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Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

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Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  1loloblonde on 2/8/2016, 2:18 pm

After reading the first book on SFG I am a little confused.  The book states that when starting your SFG you need to turn the soil and amending it - but after looking at the forum many people are using landscape fabric with no digging.  What is the best way to start it out??  Thanks
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/8/2016, 2:47 pm

Most of us on the forum don't use the first SFG book.  We are using the 'All New Square Foot Gardening' books, 1st and 2nd eds.  See if you can get a copy from your library then everything you see on the forum will make more sense.

btw, welcome!
happy hi
CC
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  sanderson on 2/8/2016, 4:47 pm

Ditto on what CC wrote. The All New SFG version is what most of us use. I encourage every new SFG to get a copy of it because this method is what Mel promotes now. No more earth turning!! Easy amending. Goes everywhere, including driveways, patios, balconies or on top of plain dirt or hard pan or clay. Very Happy

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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/8/2016, 6:09 pm

Agree! Much easier with All New.
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/9/2016, 9:07 am

Oh, yes! No tilling, no worrying about pH balances.... All New SFG is SO much easier!
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  Kelejan on 2/9/2016, 1:57 pm

glad you\'re here 1loloblonde  happy hi
from Kelejan :canada:

Oh, definitely use the latest edition. I missed digging up my garden by the skin of my teeth, as I had the first edition and was already prepared to dig the next day, but looked on the Internet and found there was a later edition with the new info about preparing my first bed. Saved me hours of work and labour. Very Happy

In addition I found this great group.
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Brand new gardener

Post  Mellen on 3/20/2016, 10:16 am

OK...I'm a little confused here.  Another new gardener asked a question.  Instead of receiving an answer, she had 5 people refer her to the NEW SFG book (which I have, by the way).

I was going to answer the actual question, then decided I had better find out if that is allowed.

If the moderator (Sanderson--hey FRESNO; I'm in Visalia!) could maybe send me a private reply please?  I don't want to break any rules and get kicked off the site!  LOL

THANKS!
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  Kelejan on 3/20/2016, 10:40 am

glad you\'re here mellen   happy hi
from Kelejan :canada:

A very good question indeed, mellen.

When I first joined I had the same problem. For myself, I found that if I had no idea of the answer, I would wait for someone more knowledgeable to reply.

Then the day came when I could answer, knowing that my reply was correct.

I  think it is quite in order for a newcomer  to reply to the question that you were confident you had the answer.  If you are by any chance wrong, then you will be put right, in a nice manner.  I know by experience that I have been wrong  sometimes and some one always corrects me and I say, "thank you" as I do not want to spread incorrect information  as there is a lot that I admit I am not sure about. I also learn something new to me at that time

IMO opinion, I believe a quick answer should be give to newcomers, as there is such a lot to learn about how this site operates before one can be comfortable.

So answer when you can, you will not be shouted down.

All the best to you from all of us.
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/20/2016, 10:48 am

Hi Melen,  please feel free to answer the question however you want. Would love to hear your personal SFG experiences, too.  

CC
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Brand new Gardener

Post  Mellen on 3/20/2016, 11:28 am

Thank you Kelejan & CC for your kindness.

CC:  I don't have any experiences yet.  I am just now starting gardening.  My first experience was planting lettuce, radishes & spinach in a 2'x3' box I bought at an antique store.  I thought I was a failure because nothing grew, but I diligently misted it anyway.  LOW & BEHOLD (!) yesterday I found little green plants peeking up.  Eureka!!!  

Full disclosure:  There were a lot less little plants than what I planted.  Maybe more will arrive?

So..since two pros said I could answer the question:  According to Mel's NEW book (pg. 81) the reason he now uses the weed barrier is so the weeds won't come up from the bottom of the box.  If they fly in (birds anyone) or blow in, they will be out of place, easy to see and remove.

Happy gardening ya'll.  I have to get all my plants in.  It's suppose to RAIN again (WHOO HOO!) this week.  Keep it comin'!
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  sanderson on 3/20/2016, 3:50 pm

Hi Mellen.  Since you have already received replies, I won't PM you.  This is a good discussion in general.  If you know the answer (referencing the ANSFG book is always good), please help the new person out.  Some folks join the Forum without having read the book, so if their post seems to indicate that, then encouraging them to read the book is appropriate.

Here's my main rule - The Golden rule, Play Nice.  In my 3 years on the Forum, I have only encountered 3 new members who took their ball and went home after being kindly asked to not do or to do something.

