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Zone 5b SFGers

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  titans01 on 3/17/2010, 3:42 pm

@boog wrote:ok jus got off the phone with menards only thing they have at this store is fine grade in the insolation department $10.99 for a 3 cf bag, called a place called the hobbit house out near spring arbor, they aint sure what grade theirs is but it comes in 18lb bags for $16.99 sounds like a lot weight wise an last but not least a place in east lansing harvest garden supply has 1 1/2 bushel bags of mediam grade witch he says rounds out to about 2 cf $21.95

boog/mike

Mike who did you talk to about the grade at Menards? The reason I ask is because I emailed the manufacture of this product and the response that I got was that if anything it's more coarse than their regular horticulture grade.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/17/2010, 7:46 pm

Hi Nancy! Welcome to the Forums. I hope you have taken a good look all around here. There is so much information and lots of pictures are beginning to be posted.

Just think how much larger harvests could be if everyone in your community garden used SFG! I don't think you are going to have too much of a problem with the water. If you have mixed you soil as Mel recommends in his book, All New Square Foot Gardening, it won't take too much watering as the mixture stays moist usually for several days. Then it need just a little.

I hope you have read the book. You can get it at the library. Keep coming back to the forums and ask questions. Pretty soon you will be answering them for others!

Again, WELCOME!

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  nancy on 3/17/2010, 8:10 pm

Hi Claire! I have the book reserved at the library - just waiting for it to be my turn. I got the peas, onions, spinach, and lettuces in tonite. It was fun planting in something so light! The seeds just pushed right in. I'm really excited to watch all of this develop. I'll post pictures as soon as I figure it out.

n.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/17/2010, 8:45 pm

Oh, Nancy, how lucky you are to be in warmer weather! I just started seeds in vermiculite this week. Three flowers: Nicotiana, cosmos, and cleome; and one veggie: Broccoli.

I tried to turn my compost yesterday and the fork hit hard "rock". The darn thing was still frozen solid!

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  nancy on 3/17/2010, 8:57 pm

Do you still have snow on the ground? We hit 65* today and beautiful sun. It should be the same the next few days, altho' they did mention snow for Monday. Gotta love spring in Cincinnati. =)

The only seeds I have inside are Tropical and Common Milkweed. I hope to direct sow all my vegetables. We'll see how it works. I got over-excited and planted all of my spinach tonite instead of staggering it. Oops!

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  boog on 3/17/2010, 10:09 pm

well i may have found some decent vermiculite at a garden center it had #2 on the bag was hortaculural grade 18 lb. bag looks the same size as the 3 cube foot bag at menards. and it felt like it was about a tad smaller than pea size. 16.99 a bag

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/17/2010, 10:17 pm

When you get it home and look at it, let us know what you think of it. If you like it please post the vendor in the Vermiculite forum. Thanks very much.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/18/2010, 10:38 am

Do you still have snow on the ground?

No more snow for now, anyhow! I bet we get at least one more storm. I just hope it won't be too deep. We had three very big snowstorms this year. Each w/over a foot and more. Only one thaw in January so the snow really piled up.

It's warm and sunny -- very seductive -- like the devil.

Looks like you'll have to build another box so you can have continuous spinach

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  happyfrog on 3/19/2010, 8:00 am

no more snow here, but my compost pile is still pretty hard. Sad so i have to wait another week or so before i can start turning that - i want the finished stuff int he bottom for my expansion plans. Smile

we're harvesting daily spinach here now.

so i learned over the winter that if you plant spinach in august/september, you can have spinahc ALL winter - and a head start on spring - i'm eating FRESH SPINACH from my garden for the last 2 weeks! i could have been doing it all winter if i'd only known.

but it was an experiment. i also had carrots (yummy frozen, mush when thawed), redbeets (died and looked all grey), garlic, onions (those turned to mush in the ground), lettuce (dissolved), kale (had some yellowing of outside leaves, but core is green and thriving!) all in the ground this past winter. they were all buried by at least 2 feet of snow - more in some places because we kept shoveling the sidewalks and steps and dumping that snow on those garden boxes. (i had no idea anything was alive under all that snow!)

i also recently read a book wardinwake suggested about four season harvest by eliot coleman. and that was before i had known i had living plants under the snow!

so this summer, i will be building some coldframes to go around the boxes closest to my house, moving some of the boxes away from the house a bit so the gutter overflow won't hit them with ice and stuff and plan on growing stuff all winter - i know for sure spinach and carrots! will be experimenting with other brassicas this year since kale did well. . .

gosh i sure did yammer on!

i need to go hang some laundry (3 loads are washed and ready to hang) and water my garden (i have lots of stuff growing and thriving!) and i'll pop in occasionally today but the kids and i have big plans to finish ripping out our front sidewalk grass for giggles (because there's nothing to do in our 'real' (square foot garden) ) LOL.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/19/2010, 8:52 am

@happyfrog wrote:gosh i sure did yammer on!

