Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
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.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 2:05 pm

» Sowing Experiment! Anyone Tried This?
by trolleydriver Today at 1:56 pm

» Turan in the Western Mountains
by Turan Today at 12:52 pm

» Lower south Oct 2017
by walshevak Today at 12:12 pm

» Carrot Week 2017!
by Turan Today at 12:01 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by walshevak Today at 11:55 am

» Hello from West Coast Of Scotland
by walshevak Today at 11:44 am

» BOOK GIVEAWAY - ENDS 10/20/17
by sfg4uKim Today at 11:33 am

» Thumbs Up????
by trolleydriver Today at 11:26 am

» Hello from Gilbert, AZ
by No_Such_Reality Today at 9:57 am

» A great offer for a local SFG,er
by AtlantaMarie Today at 9:16 am

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by sanderson Today at 12:17 am

» Today's Harvest
by brianj555 Yesterday at 8:21 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:16 pm

» new greenhouse got drafted
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:08 pm

» Monarch Supporter
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:55 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:50 pm

» Gardening & Homesteading Skills Summit REGISTER NOW!
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:17 pm

» New England October 2017
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:09 pm

» October Avatar: Don't Fence Me In
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 11:45 am

» Does MM improve with age?
by countrynaturals 10/15/2017, 3:51 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver 10/15/2017, 3:28 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals 10/15/2017, 11:34 am

» Leaf-Footed squash bugs
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 11:21 pm

» N & C Midwest: October 2017!
by Scorpio Rising 10/14/2017, 9:12 pm

» Tomato Questions
by Scorpio Rising 10/14/2017, 9:06 pm

» large plant ID stakes
by has55 10/14/2017, 4:02 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 3:12 am

» First time growing corn
by sanderson 10/14/2017, 3:07 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by AtlantaMarie 10/14/2017, 1:56 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Six inch deep beds?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Six inch deep beds?

Post  retired member 2 on 3/21/2011, 6:28 pm

Hi all. I am new. Posted an intro under the welcome forum and asked a coupld of questions while I was there. I sure hope someone can answer them for me!

Another question. Do most of you stick to the 6' deep beds? I am not sure if I should do that or not. After spening all the $ for this new system, I sure want to do it right and get some good results.

retired member 2

Female Posts : 100
Join date : 2011-03-21
Location : zone 7 TN

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Bed depth

Post  ander217 on 3/21/2011, 6:44 pm

Six inches are all you need for most crops except potatoes, long leeks, and long carrots. Since the roots are getting all the water and nutrients they need, they don't need to reach down and out so far. Really tall crops such as giant sunflowers or six-shooter corn may need some extra support when grown in shallow boxes, but most things do just fine.

We made some of our boxes 8" deep because that happened to be the size lumber we had. The MM usually settles a lot the first year, so you really end up using more like 4 or 5 inches in a 6-inch box, but it's still enough.

We built our first box 12" deep because I wanted to plant potatoes and long carrots. I made a newbie mistake and filled the entire box with MM. We could have used a cheaper filler material for the bottom 6" and then added the MM on top. We pulled that box up this spring to put hardware cloth on the bottom for vole deterrent, and this time we spread 6" of free-for-the-hauling rice hulls in the bottom, then added the MM on top.

Some people build all 6" boxes, and when they want to grow potatoes, long leeks, or carrots, they add a "top hat", or a 6" frame over a few squares, and then fill only those few square with extra MM. It's a trick that stretches the MM further.

Trust us. Six inches are enough.
avatar
ander217

Female Posts : 1450
Join date : 2010-03-16
Age : 62
Location : Southeastern Missouri (6b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Six inch deep beds?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/21/2011, 7:02 pm

You will find folks telling you that 4 inches is plenty for most things you will plant.

When you have perfectly conditioned soil, the roots need go no further. They just spread out.

Stay coachable to the system and you will be amazed at how easy things become. I urge you to ask ANY question before deviating from the system, like you did, and don't be afraid to ask for clarification, too. The SFG system was put in place to save work. And, making more than 6 inches of MM, without good reason (like for potatoes), is just adding both work and expense unnecessarily.
avatar
BackyardBirdGardner

Male Posts : 2727
Join date : 2010-12-25
Age : 43
Location : St. Louis, MO

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Six inch deep beds?

Post  ModernDayBetty on 3/21/2011, 8:37 pm

Keeping in topic, I bought 8in wood, easiest to get. I was just going to fill it all the way but after doing the math with someone's handy calculator I really am buying way more fill than I need. Does it make a difference if I do 6 in of MM but the box isn't full to the 8in top? Thanks :o)
avatar
ModernDayBetty

Female Posts : 298
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Central Washington Zone 7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Six inch deep beds?

Post  Megan on 3/21/2011, 8:54 pm

Nah, you are fine. Smile Welcome! By all means save the money on the MM. If you are planning on planting longish carrots, or parsnips, you might get away without a high-rise with a full 8-inch box, though. Sweet potatoes and spring (early) potatoes come to mind also. But for regular crops the basic 6" of MM is all you really need, unless you have extreme climactic reasons to use a deeper bed.
avatar
Megan

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 50
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

View user profile http://novasquarefootgardener.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

8" boxes

Post  ander217 on 3/22/2011, 7:42 am

krazikandiland wrote:Keeping in topic, I bought 8in wood, easiest to get. I was just going to fill it all the way but after doing the math with someone's handy calculator I really am buying way more fill than I need. Does it make a difference if I do 6 in of MM but the box isn't full to the 8in top? Thanks :o)

Our 1' x 8' trellised beds are 8" deep. We didn't completely fill them last summer, and then with settling they wound up with probably 5-6 inches of MM. They grew great tomatoes and basil, though.

An alternative would be to put a layer of cheap filler in the bottom two inches of the box.
avatar
ander217

Female Posts : 1450
Join date : 2010-03-16
Age : 62
Location : Southeastern Missouri (6b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Six inch deep beds?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/22/2011, 10:40 am

krazikandiland wrote:Keeping in topic, I bought 8in wood, easiest to get. I was just going to fill it all the way but after doing the math with someone's handy calculator I really am buying way more fill than I need. Does it make a difference if I do 6 in of MM but the box isn't full to the 8in top? Thanks :o)

I did the same. The 8" was cheaper than 6". So, I filled it to the top, loosely, and when it settled, I have around 5-6 inches. It leaves the perfect amount for mulch, too. And, since the peat and vermiculite won't ever decompose, I will likely fill it over time with my own composted materials.
avatar
BackyardBirdGardner

Male Posts : 2727
Join date : 2010-12-25
Age : 43
Location : St. Louis, MO

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Six inch deep beds?

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/22/2011, 11:49 am

Great post Ander!!

We have all different sizes and I like the 8" best for the 6” of mix I end up with in that box. My husband who sits on the wallet likes 12" but me who keeps the mix under my fingernails knows that 6 is enough (even when it compresses to 3 to 4" of mix)
avatar
Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 60
Location : Everett, WA USA

View user profile http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Six inch deep beds?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum