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Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

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Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

Post  ittehbittehkitteh on 7/17/2017, 6:44 pm

Traditionally you use a wooden 4' x 4' raised bed to do square foot gardening.  However the wooden raised beds tend to be more expensive; you also have to put them together and/or build the raised beds, and I'm horrible with both.

I found a 4' x 4' raised bed, but it's a fabric pot; it still has the same dimensions as traditional square foot gardening, the only thing that is different, is the material it's made out of-it's made out of cloth, not wood.  It's less expensive than a raised bed, and it would just be simpler and easier for me to use a fabric pot instead of constructing a traditional raised bed.

I was wondering if I could still use this and the spacing guidelines for SFG, since the dimensions are the same, would this work?

Would I still do 24 1' x 1' squares?

The only thing different is the depth is 12" instead of 6", which means I just need to use more of Mel's Mix.  How many gallons/cubic feet of Mel's mix would I need for a 4' x 4' container with a 12" depth?
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Re: Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/18/2017, 6:36 am

Hi Ittehbittehkitteh. Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

Sure, you can use a fabric pot. I would ask what kind of support it has on the sides.... That's a lot of weight pressing out... (We like pictures, btw...)

You might consider filling the bottom 3-4 inches with sand. Then 6 inches of MM. That will leave some room for mulch at the top.

Yes, you'll still do the 1x1 squares.

I haven't had my coffee yet this am, so I'm not going to try to do math, lol!
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Re: Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

Post  sanderson on 7/18/2017, 2:46 pm

Kitteh, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

Yes, you can use a fabric box but it will dry out quicker due to side evaporation of water. You will need to stay on top of watering. Make sure you place it in a well draining spot without any pooling water. A depression will cause a soggy bottom which may cause root rot. You only need 6" of Mel's Mix made with good composts. As AtlantaMarie, mentioned, if you want to you can put a little bit of clean fill in the bottom like washed sand. Don't use dirt as it will probably contain weed seeds.

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Re: Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

Post  Robbomb116 on 7/18/2017, 2:52 pm

I would 3rd the reccomendation of using sand or another clean, cheap dill material in the first few inches of the box. Mel's Nix is expensive, and if one of your reservations about a wooden box was cost, I would not recommend going 12 inches deep of MM.
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Re: Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

Post  sanderson on 7/18/2017, 3:47 pm

A SFG instructor did an experiment growing in 6" of MM and 12" of MM in two 4'x4' beds. The plants (can't remember if they were tomatoes or peppers) did slightly better in the 6".

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Re: Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

Post  SwampTroll on 7/20/2017, 8:35 pm

5.3 ft^3 of Sand (gives you 4" of sand on the bottom as per Marie's suggestion)
8 ft^3 of MM (gives you the standard of 6" MM on bottom)
or
12 ft^3 of MM (if you go 9" of MM deep)


I am bored at work, so I did the math.
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Re: Can I use a fabric pot for SFG?

Post  Fiz on 7/20/2017, 11:48 pm

Great question! I considered a fabric bed before I started also, but ended up using loose bricks that my in-laws had stored in their garage collecting dust. Haven't had any issues with the bricks dislodging. Definitely go with what works best for you, in my opinion. If it doesn't work like you hoped, you'll know for next year, but can still make the best of it (with some minor adjustments) this year. Good luck, and definitely let us know how it goes!
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