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SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

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SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  snibb on 4/7/2011, 8:46 pm

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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  ashort on 4/8/2011, 12:13 am

Very nice - thanks for sharing
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Wow!

Post  MSJ on 4/15/2011, 6:47 pm

You are doing some amazing gardening. Great ideas. I'm glad to see this can really work here in Utah. I have lots of PVC pipe left over from a sprinkling system. Did you put your rebar inside the PVC?

Where did you get the posts your zucchini were climbing? Did you use these same kind of posts for the tomatoes to climb? Where did you get your hardware cloth? I ended up getting stuff they use to make rabbit cages from IFA because I wasn't sure what I was really looking for.

Do you rotate crops each year?

Thanks for posting your pictures.

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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  snibb on 4/15/2011, 6:59 pm

"Did you put your rebar inside the PVC?
Yes, I always do.

Where did you get the posts your zucchini were climbing? Its just a normal green fence T-post. You can buy them for something like 4 bucks. Did you use these same kind of posts for the tomatoes to climb? Yes, with the exception of I use 8' t-posts for tomatoes and the one I use for zucchini is about 5'. Where did you get your hardware cloth? Its been so long, but I think I got mine at IFA as well seeing that it is right down the street from us. I ended up getting stuff they use to make rabbit cages from IFA because I wasn't sure what I was really looking for.


Do you rotate crops each year?
I only really end up rotating tomatoes and potatoes. Other than that, if you think of this sequence when planting and replanting, you end up rotating crops automatically: leaf/fruit/root. You will never go wrong when you think of it that way. Good luck
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More questions

Post  MSJ on 4/17/2011, 10:29 pm

I'm going to try using the poles with my tomatoes to free up more planting spots. How did you secure the poles to keep them upright with the weight of the tomatoes?

Do you think I could use my tomato cages from last year with my squashes and cantaloupes to help them grow more vertically? I saw a picture from a gal in Phoenix that planted 4 squashes in a 4x4 box. Do you think that is enough room?

Did you figure out your drip system yourself or did you have help? We have a line of sprinklers where the boxes will be and I am hoping we can convert them into drip lines.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.

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well...lets see

Post  snibb on 4/18/2011, 12:10 am

The poles for the tomatoes that I use are called t-posts. The ones I use are 8' tall and cost about 4 or 5 dollars each. But, they will last forever. When you bang those things into the ground, it should be for about a foot. That gives you 7' to grow your tomatoes on. You will never have to worry about these holding up with the weight of your tomatoes. Even with the occasional 50+ MPH winds we get around here, they are solid as a rock.

As far as using tomato cages for other things-I dont know what to tell you. I have never used those because I have always grown indeterminate tomatoes, which could never be held in place by those cages. I do grow cantalope and squashes, but I grow them on the tomato towers. You can grow squashes 1 per square, but that depends largely on the variety of squashes you are growing. I thing things like acorn square are able to grow in 1 foot-I know they are because I have done it. Some of the larger squashes though, like banana, would need to grow on a tower. For zucchini, I grow it up in one square foot. I get all kinds of "experts" that tell me you cant do it, but you can, and there are pictures of it on my site, so I know it can be done.

For my watering system, I had it put together by an engineer. Not counting the cost of the timer, I think it cost me about $20 or so. But, I never have to worry about watering my garden. Since we are neighbors, maybe you should just give me a call or better yet, come on over to see the garden where I can probably explain things in words better than I can on the blog.....my email address is: jrt2020_2@msn.com... good luck...Jim
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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  Uprooted on 4/27/2011, 5:16 pm

Thanks so much for those pictures, that was just great. Now I'm being greedy: you don't have any pix of the vertical zucchini that were taken in full sun by any chance, do you? Smile

I was wondering about pounding a stake into a square -- does that defeat the purpose of laying down the landscape material/weed barrier under the Mel's mix? Or is it too small of a hole to make much difference? I probably won't be able to leave a stake in year-round.

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Lets see...

Post  snibb on 4/28/2011, 12:13 am

There is at least one picture on the website that shows vertical zucchini. Its one of the pictures that shows the 7' tomato plants. Just to the right of it you can notice the zucchini plant. Its about 4' tall. This particular year I grew 8-Ball zucchini vertically. If there is not one of black beauty, I will be a little more diligent in taking pictures this year.

