Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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.


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Hello from Bloomington, CA

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Hello from Bloomington, CA

Post  Lindacol on 1/23/2011, 10:52 pm

Hello, I have been lurking for a few days. I am planning a 4 x 8 raised bed with block walls (2 high) while waiting to get my book order.

I am basically a new gardener as it has been many years since I have had a successful garden. My major problems here are gophers and ground squirrels. I have lost everything I have planted in the last few years mostly to the gophers. So this year I am going to try a few larger bushes & trees in gopher baskets and start with one raised bed with the bottom lined with wire. I will be setting up (for the 1st time) a drip watering system as soon as I extend the water line about 60 ft and install a faucet.

I am trying to keep my costs down and I have an endles supply of goat manure mixed with aflalfa. I have some in a compost pile that is several years old. Thanks to this group I have already located a reasonable closeby source for vermiculite. About how much will I need?

For starters I will probably plant a couple of tomatoes, some bell peppers, carrots, radishes, onions. squash and maybe some strawberries in the holes in the blocks at the ends of the bed.

I expect I will post mostly to the Southern CA regional list.

Linda
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Lindacol

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Location : Bloomington, CA

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Re: Hello from Bloomington, CA

Post  quiltbea on 1/23/2011, 11:28 pm

Lindacol.....Welcome to you from the opposite coast. I know your needs and crop problems may differ from ours, but we all want the same thing.....healthy food for us and our families.
Good luck in your new venture.
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quiltbea

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Re: Hello from Bloomington, CA

Post  CarolynPhillips on 1/24/2011, 12:11 am

glad you\'re here
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CarolynPhillips

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Re: Hello from Bloomington, CA

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/24/2011, 1:26 am

@Lindacol wrote:
I am trying to keep my costs down and I have an endles supply of goat manure mixed with aflalfa. I have some in a compost pile that is several years old. Thanks to this group I have already located a reasonable closeby source for vermiculite. About how much will I need?

glad you\'re here Lindacol
So glad you joined us. This is a great group of people and most often, if you ask questions, we will try our best to help you out.

Once you receive your ALL NEW SGUARE FOOT GARDENING Book, you will find the formula for calculating how much of everything you need.

A couple of things to remember though, peat moss is generally compacted in the bag, so if you buy a 2.2 cu ft bag, once you fluff it up, you generally will have about 4 cu ft. Your compost sounds pretty darn good, but if you can, you might want to look for a couple of other types of compost ( such as mushroom compost, worm castings, composted chicken manure, these are just a few examples of what can be found) to add to what you have, because Mel suggests using 5 types to get a good blend that will provide the various nutrients the plants need.

To calculate how much of each ingredient you will need,
Width X Length X depth = volume and you are looking for cubic feet. Most plants will do really well in 6 inches
An example
if your bed is 6 inches deep, then it is 0.50 feet and if your bed is 4ft X 8 ft the formula is
4 X 8 X .50 = about 16 cubic feet total, and you will need equal parts of each of the 3 main ingredients.

Rounded, this would be about 5 1/3 cu ft of vermiculite, 5 1/3 cu ft of peat moss and 5 1/3 cu ft of blended compost. You may find that once you have watered in the Mel's Mix, your depth is no longer what you planned. Several member just add another inch or so of mix when they first set up their SFG's.

I know, too much information, sometimes I just get carried away............. Embarassed
Glad you are here!
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Furbalsmom

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Re: Hello from Bloomington, CA

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