Square Foot Gardening Forum
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New to SFG but ready to learn

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New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  kellis97 on 3/16/2011, 7:34 pm

We just bought two 4'x8' beds and started our seeds indoors. I think we are starting off a bit big for our first time but we are really excited! I would love any tips and tricks to get us started. Did I mention this is our first time gardening ever?! Wink

If anyone lives near PG Utah I would to see how its done.

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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/16/2011, 7:38 pm

Best advice.....

Lawn chairs and a jug of ice-tea (or a pitcher of wine if you are so inclined).
The combination makes the days of watching the garden grow just a little more comfortable.

Deborah....so happy for you! (And betting it isn't long before you double the size)
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  boffer on 3/16/2011, 8:05 pm

Greetings!

Stick seeds in the ground, and wait to see what happens. Your life doesn't depend on your gardening skills. Enjoy!

I don't think that you started too big. It will be easy enough to make changes as you learn more that is to your liking.
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  quiltbea on 3/16/2011, 9:10 pm

Just go for it.
I started 3 springs ago with nine 4 by 4 ft boxes and I don't see how I could have started smaller. I wanted everything.
Enjoy.
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/16/2011, 9:41 pm

I started last year with two 3x3 boxes, and three 1x1 containers, and continued to plan all through the year on tripling what I have. And I officially have (and then some) this year. It's so rewarding to go outside and jump up and down sqweeling in delight about your first ever bean pod forming, seeing your only hot pepper plant explode with a dozen tiny peppers overnight, or harvesting a gazillion pound romaine lettuce head.

Shoot for the moon! I hear it's made of cheese!
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  camprn on 3/16/2011, 9:43 pm

@kimbertangleknot wrote:
Shoot for the moon! I hear it's made of cheese!
Fabulous!! Very Happy
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/16/2011, 10:01 pm

@kimbertangleknot wrote:I started last year with two 3x3 boxes, and three 1x1 containers, and continued to plan all through the year on tripling what I have. And I officially have (and then some) this year. It's so rewarding to go outside and jump up and down sqweeling in delight about your first ever bean pod forming, seeing your only hot pepper plant explode with a dozen tiny peppers overnight, or harvesting a gazillion pound romaine lettuce head.

Shoot for the moon! I hear it's made of cheese!

Kibertangleknot - affraid I have never seen a romaine that big in my life.
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/17/2011, 10:16 am

@Furbalsmom wrote:
@kimbertangleknot wrote:I started last year with two 3x3 boxes, and three 1x1 containers, and continued to plan all through the year on tripling what I have. And I officially have (and then some) this year. It's so rewarding to go outside and jump up and down sqweeling in delight about your first ever bean pod forming, seeing your only hot pepper plant explode with a dozen tiny peppers overnight, or harvesting a gazillion pound romaine lettuce head.

Shoot for the moon! I hear it's made of cheese!

Kibertangleknot - affraid I have never seen a romaine that big in my life.

Me either. Only used a small portion of it too, but hubby did say it was awesome.
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Welcome

Post  ander217 on 3/17/2011, 10:25 am

Welcome to the forum, Kellis.

You can never have too many SFG boxes. All you need is one seed catalog to convince you that you do not have nearly enough, no matter how many you have.

I've been gardening for most of my 50+ years and I still have failures each year, but I have lots of successes, too, and those make it so worth it.

Keep us posted on how your garden grows, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/17/2011, 10:41 am

@ander217 wrote:
You can never have too many SFG boxes. All you need is one seed catalog to convince you that you do not have nearly enough, no matter how many you have.

Too true!
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/17/2011, 1:09 pm

Kellis
I am so sorry, I forgot to say hello and welcome to Kellis Embarassed because I got so excited by Kimbertangleknots Ginormous Roamine,when I was reading this thread yesterday.

As you can see there are many successes here and we love showing off our gardens and veggies. Please keep us updated on your progress and post a picture or three when you get a chance.

Again, Welcome!
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/17/2011, 2:18 pm

@kellis97 wrote:We just bought two 4'x8' beds and started our seeds indoors. I think we are starting off a bit big for our first time but we are really excited! I would love any tips and tricks to get us started. Did I mention this is our first time gardening ever?! Wink

I really think you will look back on your gardening experience in a couple of years and scratch your head wondering, "What is everyone complaining about? This gardening is a cinch. I missed my calling in life." And, that's going to be a tribute to starting off with SFG from the git-go.

