Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Help with SFG Doubters

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Help with SFG Doubters

Post  Regina on 8/29/2013, 12:02 am

I have started a raised bed garden project in my community.  We have used legs and bottoms to make some of these accessible to people with mobility problems such as elderly gardeners now living in senior housing.  I am running into a lot of flack about how the gardens are NOT DEEP ENOUGH and we need to put DIRT in them.  HELP!  I asked what was in "dirt" that was not in Mel's Mix other than weeds?  There are compost materials, structure and minerals.  Same, except in the correct quantities for intensive growth in a small space.

We run into the same problems gardeners of all kind encounter:  garden pests, disease, drought or too much rain.  But in the case of the raised beds it's never the fault of normal gardening problems it's always it's not deep enough or there's no "dirt" in it.  Help please!  How do I convince people we are doing the right things and gardening is a gamble in the best of years but worth it.  I'm trying to reduce food insecurity by teaching people, especially those on fixed incomes like the elderly, that they still have some control over their food budgets by growing their own healthy food like they used to in gardens in their yards in the ground.  I'm very afraid this will not happen if I can't get over this hurtle.  

Any suggestions other than praying for bumper crops?  Any ideas would be most appreciated.  Thank you.

Regina
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Re: Help with SFG Doubters

Post  landarch on 8/29/2013, 1:17 am

Use some real dirt and make it deeper in a box or two as an experiment...and make sure you use home made compost for your Mels Mix as soon as you have it available.
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Re: Help with SFG Doubters

Post  sanderson on 8/29/2013, 2:58 am

Landarch, good suggestion about a comparison box with dirt.

Regina,  Post the number of plants in each box to show the high density MM supports compared to the number of plants in the dirt box.  The amount of water each needs.  Fertilizer requirements.  Weeding requirements.  The same things that Mel stated that made YOU a believer.
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Re: Help with SFG Doubters

Post  batmap on 8/29/2013, 4:27 am

Take two sets of seeds. Plant one set in SFG using MM. Plant the other set in normal "dirt".

Water and tend to both areas the same if possible. Where differences arise, maybe due to excessive drainage of sandy soil, additional water is needed. Or encroaching weeds required spraying plant-control liquids, which increased costs.  Those additional resources increase overall cost of the produce.

Also, the produce grown in MM should grow faster, healthier, and spawn more fruiting opportunities. i.e. let the method prove itself if you are not able to convince them with words.
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Re: Help with SFG Doubters

Post  camprn on 8/29/2013, 6:40 am

Maybe do a comparison bed, but show them this photo. there is nothing in this 6" tall bed bed but Mel's mix,with a 6 way compost blend, and 24 plants.

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Re: Help with SFG Doubters

Post  walshevak on 8/29/2013, 7:54 am

Welcome Regina. glad you\'re here 

Take a laptop to the site and log onto the forum. The proof is in our pictures.

Ka


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