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materials for grid

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Tris on 4/21/2013, 10:14 am

I used dollar store clothesline Smile

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Re: materials for grid

Post  plantoid on 4/21/2013, 11:21 am

@model a man wrote:Hi to all. Has anyone used string for their grid? I was planning on using redwood fencing ripped down on my table saw to 1" to 1"1/4 wide but I dont like the way it looks. so I was thinking of using the kind of string that masons use to pull a straight line and using little screw eyelets around the raised bed for the string to go through. Thanks for any and all input

Mel has specificaly asked some of us to promote the use of strips of wood as per his book so that it attracts attention and starts conservations about the benefits of ANSFG beds . He suggests leaving them in place and working around or should I say in the squares once the beds have been made up for the initial season . He also mentions taking them off and hanging them up for winter.
If you guys are using nails or screws in your grids then it's easy to see that at some time some of you are going to come unstuck and tear a bit of skin off on them at sometime .
On page 66 of the book shown in my straplines Mel recommends using a pin or bolt to secure the cross pieces. Therre are even words and pictures showing how to do it .

Shocked OK now I'll fess up .... Laughing Laughing
I got my ears bent by my lass when I said I was going to use white strips of 1/4 thick 3/4 " wide UV resistant plastic or wood for my 20 beds . She said they stuck out like a sore thumb ( well almost those words Laughing )
So to prevent world war three I went into stealth mode with 8 "long pegs of seed label type plastic strip set in the MM in box and some 1/8 " dia thick black neporene sealing strip to make my grids .
I also did a couple of test lines using different coloured " weed wacker line ( strimmer line ) but the colours jarred so much with the beds I took it off and replace it with the neoprene .
There are no screws , nails or pins to cause probs and they all stayed put in the bed last year and will from now on unless there us a very special reason to take them up to fully work the bed.
They also roll up to a very aceptable small size that can be stored in a bucket, can or bag hung on a nail or hook in the garage.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  edfhinton on 4/21/2013, 1:02 pm

While I don't have a degree in social psychology, in all my years in management I've had to study a lot of different materials on various aspects of social dynamics. I very much doubt that material used, whether wood lathe or clearly visible rope or wire, etc., will make any difference in the likelihood of conversations on SFG. It is likely to be the permanent presence of a highly visible grid, not its method of construction or materials, that will start the conversations ... all due respect to Mel for this amazing gardening method he created.

In my opinion (we each have our own), wider grids to me do not seem as vsually appealing. But that is a matter of taste.

-Ed

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Re: materials for grid

Post  jazzycat on 4/21/2013, 1:17 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:I use bamboo stakes and then remove some or all of them after planting if they are getting in my way.



CC

Brilliant!

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Re: materials for grid

Post  jazzycat on 4/21/2013, 1:20 pm

@edfhinton wrote:While I don't have a degree in social psychology, in all my years in management I've had to study a lot of different materials on various aspects of social dynamics. I very much doubt that material used, whether wood lathe or clearly visible rope or wire, etc., will make any difference in the likelihood of conversations on SFG. It is likely to be the permanent presence of a highly visible grid, not its method of construction or materials, that will start the conversations ... all due respect to Mel for this amazing gardening method he created.

In my opinion (we each have our own), wider grids to me do not seem as vsually appealing. But that is a matter of taste.

-Ed
Nicely said.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Lindacol on 4/21/2013, 3:39 pm

@llama momma wrote:Plastic coated clothes line with shiny brass upholstry tacks is very simple. Pull it tight or it'll sag in the heat. I got tired of wooden shims and paint stirrers pushed in on the skinny side, shifing and leaning over. It looks good at first then gets sloppy-looking.
I found that to be a problem with the shims to but still use them. In my avatar you can see some of the shim grids. Also in front you can see a couple of squares I made with rulers (4 for 99 cents at the 99 cent store). A drop of super glue on each corner holds the square together. I use them for planting, then once the seedings are up I remove them.
With a block bed it is impossible to screw or nail a grid on.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Tris on 4/21/2013, 5:24 pm

@edfhinton wrote:While I don't have a degree in social psychology, in all my years in management I've had to study a lot of different materials on various aspects of social dynamics. I very much doubt that material used, whether wood lathe or clearly visible rope or wire, etc., will make any difference in the likelihood of conversations on SFG. It is likely to be the permanent presence of a highly visible grid, not its method of construction or materials, that will start the conversations ... all due respect to Mel for this amazing gardening method he created.

In my opinion (we each have our own), wider grids to me do not seem as vsually appealing. But that is a matter of taste.

