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Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

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Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  bennyhannahmama on 3/26/2011, 12:07 am

Hi Everyone,
I am brand-new to gardening and super excited to get started with SFG. My plan is to make my boxes and figure out a layout for my garden this weekend.
I've heard some friends discussing how they have started planting their seeds and I'm worried that I will fall behind.

Does anybody have any great words of wisdom?

Oh also, I picked up this seed kit at Sam's Club and a box of flower seeds as well. Does anyone have any experience with a kit like this? I'm not sure if this will work well or if I'd be better off buying individual packets of seeds.

While looking for the link to the seed kit above, I came across some raised bed garden kits on the Sam's Club site too. Any experience with something like that? They also have this one.

These are probably going to cost a lot more than just buying some lumber and Lowe's or Home Depot.

So looking for any basic advice, suggestions for getting started.

Thanks in advance,

Kim

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  walshevak on 3/26/2011, 6:18 am

I wound up using kits from Home Depot because I'm a not so able older lady with no one to help build the beds. (also caught them on sale last fall) The kits were super easy to put together with just a battery power screwdriver. But my son and I put together boxes from lumber at his house.

Kay

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/26/2011, 12:58 pm

Hey Kim...
You won't fall behind. Do you know your frost and freeze dates? Basically, that is what your garden will revolve around. And, knowing these dates will tell you when to get ready whether you are starting seeds indoors or going right into the garden. Your frost date will likely vary from most of us. And, it will likely differ from someone living fairly close to you, too. Here is the link I use... http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?q=63126&submit=Go

You will see it tuned to my zip code here in St. Louis, MO, but you just plug yours in and you will have yours. If new to this, just go by the 50% part and ignore the rest. Then, look at what you want to plant and plan accordingly.

Have no experience with the seed kit. Can't help there.

The raised bed I didn't like much because of the dimensions. 3.5' x 7' isn't 4x8. And, I am just nit-picky enough for that to throw me off from the beginning. I would rather just make my own the way I want it and roll with that. But, I've heard people liking the Sam's raised beds, too. So, it's kind of up to you and how much work you want to put into building your bed.

One tip.....do the Mel's Mix right. Resist the temptation to skimp if possible. We do what we can around here when resources are limited, but stay as close as you can to the system. And, mix it well!

Like I said before, post up some pics as you get going. Befores and afters are great to show off what you've accomplished.

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  bennyhannahmama on 3/27/2011, 3:11 pm

BackyardBirdGardner,

Thanks so much for your welcome and advice. That website is a great tool-- thank you! I did decide to pass on the kits-- I'm with you, I want 4x4 to start with and it seemed like the expense was not worth it. I bought my wood yesterday and my boyfriend made my 2 boxes today. I bought peat moss yesterday but will need to wait until during the week (missed it yesterday and closed today) to get the vermiculite and compost. I'm getting very excited!

Kim

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  bennyhannahmama on 4/15/2011, 1:48 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Hey Kim...
You won't fall behind. Do you know your frost and freeze dates? Basically, that is what your garden will revolve around. And, knowing these dates will tell you when to get ready whether you are starting seeds indoors or going right into the garden. Your frost date will likely vary from most of us. And, it will likely differ from someone living fairly close to you, too. Here is the link I use... http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?q=63126&submit=Go

You will see it tuned to my zip code here in St. Louis, MO, but you just plug yours in and you will have yours. If new to this, just go by the 50% part and ignore the rest. Then, look at what you want to plant and plan accordingly.

BackyardBirdGardner,
My boxes are built and filled with Mel's Mix and now I'm thinking about planting. I looked at the link you provided and I see the 50% part you referenced, but there are different rows for the 50% column, which one do you recommend I use?

Thanks!
Kim

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  boog1 on 4/15/2011, 7:00 pm

type in your zip code then there should be your town listed first look at the top colum at the 50% your average top row should b around the 5th of may give or take thats what mine is the 50% means theres a 50-50 chance that you'll get some frost now if you look at the 10% colom should be around may 19th my date only 10% chance of frost allso if you use the same frost date next year depending on how you feel about how soon you want to start planting outdoors you can back date it on a calinder to find out when to start your seeds indoors. yada yada yada alotta times i tend to over complacate things and i gotta keep tellin myself to k.i.s.s. k.i.s.s.


boog

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  bennyhannahmama on 4/15/2011, 9:13 pm

Thanks Boog. I got that part, but I'm confused about the different rows, "Spring 32degrees" and "Spring 28 degrees" Which temperature should I use?


Thanks!

Kim

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  barmstr on 4/15/2011, 10:53 pm

You were asking about raised bed kits for your new plantings. Check out Gardners Supply and gaze at their catalog. I was talking with Mel's office and found out the Gardners Supply is working with Mel. They have nice looking kits. I've seen the kits at Home Depot and at Sams and they seem a little weak on the sides.

If you can, go to the local lumber store and get 4 X 4 cedar posts and have them cut them to 5 1/2 inches tall. This is the width of dog eared cedar fencing. You will need 6 posts. Go to HD or at the local lumber store and buy Dog Eared Cedar (not redwood-it attracks termites in our area). Place a post every 3 feet and screw the cedar fencing to the post with deck screws or stainless steel screws. This is an easy way to get started on the cheap. At our HD, some of the young guys will come to your house and build the box for you for a nominal fee, if you ask nicely and saw something like "Do you know anyone who could put a box together for me?" Don't ask management - they want premium price.

I got this idea for a raised bed from Growing Your Greens youtube videos. I might suggest you subscribe to his channel on youetube. Lots of great info. If his web site does not come up, go to youtube.com and search for growingyourgreens. It should come up.




Good luck
Bruce cheers

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  boog1 on 4/16/2011, 2:54 pm

this is what you should go by ::::>>> Each winter, on average, your risk of frost is from October 8 through May 5.
Almost certainly, however, you will receive frost from October 20 through April 21.
(((You are almost guaranteed that you {{will not}} get frost from May 19 through September 26.)))
Your frost-free growing season is around 156 days. that being said, the cold season crops ie carrots. broccoli,coliflower what ever else start around the the 1st of may in the garden, by the time they break the surface all liklyhood of frost will be past.this is my p.o. cause you know michigan could throw another snowstorm at us. i've lived here going on 5 years i've seen some really squarrally weather here.


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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  bennyhannahmama on 4/17/2011, 4:03 pm

Thanks so much Boog...I think I finally got it! (Sorry I was so slow :scratch:)

I know what you mean about MI weather (did you see the snowflakes today?)

So have you started any of your planting yet? Seeds or transplants?

Thanks again for your help!

Kim

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  boog1 on 4/17/2011, 4:16 pm

yes and yes ta both questions soon as i find the batterys to the camara i'll post some pics. nuttin outside yet to darned windy and cold taday. Sad Sad Sad

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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

Post  boog1 on 4/18/2011, 5:41 pm

was i not right ??? 2 1/2 inchs of new snow taday, alltho alot has melted by the time i got off work, gotta love this michigan weather.


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Re: Newbie In (Southwest) MI Looking For Advice

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