Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» New Member
by trolleydriver Today at 11:15 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by yolos Today at 9:39 pm

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 9:01 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by AtlantaMarie Today at 9:00 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals Today at 8:59 pm

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by countrynaturals Today at 8:41 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Today at 6:41 pm

» New England, December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Today at 6:37 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising Today at 6:03 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson Today at 5:46 pm

» Winter's Coming!
by plantoid Today at 5:33 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker Today at 5:17 pm

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by plantoid Today at 5:02 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson Today at 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson Today at 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson Today at 4:14 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by sanderson Today at 4:12 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by Kelejan Today at 4:08 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 2:59 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess Today at 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson Today at 2:14 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals Today at 1:13 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by countrynaturals Today at 12:52 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Today at 10:11 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by AtlantaMarie Today at 5:51 am

» Winter Gardens - Photos
by sanderson Today at 3:55 am

» Log In
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 5:23 pm

» Gnome Pumpkin Pie
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:22 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 12:05 pm

» Greenhouse dreams
by trolleydriver 11/30/2016, 11:18 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  HLMullaney on 8/23/2014, 10:56 am

Hello! I have a vegetable garden that's 25x25'. It has been the bane of my existence!!! I am originally from NY where I had no problems growing vegetables, berries and flowers in the 75x150' garden I had there. This small bed .......ugh! My growing season is different from most. I grow from the end of October through May.

HLMullaney

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2014-08-22
Age : 48
Location : Punta Gorda, FL (Zone 9b)

View user profile https://www.opensky.com/heatherstreasures

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  sanderson on 8/23/2014, 1:09 pm

HLM, Welcome to the Square Foot Gardening Forum!  glad you\'re here  A 25 x 25' plot is fantastic. It will accommodate nine (9) SFG box beds at 4' x 4' per box-bed with 3' isles and walk-around. Are you going to try SFG? Have you read the book "All New Square Foot Gardening" 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew? There are other members that grow in your climate zone.

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12227
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  Rolling Stone on 8/23/2014, 3:13 pm

Hi H.L.

Welcome to hot and humid. I am just a few miles north of you, sort of on the cusp of 9 and 10. What many of us do in this neck of the woods is pull in July and cover (tarp or mulch) until September mostly for weed control purposes, 'cause most everything in the garden is done by then. But if you want crops growing thru the summer we have found that okra, sweet potato, peanuts and hot peppers are pretty reliable. Also many here plan on two seasons - Sept thru December and February thru June - rather than a single season. Check your first and last frost dates and work around them.

Additionally, a good resource is your local IFAS Extension office. Pick up (or download) document SP103, "Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide". A wealth of info and data to be found therein. If you haven't started a compost pile/bin check the Charlotte County landfill. If they do not have free compost, there are sources (free and cheap) on my side of the river that I can refer you to. 

Yes, zone 9 - 10 gardening can be frustrating, even humbling, at times.  (I lost 18 tomato plants overnight a year ago.) But, a lunch/dinner of fresh veggies from your own garden makes it worthwhile.

Good luck; Karl

Rolling Stone

Male Posts : 17
Join date : 2013-12-30
Location : SW FL - Zone 9A or maybe 10B.

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/23/2014, 6:01 pm

Welcome!

You'll turn your bad luck around, I'm sure, with a little experience in your new climate zone and with the help of the SFG ideas. Being that in SFG you don't use native soil anyway, you shouldn't have to worry about it's problems.

I wonder, though, if you might have some of the same problems another member from Florida, dstack, has had. He took very careful precautions because nematodes are at plague proportion in his native soil, building a concrete platform over the soil. I don't know if you have a nematode problem there too, but your local university agricultural agents should be able to give you tons of help, as Rolling Stone says, and your local Master Gardeners should be able to help too, as they should have people around to answer questions and give tips who have been growing right in your area for years.

Marc Iverson

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2013-07-05
Age : 55
Location : SW Oregon

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/24/2014, 10:04 am

Hi HL.  Welcome.

You've already received some very good advice.  I'm sure you'll be fine.  Please don't hesitate to ask questions!  Lots of folks here are willing to help.

AtlantaMarie

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 3763
Join date : 2014-03-18
Age : 53
Location : Buford, GA - Zones 7B/8A

View user profile http://www.defensivespecialties.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  TCgardening on 8/24/2014, 11:46 am

Hello & Welcome from the Treasure Coast.