-Ed
I agree completely Smile the awesome growth in my boxes has everyone asking, and I'm more than happy to tell everyone and their mother how easy Mel makes it. The grids have nothing to do with it Smile

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Re: materials for grid

Post  llama momma on 4/21/2013, 8:30 pm

@Lindacol wrote:
@llama momma wrote:Plastic coated clothes line with shiny brass upholstry tacks is very simple. Pull it tight or it'll sag in the heat. I got tired of wooden shims and paint stirrers pushed in on the skinny side, shifing and leaning over. It looks good at first then gets sloppy-looking.
I found that to be a problem with the shims to but still use them. In my avatar you can see some of the shim grids. Also in front you can see a couple of squares I made with rulers (4 for 99 cents at the 99 cent store). A drop of super glue on each corner holds the square together. I use them for planting, then once the seedings are up I remove them.
With a block bed it is impossible to screw or nail a grid on.
I'm very pleased to hear it works so well for your block construction!

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Re: materials for grid

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/21/2013, 8:42 pm

@Tris wrote:
@edfhinton wrote:While I don't have a degree in social psychology, in all my years in management I've had to study a lot of different materials on various aspects of social dynamics. I very much doubt that material used, whether wood lathe or clearly visible rope or wire, etc., will make any difference in the likelihood of conversations on SFG. It is likely to be the permanent presence of a highly visible grid, not its method of construction or materials, that will start the conversations ... all due respect to Mel for this amazing gardening method he created.

In my opinion (we each have our own), wider grids to me do not seem as vsually appealing. But that is a matter of taste.

-Ed
I agree completely Smile the awesome growth in my boxes has everyone asking, and I'm more than happy to tell everyone and their mother how easy Mel makes it. The grids have nothing to do with it Smile

Actually, the grid is one of the key elements of the Square Foot Garden. As any Certified Instructor should be able to tell you, Mel considers the grid "A Must".

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Re: materials for grid

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/21/2013, 8:48 pm

Without a grid, how could it be called a square foot garden? Wouldn't it be just a raised bed with soilless mix?

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Re: materials for grid

Post  yolos on 4/21/2013, 9:03 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Without a grid, how could it be called a square foot garden? Wouldn't it be just a raised bed with soilless mix?

No, it would be a raised bed, with MM, planted in the way Mel describes but lacking a physical permanent grid. For instance, I have a 4 x 8 strawberry bed with permanent grids that works just fine. This year I planted potatoes in a 3 x 8 bed. 4 potatoes per square. I removed all except 4 inches of MM and planted my potatoes. As they grow, I am adding MM back to cover them. I had to remove my grids to do this. But it is still square foot gardening as far as I am concerned.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/21/2013, 9:28 pm

Everyone is definitely entitled to their own opinion, but I can say with 100% certainty, that without the grid Mel will tell you, you aren't Square Foot Gardening. The grid "IS A MUST".
I can assure you, Mel is very particular about the grid. Smile

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Re: materials for grid

Post  edfhinton on 4/21/2013, 9:33 pm

I don't disagree with there needng to be a grid, just the insistance on wood. Mine isn't wood, but it is highly visible and will stay all through the growing season. I simply disagree with it having to be wood to create conversations. There is no sound statistical basis for that connection. And so, I happily have my Square Foot Garden with my white wire grids. (And living in the Live Free or Die state, I will happily call it a Square Foot Garden to my heart's content.)

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Re: materials for grid

Post  camprn on 4/21/2013, 9:37 pm

I always use a grid for planting and for some of my crops the grid stays in place all season, That's what makes it a SFG. For other crops, the grid comes off after planting or if I need to cultivate the soil. But it's still a SFG planted with the grid.
As I said earlier in this thread, usually for my grid I use twine on finish nails tacked into the top of the box. The finish nails are topped off with slices of wine cork so I dont get stabbed in the knees.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/21/2013, 9:48 pm

Well like I said. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion. I'm just here to let you know what Mel says and to promote the method as the foundation and Mel have asked. Mel has sold over a million books so I'm thinking he's done something right. Our Mission statement here is pretty simple to understand and the volunteers here are just doing what is asked of them.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  yolos on 4/21/2013, 9:50 pm

@edfhinton wrote: I simply disagree with it having to be wood to create conversations. There is no sound statistical basis for that connection. And so, I happily have my Square Foot Garden with my white wire grids. (And living in the Live Free or Die state, I will happily call it a Square Foot Garden to my heart's content.)

Does it have to be a wood grid???? In Mel's SFG Answer book he says "you can also use vinyl strips". But when asked if you can use string or twine for the grid, he answers "No! I realized we needed to have a stronger, more durable and more visible grid. I also found that when the string broke, it hardly ever got replaced, so you end up with a no-grid garden, and that's not a Square Foot Garden in its truest sense...".

