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Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

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Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  peanut0915 on 3/9/2011, 12:16 am

Hello!

My husband and I purchased a Lifetime Raised Garden Bed (set of two) from Costco this evening. I ordered the book from Amazon and will be receiving it this week. I am looking forward to starting my SFG this spring, and would love any tips and tricks from anybody living in this region. We live in Murray (Salt Lake County). I am hoping to pick up some Mel's Mix from their shop in Ogden on Friday and am waiting on a return email from them for confirmation.

Happy Gardening!

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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/9/2011, 12:38 am

Wohoo more people from the Salt Lake Area! bounce

It's great to have you in the forums. I'm in Midvale myself and this will be my second year with square foot gardening. If you want to stop by the western mountains and high plains regional forum then that's where we usually get together to talk about stuff for the region.

For now my only advise is: you may want to wait to plan until we can see the ground again Very Happy

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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  peanut0915 on 3/9/2011, 1:29 am

Thanks for the tips. I'm trying to do all the preliminary planning right now, but am getting overwhelmed reading a site on "companion plants" and the sort. I did a traditional row garden last year and didn't even consider that aspect. I was so fed up with all the weeds that it almost wasn't worth it. I am hoping that the SFG will be much easier to maintain with just as good, if not better harvest. Any tips on how to do my layout would be so helpful! I plan on doing two 4x4's this year and would love to plant tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, corn, cucumbers, carrots, squash, and a variety of herbs (maybe even a melon - is there enough room?).

I need to stop looking at all this stuff right now or my brain is going to go to mush! Plus, as you mentioned, what's the point in getting excited when I won't even be able to plant for at least two more months, lol?

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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/9/2011, 2:12 am

Peanut

So very glad you joined us. You will find this is a great group of people who love to grow veggies.

Once you get a chance to read your ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING book, things will seem a little simpler.

When you do start working on your plan, remember that tall and vining crops will go on the North side so you won't shade out your other crops. This includes tomatoes because you will trellis them.

Then consider what things have a longer growing season like peppers, eggplant, carrots etc. Those can go in the middle so they are kind of out of the way.

Crops that you will be harvesting early, frequently or will mature quickly should be on the outer edges, East/West/South, just so you can get at them easily and won't disturb other plants when you are in there. These are things like lettuce, spinach, bush beans, radishes, swiss chard, and green onions.

Don't stress and have fun.

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Newbie in Utah--planning to start this spring

Post  tabletopper on 3/9/2011, 3:30 am

Welcome.....I am new to the forum and everyone is so helpful......try getting a jump on planting outside by purchasing a lil mini greenhouse......I saw one at Lowes here in Chula Vista....for $47....put it together it has rollers....they also have Mel's Mix......

I was in Lehi last summer visiting my daughter and had lots of fun with it.....but the outside soil left a lot to be desired.....so I did the sawhorses with 2 2'x4' boxes.... Tabletoppers.....(cant bend over to garden).....Enjoy

Ruth....

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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/9/2011, 3:48 am

Welcome TableTopper Ruth

We are so glad you could join us. How marvelous that you have the TT's. I absolutely love them as I have a few aches and creaks myself. I now have three ready to fill, so I just have to get them placed. Keep changing my mind due to avoiding sprinkler system, still need access to water, but want the best sun possible.

Do keep us updated on your progress, and please share pictures, we love them.

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Welcome

Post  ander217 on 3/9/2011, 6:52 am

Welcome to the forum, Peanut and Tabletopper.

Our daughter lives in Sandy and planted her first SFG last summer.

My advice would be to not worry too much about companion planting at this point. There are so many variables it is difficult to practice it in a small garden, and no two sources seem to agree anyway. Some sources will tell you do not plant A next to B because it will attract the same pests. The next source will say do plant A next to B and use it as a trap crop for pests. Then a source will say do not plant A next to B because it depletes the soil of the same nutrients, while another says plant A next to B because they have the same growing needs. Or do not plant anything next to A because it will grow tall and shade them, or do plant small veggies under A because it will help shade them from the hot summer sun. And my favorite, "Do not plant marigolds next to beans because they exude a chemical from their roots which stunts bean growth," versus "Plant marigolds with beans to deter the bean beetle."

You can go crazy trying to figure it all out. Experiment each year and see what works best for you. If something fails, then you might consider not planting them together next year.

If you need help don't be afraid to ask questions. There are lots of friendly folks here happy to help if they can.


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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/9/2011, 8:17 am

I agree, don't worry too much about companion gardening. There's so much out there that it can drive you crazy. Last year we had someone staying with us that was continually critiquing us on the companion planting, crop rotation, etc. In the end though our garden did rather well and her's didn't. For all her talk she just didn't water enough, and I think she tried to go too complex. Just plant what you want and have fun.

As for weeds, that's one of the great things about mel's mix. Since you aren't using existing soil, it doesn't have seeds in it. If your boxes don't have bottoms then put down a weed/landscaping cloth to keep existing weeds out.

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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  peanut0915 on 3/9/2011, 3:44 pm

Thank you all so much for the warm welcome and words of encouragement! I will take your advice and not worry about companion planting at this point, as well as planting the taller plants on the north side and things like lettuce on the outside.

I received a response via email that I can pick up my bags of MM this Friday. This may sound like a dumb question, but once I have the soil in the raised beds, I don't have to replace it every year, do I? If not, do I need to add anything to it?

Again, a big thanks to all of you! Looking forward to sharing our successes, as well as disappointments, over the course of this gardening year.

~Mandy

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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/9/2011, 4:04 pm

Peanut, congratulations on getting your Mel's Mix already mixed. What a timesaver.

Once your beds are filled with Mel's Mix, as you water it in and hydrate the mix, you may find you need a little more mix added to the bed right at the beginning. After that you do not need to replace it, ever!

You will need to add a trowel full of compost everytime you harvest a square. That is to replenish any nutrients that may have been used by your growing plants. It will also help you "top off" the volumne in that square because every time you pull out the plant and its roots, a bit of Mel's Mix gets taken out of the square too, no matter how hard you shake those roots.

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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

Post  Hoggar on 3/31/2011, 3:13 pm

New here as well I built my boxes two weeks ago and have sprouts ready to
go in the ground. I will be putting my Carrot starts in tonight. I found Mel's
Mix at the IFA on 2100 south & 1147 w I had already bought all the fixins to
make my own so I don't know the price per bag for the premixed stuff.

Ron Down town SCL Ut.







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Re: Newbie in Utah - planning to start this spring!

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