I agree with Rolling Stone that the U of Fla vegetable guide is a must read. I was surprised at what you can grow if you follow their planting calendar. In general there is some great info on the ifas website, home pest control, lawn, etc. I 
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021
 
Another helpful book is Rodale's Find it fast answers for your vegetable garden. It is not a square foot gardening book but really helps solve some of the pest or disease problems. I found it at the local library but eventually bought a copy.
Tom MacCubbins has a Saturday morning radio show about Florida gardening. He answers lots of questions on gardening in general, what type of tomatoes to grow, when to plant, what's eating my lawn and so on. Check out his website to see if the radio show in your area. http://www.betterlawns.com/newhome.asp 

You should be planting your fall garden right now. Tomatoes, cukes, summer squash will all do well now before the chill. October is the cool weather garden & the end of Feb is your spring planting time.

Good luck & have fun
 Craig

TCgardening

Male Posts : 196
Join date : 2013-12-28
Age : 59
Location : Zone 10a Stuart, Fla

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  HLMullaney on 8/25/2014, 6:19 pm

Craig, it's so brutally hot here! It's been in the mid 90's. I am starting things this coming weekend...if I don't melt! LOL! I will definitely be reading on the links you sent. Thank you very much!!!!

Marc, great looking pups! Wink  I have looked into nematodes and got a non-harmful spray (only harmful to nematodes!). I believe it was beneficial nematodes that destroy the bad ones. I have checked roots and haven't seen any destructive signs of them. Unfortunately I have to use the native soil. See below!

Rolling Stone, we have been putting down plastic for the weeds. The sand spurs come back no matter what. HATE THEM!!! We have lost so many plants. They'll be doing great one day and the next they're gone. We gave up on trying to grow beans. Cherry tomatoes do ok but beefsteaks or any of the larger tomatoes do lousy. Was it cutworms that got your tomatoes? I wrap a piece of paper bag around the stem of my tomatoes and peppers to keep them away. Okra does awesome. Got a freezer full! Cucumbers start off great vine wise and then die. Can't figure out what it is! We sprayed the garden for nematodes and I've checked the roots of the dying plants and nothing. I have seen this bright green worm that is about 1/2" long. We don't have a compost bin. I would love one but I'm not the only one in the garden! My dad does a lot of it because I've been battling cancer for 2.5 years (cancer free now!) and wasn't able to do much. Plus I blew out my knee in the garden last January. Not fun! I'm trying to convince him to do square foot gardening. I did it when I lived in NY. But I get told I don't know what I'm talking about. Grrrrr!!!

Sanderson, I have read the book! I got it in 1986 on a trip to Epcot. They had it in the gift shop at the Land. Tried to find it again when I was there two years ago with no luck so will have to get it elsewhere. I cannot set up box beds because the property we are growing on doesn't belong to us. tongue  It is a tiny lot that this woman owns and it is too small for a house. She wanted to build there but couldn't so she used to come down and set up a chair and sit there for a few hours. We haven't seen her in 12 years. She might have passed away and no one would want the land. My dad has taken care of it for her for years so we decided to break out the rototiller! We have a sprinkler system set up that we remove during the off season. When I first planted it, I did set up for square foot and kept the pathways rototilled for weed control. But our first try was a nightmare because of pests. I was also told that my methods were stupid. My dad is old-school, you-must-plant-in-rows!!! Eek!  I am hoping to be buying my own house in a few months and I will be setting up an aquaponics system and do square foot gardening in that. I work at a juvenile facility in education and have been researching aquaponics systems for a grant to teach the boys. I found a great company near me that we are working with to come set up a system for us. We already have 3-500 gallon fish tanks so it should be a lot of fun! (If anyone is interested in checking it out look up 'Urban Food Forest'!) The tables are 2' x 10'. We are probably getting 15 of them at our school and we have the option of raising freshwater lobsters in the tanks! Woohoo! LOL! All the vegies and fish they grow can be prepared at the facility and help cut the costs of food and give them a healthy diet!

HLMullaney

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2014-08-22
Age : 48
Location : Punta Gorda, FL (Zone 9b)

View user profile https://www.opensky.com/heatherstreasures

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/25/2014, 8:11 pm

HLM (can I abbreviate to that?), that aquaponics biz with the fish sounds very cool. I spoke with a guy who was setting that up with tilapia in his apartment. He says very little room is needed for a huge amount of fish. Sounds like a really fun project to embark on, and if it works out, it could really be great.

It sounds like you are working off the old version of the SFG book. It's great, but you should also get the All New SFG book(ANSFG around here) to get up to date.

Good luck working with your stubborn dad -- I know EXACTLY what that's like. Very Happy And it ain't easy!

And glad to hear you're a survivor. Keep up the good work and the good luck!

