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Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

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Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  mlpii66 on 3/24/2017, 1:36 am

Hello all!

Relocated to Idaho Falls in the fall of 2015.  Had a fairly successful 2016 garden.  Got an early June cold snap surprise that caught me flatfooted.  Had stellar tomatoes and potatoes with a strong showing of most everything else.  I've mostly gardened using John Jeavons Bio-Dynamic French Intensive methodology but as I age (gracefully I might add), I'm looking at downsizing the labor intensity.

My plan this year is 8 4 foot by 4 foot beds for most veggies but two as compost beds/bins which will rotate each year. Two 1 foot by 8 foot beds for musk melons and cukes. And finally four of my former Bio-Intensive beds split with two sown in the three sisters, corn, beans and squash and the other two in cover crops to feed the compost bed/bins. Now that I typed it out it seems just as ambitious!

After a couple of seasons to knock the rust off, I am hoping to expand into market gardening as my semi-retirement gig. The long term goal is to ring my acre and a half with apple and pear trees trellised in the espaliered style as a living fence, get a bramble fruit patch going, some grapes growing and some bees to keep, maybe an herb garden too.

I hope to hear from some nearby folks and even some not so nearby with SFG experience.  I take a Bruce Lee philosophy on most things, I paraphrase "Use what works disregard the rest."  Looking forward to hearing what's worked, what hasn't for folks and sharing any successes and failures, AHEM, I mean learning opportunities I have.

Thanks for reading!

Mark
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  Turan on 3/24/2017, 2:17 am

Hi Mark, welcome to the forum.

I live in Montana outside of Bozeman, roughly 200 miles north of you. 

Your garden plan sounds great, I especially like the idea of a border of espaliered fruit trees.  They look incredible, I just did a google search. Laughing   8 4x4s is not really that much.  I have 2 4x8 and 3 3x8 and various other sizes and shapes just for our home veggies. 

I think of SFG as Bio intensive processed through the mind of an engineer.  My own garden is more SFG than ANSFG, my land has good soil and I see no reason to avoid it. I would think your Bio Intensive beds would convert well to SFG. 

I have a greenhouse that I grow indeterminate tomatoes, peppers, beans, and cukes in.  I can not really succeed with those crops without it.  So think about if that is in your long term plan.

Search in the forum about Three Sister gardens, we were all quite into that a couple years ago.

Happy Spring!
Turan

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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  mlpii66 on 3/24/2017, 3:38 am

Thanks for the reply.

In 2014 I had a business trip from Tampa FL to Helena MT. It was so beautiful it triggered a desire to return to the mountain west.  I lived for a while in Prescott AZ but eventually wound up in Tampa FL. It was five LONG years of looking longingly westward. So I found a job in Idaho Falls and haven't looked back. During my first Air Force assignment my buddy was from Bozeman!

I plan on making my beds similar to the "Backyard Builder" book bed plans.  The beds are modular systems to include small greenhouses/low tunnels for the beds.  I'll post pictures as every thing gets built. My intent was to have a couple of beds done by now and follow Elliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest advice with a poly tunnel and the SFG technique of wire frame and garden cloth under the poly tunnel. According to Coleman it gives you an extra zone and a half or so. I also want to build a greenhouse as well and see the wisdom in it! My peppers were tiny and seemed stressed the whole summer.

I will have a chore building better soil.  I'm on a hill top and have an excellent southern slope where my garden will be.  It's windy but there are plenty of rocks to hold things down. Rolling Eyes   I like the Jeavons' bio intensive concept of working towards no outside sources of compost. That's why I want to have beds in alfalfa, buckwheat and cover crops.  Still researching some cold climate cover crops.

Happy Spring to you too! FINALLY!
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  sanderson on 3/24/2017, 6:13 am

Mark,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here  One of the blessings of All New square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, is that you can build a garden bed on a concrete slab!  No native soil used.  As this is the SFG Forum, I'm going to suggest that you use the ANSFG method inside The green house.  Turan has a nice greenhouse with beds running down the sides and I think one down the middle.  The over head supports can be used for pole bean/pea and tomato over-head support.

