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Hello from the ATL

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Hello from the ATL

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/18/2014, 10:48 am

Hi everyone.  My name is Marie.  I live just north of Atlanta, GA.  We are right on the edge of 7b/8a climates.  My microclimate tends to be more 7b.

I'm very excited to be joining you.

Currently the weather is going back & forth from high 60's to low 30's during the day.  But my lettuce seems okay and the cabbage & onions are very happy.

If anyone has any hints for me, I'd be grateful.  I am concentrating on organic, open-pollenated heirlooms.  I will be using companion, rotation, & interplanting techniques along w/ SFG.

AtlantaMarie

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  Goosegirl on 3/18/2014, 5:49 pm

welcome AtlantaMarie! How many beds are you going to start with? Post pics if/when you can - we LOVE pics, before, during, and after set-up!

GG

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  yolos on 3/18/2014, 8:20 pm

Welcome AtlantaMarie.  I am in Brooks about 30 minutes south of the Atlanta Airport.

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2014, 1:28 am

AtlantaMarie, Welcome to the Forum, from Fresno, CA!  glad you\'re here 

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/19/2014, 8:55 am

Good morning.  Thank you for the warm welcome, guys & gals!

As requested by Goosegirl, I will post pics as I can.  It's very gray & nasty today, so I'll try to get out tomorrow.

My total space is 35' x 25'.  This includes a 330 gallon water tank hooked into a gutter for irrigation and a 6'x8' shed.  Currently I have 1 2'x16' bed & 1 2'x8' with more coming.  (Right now we're concentrating on the fence line to keep the bunnies out, lol.)  I've got cabbage, lettuce, onions, & spinach in the ground.  I've got tomatoes, okra, peas, beans, gourds, watermelon, spaghetti squash, calendula, & nasturtium seeded.

And, of course, that doesn't include all the seeds I have that I don't have room for at the moment.   thinking   So many seeds to try, so little space at the moment... 

Yolos - Any hints for me?  How long have you been doing SFG?

Sanderson - Thank you!  What is your climate zone?  Any experience w/ 7b/8a?

Talk to you soon!  Marie

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2014, 2:53 pm

Marie, Your area sounds wonderful. Just make sure you leave some 3' isles (never less than 2'). Keep us posted as you develop your area. When you can, post photos, and stay active on the Forum. You will learn so much about gardening here.

My Zone is 8B-9A and is listed in the avatar box. It's considered a Mediterranean area, less than 10" of rain a year. We can grow almost anything here (if you have water).

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  yolos on 3/19/2014, 3:10 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Yolos - Any hints for me?  How long have you been doing SFG?
No hints come to mind right now.  I started with a small 4 x 4 in fall 2011 and have expanded.  My whole operation is growing every year and it is now 32' x 32' overall with more space used for a couple of compost bins.  I started this garden off as a row garden in 2008 and have almost converted it all to SFG. I don't know what kind of soil you are using in your beds but I strongly recommend using Mel's Mix.  It is certainly a joy to work with rather than the red ga clay (even if it has been heavily amended).  Also, trellising saves space.

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Welcome!

Post  Windmere on 3/19/2014, 4:38 pm

Hi AtlantaMarie.  I live in Fayetteville just north of yolos.  Our weather has been crazy hasn't it?  I have 11 Earth Boxes and two 4x4 beds.  I agree with everyone about the Mel's Mix.  In our area of red clay, it is well worth the effort and cost.  I have one helpful tip.  Swint's Feed Store in Jonesboro has vermiculite.  Four cubic feet (coarse grade) for $24.00 (at least that's what I paid for it about a month ago).  Also, I visited Pike's nursery for some of my organic composts.  You might want to call ahead for availability and prices.  I bought my chicken compost, my earthworm castings and my vegetable compost from them.  I also bought some organic cow compost from them, but my batch had lots of rocks and bark I had to pick out.

Welcome, welcome!

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/19/2014, 6:13 pm

Hi again.  Yes, we are using Mel's Mix.  I found course vermiculite at Northside Garden Center here in Buford.  It was a bit more than yours, Windmere, but at least I found it locally along with chicken compost & bat guano/kelp mix.  But I've heard of Swint's.  Just haven't been there because of the drive, lol.

Yes, vertical is very important.  The first rule of being a pack-rat is to learn how to pack (as much as possible into whatever space is available).

According to the plan my husband drew out, we will have 3 feet between rows.

Thanks for all the tips!  I'm grateful for any advice I can get.

