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What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  camprn on 2/18/2014, 5:10 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:
@camprn wrote:Hi jujee, why not give it a try. Make one 4x4 garden box for a trial run. That is my suggestion.
 glad you\'re here to the SFG forum.

Or even try it in pots, like I did at home.  (I garden mostly at a neighbor's house and can't control his soil composition).  Even my fabric pots, which are supposed to leak water very very easily and continuously, stayed wonderfully moist with MM in them and very little watering on my part compared to pots with regular non-SFG soil in them.  For what it's worth, I got those fabric pots in 1x1 foot size, which I've seen at both Home Depot and Walmart.  There's a square foot for ya!  

How about trying a winter or spring crop now in a container or two? A quick-growing green, like the small bok choy/pak choi type Asian cabbages, or some lettuce or spinach?  Or snow peas?  By the time summer comes around, you'll have harvested your crop, will have some experience with what MM "soil-less soil" can do and how much watering it needs, and probably be a lot more confident about expanding into a bigger SFG garden for your summer crops.
Pots wouldn't be square foot gardening.

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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  Jujee on 2/18/2014, 5:20 pm

I really love that there is a forum for this kind of gardening!!! I've tried various things in the past, and just had to take my neighbors word or my dad's, or check out a book, but couldn't ever verify it with others (and in the case of the book, REAL PEOPLE!!!) so, thank you all!! I
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/18/2014, 6:37 pm

Jujee,

My neighbors were astounded that I grew 7' corn in 6" of Mel's Mix last summer--and actually had a crop!

My climate is notorious for corn-growing difficulty.

The key is to find proper ingredients for your initial Mel's Mix. Then make our own compost!
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  sanderson on 2/18/2014, 6:59 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:
@camprn wrote:Hi jujee, why not give it a try. Make one 4x4 garden box for a trial run. That is my suggestion.
 glad you\'re here to the SFG forum.

Or even try it in pots, like I did at home.  (I garden mostly at a neighbor's house and can't control his soil composition).  Even my fabric pots, which are supposed to leak water very very easily and continuously, stayed wonderfully moist with MM in them and very little watering on my part compared to pots with regular non-SFG soil in them.  For what it's worth, I got those fabric pots in 1x1 foot size, which I've seen at both Home Depot and Walmart.  There's a square foot for ya!  

How about trying a winter or spring crop now in a container or two? A quick-growing green, like the small bok choy/pak choi type Asian cabbages, or some lettuce or spinach?  Or snow peas?  By the time summer comes around, you'll have harvested your crop, will have some experience with what MM "soil-less soil" can do and how much watering it needs, and probably be a lot more confident about expanding into a bigger SFG garden for your summer crops.
Pots wouldn't be square foot gardening.

True, pots aren't really true square foot gardening.  But, using MM and the SFG spacing concept, pots can help expand the garden and be easily moved around to follow the sun through the seasons.  I have 31 pots,  potato buckets, and other containers in addition to the 74 Sq ft. of boxes.  Here a pot, there a pot, everywhere a pot, pot . . .  Very Happy

Ditto on getting one box built and filled and planted. It does build confidence and you don't have to shell out the money and effort all at one time. Of course, SFG is addictive  What a Face 
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  Marc Iverson on 2/18/2014, 10:14 pm

@camprn wrote:Pots wouldn't be square foot gardening.

Nope, but it's trying out Mel's Mix, and it's a way to start small that will have strong carry-over learning value.
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  dk54321 on 2/20/2014, 10:51 am

@Jujee wrote:Hi! I'm new to this forum and to SFG. I have been POURING over the book all winter, measuring my garden spaces, extensively planning and re-planning what is going in my magic boxes and I'm worn out before I've even begin! (Still very excited though). Because SFG is my NEW garden thing this year, will all of you just tell me that this really works?  I've had several people look at me crazy, others tell me just to 'till it up because you'll get more plants' and others who've flat out said that 6 inches is not deep enough and this will be a catastrophic fail. I think I'm worn out from all the naysayers! And I haven't even put in a box yet! (But I'm close!!)

Please tell me this is as awesome as the book says. And that 6 inches is really deep enough!!!!!!!
I've been a square foot gardener since the first book came out. I've double-dug 4 x 24 ft beds, and believe me, that is not an experience you want to repeat! But when I read All New Square Foot Gardening, I was hesitant to try Mel's Mix. I'm frugal (okay, cheap!) and I found the idea of buying dirt physically painful, no matter how good it was. Still, when I thought of the time, effort, and yes, money, I'd spent over the years trying to improve soil that was basically rocks and clay, only to move just about the time I'd got a reasonably good texture, I could see the appeal of having perfect soil from the beginning. 

I compromised, and made one 4 x 8' bed 4 inches deep. I grew broccoli, tomatoes, and cucumbers at least as good as I'd ever grown in only 4" of Mel's Mix! 