HappyFrog I sure do love your yammering! In fact, I've copied and printed your yammer because it has so much good info in it. I don't want to lose it. I put it in my garden binder and added it to my index.

Keep yammering! You earn from me!

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  nancy on 3/19/2010, 8:56 am

I completely agree! I took the day off and am heading down to the garden now to give my babies a morning drink. A friend & I are then going to Ikea - I wonder what their garden section may have in store?

Happy Friday!

n.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/19/2010, 9:09 am

OMG! Ikea!!! I would die to go there. We don't have a store here. There is one where my brother lives and my sister-in-law took me there. We spent five hours and I wasn't finished looking!!!

Let us know what their garden section has. Any SFG stuff? Do they have THE BOOK? What about the cookbook? Do they have vermiculite???? They seem to have everything else so why wouldn't they?

Waiting on your spy report

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  happyfrog on 3/19/2010, 11:26 am

oh, ikea :drool:

i have one but it's about 2 or so hours from my house. in west chester, ohio. . . sigh. .


glad you don't mind the yammering. i can't help myself. lol

i am having fun learning with the garden. many established gardener friends kind of think i'm nuts, though, because 'it wont' grow' is told to me a lot when i tell them what i've been up to. . .

and you know what? soemtimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong!

my mini greenhouses work PHENOMENALLY well to keep my plants happy. . .

and i am sure there are at least 2 new leaves on every one of my spinach plants since yesterday! so tonight, we might have salad AGAIN! if not, tomorrow for sure. . .

well kids are eating and they're almost done. we need to hang another laod of laundry and now that the sun is nice and warm we'll go water our garden - we've been digging up the front sidewalk grass - filled 3 wheelbarrow fulls so far today - we're making progress! Smile

AND my neighbor across street is having yard sale so I put some little tikes cars out for sale - I need tomato and pepper plant money! and have sold $35 of cars! *grin* that's gonna help the garden budget envelope significantly! Smile (dave ramsey fan here. . .)

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/19/2010, 11:36 am

BettyAnn, pictures please. I want to see your little "greenhouses." I need ideas.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  happyfrog on 3/19/2010, 11:53 am

my mini greenhouses:

http://frugalisgreen.blogspot.com/2010/02/mini-greenhouses.html

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/19/2010, 12:35 pm

THANK YOU BettyAnn! No more milk bottles in the recycling bin. Out to the garden they go!

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  tessmick on 3/21/2010, 9:03 am

Hi all,

I've been out-of-touch because I am dead tired; spent all day Fri & Sat working on my new herb/flower sf bed ~ all that sawing, hammering, hauling of dirt ~ it's the first heavy work of the season and it always gets me! But I'm thrilled that it's now done, ready to be planted. (I am going to work on posting pics, but I can't seem to get them to be the right size.)

I wanted to let you know we have an IKEA near me, and I do love that store. I recently was there with my son who bought a beautiful parlor palm, very large for $14.99 ~ that is a great price. I had always thought the plants there were fake, but now I know otherwise. They really (at least mine) just have houseplant stuff, tropicals, etc. A nice selection of pots, but many without drainage holes (probably meant to disguise another pot, I guess). I didn't even see any soil of any kind there, and no books.

OK, well I have to work on my taxes now ; probably a good thing to get it done, and I need to rest the weary bones!

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  nancy on 3/23/2010, 2:14 pm

Well, I had an amazing time at Ikea. BettyAnn - mine is the West Chester one. They have good houseplant stuff like Tess said. No good outside garden stuff. I got a lot of other stuff, tho'. It was a great day. I'll keep looking at places I go that don't traditionally have garden stuff and let you know if I find anything good.

I haven't been down to my garden since Sunday morning. The deer haven't found my lettuce yet - yippie! I still need a trellis-type structure for the peas, but I think I should have a few more days to get that put together.

The library still doesn't have the book for me. I'm anxious to read it!

Happy Tuesday!

n.

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Hello everyone

Post  nidiyao on 3/25/2010, 12:13 pm

I'm in Indianapolis, which is in zone 5B on most maps. We have a fairly mild winter most years (compared to Chicago where I grew up), but can have lots of heat and humidity in the summer. I'm just started out with SFG this year, but I'm very excited. Looking forward to growing new things with so much less work!

Re vermiculite - I had good luck calling landscape companies who deliver bulk mulch. One of them has coarse and medium grade in big bales that you can come pick up. They are out of stock, but it will come in any day they say. And we do have menards here - I might check them out too.

I have planted some stuff in pots on my deck for fun. Potatoes in a garbage can, peas, arugula in big pots (mostly for something to do, if I get food it's a bonus!).

My 3 daughters each want their own garden this year, hurray! I am hoping for some decent weather this weekend, so we can make our frames. That is the big thing I need my husband's help with, after that I will use my little laborers to help me (they are 14, 12 and 11). Turn off that darn TV and go outside, girls!

