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Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

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Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  jinx on 3/2/2010, 4:00 pm

Hello all! I have been dreaming of getting my very first garden started since we purchased a little bit of land last fall. I knew I wanted a box garden because I didn't want to deal with soil quality especially because of the special circumstances of the property (used railroad ties with chemicals I heard could leech into your soil and contaminate your plants). I went to my local home improvement store for ideas and they introduced me to Mel's newest SFG book. I bought it and am more excited as pieces come together to make it happen. If any of you have read the posts I have already made through out the forum you know that expense was a big issue. I've been searching all day and believe I have found the answer in a bunch of old free bricks from a school remodel. I picked up free pallets last night to build my composter with. So as it stands right now I will be out of pocket for the weedcloth and Mel's mix, maybe some chicken wire to build a few covers and of course my seeds and supplies to start seedlings. I think that is something I can deal with. Now all I need to do is find my green thumb and hope that my first garden goes well enough to make my skepitcal husband (old time single row gardener) a believer.
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jinx

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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  Theresa on 3/3/2010, 9:21 am

Hi jinx!

Welcome to the SFG forum!

Sounds like you have really been saving some money using what you can find free!!
Cutting back those start up expenses is always a great help!
Be sure to take some pictures to share with us!

Theresa

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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/4/2010, 8:46 am

Hi Jinx (I think I just like saying that)

Pretty Puppies! Are they going to want to garden too? I have two little terriers, a JRT and a Rat mix. I did not appreciate their God given desire to tunnel until my husband rototilled a small bed for me last year. My goodness the boys adore digging. That was all the motivation we needed to jump from French Intensive (or Bio-intensive as they seem to call it now) to SFG. You can put the bed in a cage! It looks like we are trying to prevent wild radishes from escaping. But really it is to keep puppy paws out.

I have a question ....does it cost less to by the mix instead of mixing your own peat, compost and vermiculite? Or is it because Compost is hard to come by when you are starting?

Deborah ....Thankful for the sweet breeze and mild temperatures of spring in the Maritime Pacific Northwest.
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Lavender Debs

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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  WardinWake on 3/4/2010, 10:10 am

I have a question ....does it cost less to by the mix instead of mixing your own peat, compost and vermiculite? Or is it because Compost is hard to come by when you are starting?

Generally I have found that it to be much cheaper to mix you own mix with compost that you made yourself. Also with your compost you know for sure what was used in it and you can control the ingredients. Many of the ingredients of "made myself" compost are available free. So far for this gardening season I have received two truck loads of horse manure/spent hay/bedding, 46 large leaf bags of leaves as well as left over grass clippings from our lawn. Keep your eyes open for freebees and if you put the word out to your neighbors they will help rather than hauling their stuff to the landfill or burning.

Purchased compost can be very expensive when purchased by the bag. Sometimes municipal landfills have a composting facility where you can purchase it by the truck load or bagged.

BTW: The Square Foot Gardening Foundation now has two suppliers who are custom mixing Mel's Mix. One is in Texas and one in Illinois. Home Depot and Lowe's will be test marketing the mix in selected stores. Mel's Mix is also available at the foundation offices in Utah and the mix is becoming more available in local nurseries also. So keep your eyes open when you are out shopping.

God Bless, Ward.
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WardinWake

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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/4/2010, 10:26 am

Thanks Ward (and thanks Jenn for putting up with this on your thread)

A fellow teacher told me yesterday that she has a pallet of bagged compost that she would like to get rid of. She is willing to trade for my giant chocolate chip cookies. Lucky me it is still a lazy time in the garden so I have time to bake.

Deborah ....measuring and mixing, trying to keep her fingers out of the dough.
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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  happyfrog on 3/5/2010, 7:31 am

welcome to the boards!

expense was an issue for us. but i set aside $25 every paycheck for 6 paychecks. - decreased the grocery budget for those weeks to do it.

that $150 bought me all teh supplies (compost too - as we weren't composting then) to build 3 4x4's. we ended up spending about $200 LESS on groceries over the summer because we never had to buy lettuce or spinach or broccoli or tomatoes or canteloupe (yes we GREW CANTELOUPE on a trellis - was SOOOOOOOOO COOL!) or green peppers or carrots - omg carrots from the ground are SO MUCH BETTER than storebought! well you get the idea.

i even have 3 young children and sfg was easy for us - my oldest kid (5) and i would fight over the weeds - because there are so few of them!

it was fun going to all the stores in the spring and getting prices of all the materials and then having a plan on where to buy what. then took about 4 hours total one saturday to mix up all that dirt at once - in future i would recommend not doing so much - it was hard work to have that much mixing on a huge tarp at one time.

this year we're going to double our space - but we also have to built a small fence to protect the add'l garden space from the children. *smiles*

seriously you will never regret this decision - just DO NOT cut corners on the mel's mix. cut corners on the containers if you want but FIND THE right materials and do it! don't buy potting soil and think it's gonna be the same. it's not. i've seen that with friends who tried to save a few pennies. now they have to fix it this year. and i'm already planting stuff !

i have garlic in ground from winter, and carrots have been overwintering (that was an experiment to see what would happen, *grin*) and kale is thriving - it's yellow on outer leaves but inner leaves are all green and happy looking - and it was buried by several feet of snow and ice for a while! .. . we just planted peas yesterday in a box that was empty and ready for new crops. . .

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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  jinx on 3/5/2010, 4:44 pm

Hey Debs,

I knew from price checking on different websites compared to the all ready made Mel's mix that it was going to be less expensive to make my own... but I didn't notice your question until it was already answered. I haven't purchased the ingredients yet, still working on getting my garden plot ready and boxes built.

@Lavender Debs wrote:Pretty Puppies! Are they going to want to garden too? I have two little terriers, a JRT and a Rat mix. I did not appreciate their God given desire to tunnel until my husband rototilled a small bed for me last year. My goodness the boys adore digging. That was all the motivation we needed to jump from French Intensive (or Bio-intensive as they seem to call it now) to SFG. You can put the bed in a cage! It looks like we are trying to prevent wild radishes from escaping. But really it is to keep puppy paws out.

Thanks for sharing about your dogs. I am a dog lover to the end and always enjoy a story about a dog. As far as my boys, thanks. I like them, they are both keepers. The red is a digger too, and I'm sure he will be excited to help with any digging I get into. I'm happy to say that my garden plot will be completely fenced off from them getting in, thanks to some left over chain link from last years fencing project. I'm still thinking about a few chicken wire covers though, to keep any bold cats or birds out as well as I'm thinking they will provide a quick way to cover in plastic if a bad storm or something comes through after I've planted. I'm trying to cut costs and think that the cages will provide protection like they explain in the book as well as take place of the secondary pipe tents for plastic weather protection... I guess we shall see if it works.
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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/5/2010, 8:33 pm

Hi Jinx (I do actually know it is Jenn =])

We have a plan for a regular fence, but like BettyAnn, we have to come up with a stash of cash first. Until then the multi-purpose cage keeps out cats, raccoons and the puppies. Birds too. I am hoping that for the next cage the pin in the hinge will slide in and out like they do in doors so that the whole works can come off instead of just flipping up.

Thanks for sharing your puppy stories.

Deborah ....being kept warm by a fuzzy chin on my leg as I keyboard
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Re: Hello from Northern Davis County Utah

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