Marc Iverson

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2013-07-05
Age : 55
Location : SW Oregon

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  sanderson on 8/25/2014, 8:36 pm

silly me   I wrote a reply and lost it.  Here goes a second time.

Marc has already mentioned that the book you have is out of date.  You can now use it under the short leg of the table.  Very Happy   You need All New Square Foot Gardening, 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew.  I bought mine gently used off eBay and Zamazon.  Zero native soil is used.  More produce per square foot, less water with top mulching with wood chips, bedding straw, etc., virtually no weeds, less time, less work.

Tell your Dad you want an experimental SFG box, say 2' x 4' or 4' x 4'. (wink, wink)

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12227
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/25/2014, 10:39 pm

Yeah, tell him you don't think he has the skill to build it, just to guarantee he has to prove you wrong! Very Happy

Marc Iverson

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2013-07-05
Age : 55
Location : SW Oregon

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  dstack on 8/26/2014, 3:57 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Welcome!  

You'll turn your bad luck around, I'm sure, with a little experience in your new climate zone and with the help of the SFG ideas.  Being that in SFG you don't use native soil anyway, you shouldn't have to worry about it's problems.

I wonder, though, if you might have some of the same problems another member from Florida, dstack, has had.  He took very careful precautions because nematodes are at plague proportion in his native soil, building a concrete platform over the soil.  I don't know if you have a nematode problem there too, but your local university agricultural agents should be able to give you tons of help, as Rolling Stone says, and your local Master Gardeners should be able to help too, as they should have people around to answer questions and give tips who have been growing right in your area for years.
Yes, gardening sure is a challenge here until you learn a set of Florida gardening rules. This forum of great people helped me every step of the way. And I'm still learning new things every day! I'm coming near the end of my first year of SFG-ing as I started building my boxes on cinder block in September. 

One tip I have for this heat... Consider using screens on tomato cages to filter sun and cut down on heat so you can get an early start on the cooler season garden. 

A photographer gave me a large part of his white paper that he was going to throw away and I've been ripping pieces of it to use to shade my transplants and seedlings...



I'm also using some of the paper in squares where I planted seeds and I can't let that top layer dry out for some temperamental seeds like stevia.


Last edited by dstack on 8/26/2014, 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : format issues)

dstack

Male Posts : 511
Join date : 2013-08-20
Age : 48
Location : South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale), Zone 10A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/26/2014, 4:56 pm

Marc,

I didn't know you were so skilled in paradox techniques!  Good one!

donnainzone5

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 1915
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 69
Location : Bend, OR (Zone 5-6)

View user profile http://www.amway.com/DonnaKBecker

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  TCgardening on 8/26/2014, 9:42 pm

We are in the same zone only the opposite sides of the state. I live in the coastal scrub area so I know what really poor soil is all about. Luckily we have a better breeze here but its still DANG HOT! I had cancer surgery in 08 and couldn't hardly go outside for quite some time. Just walking outside and the heat killed me. I've been in Fla since 69 and worked outside most my life, I was really mystified that I couldn't take the heat. After a long time I was able to get back out so I presume it was just the surgery that did that to me. Slow & steady is the way to go.
 Tell Dad that you need to amend the soil (sand) to get things to grow. If he won't accept the Mels Mix concept get him to agree on some good rich soil. Once he see that veggies will grow you can get him to start some raised boxes & MM. I had to convince myself that this is the way to go so he is probably as stubborn as me. I found a local guy that compost on a huge scale to make topsoil. (Soilking.com) What a huge difference that has made. See if you can get some Everglades muck over there. Everything will grow in that stuff. Once you get the soil in order the rest will happen on its own. 
Try a bed with soil amendment, Just dump 4 bags of Black Kow in a small area and plant some seeds. After seeing the results even Dad will agree that our pitiful soil (sand) needs some help. Some folks here just grow in a bag of topsoil then mix it in at the end of the season.
 Our sand will grow a amazing assortment of plants but if you want some good veggies you need to help it out.
 Once you figure out some pest control techniques you'll be good. Your biggest problems will be the powdery mildew, cabbage loopers (small green caterpillars) & squash vine borers. All controllable once you get the hang of it. You can grow more crops for longer seasons but you have to be more attentive down here. It's still a great hobby! 
Good luck with the garden & converting Dad to the square foot way!

