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Hi - I'm new

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Hi - I'm new

Post  Vickie L. Todd on 7/20/2014, 9:45 am

Hello to everyone.  I have just joined this group and am excited to learn a lot from all that are in this group.  I absolutely love gardening, but have very limited time to devote to this love due to my work schedule (very long hours) and working on completing a Ph.D. in psychology.  I basically have snippets of time during the regular work week and a little extra time on the weekends.  I do my best and have a 2 small vegetable gardens as well as several small flower beds on my 1/2 acre property.  We have many trees, so areas exposed to full sun are limited (unless we borrow the vacant 1/2 acre lot next to ours which we do from time to time). 

As indicated above, I am very happy to join the group and excited to learn more.

Vickie Todd

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/20/2014, 1:43 pm

Hi Vickie.  Welcome!

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/20/2014, 7:20 pm

Welcome Vickie! And good luck on integrating gardening into your busy scheduling. It can be tough!

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  sanderson on 7/21/2014, 4:56 am

Vickie, I welcomed you in another topic (tomatoes) and I welcome you here, also. I think so many of the Forum members find that gardening is grounding and is wonderful mental health therapy. Some find being a member and being able to discuss things, show photos of successes and even problems is good. One of the reasons that some of us are down right perky on this Forum is because we use the Square Foot Gardening method which takes a lot of work out of the gardening. If you haven't already, get hold of a copy of All New Square Foot Gardening, 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew.

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Newbie from north of Savannah, GA

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/22/2014, 8:40 pm

Hi everyone! Linda here from Pooler GA.  I found out about the SFG method this weekend when my daughter in law told me that they were going to start a garden and that Mel's book had been recommended to her. I spent the weekend reading the book and getting many great ideas. I especially liked the pictures of what everything is supposed to look like. I am definitely a visual learner. Also excited about being able to purchase Mel's Mix for my second season crop.
Should be fun, look forward to learning and talking with everyone and helping if I can. Learned about pickleworm this year and wireworm in my potatoes. Also learned I planted my potatoes the wrong way.  They gave me some back anyway.  Love to learn!

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  mollyhespra on 7/22/2014, 9:36 pm

glad you\'re here to both of you!

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  sanderson on 7/22/2014, 9:54 pm

Svanah,  Great, you have read the book!  okay

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  yolos on 7/22/2014, 11:45 pm

Welcome svanagirl.  I am also in Ga.  Brooks, about 25 miles south of Atlanta.

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  Windmere on 7/24/2014, 2:33 pm

svanagirl,

Welcome to this marvelous forum.  I live in Fayetteville, GA (which is 20 miles south of Atlanta, just above where yolos lives).  I have gotten so much excellent information here.  I'm sure you will enjoy time spent on this forum.

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Hi, I'm new!

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/24/2014, 2:49 pm

It is wonderful, isn't it?  I feel like I have just met a new circle of friends. I have learned  a lot of new things already. Trying to figure out if I can access enough materials to make Mel's Mix rather than mortgage the farm to have it shipped to me, lol! Got to be a better way to get it.

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  Windmere on 7/24/2014, 3:20 pm

On a personal note, I have found that compiling my own blend of MM tends to yield  a richer growing medium that what I have found to be in the pre-bagged commercially sold MM.

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Hi I'm new!

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/24/2014, 8:25 pm

That is very good to know! Where did you find all the components of it?  Did you order and pick up or did you find it where you live?

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  yolos on 7/24/2014, 8:49 pm

I am sure Windmere will come along shortly and give you his experiences.  Here are mine.

My most favorite compost is Black Kow (cow manure compost) - can sometimes be found at lowes, Home Depot, hardware store, some nurseries, feed and seed store.

EB Stone Chicken Manure compost - found at Pike's nursery (I love this stuff)

EB Stone Earthworm Castings - found at Pike's nursery (fairly expensive)

Mushroom Compost - Pikes nursery, lowes, home depot

Forest Products Compost - Pike's, I didn't like this because it was not fully composted.

I have also used cotton compost (feed & seed store). My own compost made from leaves, grass and veggie scrapes.

Vermiculite - Pike's (pretty expensive), Feed & Seed store (much cheaper but you have to ask if they have it because sometimes it is in their back room.  If they don't have it, they may order it for you).

Peat Moss - Pike's, Lowes, Home Depot, Feed & seed store.

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  yolos on 7/24/2014, 9:07 pm

There was a user on this forum in 2013 that was from Savannah.  She kept talking about a hydroponics store in Savannah that carried a lot of different composts.  Her user name was jazzycat.  So keep your eye out for any of her old posts where she talked about where she found her supplies.  There ought to be a way to pull up all posts by a particular user but I can't figure it out.

