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Convert existing boxes to square foot?

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Convert existing boxes to square foot?

Post  greenportland on 3/7/2010, 3:22 am

Hello friends, I built some raised boxes two years ago which I would now like to convert to square foot. Luckly, when I built them I made them about the right dimensions because I knew I would want to be able to reach to the center. Nevertheless, the idea of removing all that soil (where to put it?) and filling it with something else is a bit daunting (and I am no spring chicken).

Any suggestions about how to convert my existing boxes to square foot gardening boxes?

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Re: Convert existing boxes to square foot?

Post  boffer on 3/7/2010, 10:08 am

Like Deb said, if you can find one of those medieval-era long handle thingies, I think they used to call them chovels, or something like that.

The way that would involve the least amount of work would be to build your new SFG box right on top of your raised beds, if that's feasible. It has the added advantage of raising your beds up higher for easier tending. If this idea is workable, post pics of what's existing, maybe we can find some other suggestions to help make your project a success.

Welcome to the forum, you're gonna love SFG

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Re: Convert existing boxes to square foot?

Post  timwardell on 3/7/2010, 8:17 pm

@greenportland wrote:Hello friends, I built some raised boxes two years ago which I would now like to convert to square foot. Luckly, when I built them I made them about the right dimensions because I knew I would want to be able to reach to the center. Nevertheless, the idea of removing all that soil (where to put it?) and filling it with something else is a bit daunting (and I am no spring chicken).

Any suggestions about how to convert my existing boxes to square foot gardening boxes?

I know what you're going through. I discovered SFG last year AFTER I had installed and planted my raised beds (using soil). I overlaid a grid on to what I had already planted and discovered that I had about 35-40% un-used space available for planting. I had good results and fewer weeds but still more weeds than I was expecting. ... From talking to other SFGers the past year, it seems that Mel's Mix is the key to it all. This year I removed the top 6" in my beds (luckily I was needing it for a new flower bed) and added Mel's Mix. Yes, it's a bit of a chore to mix and add to the beds but it is a one time thing. ... I like the suggestion of simply adding a level to your existing bed. My beds are 1' deep. The top half is now Mel's Mix, the bottom half is soil - plain 'ol dirt amended with compost and cow manure.

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I'll second Tim's advice.

Post  SirTravers on 3/7/2010, 8:53 pm

I agree with Tim. Just scrape out the top six inches or add another 2x6 to the top. Heck you could even lay down weed barrier fabric before putting in Mel's Mix so you don't have to worry about mixing the two soils together.

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