Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hi from Nor Cal

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Hi from Nor Cal

Post  knitqueen77 on 12/15/2014, 4:39 pm

Hi my name is Deborah and I live in the north bay area. I have very little yard/soil and very sad unhealthy soil. Also very little space and not much sun due to a hill on the south side of the property. Hoping I can get some good ideas and advice about what I can do as my yard is open to anyone who wants to trespass and this makes growing food a temptation to gleaners. Looking forward to what I can learn.
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Re: Hi from Nor Cal

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/15/2014, 5:23 pm

WELCOME! There are a lot of people here with some great ideas and I'm sure they'll be around to ask questions and make suggestions soon. I just wanted to say "hello" and let you know we're happy you're here.

Do you have Mel's newest book "The All New Square Foot Gardening?" AKA: ANSFG If so, I really encourage you to read through it intensively before starting any new garden plans. Over the winter you might want to create your own compost piles so that your Mel's Mix can be the very best, most productive soil possible. There's a great composting thread here:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18500-compost-bekeley-18-day-hot-method?highlight=hot+composting

Sanderson has small, shady growing conditions in her back yard. Take a look at the posts in this thread and you'll see some of her solutions: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t16858p576-northern-california-coastal-valleys-what-are-you-doing-this-month#211294

When you build raised beds 24-32" off the ground and use Mel's Mix for your planting mix you take the poor conditions out of the equation. Also raising beds can sometimes gain you extra sun - depending on where and how your shade occurs.

Merry Christmas!
Audrey
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Re: Hi from Nor Cal

Post  Kelejan on 12/15/2014, 6:04 pm

glad you\'re here knitqueen77
I concur with audrey/jeanne's  mention of raising beds may enable you to get a little extra sun on the actual beds.  If you have little sun, the smallest thing helps.
Before I had to cut down some trees, my three boxes were in front of my house which was backed by a north facing hill so that the house cast a shadow.  If I had not cut down my trees I was going to raise the boxes which I reckon would have doubled the amount of sunshine.
We all try to do the best with what we have. I suggest you concentrate first on raising cool weather crops like lettuce, carrots etc. We will help you all we can.
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Re: Hi from Nor Cal

Post  sanderson on 12/15/2014, 9:03 pm

Knitqueen77,  Welcome to the Forum!  glad you\'re here  As Audrey stated, I have a small back yard that gets a lot of shade because of the south and west neighbors' trees.  I have to tuck my beds (total of 90 Square Feet) in here and there, and grow vertically (up) so some of my plants can get some sun.  I also have some 30 buckets and pots scattered about to supplement the beds.  We are here to help if you have questions.  When you can, please posts photos of your yard so we can visualize your situation.  If you are near Petaluma, there is a compost business that has what looks to be good basic compost.  I don't think it has any barnyard manure in it so you will need to add composted manure (horse, cow, rabbit, chicken, etc.) to your mix.  The more variety of composted products, the more well rounded the mix. I also recommend that you get hold of the book All New Square Foot Gardening, 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew. It is easy but informative reading. Most of the members use the 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 fluffed peat moss, and 1/3 five-way blended compost for our Mel's Mix. Many also make their own compost with dried leaves, grass clippings, rotten fruits and veggies, sea weed, barnyard manure, Starbuck's spent coffee grounds, etc. But, that is the next chapter! First to get you started! Very Happy
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Re: Hi from Nor Cal

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/16/2014, 10:35 am

Hi Knitqueen77.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

I bet you & my mom have something in common...  maybe knitting?  (She's a knitting teacher at the local senior community classes.)

Do you have a deck?  Pots, window planters, etc might help keep the thieves away.  And raising them might increase your sun...
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Re: Hi from Nor Cal

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