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My First SFG Garden, from England

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My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  guyl01 on 3/14/2010, 3:07 am

Good Morning SFG Gardeners,
It is 6.25 A.M. on Sunday 14th March 2010 and this year I am looking forward to gardening the 'SFG way' for the first time.
In my present garden, the only summer veg grown have been the usual lettuce and tomato and other salad crops, due to lack of space in our small garden.
But, having seen the SFG Website (and Well Done on the wonderful, new, improved website Mel) and buying and reading the 'New' SFG Book, I could suddenly see the great variety of crops that could be grown in our garden.
Our garden is so narrow that a 4 x 4 grid would take up 1/3 of the width of the garden,
instead we are using an 8 x 2 grid...it is just the same, 4 x 4 = 16, 8 x 2 = 16 no space is lost and our bed sits neatly on the side of our garden.
Looking Forward to agreat summer ahead,
Wishing you all well.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  carolintexas on 3/14/2010, 3:19 am

Welcome to the forum! Your garden sounds very nice. I would love to see pictures. Keep us posted on how your garden is doing. Wishing you well from Texas.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/14/2010, 7:19 am

Welcome. I think you will be amazed at how much you can grow in that small a space, especially since in most of England, you will be able to plant a succession of crops. I lived at a convent in Kent for a year and was amazed at how productive their garden was all summer long. I hope you will be active here.

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Photos of our SFG !

Post  guyl01 on 3/14/2010, 12:47 pm

Our chosen place in the garden for our SFG!




The SFG frame made up and tried out where it is to be in the garden




The SFG frame after being treated to imorove the look of it



Some of the bags used for the mixture in the frame



Having dug up the plants where the SFG is to go,finished SFG frame is placed in position and the wood is to keep the pesky cats from digging in the light, friable mixture.




Our SFG is finished ( nearly ), the hoops and mesh are a temporary way of keeping cats, birds and squirrels from digging in the garden ( note the copper tape on the top of the frame, an effort to keep the slugs out!)
A wooden support frame for holding the net is being made and will be photographed when complete.




Hope you have enjoyed the photos.
Please if you have any tips for keeping slugs away from your precious plants, please share them!

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  plb on 3/14/2010, 2:15 pm

Hi, I'm in England and I'm just starting a SFG this year too! You're ahead of me, I have all the ingredients but I haven't mixed them yet.
I wanted to ask you, have you checked the ingredients in your compost? I found that when I was looking for compost, what is usually sold as compost in England is actually a mixed growing medium, i.e. it contains both what they call compost in the US and in the book (horse manure, chicken manure, green compost etc.) and other ingredients such as peat or peat substitutes, perlite or vermiculite or coir. So I think that by using those you end up with having a higher percentage of the peat/vermiculite and a lower percentage of "real" compost, the one with actual nutrient.
I had a hard time finding "real" compost, and in the end I could only find 4 types. I suggest you take a look at the ingredients in the bags you used, just in case, so you're in time to correct the proportion of the ingredients before you plant anything and make sure there are actually enough nutrients in the mix.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/14/2010, 2:20 pm

Hi!! I am posting just so I get a notice when you have a new post
Deborah....my 1st SFG post is in the Regional section, Pacific Northwest (The Toy Box)

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  LaFee on 3/14/2010, 5:47 pm

Nice photos!

Welcome! I'm in France (just outside Paris), and there are a half-dozen folks from Holland on the boards -- we've been keeping the kettle boiling in the Europe forums.

Your garden will look great...I love that the format of SFG allows it to bend around all kinds of space requirements and limitations.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  Mirjam on 3/16/2010, 5:42 pm

Hi and welcome!

Nice photo's, it's always fun looking in other peoples gardens Smile
To keep away slugs, I use copper wire (stripped electrical wire), it is supposed to keem em out because they sort of get electrocuted when crossing it. You can look out for copper tape too, but here in Holland it's quite expensive, and we had enough wire lying around...


Last edited by Mirjam on 3/17/2010, 5:58 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  Mirjam on 3/16/2010, 5:43 pm

oh, and my cats also thought I built the boxes especially for them to pee in Smile Putting in the grid helped to keep 'em out.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  LupinFarm on 3/16/2010, 8:43 pm

If you look, plb, their bag of compost says "peat free" on the bag

I could only find 3 types of compost in stores, but I also have access to horse, chicken, goat, and duck manure here on our little homestead

If you're in the UK, speak to a local livery stable about taking away some manure in your car (put a tarp in the boot, and put the manure on that).

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  plb on 3/17/2010, 4:44 am

LupinFarm, "peat free" doesn't mean "100% manure" or similar nutrients. What I found is that in most of the bags I've seen marked "peat free" they had replaced peat with coir. Coir is used to keep the soil moist, just like peat, and like peat it contains no nutrients. The effect is the same - I think you are very likely have too little nutrients if you use these bags as part of Mel's Mix because the 1/3 that is supposed to be nutrients actually pushes up the percentage of peat and vermiculite to very high levels instead.
What most of the "compost" in the UK bags contain is actually something similar to Mel's Mix, with different percentages, so you'll find some manure in there but also peat or coir and vermiculite or perlite. Some of these bags contained 70% or 80% peat or some substitute, some perlite or vermiculite, and only the rest were nutrients.
The name "compost" in the UK bags seem to be something pretty different from what Mel's book means...

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Welcome to England!

Post  quiltbea on 3/22/2010, 10:43 am

As anyone in my family will tell you, I'm an Anglophile. I love all things British.
I enjoyed your photos of your new garden. I was new to gardening this last year and you will learn how to make things work for you or make changes to suit.

On the slug problem....Pour some beer in a plastic tub (butter, whipped cream, etc) and bury it level to the soil. The slugs will be drawn to the beer and drown. I have to admit I've never used this being new last year, but its a favorite of many gardeners locally in northeastern New England USA.

Another idea was to lay a board in your garden and in the morning lift it up and you should find slugs hiding under it. A nice way to get them in one place so you can get rid of them.

Or you could get a pair of ducks. They thrive on slugs. They'll eat them like crazy but leave your garden alone, except for newly planted seedlings.

Welcome!

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  LupinFarm on 3/22/2010, 11:37 am

Ohh I beg to differ quiltbea, my ducks ate 3 brussel sprouts plants last year LOL. The whole plant, a mature plant!

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Well, darn it!

Post  quiltbea on 3/22/2010, 1:49 pm

I didn't know they liked Brussels sprouts. A Maine gardening instructor told me his ducks don't bother his plants unless they are newly planted seedlings.
You learn something every day, don't you.
Sorry about that ill-made advice.
Maybe we'd better stick to beer and boards.
Sorry about that!

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/22/2010, 1:58 pm

Wait! Beer on the boards? We can do that?

REREAD REREAD
Oh. slugs and brussels sprouts

Deborah ....whose ducks only ate bugs and slugs, the geese would eat any and all tasty vegitation but not the ducks.... maybe it is the beer that the slugs in England drink before they go sleep it off in the Brussels sprouts in jolly ol' England?

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  LaFee on 3/22/2010, 4:08 pm

Hi, folks -- I got an email from Marshall's Seeds (www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk) the other day -- they have a very nice newsletter with reminders of what to do and plant when --

They have an ad for something called Nemaslug -- it's apparently a biological-type slug eliminator that's safe for other critters. I haven't used it (no slugs!) - but I have friends who swear by it.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  LupinFarm on 3/22/2010, 5:53 pm

Hahaha...

My ducks are naughty little ladies. Ducks do require green matter (lots of grass, veg, ect.) and don't just eat bugs. Same with the chickens, but ducks need it even more. We have 3 Buff Orpington Ducks here on our little farmette that free range all day long in the garden. They don't keep my slugs under control though, I wish they did! I found putting down a board or better yet a small log to work super well. We have lots of cedar logs hanging around for fencing and all the slugs seem to congregate on them.