TCgardening

Male Posts : 196
Join date : 2013-12-28
Age : 59
Location : Zone 10a Stuart, Fla

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  HLMullaney on 8/27/2014, 1:20 pm

@TCgardening wrote: Once you figure out some pest control techniques you'll be good. Your biggest problems will be the powdery mildew, cabbage loopers (small green caterpillars) & squash vine borers. All controllable once you get the hang of it.  
Good luck with the garden & converting Dad to the square foot way!
So they are cabbage loopers! What a p.i.t.a. they are!! And squash vine borers? That's probably why we have no luck with squash and cucs.  I am going to look into a couple truckloads of mulch. In January I added peat and a few bags of cow manure. Got a story about the cow manure. I wound up doing a face plant into a pile of it I had just spread. I have a dumb knee and my kneecap likes to dislocate. I was crouching down, finishing with my arugula seeds when CRACK!!! My kneecap popped out and I went face first into the manure. Ick. I managed to drag myself into the shower and get cleaned up before going to the ER. That was a fun one to explain to the doctor!

HLMullaney

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2014-08-22
Age : 48
Location : Punta Gorda, FL (Zone 9b)

View user profile https://www.opensky.com/heatherstreasures

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  TCgardening on 8/27/2014, 9:35 pm

Sorry it took me a while to stop laughing about the face plant! That sounds like something I would have done!
I have a bun knee so I feel your pain.
 The pest down here are pretty much the same as up north but on steroids! It can be a year round problem but if you get the right control schedule you will be all right. Having home grown veggies in Feb are worth all the efforts.
 Craig

TCgardening

Male Posts : 196
Join date : 2013-12-28
Age : 59
Location : Zone 10a Stuart, Fla

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  HLMullaney on 8/28/2014, 7:31 pm

I was told that is not the way to pat down your seeds!!! LOL!

HLMullaney

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2014-08-22
Age : 48
Location : Punta Gorda, FL (Zone 9b)

View user profile https://www.opensky.com/heatherstreasures

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  sanderson on 8/28/2014, 11:28 pm

lol!

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12227
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  TCgardening on 9/13/2014, 9:38 am

ML
 I just saw a listing for a class on vegetable gardening in SW Fla. It is being held on 9/16 so that is going up quick. Thought it might interest you.
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/vegetable-gardening-in-southwest-florida-tickets-12458982151

The get a free newsletter called Neighborhood Gardener from UF-IFAS Master Gardeners program. It covers all areas of Fla , it's always a good read.
 Here is the link;
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=b6deccd9-7f24-44c0-b7d2-ac9ea6f65140&c=e6f19240-788d-11e3-8780-d4ae52806b34&ch=e6f69b50-788d-11e3-8780-d4ae52806b34

Craig

TCgardening

Male Posts : 196
Join date : 2013-12-28
Age : 59
Location : Zone 10a Stuart, Fla

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  HLMullaney on 9/13/2014, 11:05 am

Thanks! Unfortunately I'm out of town that day. 

Some good news! I am looking for a house right now. That means RAISED GARDEN BEDS!!!  Woohoo!!!!!  LOL!

HLMullaney

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2014-08-22
Age : 48
Location : Punta Gorda, FL (Zone 9b)

View user profile https://www.opensky.com/heatherstreasures

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  TCgardening on 9/13/2014, 12:58 pm

Good luck on the house hunting. Now is a real good time to buy.

TCgardening

Male Posts : 196
Join date : 2013-12-28
Age : 59
Location : Zone 10a Stuart, Fla

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  sanderson on 9/13/2014, 3:51 pm

HLM, How exciting!

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12227
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/14/2014, 1:00 am

Ah, good luck! Hope you find a place with good sun and protection from the elements and the adequate space necessary to garden in it. Plus to manage your dogs in!

Around here, anything we don't fence and wire in very sturdily belongs to the deer and pocket gophers and squirrels and raccoons and ... well, pretty much anything but us. Hope you're careful to make sure that what you can grow, you can keep!

Marc Iverson

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2013-07-05
Age : 55
Location : SW Oregon

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  HLMullaney on 9/14/2014, 10:24 am

We are looking at one house today that is on the next street from my parents' house. LOTS of sun! Not overly huge on the property, but we would plan on putting in stock fencing and use a nice section of the yard for raised beds. I could also use the fence for a lot of vertical growing. It's been a difficult search because so much in the area is in flood zones and the flood insurance is going to skyrocket next year. Even my parents are looking to move because they live on a river.

HLMullaney

Female Posts : 13
Join date : 2014-08-22
Age : 48
Location : Punta Gorda, FL (Zone 9b)

View user profile https://www.opensky.com/heatherstreasures

Back to top Go down

Re: Hi from Punta Gorda, FL!

Post  Sponsored content Today at 11:35 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum