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new member from land of the outdoor convection oven

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new member from land of the outdoor convection oven

Post  melanielundin on 12/27/2013, 1:57 pm

My son is home for holiday and wants to put in a garden for me. I am intimidated because plants and I do not speak the same language. It gets to freezing here in the winter and hot, hot, hot in the summer and it is always windy.


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Re: new member from land of the outdoor convection oven

Post  sanderson on 12/27/2013, 3:17 pm

First - Welcome to the Forum!   glad you\'re here  This is the perfect place to find lots and lots of help to learn Plant language.

I am jumping up and down being so excited for you. bounce bounce  Your son wants to build you a garden??  Go for it.  SFG (Square Foot Gardening) is the perfect way for a beginner to start growing vegetables.  I promise you!  Have you read the book All New Square Foot Gardening?  A must read (and must have).

Don't even worry about freezing winters and scorching hot summers.  There are several of us in California, Nevada and Arizona that garden under those conditions.  The only things we don't grow are bananas and coffee?  We are here to help you through the process.

I know others will jump in and welcome you.  I am going to post a couple of photos to get your son started.

Basic box from FREE 2" x 4" scrap studs from a home construction site.  Always get permission from site manager.  The interior dimensions are 2' x 4'.  Others have 4' x 4' boxes while others have LONG boxes like 4' x 10'.   I like a depth of 2 feet because of the ease of reaching each plant.  You only need two layers making it 7" high.  My 3 layer boxes are 10 1/2 " high for looks in certain spots in the  back yard.  These are bottomless and are set on top of weed fabric on top of the native dirt. :

Here are 1' x 3'  small boxes tucked here and there in my back yard made from 8" cedar fencing board.  They have bottoms with holes drilled per ANSFG instructions.  These sit on top of 2" rocks or cement pavers around the house foundation.  They are all elevated to discourage termites:

Termite damage when the 1 x 3' boxes were set on the dirt around the foundation of the house.  Hence, all of them are now perched on rocks of double layer of cement bricks or pavers:

If your son has time, go ahead and install some cheap trellises per ANSFG instructions.  The metal electrical conduit pipe comes in 5' and 10' lengths.  I started with 5" but quickly realized that they were too short.  So I changed them out for 10' cut down to 8."  sort of a compromise.  Photo shows an original 5' trellis plus white PVC frames that can be removed, dismantled and stored.  I covered the boxes with plastic during our hard freeze.  Will also be great for shade relief during our heat waves.  Note the wood chips I use as Mulch to conserve water year around and keep the roots cool during the heat waves.

Now, if your son is still home and wants one more thing to do, he can help make your Mel's Mix!  

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you.  It's just that when there is a strong male, things are built so much faster!  Bless your son.


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Re: new member from land of the outdoor convection oven

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/27/2013, 4:02 pm

What will help you a great deal is to mulch deeply with wood chips (see the Back to Eden gardening post in non-SFG section for details)  Link here: quarefoot.creatingforum.com/t13233-back-to-eden

This will keep your plants roots cooler and help avoid water evaporation.  

You may also want to use a shade cloth over the tops of your boxes.  You can find the shade cloth at your local Home Depot or Lowe's or you can find it online.  You can use a heavier weight/higher shade version.  Just like you don't like the sun beating down on your, your plants will enjoy a bit of shade.  

Read through the older posts here on the site.  Use the search box to  put the kind of search terms that will give you a more targeted read.

Oh!  And WELCOME!!!


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I love pictures

Post  melanielundin on 12/27/2013, 5:01 pm

My son is a visual learner so this is really going to get him started right. Thank you everyone


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Re: new member from land of the outdoor convection oven

Post  walshevak on 12/27/2013, 6:24 pm

Be sure to check out the regional forum "southwest deserts" for more pictures and ideas. Shade cloth will be your best friend.



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Re: new member from land of the outdoor convection oven

Post  Goosegirl on 12/27/2013, 7:15 pm

WELCOME!!! We LOVE pictures, so you will find lots of pictures on the forum to give your son ideas. You will not regret taking him up on his offer!



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Re: new member from land of the outdoor convection oven

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