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My first sfg - England

Post  Ray'ssfg on 3/22/2010, 9:02 pm

Just to keep the International flavour of this post going - welcome to the forum from "Down Under" in Australia.
My son has just returned to Australia after 9 years in London along with a Polish wife and new grandson.
I am sure you will enjoy the forum
Cheers Ray

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nemaslug

Post  Mirjam on 3/23/2010, 8:53 am

@lafee: I used a similar product, it's a sort of parasite that kills slugs (shuts down their metabolic system or so), but is harmless to everything else. Birds can still eat them, for example. You get a box of powdery stuff (the nematodes), that you have to dissolve in water and spread around the garden. It does work, but only as long as your soil is wet enough to keep the nematodes alive. Slugs spend most of their time in the soil too, so that's where they get infected. (we had a heatwave shortly after applying the nematodes, and although we had less snails for some time, at the end of the season I couldn't notice a difference compared to other years. Do you know one slug at the start of the season results in a hundred by fall? there's just too many of 'em... )

If you live in a dry hot area, I don't think it will work great. But than again, I think the slugs are less of a pest in those areas too...

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  jerzyjen on 3/23/2010, 10:47 am

Welcome. Just wanted to say hi from another Anglophile here. My brother comes over sometimes and says "why are you always watching that british channel?" (referring to BBC America).

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Slugs

Post  WardinWake on 3/23/2010, 11:05 am

Howdy:

Soak the B. Sprouts in the beer and...

More seriously you can put a bottom on your SFG and raise the box up by placing it on a support of some kind such as bricks. A smaller amount of copper can then be used to zap the buggers and you will not have to bend over as far to tend the garden.

God Bless, Ward.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  guyl01 on 3/24/2010, 6:06 pm



We have been looking at our vegetable books, along with the SFG Book, and will be growing the following vegetables this year!

SFG Vegetable list
(square foot no & crop)
1 - Tomato
2 - Tomato
3 - Runner Bean
4 - Runner Bean
5 - Sweetcorn
6 - Sweetcorn
7 - Pea
8 - Pea
9 - Onion / Garlic
10 - Lettuce / Spring Onion / Radish
11 - Lettuce / Spring Onion / Radish
12 - Lettuce / Spring Onion / Radish
13 - Lettuce / Spring Onion / Radish
14 - Cucumber
15 - Cucumber
16 - Carrot

Not a bad list is it?
Just waiting for this awful long winter to pass, and a few warm Spring Days to show, it is nearly April and our weather is still wet, cold, no good for gardening yet!
See yuo all very soon
Guyl01

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  quiltbea on 3/24/2010, 6:22 pm

Its a good start. Now all you need is weather that approves.

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Getting ready for the SFG again this year!

Post  guyl01 on 2/23/2011, 1:54 pm

Looking forward to growing in the SFG this year, with the benefit of the knowledge from out first SFG last year, I am hoping for a great SFG this year! I Will start sowing some seeds at the weekend as the weather is not to great at the moment to do much outside, fortunately things should begin to warm next week and I cant wait to start!! Very Happy

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/23/2011, 2:28 pm

@guyl01 wrote:Looking forward to growing in the SFG this year, with the benefit of the knowledge from out first SFG last year, I am hoping for a great SFG this year! I Will start sowing some seeds at the weekend as the weather is not to great at the moment to do much outside, fortunately things should begin to warm next week and I cant wait to start!! Very Happy

guyl01, I hope your SFG did well last year. Were you successful with all those types of veggies?

I like the netting you placed over the garden to protect it from critters. We have to protect our gardens too. Did you end up keeping the hoops, or did you change over to the wooden frame you said you might use?

Because it is so early in the season, are you starting at least some of your seeds indoors?


Please keep in touch and let us know how things are going.

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Re: My First SFG Garden, from England

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