Sandy

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/25/2010, 1:16 pm

Oh, my! Doesn't time fly when the weather gets warmer and the gardens beckon? I've turned two of my compost piles (had to wait for the centers to thaw ).

I have seeds starting indoors in vermiculite like Mel suggests. Amazing how many sprouted! I'll take a picture of the little dishes I used and will post it tomorrow. And add a list of seeds so far. Outside, my Johnny-jump-ups are going to town and I've seen crocus blooming. Ahhhh.

Nidiyao, WELCOME to our 5b Forum. You will learn lots on this and all the other forums! SFGers are really gung-ho! Afterall, we don't have to spend our springtime with the rototiller or pulling weeds so we spend our "leisure" time making SFG friends and "talking shop". Isn't it wonderful? I hope you will continue to visit with us and share your experiences as a new SFGer. We all love watching each other grow!

Nancy, It was a good time at Ikeas, right? Now, just who would say they didn't have a good time there. Even the guys love it. I'm surprised they didn't have any outdoor garden stuff. It's not too early, I don't think.

Have you gotten your book yet? I sure hope so.

Tessmick, got your taxes done? Have you had any luck posting pics anywhere yet? You mentioned about getting them the right size. I think this website will size them for you. My camera takes large size pics and I've successfully uploaded a few. Let me know.

Everyone -- As many of you already know, I've mainly been a flower gardener and was looking for a better soil recipe when I found SFG last year. The minute I read, "no more weeds," I was hooked and we built boxes! So this year my boxes will be a mixture of flowers and veggies, some herbs too.

It's good getting to know all of you. Hope the sun is shining where you are. And keep coming back when you have a break from staring at your garden

Claire

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cole crops

Post  chocolatepop on 3/26/2010, 3:10 am

So what do you guys think? Should I put them in the box? or hold of? I started them in Feb 21 and they are about 8 inches tall. I put them outside in the coolness today to start hardening them off.

The box they will go in had a covered wagon with 2mil plastic and some row cover over it. One end is open from the plastic, but covered with row cover (I can cover it with plastic). I had black plastic over the soil for the previous week before constructing the covered wagon.

so, put em out or hold off?


Niece near Flint, Michigan Wink

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  tessmick on 3/27/2010, 7:55 am

Hi all,

I haven't had much time in the last week, so I feel out-of-touch! Claire, I'll be taking some time off of work soon and hope to play around with the pictures then. Welcome to those I've not seen before! Niece, doesn't look like we're too far from each other ~ until the last couple days of below freezing at night, I was getting excited to put things in the ground, too. But in yesterday's Detroit Free Press, Nancy Szerlag mentioned that last year we had a hard freeze on June 1st! I'm sowing my kale, lettuce & spinach directly into the ground, and if our temps stay as they've been, I'm still planning for the weekend of April 16-18.

This is my first year with starting seed inside, and I'm a little confused ? I have a flat of impatiens that are all about 3" tall now, but most cell packs have more than 1 stalk ~ I should seperate them so they each have their own cell, right? And I have others that aren't that tall, but starting to look pretty good, and I'm thinking I should separate them. How does this work for those who've done it?

No Claire, I never did get the darn taxes done last week , so it's got to be this week for sure!

Happy Saturday to all!

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/27/2010, 7:17 pm

Tess, I suggest that you do not try to separate your seedlings. Mel recommends that we use a small pair of scissors to cut off the ones we don't want and leave just the best one. I know that pierced me when I first heard him say that! I couldn't bear to think of killing all those lovely little seedlings .

But he's right. Trying to thin them disturbs the roots and often causes more problems.

I started seeds indoors this year also. Haven't ever been successful with that before. I'm not so sure how successful I'll be this year, either. I have lots of germination and lots of seedlings. But I don't have the right kind of lights for over them and they seem to be getting very tall and thin and the second set of leaves haven't come out yet. I did expect to see them by now.

I've mostly direct sowed because by the time I got the garden cleaned out and ready I could just put the seeds right out. Keep in mind though, that for the past many years I've done mostly flowers so an early start wasn't all that important. Not so w/veggies. I'm eager to be as successful a veggie gardener in the SFG as I was with my flowers last year.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  herblover on 3/27/2010, 10:17 pm

Hi all,
I am just getting back to the boards after not checking in for awhile. I went to the Green Thumbs Gardener's Fair here is the Columbus area and heard a speaker on SFG. Just the basics, but its gotten me excited to get going! I don't start seeds indoors because I don't really have a good spot and DO have two cats! Last year was my first SFG and it went fairly well. I learned a lot. I just have one 4x4 box and will do that again this year. All veggies plus a few annual herbs.

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

Post  mckr3441 on 3/27/2010, 11:09 pm

Welcome back Herblover! I bet that was Cassie giving that intro to SFG in Columbus. Am I right? She enthused me, too, when I went to the Ohio Symposium last year.

One 4x4 box can be quite productive. I'm glad you're going to give SFG a try again this year. We'll be looking for reports .

May you have much sunshine .

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Re: Zone 5b SFGers

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