 I put my beds directly on the lawn, no digging, but I did put down thick layers of newspaper in place of weed cloth. I don't recommend newspaper—while you're laying it down, the paper you've already laid down is blowing away. The next year I made another bed without newspaper or weed cloth, and I saw no difference between the beds.
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  dk54321 on 2/20/2014, 11:55 am

What's new:

Plants:
Strawberries
Thyme
Basil 
Oregano
Chives

3 Foot wide beds: I've always made beds 4 feet wide by some multiple of 4 feet long. While I can reach 24" to the center of the bed, my comfortable reach is 18-20".

Protective Domes: I've protected plants with clear plastic before, but always had trouble with it tearing, blowing away, or the supports falling down. This looks like a much better way to support it. I'm also planning to staple 1x2s along the edges of the plastic to help hold it down.

Clear plastic mulch to raise soil temperatures in the spring.

Improvements to my vertical supports: I've always driven the conduit directly into the ground each spring. It blows over at least once each season. For the permanent pieces, instead of driving in rebar and slipping 1/2" conduit over it, I plan to drive in 3/4" conduit, and slip 1/2" conduit inside it. I've always used U-shaped pieces cut from wire coat hangers to hold the cross piece to the uprights, but I've noticed that when they blow down, one upright comes loose before the other, twisting the frame. I think elbows might make the frame more rigid.

Wintersowing: After reading about this method online, I'm going to try starting tomatoes from seed under plastic outdoors.

What I'm trying again: Garlic. I planted garlic cloves in an old flower bed where nothing would grow in October 2012. The green shoots grew 8-12" before the cold weather hit. They came up again in the spring, and were just starting to form bulbs when I left a note for my 14 yo son to mow around the bed. He somehow interpreted that to mean mow the bed.
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  Kate888 on 2/20/2014, 1:08 pm

Well, after building SFG boxes the last two years since I started, the new thing this year is NOT adding any.  While I would like a couple more 3x6s, I decided to give us a rest from the extra work and cost this year.

That left me some money to get a seed starting shelf unit. So, new for this year will not be using boxes underneath to adjust the plants  to reach a stationary shoplight.  Yay!  And though I liked it in the basement workshop, it can now be on the main floor which will be much easier when it comes time to take them in and out each day when I start hardening them off - no stairs, not to mention the tomatoes and peppers like the warmer temps better, too.

I planted garlic last fall which is my first time with that.  Also, I really enjoyed the flower bed that I turned into an herb bed, well half of it, so this year I'm going to redo the other half for lots more herbs.  I'm going to try a couple of new ones, rosemary and summer savory (though that will be in with the veggies).  The herbs aren't in an SFG, but they're all supposed to do better with a less nutrient rich soil.

I've added so many new things the last two years since I'm new to gardening, that I'm mostly trying to keep it simple and just improve on what I've been doing.
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seeds for 2014

Post  kauairosina on 2/20/2014, 1:13 pm

I just put in an order for seeds from Territorial Seed Company and they sent me a confirmation email that makes it easy to copy here:

1PP678/SAncho Magnifico Pepper - 25 seeds$3.85
1HR1086/SBorage Conventional & Organic - 2 grams$2.55
1OV578/SChing-Chiang Pac Choi - 1 gram$2.35
1LT384/LDrunken Woman Frizzy Headed Lettuce Organic - 1/2 gram Organic$3.25
1CO254/SFlash Collards - 1 gram$3.50
1LT406/LFlashy Trout's Back Lettuce Organic - 1/2 gram Organic$3.25
1ZFE266Garden Combo Inoculant - treats 8 lbs$8.75
1TM879/SGolden Honey Bunch Tomato - 15 seeds$3.55
1TM873/LIndigo Rose Organic - 20 seeds Organic$3.35
1BN031/SKentucky Wonder Bean Conventional & Organic - 1 oz$2.10
1TM900/LMexican Strain Tomatillo Organic - 1/8 gram Organic$3.35
1CU297/SPepinex Cucumbers - 15 seeds$4.50
1PP700/SPlanet Pepper - 10 seeds$5.45
1CR266/SPurple Sun Carrots - 1 gram$3.85
1PE636/SSuper Sugar Snap Peas -10% off - 1 oz$2.12
1FL3346/SSweet Pea-Spencer Waved Mix -10% off - 3 grams$2.30
1MU528/STah Tsai Mustard - 1 gram$2.55
1HR1100/PVariegated Cat Grass - 1/2 oz$3.95
1CR283/LYaya Carrots Conventional & Organic - 1 gram Organic$3.85
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  brainchasm on 2/20/2014, 3:22 pm

New this year for me will be California Wonder bell peppers, and Hungarian Black hot peppers (basically a jalapeno).

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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  CarolinaGirl on 2/20/2014, 7:19 pm

New this year will be ground cherries, lemon squash, and a few different potatoes varieties. Also new tomato variety: Eva Purple ball.
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Re: What will your garden ring in NEW this year?

Post  dixie on 2/20/2014, 7:59 pm

DK:  I'm redoing and adding beds this year.  My current ones are 4 x 12 and it is hard for me to reach the middle from either side too.  I just moved part of an asparagus bed to a 3 x 12 bed, need to have DH fix 2 more 3 x 12 boxes for the rest of the asparagus before it starts to grow.

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