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Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

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Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  rabelgirls on 1/14/2014, 1:23 pm

Hello Everyone!


My name is Sherri and I am from central WV,  I just found your fabulous website today!!  How grateful I am that I have!!  I have LOTS of questions and can't wait to get started!!  I love doing research and all my homework before I dive right in..  


I am looking to build 4 x 4 beds two feet off the ground.  My first question is what to put on the bottom of the beds...plywood?  wire mess?  I am at a loss for that...


Any info or direction that anyone here can help me with would be great and truly appreciated!!


Thank you in advance for all your assistance!!!
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rabelgirls

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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  herblover on 1/14/2014, 1:46 pm

Welcome Sherri!  Do you have the SFG book?  That will answer a lot of questions.  As to your specific question; my beds are raised (not that high though) and we used 3/4 inch thick plywood on the bottom.  Don't forget to drill drain holes!
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  sanderson on 1/14/2014, 5:19 pm

Sheri, Welcome to the Forum!   glad you\'re here

The best advice I can give you right now is to get hold of the book "All New Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew."   I got mine used off eBay.  It's easy reading but filled with information.  Once you have read it you will have a better idea how to move forward.  Meanwhile you can go to Home and check out all the subjects under the Hover button.  (The little bumps) As a 2013 Newbie, I swear by SFG.

We are here to help you.  When you can, post photos.  We love photos.
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  Marc Iverson on 1/14/2014, 6:40 pm

@herblover wrote:Welcome Sherri!  Do you have the SFG book?  That will answer a lot of questions.  As to your specific question; my beds are raised (not that high though) and we used 3/4 inch thick plywood on the bottom.  Don't forget to drill drain holes!

And don't forget to put something strong enough to block entry by moles and other critters over those holes! A friend of mine lost all his root crops once to critters that crawled into his raised beds from their drain holes.
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  walshevak on 1/14/2014, 6:46 pm

I like wire mesh lined with weedblock fabric. I lined some of my tabletops with 6mil plastic (with drainage holes poked in it) and they are now needing replacing 3 years.

Kay

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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  jimmy cee on 1/14/2014, 11:21 pm

Sherri
Hi and welcome, if your not composting now, I'd suggest you get into that immediately.
Then do the rest, that's unless you have access to quantities of home made...
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  rabelgirls on 1/15/2014, 9:05 am

Thank you all so much for your responses.  I stopped by my library yesterday and they had the newest edition of the SFG book.  I got it and read it all yesterday!!  OH MY WORD!!  What valuable info in there!!  I will order a copy today from Amazon.  I am SO READY to get started!!  Now I just have to figure out what zone I'm in!!  


Thanks again to you all!!
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  llama momma on 1/15/2014, 9:50 am

I think you are going to love owning a copy of this book.

Concentrate on the best compost for your garden bed.  Homemade is the best because you control the quality and the amount.    There isn't much quality control with store bought products.  Why gamble.

If you are striving for an organic garden, let your compost commitment efforts determine the number of beds.  It's much easier to start very small and get a feel for the whole process. Once you make the amount of compost to support one bed then you can realistically think about expansion.   

 Follow Mel's advice to get started!  The book streamlines everything so you can proceed with confidence. Relax, enjoy, and welcome to sf gardening.
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  meatburner on 1/15/2014, 11:51 am

Sherri, have you figured out you harness zone yet?  Go to johnnyseeds.com and look for the "hardness zone" map on the left side.  You can then go by zip code.  Good luck.
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  rabelgirls on 1/15/2014, 2:11 pm

@meatburner wrote:Sherri, have you figured out you harness zone yet?  Go to johnnyseeds.com and look for the "hardness zone" map on the left side.  You can then go by zip code.  Good luck.
Thank you so much... I now know what zone I am in... 6b!!  Now, to figure out when/what to plant!!!
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  herblover on 1/16/2014, 9:32 am

Hi Sherri,
If you google frost dates there are many websites which will give you that info. When I created my planting chart I used the 50% dates for cool weather veggies so that I could succession plant. I don't plant anything tender until after the last frost date.
I agree with llama momma, start small; especially if gardening is totally new to you. I had 1 4x4 box for two years before adding a second last year. While this is an "easier" method of gardening, there is still time and work involved and it can be overwhelming if you try too much too soon.
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  sanderson on 1/16/2014, 1:14 pm

Sheri, Eleven months ago, I started with 28 + 1 = 29 sq. ft. Now I have 65, tucked here and there, with 6-10 more planned ASAP.

Did you buy the bed frames? One or both should be plenty to get you started. You will learn what you want to grow more of and what you will not be growing again.

PS Your avatar matches your enthusiasm!  Very Happy 
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  rabelgirls on 1/16/2014, 1:55 pm

@sanderson wrote:Sheri,  Eleven months ago, I started with 28 + 1 = 29 sq. ft.  Now I have 65, tucked here and there, with 6-10 more planned ASAP.

Did you buy the bed frames?  One or both should be plenty to get you started.  You will learn what you want to grow more of and what you will not be growing again.

PS  Your avatar matches your enthusiasm!   Very Happy 
Thank you all so very much for the encouragement!!  
No, I have not bought the bed frame yet, but I think I am going to this weekend when I can get access to a vehicle that can haul it for me.  I am just going to get the smaller one to start with.  If I think that it's something that I can continue to do, I will buy another one.  I don't want to wait too long, as I am sure they will be gone soon, they are only $15...


I have (sort of) mapped out what I want to plant and have sent off for some seed books... 


I am ready to get started!!  


Thank you all again for your tips and ideas!!!
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  sanderson on 1/16/2014, 2:07 pm

Sheri, I think I forgot to recommend keeping a journal. What you did for the day, what you are thinking. . . It's helpful [and fun] to read it later. Plus photos for your progress.
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  rabelgirls on 1/16/2014, 2:13 pm


@sanderson wrote:Sheri,  I think I forgot to recommend keeping a journal.  What you did for the day, what you are thinking. . .  It's helpful [and fun] to read it later.  Plus photos for your progress.
What a great idea!!  I will start one today!!!

Thanks again!!!  Smile
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  sanderson on 1/16/2014, 2:18 pm

I have an 8 1/2 x 11" lined notebook. I also print little pictures and scotch tape them to the pages, or trim a printout and tape it in.
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Re: Newbie from WV...beginner but learning!!

Post  rabelgirls on 1/16/2014, 2:30 pm

 I can't wait to get started on this!!  And the pictures will be such a BIG help!!
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Greetings from a gal born in Charleston, WV

Post  lbiernesser on 1/17/2014, 7:17 am

Hi Sherri, like you I am a bit of a newbie as well. I had the old book and got the new one this christmas as a gift. I think some folks use a weed fabric as the base. I may try that on 1-2 boxes but I had bad luck before (when I lived in So. Chas). I had mulch on my landscape beds and when the mulch decomposed, the weed seeds germinated into the mulch and the roots went down through the fabric which was a nightmare.

I've done 8 (4' x 4') boxes made from 2 x 4's and 8  (4' x 4') boxes made from 2 x 6's. The filling is going to cost me a fortune LOL.


Hope you guys get your water quality back!  Happy Square Foot Gardening!
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