two-row 3ft x 22 ft "traditional" garden (whatever you call those; "non-SFG", "in-ground"?), and I plan on converting it into (4) 4x4 raised gardens, one or two per year. So this year I now have one 4x4 SFG, and one traditional 3ft x 16ft garden. The yard slopes, and as a result the raised garden is 14" deep and partially buried on the uphill side. That's a lot of Mel's Mix, hence the 3-4 year plan.

In the past, due to the slope of the ground, poor existing soil, at best only moderate sunlight, less watering than optimal, growing from seeds instead of seedlings, starting too late in the season, not having as much time as I'd like to devote to the garden, and my decidedly non-green thumb, we've had poor results. Cucumbers are always reliable, herbs are usually ok, the potatoes worked well, but most other crops have disappointed us. I'm hoping that SFG provides better results; at least it should solve some of that list of problems.

The kids (and I) like to experiment, so we usually grow just a few plants each for a dozen different crops. We planted 4 crops the last weekend in April, and the rest the first weekend in May. Everything from the first planting has just started poking their heads thru the soil in the last few days. So far, so good.

OK, that's me. Thanks for having such a welcoming site.

barneca

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Location : Boston (Mass) area, Zone 6A

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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  llama momma on 5/11/2013, 4:38 am

Welcome to sq. ft. gardening! Do get a copy of the book, it will describe how to work with beds on a slope. And concentrate heavily on the chapter creating your compost. The success of your garden depends on the quality of your compost and nothing, I do mean nothing else is more important. A lot of people choose to purchase compost for various reasons but it is a gamble to trust your garden to outside sources. Nothing beats fresh quality home made compost. The book also has planting guides and lots of info you will refer to often. Finally, I agree with you, this is a very nice forum, clean and family friendly, loads of great people with wonderful helpful attitudes. I've rarely seen anything else - those rare types are shown the door... Again welcome and enjoy square foot gardening, it's the best short cut to a successful garden!
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llama momma

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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  plantoid on 5/11/2013, 8:16 pm

Hello Chuck Welcome to the site.
When I saw Boston I thought to myself sloping ground / .... No it's as flat as pee on a plate .. Wink We have the original Boston here in Lincolnshire the UK
Close to the original " New York " near to where I was born . Laughing

It's good that you understand to only sow a few seeds in pots first to see how they grow and so as not to swamp your self with too much of some thing all at once.

I'don't know how old your kids are , but if at the stage of elementary mathematics Perhaps get them to record on a graph how many and what veg you eat each week or would like to eat each week through the year and then use those graphs to work back to find the ideal sowing time .
All the info you need is in charts in the back of the book referred to in my strap lines.
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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  barneca on 5/13/2013, 10:35 am

@llama momma: Thanks. I got the book this winter, and while I admit I was sorely tempted to cheat on the compost (couldn't find 5 different types nearby), I ended up being good, putting some miles on the car, and following the recipe exactly. Home composting is going to have to wait a season or two, although I have to say worm composting looks kind of fun.

@plantoid: Thanks also. No, I'm from the "upstart" Boston (I've clarified my profile). The kids are 9 and 12, and while they like to help plant, and watch it grow, and harvest and eat, they don't like the work involved. So gardening "with" them is hard; I constantly have to avoid my first instinct, to "make" them help, and "make" them be patient, and "make" them be curious, and "make" them enjoy it. That would probably be an excellent way to turn them off of gardening permanently. So usually, I'll work in the garden while they're playing, and they'll drift over and watch or help for a minute and then drift away. Still a nice way to spend an afternoon, and maybe the gardening bug will sneak up on them.

barneca

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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  quiltbea on 5/13/2013, 11:42 am

barneca glad you\'re here to the forum. Growing the SFG way will improve your harvests and lessen the workload.
Another good book for your area would be The New Victory Garden by Bob Thomson. Its very informative for the Boston area. I use it myself to some degree yet I'm in Maine in 5a. Still, the crop info applies.
You could always fill your boxes only the top 6" with MM. Fill the base of them with a good garden loam, then layer some newspaper (about 6 sheets) over it to keep the MM separated and any weed seeds from popping thru. Roots of longer plants can work thru the paper as it deteriorates.
Good luck.
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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  barneca on 5/14/2013, 10:07 am

Quiltbea,

Thanks for the suggestions. I thought about doing a cut/fill, putting the old dirt I excavated back level in the bottom of the box, and only putting 6" of MM on top, but remember thinking of a good reason not to do it that way. However, I now have no idea what that good reason was... sigh...


Last edited by barneca on 5/14/2013, 10:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : oops, sorry, spelled Quiltbea wrong)

barneca

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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  Kelejan on 5/14/2013, 9:47 pm

glad you\'re here barneca happy hi
Yes, this is a very friendly and helpful forum. I love it here. Very Happy
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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  Sfax on 5/19/2013, 4:05 am

Hi everybody. Happy to join this Forum. Though I'm not from the US, I'm learning a lot from your experiences. Growing vegetables and fruits rules must be universal.
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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  barneca on 5/19/2013, 10:46 am

Hi Sfax, welcome! As you can see from the posts above, I'm new here myself. I know enough to say "welcome", and "feel free to ask lots of questions, there are a lot of helpful people here", and "if you haven't already, you should buy the book", but that's all I know so far. If you go to the "New Topic" button and introduce yourself, I think you'll get a better response from more experienced people; your first post is buried in a topic I started, and may not get noticed by the regular posters here, but they do watch out for new topics from new people.

Again, welcome!

barneca

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Re: Hi from Boston

Post  Kelejan on 5/20/2013, 12:52 am

As barneca says, we do look out for number one postings.

So, glad you\'re here Sfax happy hi and barneca has given you some good advice. Very Happy
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Re: Hi from Boston

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