Square Foot Gardening Forum

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Hello from Northwest Florida!

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Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  Gardenerd on 7/30/2013, 1:16 pm

I have finally traded in my buckets and together with my husband built two beds that are 3'X8' - I have been using this site coupled with another companion planting site to draw up some plans for a Fall garden. I decided to join so that I can share my plans and get some input from more experienced gardeners on the square foot plan!

I used an Excel spreadsheet to (very roughly) plan out our garden - it doesn't have all the measurements laid out on it but the spacing between the beds, sidewalk, fence, and any other obstacle is 3'

I'm not going to post the plans here, in case there is a more appropriate thread for that. Just wanted to drop in and say hello. Looking forward to a fruitful relationship with this site AND my garden sunny

Gardenerd

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  sanderson on 7/30/2013, 4:02 pm

Welcome from a California SFG Newbie. glad you\'re here 

Are you using the Square Foot Gardening method in your beds? Have you read the newest edition of All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew? There are a lot of experienced and new gardeners on this Forum, so you will have lots of support.

Again, Welcome.

sanderson

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  Gardenerd on 7/31/2013, 10:04 am

Thank you, Sanderson! I have not read the newest edition of the book but I do own the first (have not read cover to cover though). I do intend to utilize SFG for these two beds Very Happy

I am going to post a screen shot of my plans as soon as I tweak them a bit after some advice I received on Reddit (specifically r/gardening).

I appreciate your welcome and words of encouragement!

Gardenerd

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  grownsunshine on 7/31/2013, 11:38 am

Welcome to the forum Gardenerd!

I was out in South Florida in the end of April/beginning of May. Loved the weather at that time of year, except when it rains...man! You wouldn't call what we get in So Cal rain...probably drizzle, ha, ha. If your avitar is your SFG, you might get a little flack for not having grids. People here are sticklers for following the book. I'm a new SFGer and have learned so much from everyone! Anyway, good luck with your garden and post pics when you can. We love pics Very Happy 

grownsunshine

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  Gardenerd on 7/31/2013, 12:20 pm

Thank you, grownsunshine!

That was my very first raised bed 3 years ago! We sure screwed that one up, LOL! Crammed everything in there waaaay too tight. We've come a long way from there - I just use that picture because it has our Halo bird in it Smile

Yeah... rain. It doesn't rain here, it monsoons... It's something we have to contend with every year and sometimes it completely drowns our garden. Over the 4 July holiday we got 17" of rain. Luckily, where we live now is much higher elevation than the surrounding area - we're on a bayou and the land slopes down to the water and our house is 'on the hill' but still, 17" was enough to burst all of the tomatoes that were on the vine. Truthfully, we have two tomato seasons: I start seeds in Dec. for Spring and again in July for Fall. I don't grow tomatoes during July-August because... deluge.

We were in SoCal in June of 2011 for a wedding. The weather is so perfect. Our bartender at the Yard House in downtown San Diego was from Ft. Lauderdale and said he missed thunderstorms - I could imagine that... but I could definitely get used to my skin not melting off in the summer heat and humidity we have here.

The beds are built and there's some soil in one of them but they aren't ready to plant yet. Once we get the soil in there, we'll grid them out Smile

Gardenerd

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  sanderson on 7/31/2013, 9:02 pm

Went to east coast Florida with my husband on a business trip.  I drove out to see some giant mall [Sawgrass?] and on the highway drive back to the hotel, the rain cut loose!  I could NOT SEE the car in front of me!  I waded in 1 foot of water to get from the car to the hotel.  I think I would have pole barns over my boxes to garden there!Smile

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  Gardenerd on 8/13/2013, 10:34 am

@sanderson wrote:Went to east coast Florida with my husband on a business trip.  I drove out to see some giant mall [Sawgrass?] and on the highway drive back to the hotel, the rain cut loose!  I could NOT SEE the car in front of me!  I waded in 1 foot of water to get from the car to the hotel.  I think I would have pole barns over my boxes to garden there!Smile
I told my husband that I truly need a pair of Wellies. I have my deck shoes for the boat that I wade around the yard in,when necessary, but as it is - I don't usually go outside when it starts pouring.
Not to mention, I am so afraid of lightning. I was sitting in traffic a few years ago at an intersection waiting for the light and suddenly all the hair, everywhere, not tied down, stood at attention. I was looking out the windshield and a straight beam of light ignited the Walgreens sign about 30' to my left and it exploded, right before my eyes. I flipped! Turned right around and went back to the office that sent me out for an errand. "Never again!" I said "You'll have to fire me!"
You know how lightning forks through the sky? When it hits that close - it's just a beam of light, a brilliant blue. An awesome sight but a sobering one, as well.

