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DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

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DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  Squat_Johnson on 1/27/2011, 11:39 am

I thought this would be a fun way to learn from each other.

When making the transition from row gardener to SFG I was in the habit of letting everything die off and lie there through the winter. Everything gets plowed under the next year and no big deal. Don't do this. End of season clean everything up and GET RID OF THE SEED HEADS. I let a basil go to seed, and I have been pulling this "weed" hundreds of times the past 2 years.

On the flip side, I also had many many tomatoes that "volunteered", and were welcome. Still had to pull about a hundred.

What was your newbie mistake?
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  boffer on 1/27/2011, 12:10 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:What was your newbie mistake?

Filling out the plant tag marker; sticking it in the square; not planting the seeds!

Something that simple, I had to develop a routine for myself to follow everytime I planted.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  quiltbea on 1/27/2011, 12:22 pm

My biggest mistake was not mulching around my plants once the soil warmed up.
The weeds can take over in the blink of an eye.
Mulching sure keeps down those pesky things but also keeps the soil moist so they don't require as much watering.

See the grass and weeds around my Gretel eggplant? I didn't mulch soon enough to prevent that mess.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  kimbertangleknot on 1/27/2011, 12:28 pm

I've got three. 1. Trying to plant peas close to summer time. They really aren't kidding whey they say they are a cool weather crop. 2. Letting my romaine head of lettuce go to bolt. I made the hubby research online how to cut the bitterness and it worked. 3. I pulled up all my radishes when they were weeeeeee tiny little things. I have enclosed beds but I still get those darn crabgrass seeds in them, so I just pulled like I normally do. I had my SMH and badmouthed moment afterwards.

@boffer wrote:Filling out the plant tag marker; sticking it in the square; not planting the seeds!

Well.. at least you prepped well? I'm bad about not doing tag markers at all, so I update my spreadsheet now instead.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  camprn on 1/27/2011, 2:18 pm

@boffer wrote:
@Squat_Johnson wrote:What was your newbie mistake?

Filling out the plant tag marker; sticking it in the square; not planting the seeds!

Something that simple, I had to develop a routine for myself to follow everytime I planted.


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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  WardinWake on 1/27/2011, 2:46 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:I thought this would be a fun way to learn from each other.

When making the transition from row gardener to SFG I was in the habit of letting everything die off and lie there through the winter. Everything gets plowed under the next year and no big deal. Don't do this. End of season clean everything up and GET RID OF THE SEED HEADS. I let a basil go to seed, and I have been pulling this "weed" hundreds of times the past 2 years.

On the flip side, I also had many many tomatoes that "volunteered", and were welcome. Still had to pull about a hundred.

What was your newbie mistake?

Asking my wife to fill out the plant markers. She wrote "tomatoes" "peas" "beans" "radish" and other names of things we were planting. No date, no variety name, no number planted per square, no expected harvest date - just the type of plant. And we used a poor quality marker that the sun bleached out and the rain wash away!
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/27/2011, 6:05 pm

Not putting up a high enough fence to keep a 4 month old boxer puppy OUT! Everytime I looked out the window last summer, she was digging in her "sandbox."
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  kiwirose on 1/27/2011, 6:16 pm

I missed the part where a 3cu ft bag of peat moss was really compressed and actually counted as a 6cu ft - I couldn't figure out why things werent quite as vigourous as they could have been - and ended up fertilizing lol

After one season I actually bought the book and figured it out, now when the MM thaws out I will remedy the situation and no longer need to fertilize. On the flip side, my new gardens I made a couple of weeks ago with the correct proportions of goodies look wonderful:)

My other newly discovered mistake was planting my beets in the shade (or lack there of) of my pole/runner beans. In researching companion planting a little more in depth that apparently I did last year (well I probably skipped that part knowing me - see my next mistake) - pole beans and beets inhibit each others growth. Being that both are soposed to be so easy to grow, I couldn't figure out why neither of them took off. Once I took out my (pathetic) beets my beans did actually recover some - but that combined with my poorly read recipe above meant for a sorry pole bean harvest lol

My other mistake that I remedied a few weeks ago was when I put in my first sfg I was apparently too excited to notice the wooden stake with fluorescent pink tape that the surveyor so kindly placed about 3-4 ft from where I was installing my sft, and the actual garden was ~6 inches over the property line. Fortunately the lot is empty (but for sale) and it didn't sell for the entire season and I made it to winter so I could empty the MM and move the entire garden - lol no harm done, but apparently it empitmises my over eager rushed excited miss-steps into sft. All that said, I had fabulous successes and I am in the process of installing 4 new beds this year - 2 down 2 to go - you live and learn I guess Smile

