Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello from Portlandia

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Hello from Portlandia

Post  Bucklish on 3/12/2015, 12:24 pm

Hello everyone. I am new to gardening and have decided to try SFG this year. I live in Portland, OR and have five brand new raised boxes: 4x8 ft, plus additional areas for pole beans. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by all the SFG info out there, plus one of my friends (with gardening experience) has totally poo-poo'd the idea. So I have come to this site to learn more, and to ask specific questions. Looking forward to my first garden experience this year!! Thanks all in advance,


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Re: Hello from Portlandia

Post  llama momma on 3/12/2015, 12:49 pm

The fastest simplest way to learn this system in my opinion is to go with the directions in the book. It is all spelled out.  It will give you the confidence to move ahead and get it done.  Honestly you can always play around on the forum afterwards.

My personal experience,  I didn't know the forum existed till after I completed my first garden with loads of success. 
It's easy to get side tracked and addicted to the vast sources of information on the forum.  Instead, you could be outside making your first square foot garden a success!

I used the first edition 5 years ago called,  All New Square Foot Gardening
The second edition will include the words Second Edition right under the book title.

Both are excellent.  The second edition includes a new section on pest control I believe and more pictures.

Welcome to Square Foot Gardening.
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Re: Hello from Portlandia

Post  sanderson on 3/12/2015, 1:08 pm

Bucklish,  Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here You have come to the right place for help with your new Square Foot Garden.  Have you read the book All New Square Foot Gardening, 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew?  It really helps reduce the mystic and confusion about this method of gardening.  It works, or else we would quietly break down our boxes and fade away. Very Happy  Don't worry about your friend poo-pooing.  That's a common response from traditional gardeners.  Pole beans do great in the boxes.  Take a look at Yolos's avatar photo!  That said, some common root veggies, like potatoes, parsnips and carrots, need a few more inches than the 6" of Mel's Mix the regular boxes call for.  But, that's for later.  First we want to help you get going.

I see Llama Momma has also responded. We are a friendly and gabby bunch!


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Re: Hello from Portlandia

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/12/2015, 1:40 pm

Hi Bucklish.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

Gotta agree w/ LM - very addicting & easy to get side-tracked.

Also gotta agree w/ Sanderson.  Don't worry about your friend.  They'll learn once they see your success!

We love to give advice, so feel free to ask all sorts of questions.  We may refer you back to the archives.  But there's SO MUCH there.

We also love pictures.  That way we can cheer you on, console you, & help you fix issues.

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Re: Hello from Portlandia

Post  yolos on 3/12/2015, 3:16 pm

@sanderson wrote: 
Don't worry about your friend poo-pooing.  That's a common response from traditional gardeners.  Pole beans do great in the boxes.  Take a look at Yolos's avatar photo!
Mel's Mix (the soilless growing medium for Square Foot Gardening) works great.  As Sanderson said, see my avatar (a 2 foot by 8 foot bed filled with Rattlesnake Pole Beans).  I make one slight change from what Mel recommends.  My boxes are 10" tall because I live in a hot, dry climate and do not have drip irrigation.  I need the extra inches for mulch and a deeper soil to try to keep it hydrated.  A lot of gardeners on the forum use the traditional 6" tall beds and have great success.

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Re: Hello from Portlandia

Post  Bucklish on 3/12/2015, 7:03 pm

Thank you all for your warm welcome. I picked up the 2nd edition of Mel Bartholomew's book today, haven't started reading it yet. I did a garden plan on the Territorial Seeds website...they have a garden planner, and you can use the SFG mode to get the number of plants/seeds per square foot. My new beds are about 15 in deep. The landscape guy who is building them is going to use a mix of compost, vermiculite and soil. (I think.) I wasn't thinking SFG when I contracted with him, so I haven't given him a precise formula to use, but it will all be brand new and very healthy. It will also have automatic irrigation. I should be ready to make the grids next week, and I'm scurrying to purchase seeds. I think my initial plan may be too ambitious...i.e. too many different kinds of crops.

My main objective is to raise healthy, organic and tasty food. In addition, I want to become more self-sufficient. I am single, and I would like to be able to store veggies to use throughout the year. I am also vegan, so I rely a lot on vegetables in my diet. So in addition to growing things best consumed fresh, I want to grow things I can can and dehydrate.

My new garden will not be in my own backyard. It is in the backyard of another house I own (and rent out) a block away from my own house. In my own garden boxes (in my own yard) I grow lettuces and a few other leafy greens. I don't have much sun in my own yard, so that is why I am going to commandeer part of the large sunny yard of the rental house. (The tenants are on board with this and I've offered them a box for their use as well.)

Anyway, I appreciate the welcome. I will dive into the SFG book tonight. I'm concerned that time is ticking and that I'm missing a good window, but  I'm sure it will all be fine, for my first year.

Any additional tips you can think of off the top of your heads would be appreciated!!


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Re: Hello from Portlandia

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/12/2015, 7:12 pm

Welcome from Bend!

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Re: Hello from Portlandia

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