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The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

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The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  ColleenW on 9/2/2017, 1:25 pm

Received my All New Square Foot Gardening Book 2ND Edition in the mail this week! I already have the impression that the book is going to be an amazing resource (and I love Mel's enthusiasm). But it could be 3x as long! Being in publishing, I know the limitations of page count Smile But I'd love to know: If you could add a chapter or expand upon a chapter for a hypothetical 3RD Edition, what would you add?

Asking because the section on protecting the garden from wildlife felt a little basic. But I get it. We're all going to have our own challenges based on our locations (the forums here have been helpful for that). But my mystery critter would blow through all of the suggestions in the book.  I lost a lot of time this year to just building fencing. So my wish would be for an expanded chapter on fencing and protection.

So what have you learned that you think would make a useful addition to the book for new SFGers?
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  plantoid on 9/2/2017, 6:00 pm

I'd like to see a chapter on what the likely nutrient & trace elements are for all materials likely to be used in making a quality compost  & the reasons why we need to make a balanced compost that's not too heavy/ rich  in one product .
 
After all , the ethos of Mel's system is the quality of composts you feed the square foot with once you have harvested a square foot of crop .  Without it  you cannot grow successfully in the cheapest manner .
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 9/2/2017, 7:07 pm

I'd like to see an entire chapter on time management.

Planning your seasons.
Planing your planting rotations.
Planning your maintenance.
Planning your compost
Planning your water
Doing your planting
Doing your maintenance
Doing your watering
Doing your pest management
Doing your ...



I don't think it's actually in the book, but http://www.squarefootgardening.com/books-and-classes/all-new-square-foot-gardening-2nd-edition-with-free-intro-class-recording-and-handout/  


  • Spend only an hour per week maintaining your garden.



Maybe I'm a totally incompetent fool, but are any of you spending one hour a week successfully growing?  Seriously, I need a more detailed primer if I should be having an abundant successful garden with one hour a week.

And maybe a little more focus on water management.  I seem to recall the general concept is you can't over water proper Mel's mix which given California's current water state (still) is a little iffy.  Not to mention over-watering leaches nutrients away.


Edit:  maybe I've missed it, i'll go back and check.  I recall Mel being in favor of checking/working your garden daily.  That's what I need.  The daily checklist for each box.

Check your plants for disease,
check the moisture level
Check fruit set
Water garden if needed
etc..

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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/3/2017, 7:04 am

NSR, over the course of my season I probably average an hour or less per week in the SFG. This week I haven't spent any time out there at all except to harvest. My harvests are small so it takes me about 3 minutes, which includes eyeballing the state of the plants and flicking off any sad looking leaves.  Although I have to add that since it's rained twice this week that makes a huge difference. Otherwise it'll take me 45 minutes to water the whole thing once or twice a week. Drip irrigation would illuminate that but I haven't got around to that yet.

As far as adding another chapter to the ANSFG book, since I also use the New Victory Garden book, which covers my planting dates as well as pests and diseases for my area, I can't think of anything I would need to add.  
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  ColleenW on 9/4/2017, 10:03 pm

Thanks, all, for sharing your experiences. I'm keeping lots of notes on how I spent my time this year so maybe I can manage my time better next year? Not because I don't like spending time in the garden but because I want to do more! And compost nutrient yields is something I haven't considered. I'm off to post about my composting experiences this weekend. Talk about a subject that has so many angles!
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  sanderson on 9/6/2017, 1:27 am

Time varies with the weather regarding watering, harvesting with the season and size of garden, number of pests and diseases treatments, installing trellises, shade protection, etc.  I would say 30 minutes a day minimum in the summer, 90 minutes for turning a full compost bin, 60 minutes to clear out and amend a bed, a few minutes to plant seeds or seedlings per bed.

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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 9/7/2017, 8:38 am

I got my book yesterday! Guess what my nighttime reading will be today.... (Insert smiley emoticon jumping up & down)
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  brianj555 on 9/7/2017, 9:50 am

After reading the book, I still have A LOT of questions. Although, most of them are about my individual specific situations. I don't think Mel will have the time to write a book just for me :-), so I will post those queries here as the answers become needed.

Example: I have a 4 x 10 x 12" box, so I have questions about vertical supports. One of the questions I have been asking myself is:
Can I run a trellis, like Mel describes in the book, one square inside the box, so two rows can be supported?? Would plants on both sides be too much for the trellis or not leave the tomatoes and cucumbers enough room to prosper? See I would like to have a trellis that supports 20 squares as opposed to 10, if that will work. Has out there tried this? What do ya'll think?
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  sanderson on 9/7/2017, 2:50 pm

Yes.  However, I would run multiple trellises across the 4 foot width instead of the long way.  Better management, more veritility, etc.  I'm in car on iPad or I would give a better answer.  Use Search for trellis discussions so we stay on Topic.

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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  brianj555 on 9/7/2017, 9:38 pm

@sanderson wrote:Yes.  However, I would run multiple trellises across the 4 foot width instead of the long way.  Better management, more veritility, etc.  I'm in car on iPad or I would give a better answer.  Use Search for trellis discussions so we stay on Topic.
That's a really good idea.  Doing them
Across instead of long will make it easier.  Thanks. 

I would like to see more about planting companions and more discussion about what should be planted where in the bed in the next edition.
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  Turan on 9/9/2017, 6:43 pm

It seems like the number one problem people come here with after starting their SFG is plants failing to thrive after a couple weeks. So I agree with Plantoid, up front and central people need more information about compost and composting.

As a general thing I would like to see across the books is a recognition of the vast number of variables involved. It would give people both a simple path and recognition that the simple is averaging or glossing over a great deal of complexity.

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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/10/2017, 8:27 pm

@Turan wrote:It seems like the number one problem people come here with after starting their SFG is plants failing to thrive after a couple weeks.  So I agree with Plantoid, up front and central people need more information about compost and composting.

As a general thing I would like to see across the books is a recognition of the vast number of variables involved.  It would give people both a simple path and recognition that the simple is averaging or glossing over a great deal of complexity.
Yes!  The weather is a huge factor...timing of your plantings...seasonal crop changes all so dependent....And the compost.
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Re: The Book ... what would you add for a 3RD Edition?

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