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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  janefss2002 on 1/27/2011, 10:23 pm

This caused me some amount of aggravation- I used wooden plant marker stakes. They were cheap. They were "green". Too Green for here in Texas heat and humidity, as they dissolved. So I was left like Ward with "tomato, pepper, etc" that I could identify, but no idea what was the best of the 3 tomatoes I planted, etc! Now, I'll have to admit I should have noticed the stakes going bye-bye sooner, but I was spending my time loving the plants.
Embarassed
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  quiltbea on 1/27/2011, 10:58 pm

Those sad plant markers stories can happen, so I want to tell you how I deal with it.
I make markers on venetian blind slats with a permanent Sharpie but I angle them so the lettering on the markers is a little under the angle so the lettering lasts longer in the rain, etc.
But I also make a garden plan of each raised bed and number it.
Then, with pencil, I put in each square what I plan to plant. If it changes at planting time, I change the plan. I carry it on a clipboard into the garden. I also add the date I sowed seed or transplanted and the variety.
If the plant markers are beyond redemption due to Mother Nature, I still have my garden plan.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  Squat_Johnson on 1/28/2011, 9:01 am

Some of my plant names washed away last year. I discovered Sharpie Industrial markers, which are supposed to resist extreme heat and steam, chemicals and cleaners. I just bought some, so I don't know how well they work as yet...

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/836924/Sharpie-Industrial-Permanent-Marker-Fine-Point/
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  Selandra on 1/28/2011, 9:31 am

say to yourself... "I do not have to plant every variation of every type of seed in the first year pale "

also... "I will write down where I planted what so I do not have to post pics asking 'what is this plant' on SFG Embarassed "

and lets not forget... "less is more" :!: .

Number 1 ----- cheers HAVE FUN cheers

(Don't post when your exhausted and about to go to bed Smile(Accidently placed this post in the wrong spot last night No )
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  janefss2002 on 1/28/2011, 10:27 pm

quiltbea,
Thanks for the idea about blinds markers! Duh on me! I have excess blind pieces from building grids and I work in a lab (Sharpies are our pencils!) Embarassed

Selandra,
Yes, you are on target! But it is so invigorating to plant those experiments
Laughing

Jane
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  Selandra on 1/28/2011, 11:02 pm

@janefss2002 wrote:
Selandra,
Yes, you are on target! But it is so invigorating to plant those experiments
Laughing

Jane

I know, I know.... you should see the box full of seeds I have... of course... there's that jelly mellon I'm dying to try Twisted Evil
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My Mistake

Post  Goosegirl on 2/16/2011, 9:21 pm

I am definitely a newbie - my biggest mistake so far is waiting so long to read All New SFG! A friend told me about it at least a few years ago but I just bought the book last month. Now that I am getting ready to build and plant my first SFG, be prepared for LOTS of mistake posts from me!
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  quiltbea on 2/16/2011, 9:42 pm

Goosegirl,
Welcome to the group. You'll wonder why you never started SFG earlier in your life. Its fun and the food is great.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  CrystalinNC on 2/26/2011, 5:08 pm

LOL! I still consider myself a noob, but I have to add, "Make sure the spot you pick gets enough sun." The first year I tried to grow anything, I was determined to find a spot in my back yard. We live in an established neighborhood with lots of tall pine trees in the back yard. I didn't account for that fact, and the only thing that really grew was some basil.

I (reluctantly) moved my beds to the side of our house by the street last year, and they did much better. There is still room for improvement, so I am switching to MM this year. I apparently made one of the mistakes already listed above, but I think it will work out ok. I didn't realize that the 3.8 cu ft bale of peat would be way more than that (any idea on the figures?). I think it's ok because I had already bought more compost than I actually needed because I miscalculated when I bought the peat and perlite.

So if I mixed the 3.8 cu ft bale of peat, 7 cu ft total of compost and 4 cu ft of perlite, do you guys think it will be ok? I know it will be a little low on the perlite.

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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/26/2011, 7:05 pm

@CrystalinNC wrote:LOL! I still consider myself a noob, but I have to add, "Make sure the spot you pick gets enough sun." The first year I tried to grow anything, I was determined to find a spot in my back yard. We live in an established neighborhood with lots of tall pine trees in the back yard. I didn't account for that fact, and the only thing that really grew was some basil.