You will likely have your fun, and hardships, but you will definitely bypass the real pain......row gardening. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Put your trust in the people here, read up on SFG whenever you can, and participate here with ANY question you have. Your learning curve will be quick....you have no "bad habits" to break...lol.

All kidding aside, the people here are wonderful, and it's a pleasure to have you. Welcome. And, when you get the chance....show us some pictures of your rookie season.
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  dizzygardener on 3/17/2011, 2:31 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:
@kimbertangleknot wrote:I started last year with two 3x3 boxes, and three 1x1 containers, and continued to plan all through the year on tripling what I have. And I officially have (and then some) this year. It's so rewarding to go outside and jump up and down sqweeling in delight about your first ever bean pod forming, seeing your only hot pepper plant explode with a dozen tiny peppers overnight, or harvesting a gazillion pound romaine lettuce head.

Shoot for the moon! I hear it's made of cheese!

Kibertangleknot - affraid I have never seen a romaine that big in my life.

+1

Shocked

You must have forgotten that you planted it! Surely it didn't get that big over night?!

Holy Cannoli!
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Thanks Everyone!

Post  kellis97 on 3/17/2011, 2:38 pm

Thanks for all the kind words! I will post pics once we get everything set up.

Any one know what a good price to pay for Mel's Mix is? I priced it out at one place premixed. I thought I could just get everything and mix it myself but not sure if that will save money or cost more. Any ideas??

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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/17/2011, 2:46 pm

I'm not sure of the cost, I was unable to get MM yet again this year, I'm using what I'm blessed with. Others will pop in and help with that very soon, but word of advice, figure in your time and back pain when figuring in the mixing cost. If you have a strong back, and/or help go for it, if you are like me, you may want to consider premixed or hireing a local neighbor kid.
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/17/2011, 4:04 pm

@kellis97 wrote:Thanks for all the kind words! I will post pics once we get everything set up.

Any one know what a good price to pay for Mel's Mix is? I priced it out at one place premixed. I thought I could just get everything and mix it myself but not sure if that will save money or cost more. Any ideas??

I paid about $10 for peat moss x4 (compressed 3 cubic foot). = $40
I paid about $15 for vermiculite x6 (4 cubic foot). = $90
I paid about $2 for compost x24 (1 cubic foot). = $48

Grand Total = $178

So I'll round up and say $200. Up front cost for starting MM is kinda high, but around here I can say that buying container soil last year for two 3x3x12 beds was about half the cost of that (slightly less). I didn't have any problems with what I used for growing. No weeds except for the ones that blew in from seed, I usually always use fertilizer with what I grow and last year I utilized old coffee grounds with my peppers and tomatoes which worked great when they were looking a little down.

I'm trying Mel's Mix this year so I'll have a good year to compare the two different growing mediums and see which is best for me. If there is anything that I would change from what I did last year is investing in the vermiculite to add to the container soil I used. After the growing season was done for me, I split a 4 cubic foot bag between the two beds I had and it was fluffier in general and stayed moist longer even with just that little bit added.

Hope that info helps (do keep in mind though, I apparently have a pretty good price on the vermiculite. Most people have to pay at least $5-$10 more for it).

And the Romaine was in the ground for 2 or 3 weeks. It was standard seedling size from Bonnie. I told you, outside I have a green thumb, inside it's as black as the plague!


Last edited by kimbertangleknot on 3/17/2011, 4:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added romaine bit)
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/17/2011, 5:03 pm

I will second Kimber's numbers. I have a 4x12 bed and a 2x8 bed I filled this year completely. My MM, bought in parts and mixed by me, was around $190. I am a little short from the tops of my beds, too. (Although, my wood is 8" deep because it was actually cheaper than 6" wood at the time.) I may top it off, but that will have to come next year.

The good news is: It's a one-time expense and your biggest. Once you have it in, you are done with buying dirt provided you have a small compost pile of your own going. If not, you may have to buy a little something from time to time.

As for the mixing or hiring it done, I would definitely consider "time value of money." Mixing yourself is a big job, but one I would guess 90%+ of us do ourselves anyway. However, if I were Bill Gates.....I'd hire it out in a heartbeat no matter how much I liked playing with dirt.
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Re: New to SFG but ready to learn

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