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  quiltbea on 7/24/2014, 9:37 pm

Welcome ladies, to a wonderful, helpful group of people.  We learn a lot from each other here.  We share our losses and our successes and take pics when we can.
Since I changed to Win8.1 on my computer I can't figure out how to post pics from my albums.  I hope to learn in the near future.
In the meantime, others post lovely pics of their ongoing gardens. 
 glad you\'re here

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  llama momma on 7/24/2014, 9:53 pm

Yolos
In the green task bar above you click on Members.   Then put in the username you are looking for, then go to Statistics, then the bold word Post.  It will open up all of their entries.  I got you started on the process here:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/memberlist?mode=lastvisit&order=DESC&submit=Ok&username=jazzycat

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I'm new

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/24/2014, 10:00 pm

Nope, working on that compost gig too! So much new stuff to learn, but so much fun!

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My compost experiences... shop around

Post  Windmere on 7/24/2014, 10:39 pm

@yolos wrote:I am sure Windmere will come along shortly and give you his experiences.  Here are mine.

My most favorite compost is Black Kow (cow manure compost) - can sometimes be found at lowes, Home Depot, hardware store, some nurseries, feed and seed store.

EB Stone Chicken Manure compost - found at Pike's nursery (I love this stuff)

EB Stone Earthworm Castings - found at Pike's nursery (fairly expensive)

Mushroom Compost - Pikes nursery, lowes, home depot

Forest Products Compost - Pike's, I didn't like this because it was not fully composted.

I have also used cotton compost (feed & seed store). My own compost made from leaves, grass and veggie scrapes.

Vermiculite - Pike's (pretty expensive), Feed & Seed store (much cheaper but you have to ask if they have it because sometimes it is in their back room.  If they don't have it, they may order it for you).

Peat Moss - Pike's, Lowes, Home Depot, Feed & seed store.
Hi svanahgirl,

I got a chuckle from yolos because my experiences with components for Mel's Mix very much mirror hers.  In fact, she has taught me much.

Black Kow has a marvelous consistency and it is also one of my top favorites.  It's inexpensive and I have never purchased a bag that was poor quality.

There is an organic cow manure compost at Pike Nurseries that is, across the board, terrible.  I can't remember the brand name at the moment (I don't think it is EB Stone).  I do remember it is organic.  Every bag I've purchased is full of stones and large chunks of bark.  I've even complained about it to Pike... but no one seemed to care.  Ah well... that's another story.

I find EB Stone Chicken Manure compost found at Pike Nurseries to be excellent.  Really, this brand is the only one I will use.  I have not found something equivalent or better.

Despite the fact that earthworm castings are so expensive, I still always add this to my mix.  I also, like yolos, like to use the EB Stone from Pike.  I have also used Wiggle Worm brand castings that I purchased through Amazon.  Wiggle Worm is FANTASTIC in terms of its rich texture, but it is awfully expensive.  I just checked and 15 lbs is $20.09.  I usually mix Wiggle Worm with EB Stone to make my 1/5 component.

I always use mushroom compost in my mix and this last season I used some from Pike Nursery, some from Lowe's and some from my local feed and seed store in Jonesboro, GA.  This year, when I mixed my MM, I actually used 1/3 of each brand to make my 1/5 component.  A little over the top, I know, but I figure a bit of the same type of compost from three different sources can't hurt. 

I agree with yolos about the Pike Nursery forest product compost.  I have to pick out bark and other non-composted materials.  Honestly, if I could come up with another component that is not super expensive... I'd probably use something else.

With regard to vermiculite... well it is pricy.  I've purchased it from Pike Nursery and (at the suggestion of yolos when I was first starting) from a feed and seed store.  I was ecstatic when I learned from yolos about our feed and seed store having it.  It was less expensive from them and it was the same brand.  The brand name I use is "Palmetto."

Once I bought some vermiculite for a great price from Big Lots.  The packaging clearly showed coarse vermiculite.  However, it did not say the size.  It turned out to be fine grade.  I spoke to the manufacturer and they agreed that the illustration was misleading.  They cut me a check to refund all my money. 

As for peat moss, this year, I bought all of mine from Lowe's.  I purchased the compressed kind.  If you end up buying that, be sure to wet it and fluff it before adding it to your MM mixture.

Since I purchased some pre-bagged commercially produced Mel's Mix, I ended up using it as an amendment for my own mix.  However, it only made up about 15% to 20% of my mix.