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Re: materials for grid

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/21/2013, 9:53 pm

Lol, unfortunately Mel doesn't like string either. Shocked I wish I could say it wasn't so, but he's not a fan.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/21/2013, 10:17 pm

Also, for anyone who had this thread marked, I did manage to move the entire thing in one wonderful swoop Evil or Very Mad I highly doubt I got it back to where it was. I apologize for any inconvenience.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  navajas on 4/22/2013, 11:21 am

I use mason line. I originally began constructing a wood grid, but in my test run of it I really disliked how much real estate the slats took up on my garden and how I'd had to have joined them in the middle some way. I just use staples to attach them, no nails to worry about. A whole bunch of 4x4 wood grids (10!) would have been a real nuisance.

Not to mention that I wouldn't have been able to fit my green house or bird cage frames as flush on the boxes.

Plus, they're obviously flexible. Sometimes I just want to scoot one one out of the way for harvesting, or transplanting or whatever. Can't do that without hassle with a wood grid, and the mason line just pops right back in place.

I took them all off at the start of the season in order to work on the entire bed of soil and replaced them all. It was a bit of a chore, but I like being in my garden. I don't think I'll have to work that much on my soil next year so it's not a yearly task. The string that came off was less white, but in no way deteriorating. I doubt it had less than a couple more years of service left in it.

I understand Mel wants his method as marketable and recognizable as possible, but I assure you, my garden generates plenty of talk about it's appearance, productivity and gridded layout despite my use of mason line and I don't hesitate to advocate for the method or recommend his book.

I think his insistence on wood grids and vermiculite, both of which are so much more expensive than alternatives like mason line and perlite are the method's only drawbacks. Is perlite unattractive? Yes. But it seems to work just fine, people like being in my garden all the same, and I am, unfortunately, not yet a millionaire.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  drixnot on 4/22/2013, 11:41 am

A square foot is a square foot regardless of the presence of a grid to deliniate it as such. So even if you do not have a visible grid in place it would still be square foot gardening if you are planting and managing by the square foot.

That being said I think the grid IS a good visual aid, especially if you have larger boxes. That is the whole point behind square foot gardening I suppose.... a means to make gardening as simple and productive as possible.

I'm not a purist ... I'm more of a "do your best even if it isn't perfect" kind of gal. For the record I used ribbons last year. Razz

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Re: materials for grid

Post  navajas on 4/22/2013, 12:28 pm

I absolutely think a grid of some kind is almost indispensable. I've removed my grid (another reason to recommend string, this was easy) on my perennial fruit box just because the entire 4x8 is planted. In a couple of years when I restart all the strawberries I'll definitely restring the grid for the first season.

I think the notion that you can easily eyeball a square foot sounds a lot easier than it really is in practice. When people ask, I always recommend a grid of some kind. It looks nice and makes layout a non-issue.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Lemonie on 4/22/2013, 12:46 pm

I found a FREE and DURABLE material that I love for my grids. okay If you go to any big box hardware store that has a lumber section, grab the plastic strips they use to bind the lumber for shipping. We found tons of it in the aisles and they let us grab up all we wanted. Best of all, it's green and blends in well when everything is in bloom. I just cut the strips to size and used a staple gun to secure to my boxes. They've held up for 3 seasons already. I had ran out and just grabbed some landscaping string and clothes line rope for another box and have not been happy with those results. The string broke pretty quickly and because I can't see the rope very well, I often snag and pull it while digging around. Plus, it's gotten loose and have to keep re-centering it.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  llama momma on 4/22/2013, 1:13 pm

I won't debate the type of grid that should or should not be used, just want to add that I simply adore the fact that no matter what you use for a grid it forces this very intensive style of gardening to stay In Order so we can get the most production. A million thanks to Mel!

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Kelejan on 4/22/2013, 1:29 pm

@llama momma wrote:I won't debate the type of grid that should or should not be used, just want to add that I simply adore the fact that no matter what you use for a grid it forces this very intensive style of gardening to stay In Order so we can get the most production. A million thanks to Mel!

I agree with you LLM

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/22/2013, 1:34 pm

@Lemonie wrote:I found a FREE and DURABLE material that I love for my grids. okay If you go to any big box hardware store that has a lumber section, grab the plastic strips they use to bind the lumber for shipping. We found tons of it in the aisles and they let us grab up all we wanted. Best of all, it's green and blends in well when everything is in bloom. I just cut the strips to size and used a staple gun to secure to my boxes. They've held up for 3 seasons already. I had ran out and just grabbed some landscaping string and clothes line rope for another box and have not been happy with those results. The string broke pretty quickly and because I can't see the rope very well, I often snag and pull it while digging around. Plus, it's gotten loose and have to keep re-centering it.

Wonderful idea and free!

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Re: materials for grid

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