Everyone has made an etiquette boo boo at some time.  Sometimes Camprn (Moderator) or I will (Admin) will move a reply, merge 2 identical duplicate topics, rename the Title, etc.  All part of housekeeping.  The Forum was started in 2010 and has a wealth of info accessible through the Search Box.  Some of the info is directly regarding SFG, other info is "out of the box".  Gardening in general, pests, recipes, and plain fun. Very Happy

Mellen,  Welcome to the Forum from Fresno!  glad you\'re here  All threads are "open" for discussion as long as the original topic is not high jacked.  Please join us on the ongoing "Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?", maybe post photos??  We all love to see photos.

PS: The original SFG book indicated tilling 6" of dirt first, then adding the Mel's Mix to it for a 12" depth. The All New SFG book is quite different and is what is promoted now. We no longer use any dirt, just the 6" of Mel's Mix with weed barrier at the bottom. Some long-time gardeners have both some of the older boxes plus some of the new.


Last edited by sanderson on 3/20/2016, 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/20/2016, 3:56 pm

glad you\'re here from Ohio, Mellen! This is a great site, glad you found us!
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/20/2016, 4:00 pm

Hi Mellon. Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

I'd have to agree with what the others are saying. And we would love to hear about your experiences as you go along! We're here to help, cheer, console...

You know, in thinking about it, we really are a great group....
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Okay so I got the No Tilling but now I still have to remove the grass and weeds under fabric??????

Post  1loloblonde on 4/7/2016, 11:34 am

Okay the tilling issue has been cleared up....I bought the all 3 books..lol   But now my question is it still states I have to remove the grass and weeds under the landscape fabric, but the picture on page 61 on the 2nd addition book seems to look like the grass wasn't removed... Please anyone?  Thanks
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  sanderson on 4/7/2016, 4:43 pm

My take is to mow it short (and remove anything that is known to be very invasive). Don't lower the spot elevation wise or a soggy collection pond may form under the bed! Folks in the area? Anything that can come up through weed fabric with 6" on mix on top?

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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  Kelejan on 4/7/2016, 5:13 pm

I am quite sure that if a hole is accidentally made in the fabric, or two pieces do not overlap sufficiently, then something can grow up.

Six inches of Mels Mix can easily have a hand-fork go through the fabric if one is not careful.
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  yolos on 4/7/2016, 8:46 pm

I did not have any type of invasive grass or weeds in the area that I set my raised beds.  So I mowed the grass as short as possible.  Then I got a powerful weed eater and sheared the grass down to the dirt.  Then I put down a thick layer of cardboard.  Then I set my bed on top of the cardboard.  My beds are 9.5 inches high.  I have done approximately 20 beds using this method.  I never had any grass or weeds come up from the bottom.  I did have tree roots invade the beds after about 3 years, but that is another discussion.
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/8/2016, 1:17 pm

Yes, I have had problems with grass growing in my beds, especially this year.

Three years ago, I had the garden areas dug out, put weed cloth down, placed and filled the boxes.

Not too much grass appeared until this year; now I'm pulling out clumps and clumps!  I'm not sure how to deal with the problem at this point.  Suggestions, anyone?
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  sanderson on 4/8/2016, 2:14 pm

Donna, Maybe the grass is from seeds that are wind dispersed or when mowing the lawn? and, not from underneath? My 2' tall TTs are the cleanest. The 3 closest to ground in a windy and generally weedy, dirty area are the trouble ones.

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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/8/2016, 5:58 pm

Sanderson,

It just may be that the yard guy brought in seeds on his mower and trimmer!  I did discuss the possibility with him, but he minimized the issue.

Perhaps I should have him use my mower and other equipment....  Of course, he just changed businesses, and I'll have to break in someone new.
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/8/2016, 8:20 pm

I have boxes with partial/broken bottoms (old window boxes) on the ground. I have grass invading from below. I can trace it down to the bottom of the boxes. It seems to come in from cracks in the sides, bottom, not sure. Contemplating doing a lift of said boxes onto cardboard, then goin' from there!

First year, golden. Weeds learn..... Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Landscape Fabric versus Tilling ground

Post  sanderson on 4/9/2016, 2:28 am

SR, If you go through the work of lifting them onto cardboard, you might as well go all the way and lift them off the ground a couple inches and installing plywood bottoms. ?? Just a thought.

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