Our family has never ended up generating enough of our own compost.  Really, though, it's because we're not disciplined enough.  The small amounts that I have been able to put together are really good quality compost.  Also, having a pine forest on the rear of our property makes for a good supply of pine needles.  I do concentrate on composting those.

So, that has been my experience.  I've only had three growing seasons (I just started spring 2013).  I've had some good successes and I've experienced some epic failures.  Regardless, I've learned a bit and I love gardening.

My best advice to you is to call around before you actually visit some of these nurseries.  Let folks tell you exact costs so you can realistically calculate things.  That's what I did and I found it to have been worth my time to do that.

I wish you much success... and above all.... enjoy your garden!

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Hi I'm New

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/27/2014, 2:50 pm

Found the Hydroponics store and it is only about 5 miles from me! Would never have known it was there, so appreciating the information.

The order products tab is under construction, so have no idea of prices at this time but have sent them an email about coarse vermiculite so that should give me some idea.

Prefer to support local businesses so excited to drop by and see what they have.
 thanks

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  Kelejan on 7/27/2014, 8:53 pm

glad you\'re here Linda and Svanagirl to our wonderful Forum of helpful people.
May I suggest that for the first year you start small and grow from there? It gives you time to make mistakes if you have not gardened before.  I found that when I first planted seeds I could not identify whether what grew were weeds or not but I get better as time goes on.  thinking

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Hi, I'm new!

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/27/2014, 9:52 pm

Had to laugh because when I planted flower seeds in my garden, did not know which were weeds either.  My mistake this year was to start seeds but not to properly mark them. I planted in peat pots and wrote in pen on the pot. Which was great till you watered them and they fell apart. NO idea what I planted till I got some plastic plant markers from Walmart and marked them! Novel idea!!   Laughing 
I have container gardened but not had an actual garden bed. Had not read the SFG book but had read Organic Gardening, Mother Earth News, and Farmers Almanac, and found that Google WAS my friend! Learned all about pickle worms, wireworms etc and the nasty Squash Borer and Powdery Mildew, plus whatever is attacking my tomatoes now. Not sure if it is wilt, blight or what. Leaves curling up and then dying, all crunchy and brown.  YUCK!
I am going to do just one bed this fall and see how that goes. Have some containers as well but will advance from there.
Thanks for all the help and encouragement. It is exciting, exasperating and rewarding as well. cheers

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/28/2014, 2:22 am

svanahgirl, I had to chuckle when I read how your plan to write on your peat pots turned out. It's so funny, but sometimes exasperating, when we make those mistakes.

I did the same kinda thing this year, writing on plant tabs that the rain promptly washed the ink off. D'oh! I have no idea what most of my tomatoes are this year.

Additionally, someone saved me a chocolate cherry seed this year and planted it for me, then gave me the plant in a four-inch pot. I was so happy to get it, because I had one of those plants two years ago and it gave me by far the best cherry tomatoes I had ever eaten. Now it's finally set fruit and ... it's some kind of oblong paste tomato. LOL!

Last year, I planted a squash at the end of a garden bed and set up a trellis I was going to train it up to grow it vertically. Once it started growing, I found out it wasn't a vining squash at all, but a bush squash. *sigh*

I wonder what dopey thing I'll do next year ... or tomorrow, for that matter!

Keep yer chin up! There's always something goofy to do in the future, even if you can't think of one now. Wink

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Hi, I'm new

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/28/2014, 2:46 am

I think I told you about not planting the potatoes in a trench but hilling them up first thing. It is a wonder that they grew at all! They did not grow very big but I had two kinds and they were very tasty.  Planted Kennebec and Yukon Gold.  Gardening is just amazing, isn't it? Sometimes we succeed in spite of ourselves.

Tried four new tomatoes this year, Black Elephant, which is a Russian Heirloom. He did not do well and I have started him again. Then there was one called Containers Choice, a cherry type tomato, that is very good but did not get too many at one time. We are trying him again for fall.  Also one called Violet Jasper or TZI BI U Tomato. That was wonderful, even keeping ahead of the caterpillars got a lot of those. Then one called Black Krim, I believe. I was not impressed with him at all.  Love to try new kinds of plants.  Going to get that SFG bed put together and give it a go.

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  Kelejan on 7/28/2014, 10:51 am

Marc, the goofy things we do are good for a chuckle but also good for teaching us.
I will keep on posting my experiences and never be embarrassed by them.  Very Happy

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Re: Hi - I'm new

Post  Windmere on 7/28/2014, 3:21 pm

+1.  Made so many dumb mistakes 1st year and I am STILL making dumb mistakes this 2nd year!

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Re: Hi - I'm new

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