I did not use any of the weed barrier in my gardens. It wont hurt it though-its not that big of a hole. Besides, in a number of years, I think those weed barriers decompose anyway. I wouldnt worry about it. Just bang those things into the ground and away you go. Hope that answers it for you...Jim
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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  Uprooted on 4/28/2011, 4:59 pm

Thanks, Jim!

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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/28/2011, 5:40 pm

Lots of good pictures, Jim. I like the T-bars, too. I may incorporate those myself.

I think the T-bars may cost out more expensive if we use one per plant vs electrical conduit at $4-$5 a bar. However, it's not something I'd be concerned about personally. I like the look of it quite a bit. And, I think you're right that it would be solid as a rock.

I also notice the minihoops you have covering your early spring pictures. Do you suppose you get better heat retention over the smaller volume of air? Is there any chance your engineer friend could tell us?

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  snibb on 4/28/2011, 7:05 pm

I agree with you on the cost of the t-bars vs. the tomato towers. The thing I like about the t-bars though is this: say you have 1 tower already up on the north corner of your box with 4 tomato plants-or whatever you grow on it. You have the rest of your box planted with lettuce, carrots, radishes, chard, spinich, a flower or two, etc. What if you wanted to put one more tomato plant somewhere in the same box? I dont want to put up another whole tower just to plant that one tomato plant. So, this is where the t-bar has its advantages.

As far as the mini greenhouse-that was something that I saw in an old gardening book by some guy named Jeff Balls. I thought I could incorporate it into the SFG system, and it works like a charm. If I had to do it all over again though, I would do it differently. Instead of those white PVC things attached to the inside of the garden boxes, I think I would use what you see in the garden box in some of the pictures. Just a piece of rebar in each corner, angled, and then the slimmer more lightweight black PVC. Its cheaper, and it is not such a big dome like I have on the 4X16 garden....Jim
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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/29/2011, 2:59 am

Please clarify why two tomatoes per square with either the same or separate T-bar. I didn't understand that part....but it's late at night for me, too.

As for the hoops, are you keeping them lower to keep the heat in? That is where I struggle now. I think the lower the plastic, the better the heat retention....but could use some experience for confirmation. I have a 4x12 covered and next year am thinking of only covering 2xwhatever to make things more practical.
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only 1 tomato per square

Post  snibb on 4/29/2011, 2:58 pm

My point is that if you have 4 tomato plants already growing on the tower, what do you do if you want to plant 1 more? You wouldnt want to put up another tower(and added expense)to take up 4 more squares when you only have 1 more tomato plant. Thats is why you would use the t-bars.

For the hoops-there was no science behind it really. I didnt even take into consideration the heigth of the hoops-I just put the white pieces of PVC to the insides of the box and started putting the big black PVC into them. I have no idea if the higher hoops are hotter than the shorter hoops. I can say that when the sun comes out-even on a cold day-the temperature under those pieces of plastic is at least 30 degrees warmer than outside-on both the smaller and taller hoops. The bigger ones are a bigger hassle when we get wind bursts though-unless you really have the weighted down. I use 5 gallon bucket filled with water to hold mine down, and for the most part, it works very well....Jim
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Bark around boxes

Post  MSJ on 5/5/2011, 10:54 pm

I notice that you have bark between your boxes. Have you had any problems with it attracting bugs? I would like to put down crushed granite eventually but it's not in the budget this year.

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Not really...

Post  snibb on 5/6/2011, 12:52 am

No, I have not had any bug problems with the bark between the beds. Is that supposed to increase bugs or something? I have plastic down first, and then the bark on top of that. No problems after 10 or 11 years of SFGing...Jim
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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  MSJ on 5/6/2011, 8:49 am

I did notice a couple of older posts that talked about pill bugs or squash bugs in their bark. Maybe it is dry enough here that insects and diseases aren't the challenge they might be in other parts of the country/world. Anyway, the bark looks great in your garden.

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Updated pictures of this years garden

Post  snibb on 6/23/2011, 2:59 pm

....http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/mm14/snobblet/
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Re: SFG Through the Years-Pictures/Instruction

Post  westie42 on 6/23/2011, 3:11 pm

I'll be right over for a nice caesars salad snibb.

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Ceasers Salad...Yes

Post  snibb on 6/23/2011, 10:28 pm

Im enjoying one right now with all that lettuce back there....with pieces of blackened chicken on top...yum yum
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