I (reluctantly) moved my beds to the side of our house by the street last year, and they did much better. There is still room for improvement, so I am switching to MM this year. I apparently made one of the mistakes already listed above, but I think it will work out ok. I didn't realize that the 3.8 cu ft bale of peat would be way more than that (any idea on the figures?). I think it's ok because I had already bought more compost than I actually needed because I miscalculated when I bought the peat and perlite.

So if I mixed the 3.8 cu ft bale of peat, 7 cu ft total of compost and 4 cu ft of perlite, do you guys think it will be ok? I know it will be a little low on the perlite.

If your peat moss is compacted, you will get close to 7.5 or 8 cu ft. Are you unable to get vermiculite instead of perlite? If you have access to vermiculite, adding a 4 Cu ft bag to your perlite should get you pretty close to the correct proportions. Sometimes perlite seems to rise in the soil a bit more than vermiculite.

What size is in your garden? How deep? There is a Mel's Mix calculator to help you determine how much mix you will need,
Mels Mix calculator

Hope this helps.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  jerzyjen on 2/27/2011, 8:10 am

Geez I have a ton I could post, but most recently.... Don't decide you want to paint your Table Tops AFTER they are in place and full of Mel's Mix, especially if you have them butted up close together. It was hard to keep the paint out of the MM and the MM out of the paint, and still yet there is that side where the 2 tables meet that I just can't get the brush down into. And don't think you are moving a table top that's filled without a football team or crane.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/27/2011, 8:20 am

@jerzyjen wrote:Geez I have a ton I could post, but most recently.... Don't decide you want to paint your Table Tops AFTER they are in place and full of Mel's Mix, especially if you have them butted up close together. It was hard to keep the paint out of the MM and the MM out of the paint, and still yet there is that side where the 2 tables meet that I just can't get the brush down into. And don't think you are moving a table top that's filled without a football team or crane.

My husband is a 4th generation Master Painter, and over the last 25 1/2 years I have had to "go on the job" with him. I wish I lived closer, I'd come do your boxes for you, and we could visit. But you are so right, paint before, even if you do have know how and experience, it can be tricky.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  Weedless_ on 2/27/2011, 1:38 pm

Well, time to share my "plant marker" story. I made my markers, and I was sowing some seeds. My first four squares were cucumbers and tomatoes. I was taking seeds outside one variety at a time. Don't ask why, this is just stupid. The problem was I wan't marking them one at a time either. I ended up sowing same cucumber variety twice, and sowed tomatoes on top of cucumber, instead of the next square. I ended up having a tomato/cucumber tangled seedlings, and after separating them, only one survived. Had to start over. Lesson learned, mark as you sow, better yet, draw a plan before you sow, so if you follow it, you won't make silly mistakes.

As for plant markers, I made both grids and plant markers out of soft plastic blinds slats. They hold well, easy to cut with scissors, staple together, wash well, and cheap and plentiful enough to last you a lifetime. If your grid deteriorates, it's easy to grab the next blind slat, staple it together and voila, you are all set! Also, because they are cuttable, you can always cut out larger squares for your zucchinis and other "squarehogs" as needed.
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  ashort on 2/28/2011, 11:13 am

I have a deep 2x12 box that is 18" deep on one side and about 9" deep on the top side. I didn't have to fill the whole box with Mel's Mix... Waste of expensive dirt.... Will have to dig it out this winter and make a new box with the "extra". Now to find some rice hulls....
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  elliephant on 2/28/2011, 3:15 pm

I'm pretty sure the paper scraps I pulled out of the dryer yesterday used to be my planting map. Shocked

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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  camprn on 2/28/2011, 6:21 pm

@elliephant wrote:I'm pretty sure the paper scraps I pulled out of the dryer yesterday used to be my planting map. Shocked
Oh no!!!
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Re: DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE - and post your newbie mistake as well...

Post  Goosegirl on 2/28/2011, 8:30 pm

@elliephant wrote:I'm pretty sure the paper scraps I pulled out of the dryer yesterday used to be my planting map. Shocked

Did that with a paycheck once. I think I would be more upset about my planting map - the paycheck was easy to have reprinted when I showed the boss the remnants with his distinct signature! Trying to remember what I drew on my planting map? IMPOSSIBLE!!!
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