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previous beds..how to prep for SFG

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previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 3:11 pm

Last year, my husband made the most beautiful raised beds...i like to call it the tajmahal (sp?) of garden containers. I tried, unsucessfully, to do row gardening and then discovered the wonders called SFG. So i'm going to try switching over. I know i remember reading in the book what to do with previous row gardens and I remember Mel said you shouldn't mix the "Mel mix" with regular soil. However, I can't remember what he suggested (and couldn't find it again). Do you put sand, gravel down???? Any one have any suggestions? Thanks a ton. If i can figure out how to post pics i'll show my tajmahal.

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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 3:27 pm


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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  camprn on 3/7/2011, 5:11 pm

You can certainly convert your garden to SFG (grid). If it was me and the soil was fertile, I would add the components of the Mel's Mix to the soil ( this is what I do to make my perennial flower beds). The down side is you will probably have weeds until you eliminate them through active cultivation. It really depends on how much work you want to do.
Can you explain a bit more about how your husband actually built the beds?
I would love to see your garden; do you have an photos?


Last edited by camprn on 3/7/2011, 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/7/2011, 5:12 pm

Shelostit, I so wanted to see your pictures, but got the following response from Facebook. Sad I would assume that you have your privacy setting so that only friends, or friends of friends can view your photos.

This content is currently unavailableThe page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.

We would love it if you posted your photos here or in our showcase of gardens.

If you intend to convert to Mel's Mix, you can lay down weedcloth or cardboard over your existing soil, then place the Mel's Mix on top of the weedcloth.
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/7/2011, 7:26 pm

Build up and drop MM in right on top of the old stuff.
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 7:45 pm

i do have privacy settings. I tried to post actual pics earlier and had issues. I will retry. As for how, they were built. Let's put it this way, my hubby is an engineer, so they took a while to build due to his perfection. I'll try to post some in a bit. Thanks for the advice. Will probably just take the first two inches are so out (for the weeds) and then put MM in the box.

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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  Megan on 3/7/2011, 7:56 pm

Hi sheslostit! Mel's book suggests filling the bottom of a really deep box with sand or some other inert material (gravel comes to mind) to help cut down on the cost of the Mix, unless you are intending a high-rise box.

Last year I put Mix down on top of basic soil, and since I couldn't afford to do the Mix properly, I had regular soil mixed in... and oh boy, yes, I had weeds. Very few compared to what you might normally expect, but still, they were there. Easy to pull out, thankfully, given the nice consistency I got from the vermiculite and the peat moss, though.

If you can pull the first couple inches out before putting your Mix in, that would be ideal... but whatever you can do is fine. Like BBG says, you could always plunk the Mix down on top. Some layers of newspaper or corrugated cardboard on top of the existing might help to keep the weeds down, if you do that.

Let us know how it goes, and I +1 the request for pictures. You have me very curious about your boxes, now! Smile
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 9:55 pm


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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 9:57 pm

][/url][img]http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/[/img]


These are the two boxes my hubby built. Made out of untreated ceadar and cement on bottom.

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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  Megan on 3/7/2011, 9:58 pm

Oh my gosh, that is absolutely beautiful. (And yes, I can see that you have an engineer there....) Too bad you live so far away; I would ask your consultation rates for design/construction! Smile

As info, vertical strings on the trellis sometimes seem to help to guide plants upwards. I found that especially true of my pole beans last year, which glommed onto the uprights very obsessively. The squash and tomatoes didn't care so much.
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 10:01 pm

wow...sorry still learning how to work this forum. Not sure why it posted the photo three times. LOL.

Megan...you don't want to hire him...that was a 3 week process LOL. I was afraid fall was going to come before the container was built

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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 10:03 pm

Megan,
I actually bought the netting this year. The string did not last and yes, i found out later it helps to have some inbetween string...i ended up (afte this pic was taken), weaving some more twine in another direction.

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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/7/2011, 10:05 pm

Those are awesome boxes.
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  Megan on 3/7/2011, 10:05 pm

LOL... well, at least you have the boxes now!

And yes, netting really does help. I am going to try to re-use my netting from last year, but as cheap as it is, and considering new trellises to build, I may just axe it all and buy new. I don't know if any plant diseases cling to nylon netting, but I've got tiny pieces of assorted vine dried onto it here and there. (Probably the last thing I need to worry about, honestly.)
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/7/2011, 10:10 pm

thank you kabaju...everyone seems to like them. I need to modify just a pinch since the upper level is 18 inches instead of 12 but i've decided the back 12 inches will be for the veggies, then the front 6 will be for two marigolds (since you can plant 4 marigolds in 1 sq foot). That way I utilize my box to the best of its ability. I like growing plants/flowers along my veggies/fruit that attract the good bugs.

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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/7/2011, 10:13 pm

Yeah, it seems like a minor thing to adjust the use of them for SFG. 18" shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  Megan on 3/7/2011, 10:54 pm

Please benefit from my learning curve: If you are using regular "big box" marigolds, that will probably work very well. The two heirloom marigold varieties I am trying to grow this year are one per square and apparently grow 24"-30" tall. Who knew?!?! Shocked
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Re: previous beds..how to prep for SFG

Post  sheslostit on 3/8/2011, 8:25 am

Thanks megan...yeah i like the tiny petite marigolds thank goodness...but i did read in the charge (in the book), that there were two types of marigolds. I can't imagine crazy large marigolds LOL

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