Square Foot Gardening Forum
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First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

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First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  cannonball on 5/8/2016, 10:59 am

We read the Square Foot Garden Book, cover to cover, and are super excited about starting our garden.    Yesterday, we completed the build of our 4x10 grid garden, using 2x10 cedar lumber, making our Mel's Mix as best we could with Peat Moss (Lowes), compost (mix of 3 types from Lowes), and course Vermiculite (ULINE).   That's my wife who will be doing the actual gardening, and is looking forward to picking the vegetables to plant.

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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  johnp on 5/8/2016, 11:05 am

Great job, looks nice. Just got one more 4x8 ready to go this morning. Got it all recharged and wetted down. The hardest part to me is getting the MM wet throughout. Takes a lot of mixing. Good luck.
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/8/2016, 11:09 am

Great looking bed! Post often and let us know your progress!
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/8/2016, 11:20 am

Oh sweet! A nice new pristine pallet ready to paint.  Makes me drooling
glad you\'re here
What were the three composts you used?

CC
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  countrynaturals on 5/8/2016, 11:33 am

Good job! Looks perfect.  cheers
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  cannonball on 5/8/2016, 12:01 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Oh sweet! A nice new pristine pallet ready to paint.  Makes me drooling
glad you\'re here
What were the three composts you used?

CC
The 3 composts which I used (all from LOWES) were:


  • Earth's Finest - which says it is a blend on the label
  • Mushroom compost
  • Cow manure compost


The next project for us is to build a backyard compost rotating barrel...to get the best compost of all.
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  ralitaco on 5/8/2016, 12:17 pm

CANNONBALL!!!!! (sorry, I couldn't help myself...memories from childhood jumping in the pool)

Welcome from Coastal NC!

Your bed looks FANTASTIC! And so does the rest of the yard. You were so smart to leave that space b/n the fence and the bed so you could get around the BIG, BUSHY PLANTS that are going to be there before too long.

I read some of your other posts: it looks like you went with the string for the grid. What did you decide for filler...sand or no sand?

As for the compost, that is ALWAYS the hardest part to get...5 varieties!!!! I started with three also...Cow manure, mushroom and chicken manure (sold as a fertilizer not compost) and had decent success. Last year, I found some bags of leaf compost, it was ok but wasn't screened well and wasn't really composted. I also found worm castings. As I understand it, they count as 1 of the 5. There are several companies that sell it so you should be able to find some near you. This year, I started making my own compost.

I look forward to seeing the pictures of the progress you and your wife make.
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  sanderson on 5/8/2016, 2:01 pm

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Cannonball, great looking bed! Please keep us updated.

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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  trolleydriver on 5/8/2016, 3:56 pm

Nicely done Cannonball. You will get a lot of enjoyment from your square foot garden.
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  Windmere on 5/9/2016, 9:22 am

Very nice work Cannonball.  Everything looks textbook perfect!
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  Zmoore on 5/9/2016, 9:33 am

SWEET!!!
That's "textbook" perfect.
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  cannonball on 5/9/2016, 10:28 am

@ralitaco wrote:CANNONBALL!!!!! (sorry, I couldn't help myself...memories from childhood jumping in the pool)

Welcome from Coastal NC!

Your bed looks FANTASTIC! And so does the rest of the yard. You were so smart to leave that space b/n the fence and the bed so you could get around the BIG, BUSHY PLANTS that are going to be there before too long.

I read some of your other posts: it looks like you went with the string for the grid. What did you decide for filler...sand or no sand?

As for the compost, that is ALWAYS the hardest part to get...5 varieties!!!! I started with three also...Cow manure, mushroom and chicken manure (sold as a fertilizer not compost) and had decent success. Last year, I found some bags of leaf compost, it was ok but wasn't screened well and wasn't really composted. I also found worm castings. As I understand it, they count as 1 of the 5. There are several companies that sell it so you should be able to find some near you. This year, I started making my own compost.

I look forward to seeing the pictures of the progress you and your wife make.
We went with the string instead of wood....I figured that string can be replaced every year or two without great expense.  Plus, it doesn't take up the extra real-estate of 1" wood or other such.   Someone on the forum mentioned that once the plants are growing, the grid becomes hidden by the vegetation anyway.

I elected to do "NO SAND."    I first roto-tilled the existing soil to hopefully get rid of any remaining weeds (not sure if that was necessary or not), and then covered that existing soil with landscape fabric before putting in the Mel's Mix.

Thanks to all on this wonderful and informative forum!
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  sanderson on 5/9/2016, 6:31 pm

I have a confession, I also have 3 beds with "temporary" string grids, the oldest which is still going strong after 2 years.  Plain cotton string.  The rest are all thin wood, removable grids which are 3 years old and still in solid condition.  Mel was very insistent that durable, permanent grids be used because "without grids, it is not SFG."  As string/twine is not durable, and human nature is to not replace string when it wears out, he just really didn't like it.

All of that said, I think any grid system that consistently works for the person, their budget, their personal visual idiosyncrasy, is so far ahead of any other gardening method out there that it becomes a secondary issue.  The screws for the string are permanent, don't rot, are tactile and the strings can be a variety of colors and materials. Just a personal opinion and not an endorsement.

How cool! http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=fancy+string&view=detailv2&qpvt=fancy+string&id=8A8FA066A5AD801C9FAA43516046813CAF052D9B&selectedIndex=33&ccid=fqrrvYB6&simid=608020800048204366&thid=OIP.M7eaaebbd807a7f8c8c717aa79d4bd6e3o0&ajaxhist=0


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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 5/9/2016, 9:03 pm

Beautiful job!  Welcome to the forum and to gardening the easy way :-)

My first Mel's mix was a disaster - I didn't measure the fluffed peat moss so I ended up with double the % and it took a couple years to recover from it.  If you find any deficiencies with yours, you can amend by adding compost as a side dressing all during the growing season.  

Don't hesitate to post pictures and ask if your plants aren't performing as well as you would like - WE ALL HAVE BEEN THERE!!!!  I probably would have given up gardening if so many kind souls hadn't chimed in and helped me through the rough patches.

Enjoy!
Audrey
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Re: First Ever Square Foot Garden - Completed

Post  Kelejan on 5/10/2016, 12:02 am

glad you\'re here  cannonball happy hi  and your missus
from Kelejan :canada: in British Columbia.

Sure looks a nice, neat setup, it looks almost too good to spoil it. Very Happy
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