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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Let the fun begin

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Let the fun begin

Post  Mtman1849 on 3/12/2011, 6:08 pm

Just getting started this year built 10 boxes today one is a deep now I can't wait to get them filled with dirt, I am really excited
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Mtman1849 on 3/12/2011, 6:11 pm

He is another angle
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 6:14 pm

Woo-hoo, very exciting, congratulations! That is a lot of growing space you have there. Very Happy
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Mtman1849 on 3/12/2011, 6:27 pm

Now I am trying to figure the best way to fill them, How the cost will be if I go by bags to fill or will it be cheaper to buy by the pick up load
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 6:32 pm

We have a Mel's Mix calculator here:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5088-mel-s-mix-calculator

The MM is a big up-front cost, but hopefully you will only have to do it once. (I get to do it again this year as I am moving operations from the front yard to the back.)

I would say, figure out what you need, first, then go from there. You may get a better price on bulk volume. Vermiculite seems to come in 4 cubic ft bags, though.
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  boffer on 3/12/2011, 7:03 pm

Hi There,

It's gonna look real pretty when your boxes are full of veggies!

I've never seen peat or vermiculite sold by the truck load. My source of vermiculite sells 6 cf bags. Just an idea to get you started: I figure MM costs me $2 per square foot if I use my own compost; $5 per square foot if I have to buy bags of compost. It seems my cost for vermiculite is higher (almost double) than what I see some folks in your end of the country paying.

Have you heard the expression: "Do it right the first time and only cry once."? If you can afford it, and you can find the materials, you won't regret following Mel's recipe. Some folks are having more trouble finding five types of compost than they are the vermiculite. But the compost is your nutrition for your plants. Do whatever you can to get a blend of five types of compost.

You've got enough mix to make, to make it worthwhile to use a small cement mixer. It makes the mixing a lot easier.
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Mtman1849 on 3/12/2011, 7:22 pm

the Calculator says I need 14.40 cubic feet of each to do all 10 boxes what is that in bags roughly.
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 7:28 pm

You'll need to do some research, find out what size bags are available to you for each product (and homemade compost, if you happen to have that.)
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Mtman1849 on 3/12/2011, 7:55 pm

Don't have any home made compost up until this year I have long row gardened and I did it that way literally since I was old enough to weld a hoe. And we did it with little or know composting, bar the occassional load of horse or cow manure spread over the whole garden which was about an acre and a half every year, so this is all a totally new concept for me. It does however seem to be fun and simple, after the initial set up.
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 8:12 pm

I grew up with row gardening too. It's a paradigm shock-changer for sure, but you can do it! It is fun and simple, as you say, and fortunately, very forgiving as well. I do hope you will lend us all the benefit of your years of gardening experience as we get into the growing season! Just have fun with it, is the most important thing. Smile
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  dixie on 3/12/2011, 8:52 pm

I'm another long-time row gardener & last year was my first SFG. I
love it & will never go back. I found the best prices for my
vermiculite & Peat at a local hardware/feed store (a Tru-Value
hardware). For $137, including 9.25% tax, I got four 4 Cu ft coarse
vermiculite & four 3.8 bales of compressed peat. I've not found my compost guy
from last year yet, but what I've seen on Craigs List, the price has
doubled from last year, now it is $225 for 10 yards. Last year I got 13 yards delivered for $125.

Anyway, welcome to SFG. You are going to have lots of boxes to play in. I think it is Lavender Debs that calls it her Toy Box.
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  walshevak on 3/13/2011, 8:06 am

Other than finding 5 different types of compost, the hardest part in making purchases it that the compost comes in various size bags and is more often than not by weight not by volume. But one bag said 50 lbs or 1 cu ft. so based on that I bought 5 ea of 50 lb bags. 40lb bags would be a little less so I bought 6 of each kind. Black hen came in 20 lb bags so I bought 13. five 4 cu ft bags of vermiculite. Cheated a bit on the peat moss. only used 3 bales or 19 cu ft fluffed. I filled six 4x4 tabletops 7 in deep. should allow for settling. In all approx 60 cu ft of mix. saved a bit from the beds to use for seed starting about a 5 gal bucket full.

Broke my heart when I found a source of turkey compost and couldn't take advantage of it. smallest purchase was 1 cu yard and I only need 5 cu ft/ Sad If I expand next year (I still have 6 bed kits left) I may buy the cu yard anyway and spread the rest into flower beds and the lawn. It was recommend to me by the county extension agent.

Kay
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Mtman1849 on 3/17/2011, 7:18 pm

Well tomorrow is the beginning of getting the dirt ready for my boxes, my friend is bringing me a pickup of load of compost, and then when I get off of work I am going to by the rest of the stuff needed to make mix. Hopefully Saturday I will be planting
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Re: Let the fun begin

Post  Old Hippie on 3/18/2011, 10:50 am

My goodness that is a lot of growing space!! how exciting!

Our city has a site where they make compost from compostable materials that people drop off there. We can go and buy compost by the bag (bring your own) or by the pick-up load. It is much cheaper than buying bags of compost at the garden centers.

Best of luck and welcome to our forum.

Gwynn
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Re: Let the fun begin

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