AtlantaMarie

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  yolos on 3/19/2014, 6:45 pm

@Windmere wrote:Hi AtlantaMarie.  I live in Fayetteville just north of yolos.  Our weather has been crazy hasn't it?  I have 11 Earth Boxes and two 4x4 beds.  I agree with everyone about the Mel's Mix.  In our area of red clay, it is well worth the effort and cost.  I have one helpful tip.  Swint's Feed Store in Jonesboro has vermiculite.  Four cubic feet (coarse grade) for $24.00 (at least that's what I paid for it about a month ago).  Also, I visited Pike's nursery for some of my organic composts.  You might want to call ahead for availability and prices.  I bought my chicken compost, my earthworm castings and my vegetable compost from them.  I also bought some organic cow compost from them, but my batch had lots of rocks and bark I had to pick out.

Welcome, welcome!
Windmere, I love Pike's chicken compost and earthworm castings. I think it is EB Stone brand.  Don't use their steer compost - Yuck.  I use black kow cow manure.  Very fine particles  and good texture.  I buy my black kow at Home Depot or Lowes once they get it in for the season or Gilroy's Hardware (on 54).  They keep it out back. I can't remember the price difference between the two stores.  Did you ever get any cotton compost from Swint's.

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Steer manure

Post  Windmere on 3/19/2014, 8:59 pm

@yolos wrote:
@Windmere wrote:Hi AtlantaMarie.  I live in Fayetteville just north of yolos.  Our weather has been crazy hasn't it?  I have 11 Earth Boxes and two 4x4 beds.  I agree with everyone about the Mel's Mix.  In our area of red clay, it is well worth the effort and cost.  I have one helpful tip.  Swint's Feed Store in Jonesboro has vermiculite.  Four cubic feet (coarse grade) for $24.00 (at least that's what I paid for it about a month ago).  Also, I visited Pike's nursery for some of my organic composts.  You might want to call ahead for availability and prices.  I bought my chicken compost, my earthworm castings and my vegetable compost from them.  I also bought some organic cow compost from them, but my batch had lots of rocks and bark I had to pick out.

Welcome, welcome!
Windmere, I love Pike's chicken compost and earthworm castings. I think it is EB Stone brand.  Don't use their steer compost - Yuck.  I use black kow cow manure.  Very fine particles  and good texture.  I buy my black kow at Home Depot or Lowes once they get it in for the season or Gilroy's Hardware (on 54).  They keep it out back. I can't remember the price difference between the two stores.  Did you ever get any cotton compost from Swint's.
Hi yolos,

I certainly did learn the hard way with Pikes steer compost.  Fortunately, I just bought that one bag (it was a trial run).   It seems like I spent hours picking our the unusable bits.  For this next season,  I bought four bags of Black Kow from Lowes.  You're right about Black Kow.... it is consistently good quality as to fine particles and good texture.  I'm pretty sure I paid under five bucks a bag.

No, I never did get any cotton compost from Swint's.  I'm not in Jonesboro too often.  Nonetheless, I'm dying to know if it is organic.  I remember one person in another thread saying that her bag of cotton compost distinctly said that it did not contain pesticides. 

Hopefully our weather will hold up for a while.  I've seen the forecast and I foresee some hard core gardening in my future!

Windmere

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/19/2014, 10:27 pm

Glenn Burns said something this evening about freezing next week...  But yeah, I'm ready.  I looked at my seedlings I planted on the 13th and a LOT of them are already coming up!

AtlantaMarie

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  yolos on 3/19/2014, 11:26 pm

@Windmere wrote:

Hopefully our weather will hold up for a while.  I've seen the forecast and I foresee some hard core gardening in my future!
Nope, I think AtlantaMarie is right.  Listen to WSB in the morning at 20 minutes after the hour.  Kurt Melish is going to forecast for next week or two and my understanding is it won't be good.  Kurt Melish e-mailed one of the talk show hosts on WSB this week and convinced him to hold off planting.

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Re: Hello from the ATL

Post  Windmere on 3/19/2014, 11:43 pm

@yolos wrote:
@Windmere wrote:

Hopefully our weather will hold up for a while.  I've seen the forecast and I foresee some hard core gardening in my future!
Nope, I think AtlantaMarie is right.  Listen to WSB in the morning at 20 minutes after the hour.  Kurt Melish is going to forecast for next week or two and my understanding is it won't be good.  Kurt Melish e-mailed one of the talk show hosts on WSB this week and convinced him to hold off planting.
Yuck... I was going off of an older forecast I guess.  I just checked and I see all those 30 something evening temps coming up.  And lots of rain to boot.  Well, I am just going to do some MM soil mixing for my two new Earth Boxes.   Also, I am going to mix up some straight compost for my existing beds.  I find that task to be the most challenging, so I think I'm going to try to get some of that out of the way.

I sure hope we don't have the horrible weather we had last year!  We had some bitter temps and some wacky rain.

Windmere

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Re: Hello from the ATL

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