The outdoor beds can be adapted with frames for quick covering.  Some of us have frames or hoops over the beds, just in case.  I had to read about the French Bio-Intensive method.  I love what Turan wrote, "I think of SFG as Bio intensive processed through the mind of an engineer."  About sums it up. Very Happy


Last edited by sanderson on 3/24/2017, 9:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/24/2017, 11:17 am

Hi Mark. Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

Looking forward t seeing pics of your area & especially your garden...
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  ralitaco on 3/24/2017, 12:47 pm

Welcome from Coastal NC.

Idaho Falls seems like a lovely area...during the spring and summer. Razz
My daughter attended BYUI for 2 semesters but just couldn't stand the cold and snow and ice. We drove out there 2x, once to investigate the college and once to drop her off. We made her fly home though, LOL.
Good luck with your gardens. Be sure to read the ANSFG book if you haven't already and please do post pictures.
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  mlpii66 on 3/24/2017, 11:59 pm

sanderson wrote:Mark,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here  One of the blessings of All New square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, is that you can build a garden bed on a concrete slab!  No native soil used.  As this is the SFG Forum, I'm going to suggest that you use the ANSFG method inside The green house.  Turan has a nice greenhouse with beds running down the sides and I think one down the middle.  The over head supports can be used for pole bean/pea and tomato over-head support.

The outdoor beds can be adapted with frames for quick covering.  Some of us have frames or hoops over the beds, just in case.  I had to read about the French Bio-Intensive method.  I love what Turan wrote, "I think of SFG as Bio intensive processed through the mind of an engineer."  About sums it up. Very Happy
Thanks for the advice!  My soil isn't too bad just thin in spots! Several small car sized lava flows poking through too but they will be perfect foundations for sheds and greenhouses.  That's what rekindled my interest in SFG. The double digging required by F B-I method was impractical and nearly lethal.  I plan on 12 inch deep beds to give root crops plenty of room.  We're not horrible winter weather wise, wellll... yes we are but I believe it's manageable at each end of spring and fall with a greenhouse.
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  mlpii66 on 3/25/2017, 12:05 am

AtlantaMarie wrote:Hi Mark.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA!  

Looking forward t seeing pics of your area & especially your garden...
Thanks,
It is beautiful, I can see the Tetons from my backyard and several other ranges from my front yard.  I hope I can get the garden and yard to a worthy state.  It sat neglected for a couple of seasons.
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  mlpii66 on 3/25/2017, 12:10 am

ralitaco wrote:Welcome from Coastal NC.

Idaho Falls seems like a lovely area...during the spring and summer. Razz
My daughter attended BYUI for 2 semesters but just couldn't stand the cold and snow and ice. We drove out there 2x, once to investigate the college and once to drop her off. We made her fly home though, LOL.
Good luck with your gardens. Be sure to read the ANSFG book if you haven't already and please do post pictures.
Thanks,
We arrived in October of 2015, found and moved into the house just before Christmas.  It was tough looking out the windows at the neglected yard.  The first winter everyone assured us was the "coldest in a long time!" The second, this last "more snow than I've seen in years!"  I think they may be telling little white lies to keep my hopes of a moderate winter alive!  It was a shock to the system coming from the sunny south!
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/25/2017, 12:59 am

glad you\'re here Welcome!  Ohio here...am excited to hear about your plans, experiences, and  other stuff!

cheers
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  mlpii66 on 3/25/2017, 3:25 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:glad you\'re here Welcome!  Ohio here...am excited to hear about your plans, experiences, and  other stuff!

cheers
Thanks,

I miss the mid-western soils. Grew up in southern Illinois traveled a bit, lived near St Louis on the Illinois side again for five years. Now in Idaho.  Never can get anything to taste as good as those Illinois grown tomatoes.
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/27/2017, 1:56 pm

Hi Mark! I'm from central Pennsylvania so my climate-specific experiences aren't going to be of much use to you, but I still want to say: glad you\'re here
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

Post  mlpii66 on 3/30/2017, 8:21 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Hi Mark! I'm from central Pennsylvania so my climate-specific experiences aren't going to be of much use to you, but I still want to say: glad you\'re here
Thanks.

I'm originally from southern Illinois, just where the glaciers stopped in that area.  Share a lot of similar topology with
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Re: Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?

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