Gardenerd

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/14/2013, 2:05 pm

Welcome to the forum Gardnerd!  I used to use the older version of the SFG book and most of my beds were filled according to that way.  I did just this year fill a new bed with the 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss.  Wow that is the greatest stuff to grow in and work with and it is beautiful!  My plants in that bed grew so much faster than my other beds and the tomatoes and cantaloupe I planted there came from the four pack pony packs and were spindly and barely alive from spending too much time cooped up because I didn't have that bed filled yet.  My older beds always need so much extra of everything.

I used my own compost that I made myself (pat on the back) and I made sure I gave that pile a big variety of ingredients.  The reason for the pat on the back was it finally got done and I finally used it, lol.

My goal which will be over time is to empty out all the beds, spread them out at least the three feet like yours and fill them with the better way of doing MM.  Most of my beds are currently spaced about two feet apart.  I would recommend that you at least read on this forum how to make the new Mel's mix.  If you have to buy compost, make sure you get it from five different sources.  Watch for noticeable wood and peat moss as a lot of bags will have both.  The uncomposted wood will rob nitrogen from your soil and plants.  The extra peat moss will throw your balance of it off if you are using your 1/3 of it already.  You can try to balance it out by using less peat moss but it is a guessing game on how much they put in the bag.

 I couldn't imagine that much rain spread out for even a week!  That higher sign attracting the lighting sure was nice to have, but that lightning can still travel outward.  You were sure lucky that day!

Your halo bird sure is beautiful!

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

Post  Gardenerd on 8/14/2013, 4:40 pm

@Triciasgarden wrote:Welcome to the forum Gardnerd!  I used to use the older version of the SFG book and most of my beds were filled according to that way.  I did just this year fill a new bed with the 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss.  Wow that is the greatest stuff to grow in and work with and it is beautiful!  My plants in that bed grew so much faster than my other beds and the tomatoes and cantaloupe I planted there came from the four pack pony packs and were spindly and barely alive from spending too much time cooped up because I didn't have that bed filled yet.  My older beds always need so much extra of everything.

I used my own compost that I made myself (pat on the back) and I made sure I gave that pile a big variety of ingredients.  The reason for the pat on the back was it finally got done and I finally used it, lol.

My goal which will be over time is to empty out all the beds, spread them out at least the three feet like yours and fill them with the better way of doing MM.  Most of my beds are currently spaced about two feet apart.  I would recommend that you at least read on this forum how to make the new Mel's mix.  If you have to buy compost, make sure you get it from five different sources.  Watch for noticeable wood and peat moss as a lot of bags will have both.  The uncomposted wood will rob nitrogen from your soil and plants.  The extra peat moss will throw your balance of it off if you are using your 1/3 of it already.  You can try to balance it out by using less peat moss but it is a guessing game on how much they put in the bag.

 I couldn't imagine that much rain spread out for even a week!  That higher sign attracting the lighting sure was nice to have, but that lightning can still travel outward.  You were sure lucky that day!

Your halo bird sure is beautiful!
(unless you're a dude) You go girl! On the compost area - that's awesome Smile
We just got our heap started back up so I doubt we'll have any of our own for a while. We're going to amend the soil as we plant. It isn't the best option but it's what we have to work with, for now. Each hole we dig will have different compost, peat, and vermiculite added in. I can say that the compost we bought in bulk this time is much better looking than what we got last year. It certainly doesn't pool water like the last stuff did! Very free draining from what I could see after the downpour we got yesterday.

Now-a-days, I don't even go outside during a storm; I considered myself lucky that day also. "If you're close enough to hear thunder, you're close enough to get hit by lightning" - I drink to that
and stay inside! lol Smile

Thank you for complementing Halo - my vet told me if I kept her on her diet, she would live forever and I said, "isn't that the point?" She's spoiled rotten and loved dearly I love you

I appreciate your welcome and words of advice - doesn't fall on deaf ears.

Gardenerd

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Re: Hello from Northwest Florida!

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