Square Foot Gardening Forum

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New to SFG

Post  WJB on 9/25/2010, 3:44 pm

Dear SFG Friends -
I am new to SFG - first 4x4 planted this spring...90% of all plantings consumed by grasshoppers after my seeds sprouted...except tomatoes. Apparently the hopping green guys dont like tomatoes...
If you cant beat them, join them.
I followed with 14 more tomato plants.
They still live...and are doing reasonable...(the tomatoes, not the grasshoppers).

Second box started last week. Kale, three kids of lettuce and onions. Grasshopper population much decreased with cooler weather, so fingers crossed for better luck.

Plans to start two vertical 2x4 boxes in the spring.

Would love to build a few deeper boxes over winter and try carrots and potatoes in the spring too.

Two rookie questions...
Wondering what you all do for plant / crop rotation...Since its Mel's Mix, do we need to rotate plantings?

Any hints to make grasshoppers chose another area to live? I live in the Upper South, if that matters...

I have really enjoyed this website.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your wisdom with the rookies!!



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Re: New to SFG

Post  Megan on 9/25/2010, 3:50 pm

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

Glad your tomatoes are hanging in there, and good luck on your second box! Wish I had some grasshopper advice for you, but that's one pest I have not had here, knock on wood!

According to the book, crop rotation is not necessary, just add a trowel of compost whenever you re-purpose a square. I have worried a little despite that, but don't have enough experience with SFG to have anything meaningful to say backed up with experience. I grew up on a farm and rotation makes sense when you have acres of land devoted to a single crop... but when dealing with square feet, well, pests are going to travel and so do roots, so I really don't think it matters very much.


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Re: New to SFG

Post  Garden Angel on 9/25/2010, 6:20 pm

Oh man , grasshoppers are the scurge of my garden ! that is why I drape a fine mesh netting around my boxes ! where do they all come from ! I bought the mesh at the JoAnn's fabic and craft store for .99 cents a yard and it is wide enough to cover my 3x6 boxes. Thats what works for me !
Also I love to grow Kale! watch out for the aphids! I think the ants bring them, I usaully spray Safer brand insecticidal soap if it gets too bad. Hey maybe you could put some tomato leaves around to discourage the grasshoppers ! just a crazy thought. Best of luck !

Garden Angel

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Re: New to SFG

Post  acara on 9/25/2010, 8:03 pm

Welcome !!

Vigilance is the only way I've found to beat grasshoppers. We have three different varieties down here, with different "seasons" ....so it's year-round battle.

Couple of things that seem to help ....

- Marigolds planted in close proximity

- Keeping the first 12" of the plant (from ground up) free of leaves/buds (n/a for some plant types)

- Mulch with Spaghnum moss ... they dont like the uneven//squishy footing.

- Clean up ..... get the dead stuff away (far away) from the base of the plant.

I think I've used about every "insect spray" on earth to keep these things at bay, and the grasshoppers just laugh at me and keep on munching. Not positive any insecticide work on 'em ...LOL


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Re: New to SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/25/2010, 9:01 pm

glad you\'re here WJB


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Re: New to SFG

Post  quiltbea on 9/25/2010, 11:32 pm

Welcome aboard.
I'm in a wholly different growing zone so don't know the ins and outs of southern gardening.
In the north we battle flea beetles in our cabbages.

Here's a peek under the insect barrier in June. I found that the lightweight insect barrier worked well to deter the dreaded flea beetles from my bed of cabbages this year. It should work in all gardens against all types of insects.

Here's my bed of cabbages, free on insect damage of any kind.
Enjoy your gardening.


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Re: New to SFG

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