Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Display results as :


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by sanderson Today at 3:42 am

» Tomato Questions
by sanderson Today at 3:32 am

» A really, really Frugal Gardener
by sanderson Today at 3:30 am

» Howdy, from Central Florida
by sanderson Today at 3:29 am

» Today's Harvest
by sanderson Today at 3:27 am

» Worm bin?
by sanderson Today at 3:24 am

» Biochar?
by No_Such_Reality Today at 12:30 am

» Compost pit?
by No_Such_Reality Today at 12:05 am

» Coffee Substitute?
by No_Such_Reality Yesterday at 11:51 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in October 2017
by Mimi2 Yesterday at 7:33 pm

» N & C Midwest: October 2017!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:20 pm

by brianj555 Yesterday at 11:20 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:55 am

» Sowing Experiment! Anyone Tried This?
by brianj555 Yesterday at 10:36 am

» Spaghetti Squash ?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:28 am

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver 10/21/2017, 5:34 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by yolos 10/21/2017, 5:16 pm

» Frames for SFG Beds - Versitile PVC frames for Protection
by sanderson 10/21/2017, 4:10 pm

» California's Drought
by AtlantaMarie 10/21/2017, 10:04 am

» Hello from a 7b zone
by AtlantaMarie 10/21/2017, 10:00 am

» Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland
by plantoid 10/21/2017, 7:27 am

» Butterfly Junction
by sanderson 10/21/2017, 12:08 am

» Mels book
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 11:54 pm

» Any Strange and Wonderful Visitors? Photos please!
by countrynaturals 10/20/2017, 11:34 am

» My Compost Bin
by SQWIB 10/20/2017, 7:36 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 3:38 am

» A great offer for a local SFG,er
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 3:07 am

» Hello from Gilbert, AZ
by LizDTM 10/20/2017, 12:21 am

» How to Grow Better Tomatoes
by countrynaturals 10/19/2017, 7:59 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by countrynaturals 10/19/2017, 7:54 pm


Search SFG Forum

First Impressions of a Brand New SF Gardener

View previous topic View next topic Go down

First Impressions of a Brand New SF Gardener

Post  erbarnett on 10/3/2010, 1:04 pm

I planted my first SFG in late August 2010. Here are my impressions:

Since we live in a subdivision with a homeowners' association, I have to be careful what I add to the property, in order not to offend the neighbors. I have A SFG planted with beets, radishes, red lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips, cabbage, and blue and yellow pansies. My neighbor asked my wife if I were growing tulips. Another gave me a compliment also. I could easily have lied and convinced them that I was growing a bed of ornamental plants. The foliage on all the plants is attractive.

While I had to spend a lot of money ordering the vermiculite and the frames from the SFG Foundation, I am sure I will recoup the money in a few growing seasons.

Mel's Mix is the perfect growing medium for root crops. I had always been hesitant to plant root crops, because I had heard that they did not grow well in rocky soil. The radishes in the SFG were perfect. I can't wait to start the spring, summer, and fall crops for 2011.

The grid forces me to plant a much greater variety of crops I might not otherwise have planted.

My only criticism is that the Mel's Mix loses moisture so readily in the summer heat. However, I do have 12 hours or more of direct sun, so I need to expect some drying out.

Overall, I can only say one word: WOW!

Do other new SF Gardeners have comments about their experiences, either positive or negative?


Male Posts : 75
Join date : 2010-08-19
Location : zone6b,West Virginia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First Impressions of a Brand New SF Gardener

Post  PNG_Grandma on 10/3/2010, 6:00 pm

We're new to SFG too and we planted Aug 1st. (see outsideasy posts about "more insects" and my Modesto, Central CA posts) We're lovin' it! I'm surprised to hear your Mel's Mix isn't holding water. The vermiculite should hold all the water you need. We've used a moisture meter to see how our garden boxes are comparing to others in our community garden site and we're doing just fine with moisture. Some of the other gardeners have over watered so much that their plants turned a bit yellowish until they added some nitrogen and greened 'em up again. We've had weird weather lately...102 less than a week ago, down to the 70s, back up to the 90s, and then some rain last night and this morning. So far the plants in my SFG and Al's SFG are growing well, almost in spite of those darned worms! Good luck with your new garden...share a bit of what you're growing with your neighbors and they'll probably want to build a SFG and join you! As Chopper said: "Gardens grow more than seeds"...and wow, THAT is the truth!! okay

Female Posts : 292
Join date : 2010-06-20
Age : 69
Location : Modesto CA, Central Valley, USDA Zone 9b, Sunset 14, AHS Heat Zone 8, whew!

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First Impressions of a Brand New SF Gardener

Post  sfg4uKim on 10/3/2010, 8:15 pm

Hey erbarnett:

Did you remember to keep moistening the Mel's Mix as you were filling the box? (i.e., 1/3 mix, TONS of water, 1/3 mix, TONS of water, 1/3 mix, TONS of water?) The reason I ask is that's the problem my friend had. It's amazing how much water it sucks up and she was impatient. LOL

The SFG Foundation now has a drip irrigation system in several sizes on the web site.



I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

FB: Square Foot Gardening 4 U


Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 1947
Join date : 2010-09-30
Age : 58
Location : Glen Burnie, MD

View user profile http://sfg4u.com

Back to top Go down

Re: First Impressions of a Brand New SF Gardener

Post  camprn on 10/3/2010, 8:31 pm

The drying of the MM was a factor for me this year too. I did use mulch for moisture retention.

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Moisture retention

Post  RoonieRoo on 10/4/2010, 10:48 am

This has been my first year using Mel's Mix and I had to figure out the moisture issue too. I did fine in Spring but when we hit end of July, August beginning of September and we are in our over 100's days, I had to water almost daily.

I had pulled some plants at the end of July or so since they were pretty much done from spring and let those boxes sit. But when I planted them up again, they had lost all the moisture due to no watering in the interim AND the 100 degree days. That meant that watering a ridiculous amount only moistened the top inch or so. That's when I had the "Aha!" moment about what I was doing wrong.

When you are building the bed, water it as you put it in to help make sure it is thoroughly moistened. That way, your regular watering really will suffice after planting. I suspect that we still have to water more in the summers if where you are is over 100 and not very humid.

Also, the next time I have squares that aren't going to be planted immediately, I'm going to keep watering them or mulch thickly to keep them from completely drying out.


Female Posts : 16
Join date : 2010-04-29
Age : 50
Location : 8B near Austin

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: First Impressions of a Brand New SF Gardener

Post  Megan on 10/4/2010, 5:03 pm

I've lived here for 10 years now and my traditional landscaping garden (flowers/herbs) has always burnt to a crisp in the summer if I don't water it, so I knew I'd need to water no matter what. I put in a low-flow misting system when I built my SFG beds and it worked out extremely well. Despite quite a lot of watering, at summer's peak the addition to our water bill was under $20/month. We were quite satisfied with the return on that investment in terms of veggies, herbs and more flowers than ever before, plus the irrigation system now adds value (however small) to the property.

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 50
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

View user profile http://novasquarefootgardener.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: First Impressions of a Brand New SF Gardener

Post  Sponsored content

Sponsored content

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum