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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Introduce Yourself

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Introduce Yourself

Post  Gail Celeste on 4/8/2011, 3:57 am

Hi. I am in Central Kentucky, the center of the Upper South.
I have read most of the book, and am anxious to start. Got a lot of compost and peat. My husband says there is nothing wrong with treated wood for boxes, as the wood is a lot different (safer) than when Mel wrote ANSFG. Not sure what to do about that.

This site is a little confusing but I hope to figure it out.

Gail Celeste

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  shannon1 on 4/8/2011, 4:45 am

glad to have you here. I would not use treated wood even though it would last longer here in Florida where I live. Since one of the ways I make my garden pay is to be strickly organic. I am so excited for you just wait till you get good and dirty SFG is so much fun.
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  dizzygardener on 4/8/2011, 9:57 am

@Gail Celeste wrote:Hi. I am in Central Kentucky, the center of the Upper South.
I have read most of the book, and am anxious to start. Got a lot of compost and peat. My husband says there is nothing wrong with treated wood for boxes, as the wood is a lot different (safer) than when Mel wrote ANSFG. Not sure what to do about that.

This site is a little confusing but I hope to figure it out.



So glad to have you.

Though your husband may be right that treated wood is "safer" now than it was 5 years ago it still contains chemicals that you would not want to ingest.

The problem with it in the garden is that as the wood gets wet the chemicals leech into the soil and thus into our plants which we then put into our bodies.

Having said that, the chemicals only leech 3 inches into the soil (if I'm remembering correctly), so you can minimize ingestion by making sure not to plants things within that zone. A better solution might be to put a plastic barrier between the wood and the dirt.

I should also mention that using treated wood for your box isn't going to make you immediately sick. It's more of a concern about long term health effects, and no one is really sure what those will be.


Last edited by dizzygardener on 4/8/2011, 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/8/2011, 10:06 am

Welcome aboard!!

Glad you're reading the book. It's the best resource you have.....other than us! Pictures are worth more than 1000 words here, and can really help when asking questions or just bragging about what you've accomplished.

The people here are super friendly. Make yourself at home, and hope to see you around and active here.
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  Chopped Liver MM on 4/8/2011, 10:11 am

Welcome Gail!

We just picked up cedar boards at Lowes Hardware. They were $13 for 8 foot boards which was cheaper than the treated material. It might not last as long, but it'll outlast most other untreated lumber and the price was right. No sooner than I finished those boxes, the neighbors brought me tons of free cedar boards so we're heading for round two. Wink I know some folks seal the boards to make them last longer, but I feel they'll last plenty long and frankly at $26 a box they are replaceable. Good health is a bit more expensive.

CL

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  boffer on 4/8/2011, 10:19 am

Welcome to the forum. All my boxes are pressure treated. Most are lined with plastic to make the other half happy; some are not.
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  Gail Celeste on 4/9/2011, 4:27 am

Thank you all for the warm welcome and advice.
I got two bags of vermiculite today and yet more compost. Nobody seems to have mushroom compost. I know that I have bought some before. A lot of bags are rather vague about the contents depending on where it is from.
What a surprise that Lowe's only had a long aisle of pine and the other side treated. No cedar! A treated 2x6x8 was $5.97. We got 2x8x8 to leave room for mulch and have a whole six inches of "soil". I was very unhappy to get treated wood. A sign listed four web-sites about treated wood. I have not found any useful information yet. A lot of it old or industry fluff. I don't know about lining the beds with plastic as plastic is not especially safe either.
I have a lot of flower beds all over, but have not tried vegetables much. Hoping for success.

Gail Celeste

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  shannon1 on 4/9/2011, 4:39 am

Have a great time with it Gail you will have success! Very Happy
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  Chopped Liver MM on 4/9/2011, 11:50 am

@Gail Celeste wrote:What a surprise that Lowe's only had a long aisle of pine and the other side treated. No cedar!

Did you ask them in the store? In our stores (next to HQ) the cedar is on a different aisle than the rest of the wood products, and in another store, it's on the other side of the store.

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Shady in Sunnyvale

Post  5un5 on 9/19/2013, 12:17 pm

Hello,

I garden in Sunnyvale, California, on ground that used to be strawberry farms. Most of my land is shaded by trees and buildings, but I've managed tomatoes and sunflowers. I'm thinking about building raised beds out of spare fir 2x2s, but unsure how many years they would last.I don't want to wind up with a big mess of soil and rotten wood in a few years. 

So far I've been enjoying reading about raised beds here.

Nice to meet you,

5un5
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Welcome~

Post  Windmere on 9/19/2013, 3:08 pm

Hi Gail.  So nice to have you aboard.  I am a disabled gardener from Middle Georgia.  I have found that folks here are very nice and extremely helpful.  I appreciate everyone's kindness here.  I am doing my first SFG garden and I am having great results.  I was out-of-town for over six weeks due to a family emergency.  Despite that, I still had some great results.  This method really works and it makes gardening a joy for me.

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  sanderson on 9/20/2013, 2:10 am

Gail, Welcome to the Forum! glad you\'re here  I am a first year SFG-er and I think this site is the most helpful you will find.  Lots of good folks with lots of good advice.  I am 110% sold on the SFG method; even with all my Newbie mistakes I have had successes that make it all worth while.  Just stick to what the book states to get going.  Try not to cut corners or you may be playing catch up.  Embarassed 

I think most folks make their boxes out of common pine/fir, 2" x 4,6 or 8," mostly untreated in any way.  Because they are filled with Mel's Mix and NOT dirt, they last quite a few years.  Some paint or stain the outside for aesthetics. Some use unboiled linseed oil on the inside.  If you want to be on the "organic" side, you could exchange the treated wood for common pine/fir "studs.".  For my smaller beds that are tucked here and there, like 1' x 3', my husband used cedar fence planks.  Some fencing boards are dog-eared at the top.  He just trimmed them off.

Try new home construction sites for scrap 2" x 3."  Just get permission first!  Most of my boxes were made of free wood and one box of long screws.
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  TxGramma on 9/20/2013, 3:36 am

Just an FYI...this is an OLD thread and Gail is the OP. The newbie posting in this thread currently is 5un5.

5un5 welcome to the forum!!! Good luck with your garden. The good thing about intense gardening like SFG is you can grow a lot of produce in a small space so even though most of your space is shaded you should still be able to grow what you want. And that shade may help you out with some cool weather crops and you may be able to keep them growing farther into the summer.
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  sanderson on 9/20/2013, 1:09 pm

Opps! Thanks TX Gramma.

5un5, Welcome from Fresno, CA!glad you\'re here 

My suburban lot is only 6,000 sq ft with shading neighboring trees and my orange tree and pistachio tree. SFG in raised beds with Mel's Mix in a small backyard is about the only way to go for growing veggies. My boxes are custom-sized for small sunny spots: 1 x 3, 1 x 4, 2 x 3 and 2' x 4.' I have a 3' circular spot for the compost cage. And single pots tucked here and there. Very intense growing with lots of vertical growing. SFG is wonderful!
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Introduce Yourself

Post  clmarcel on 9/23/2013, 8:03 pm

Hi, Im Marcelo Santos, live in Brasil, in a city called Recife. Im interest in planting herbs, fruits, leafs, etc. using the Mels method SFG, for better healthy me and my family. I already made eight box 4x4x4, choose the plants, already planting the seeds indoor, and hope that next week (next monday 30/09/2013) I started to tranplant to the boxes.
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  sanderson on 9/24/2013, 12:51 am

CLmarcel, Welcome to the Forum! glad you\'re here 

We would love to see photos of your garden, especially as most of us are changing to winter mode.
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post  cheyannarach on 9/24/2013, 9:36 am

I second the pics!! Welcome to the forum!!
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