Square Foot Gardening Forum
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New Member

Post  erbarnett on 8/19/2010, 6:20 pm

Hello, my name is Bill and I am a new member of this forum. I already have some questions:

I will very soon install the SFG kit I ordered from the SFG Foundation, and have measured it at 5 and ½ inches tall. Mel recommends that the mix be 6 to 8 inches deep. Does this mean I need to dig into the native soil another ½ to 2 and ½ inches to get the correct depth?

I assume that the mix consists of 1/3 DRY peat moss, 1/3 DRY coarse vermiculite, and 1/3 DRY to moist blended compost. Is that correct?

After I have put the mix into the box and watered it down properly, will the mix continue to settle some more? I would rather wait until everything has settled completely before I begin planting the vegetables, even if it means waiting until spring.

Our traditional garden is bothered by a large cat, which loves to roll around in the plants and soil. Would installing bird netting around the entire box prevent this cat from using it as a litter box? I am thinking it would be afraid to get its paws entangled in the netting.






erbarnett

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Location : zone6b,West Virginia

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Re: New Member

Post  Old Hippie on 8/19/2010, 6:58 pm

Just wanted to say Hi and Welcome. As far as your questions about the planter and the mix go, I am not much help since I made my own "MIX" and planters.

However, the cat problem is one I have in common with you. There have been times when I was so frustrated with neighbourhood cats that I felt like I would have to resort to a Reuger 22 with a silencer. Cats thought the flower bed at the front of my house where I plant my tomatoes was their own private litter box so when I replaced the dirt before planting my tomatoes I put down plastic over the soil. I used bricks to hold down the edges and cut holes where I transplanted the seedlings. It did seem to work and also helped to keep the soil warm and the moisture from evaporating. I have used spruce boughs among the flower beds and that works too. The idea of the netting sound like a good one to me.

What I think I will do is get a Siberian tiger and let HIM roam the yard at night. If he gets out and small pets or people go missing........what can you do? A cat is a nocturnal free roaming animal that likes to hunt. And let me tell you, if he uses the neighbour's yard as a litter box, they will sure notice in a hurry!!!

Best of luck.

GK

( I know......I know. I am warped and sick. Check out my profile and you will see that about my sense of humour!)
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Re: New Member

Post  Megan on 8/19/2010, 7:01 pm

Hi Bill, and welcome to the forum and to SFG! glad you\'re here

I am new to SFG myself this year, but I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

You do not need to dig down into the native soil for that extra 1/2". (That being said, I DID dig in, as my rather unconventional homemade boxes are even shorter.) Some people have bottoms on their boxes, others do not. Reasons for using a box bottom vary -- vole problems/etc., poor natural soil, very invasive plants like Bermuda grass, or maybe it is a TT (table top) garden.

Yes, the peat moss and vermiculite should be dry when you are measuring them. The compost dry to moist-ish (that is, not sopping wet!) The day I mixed mine was kind of windy and I had some trouble with the vermiculite blowing around, so I did spray it lightly with water from the hose to keep it on the ground!

Yes, the mix will settle. I don't think it hurts to plant right away, someone with more experience may have some insight on that.

About the cat: Some people have made protective covers for their SFGs with chicken wire. Mel shows how build one on page 65 of his most recent book. Our cats are indoor-only, but there are a few feral cats in the neighborhood. I put catnip out in a few pots by the garden and while I saw a little digging early on that might have been cats or squirrels, mostly we'd just find the pots knocked over in the morning! Smile

Welcome again, and happy gardening!
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Re: New Member

Post  Ha-v-v on 8/19/2010, 8:40 pm

[quote="] What I think I will do is get a Siberian tiger and let HIM roam the yard at night. If he gets out and small pets or people go missing........what can you do? A cat is a nocturnal free roaming animal that likes to hunt. And let me tell you, if he uses the neighbour's yard as a litter box, they will sure notice in a hurry!!!
( I know......I know. I am warped and sick. Check out my profile and you will see that about my sense of humour!)[/quote]
Oh not crazy at all !!! lololololol or warped or sick, this is how I would have felt with those cats and Im a cat lover.. from one of my favorite cartoons.

http://comics.com/Pearls_Before_Swine/2009-3-20/ dont like things pushing me over the edge Smile This says it all.
Ha-v-v
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Ha-v-v

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