Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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.


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New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

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New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

Post  notivuga on 4/12/2015, 5:36 pm

Hi there!

Glad I found the forum on the comments of Mel's Book on amazon.de! 

I am absolutely new to SFG and planning on building a 5x5 bed. My plan is to put a climbing structure in the middle and a perennial bloomer there for the bees. This way I will have to prune it like every 3-5 years, but I get 24 usable squares instead of 16, every one of those within 2 feet reach, but the one in the middle. I can only have this one bed and I have to make it count! 

It will be built from mortar pre-made structures that look like wood. LogSleeper and LogBorder from a German company called Kann.

Having a lot of trouble finding the vermiculite here, the source mentioned on the intl. list for Germany doesn't exist anymore. 

Looking forward to reading and learning a lot from you guys! 

Kind regards, 


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Re: New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

Post  plantoid on 4/12/2015, 8:21 pm

Hello Renata, 
Welcome to the forums.

Vermiculite .....

 Try any of the bigger Bau Stoff merchants where you can buy fireplaces and chimney lining bricks cement & timber and cement mixers & sand etc. as it is also used as a fire barrier infill between the fire bricks and the fire backs  and the  actual dwellings construction  bricks that make the chimney .

 I can't remember any names but I did see some in a builders merchants whilst I was staying at the big camp site just outside of Kalkenberg , app 50 km south south east  of Berlin last year .

I have wisely or unwisely been experimenting with using pure coconut fibre waste that is steam sterilized and heavily compressed into 5 kg blocks as the fibre for peat and a substitute for the vermiculite to see how it works as it is very moisture retentive and appear to be much lighter than peat over a few months of use . It's easy to rehydrate with water and fluff up .

 I'll catch up with your later in the week as it's my bed time the next few day will be hectic and I also really do need my beauty sleep Laughing

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Re: New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

Post  sanderson on 4/12/2015, 8:45 pm

Renata, Welcome to the Forum from the State of California, west coast US.! glad you\'re here

Finding resources can often be a problem for the beginner. I recommend that you get hold of a copy of All New Square Foot Gardening, 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew. It is a great resource and a big help in understanding what you are trying to achieve. Perlite can be used instead of vermiculite if you can not find it. I hope Plantoid's suggestion of building merchants works for finding vermiculite. Large, coarse is the best. Coconut coir can be used in place of fluffed peat moss. But, you should not have trouble finding peat moss in Europe, just remember to fluff it before measuring. Finding 5 different sources of quality compost is usually the hardest part. Putting a perennial in the center square sounds interesting. The only problem is that its roots may grow into the rest of the squares after a while. This is just a suggestion for the center square: build a 1 foot square platform for a large pot to set on and plant the perennial in that. The roots will never invading the vegetable squares.

Please keep us updated on your square foot garden journey. We love to see photos so please post. Very Happy


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Re: New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

Post  sfg4uKim on 4/12/2015, 9:07 pm

Hi Renate und Willkommen im Forum!

I lived in Stuttgart and Berlin and the Munich area is my favorite - I'm including Garmisch-Partenkirchen in that. The first time I traveled to that area was 1978 when I was stationed in Italy.

I hope you enjoy the Forum.


I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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Re: New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/13/2015, 9:29 am

Hi Renata!  Welcome from Atlanta, GA (SE USA).  Glad you've joined us!

My husband lived in the Munich area for 3 years.  He loved it.  And I had family in Dortmund for 20 years.  (My grandmother's family is from Fromm.)

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Welcome from GA - Home of red clay and peaches

Post  Windmere on 4/13/2015, 1:54 pm

Welcome Renata.  Like Marie, I am also from the Atlanta area (but originally from Los Angeles).  This is a great community and folks here are very helpful.  I've learned a great deal from the experienced gardeners that participate in this forum. 

I am now beginning my third spring using SFG method.  Where I live, our soil is actually red clay.  It's very hard to work with, so this method is probably the only way I would be able to garden.

Again welcome and I wish you much success in your gardening endeavors!

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Post  notivuga on 4/15/2015, 7:04 am

Thank you all for the warm welcomes! 

@plantoid: I'll try your suggestions to find the vermiculite. I also plan on using the coconut coir, but instead of peat moss, due to the environmental concerns. 

@sanderson: I ordered the book, second edition, it will arrive on Thursday. I'll do my best to find as many sources of compost as possible. I have a Wormery going, but the worms are still growing and reproducing, and not eating as fast as I would need. I may be able to use a little bit of the castings on the compost. 

@sfg4uKim and AtlantaMarie: I am myself a transplant, I come originally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. But I do love it here, there is no place like Munich, my chosen home. 

@Windmere: I also lived on the Upstate South Carolina, Greenville, between 2006 and 2009 and got to know the "wonders" of the red clay. The Peach State was a favorite destination of ours.

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Re: New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

Post  plantoid on 4/16/2015, 6:32 pm

If you have a liquidizer  perhaps whiz up all kitchen veg & fruit waste with  plenty of water so it becomes like thick soup and put that into the compost heap for a few days .

It will decay very very quickly  , now the temperatures are on the rise the worms will be laying eggs like mad , the whizzed up soup will make them a great feed and also encourage even more worms to sneak into your composter.

  Un-printed brown corrugated cardboard box material , torn or cut up into 70 x 70 mm sized pieces , wetted & put in the compost heap just under the surface makes a good egg laying place for worms to go.

 My compost bins have gone crazy.
 I gave them a quick fine spray with the hose pipe a week or so  ago , agitated the top layerto about 60 mm deep , wet it again and put the lid back on & have added all our kitchen waste since plus some clean wet wheat straw.
This morning when I took the lid off to add more material there are worms everywhere , even   hanging from the underside of the lid like red & pink spaghetti

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Re: New SFGardener from Munich, Germany

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