Square Foot Gardening Forum

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.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» GF Collard Greens, Kale Recipes
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 12:49 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Today at 11:49 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson Today at 11:48 am

» Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans
by CapeCoddess Today at 11:37 am

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by landarch Today at 9:29 am

» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by sfg4uKim Today at 9:26 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by llama momma Today at 5:10 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by yolos Today at 12:13 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:02 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by llama momma Yesterday at 4:52 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by llama momma Yesterday at 4:35 pm

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 3:27 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 1:04 pm

» Bon fires on the Levee
by Cajun Cappy Yesterday at 12:17 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:26 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:24 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:21 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:15 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:06 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:03 pm

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by donnainzone5 12/5/2016, 11:14 am

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee 12/5/2016, 9:08 am

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals 12/4/2016, 2:04 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/4/2016, 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising 12/3/2016, 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality 12/3/2016, 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver 12/3/2016, 4:14 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals 12/3/2016, 10:36 am

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:55 am

» Winter's Coming!
by sanderson 12/3/2016, 2:53 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Are these normal costs for start-up?

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/20/2011, 9:46 pm

I'm new to Mel's SQF Gardening and so far have spent $180 and that is just on 2 beds and the supplies/soil. Is this normal? We didn't expect such a large cost and we haven't even bought seeds or plants yet. I called around and only one place sold the large bags of coarse grade vermiclite and it was 3.5 cu ft for $34.99 plus tax. Here is what everything costs:

Materials for 2 garden beds
2 - 4x4x7 cedar garden beds (included screws) - $80
Weed cloth - $13
Shovel - $7
6 wood lath boards - $2 (need to buy 6 more as I only got enough for one)

Soil - Mel's Mix
Compressed bale of Peat Moss 2.2 cu ft - $10
Certified Coarse Grade Vermiculite 3.5 cu ft - $40
2 Mushroom Compost - $9
2 Organic Compost - $9
2 Composted Chicken Manure - $9

After spending $180, I have yet to buy what we need for:

- 2 chicken wire cages (we have rabbits that come in our yard)
- Vertical garden supplies
- seeds and transplants

Is it always this expensive to start up? Shocked

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  middlemamma on 4/20/2011, 9:52 pm

When you buy the beds it really can add to the cost. But yes, this seems to be pretty on paar...just remember once it's done next year all you need are your seeds/plants and a little compost! You won't be spending this year after year (unless you build more boxes).

You need two more kinds of compost to make up your 5. See if you can find some steer manure and another kind. Here is a link to the Mel's Mix Calculator, it will help you to mix it up right for the best results. And don't forget the peat is compressed!! It nearly doubles when you fluff it up.

Hang in there it will be so worth it when you are harvesting the fruits of your labor and dollars.

sunny sunny sunny

middlemamma
 
 

Female Posts : 2260
Join date : 2010-04-25
Age : 38
Location : Post Falls Idaho and LOVING it

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  jazzymaddy on 4/20/2011, 10:02 pm

Welcome! I think I've spent quite a bit more than that at this point - don't have all the receipts together in one place, and honestly, I'm afraid to look... And I still don't have my trellis set up yet.

But as middlemamma says, this is the setup year, the investment year, and it'll be much cheaper (and easier from what I hear) from here on out.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck, and hope you stick around and share your journey with us. It's pretty stinking fun from where I sit.

Take care,
Tracy

jazzymaddy

Female Posts : 309
Join date : 2011-03-20
Age : 42
Location : Fort Mill, SC

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Old Hippie on 4/20/2011, 10:13 pm

First of all, Welcome to you. We are so happy you joined us. This is a great place to hang out. Ask all the questions you want and someone is bound to help out.

Unfortunately, the start-up costs can be high. The good news is, you only do that once unless you add more beds next year. If you start making your own compost this year as well, when you have to add more compost, it doesn't cost you a penny.

But as an example, a woman my husband works with went out and spent over $500.00 just on a rototiller. Obviously, she is going to be doing row gardening because you do not need a rototiller for SFG. Years ago, we borrowed a rototiller and made a huge garden. That was such hard work! If she only knew how much easier and cheaper it is to SFG.

I am not quite sure what you mean when you say your beds are 4x4x7. Do you mean they are 4 ft HIGH and 4 ft. wide by 4 ft. long? Those are pretty good sized beds. Remember you only have to have your Mel's Mix six inches deep except for crops like carrots or potatoes. So if you just make part of the bed deeper instead of all of it, you can save a bit that way.

The other thing I would look at is your mix. From what I can see you only have three different compost/manures. It is recommended to use five different ones. If at all possible are you able to find two more. Sheep manure or steer manure, perhaps. The reason for that is that different sources of compost add different nutrients to the soil and the more varied the blend the better chance you have of giving your plants a wider variety of food. Like you and me, they prefer not to have just one or two things to eat but a number of different things which is why Mel recommends five different sources for your compost.

You are on the right track. Keep on going and if you need any more help, just holler. We are here for you.

Gwynn

Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 65
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  boffer on 4/20/2011, 10:33 pm

My mailing address is near 128th and Waller. Does that make us neighbors?! PM me if there's something I can do to help you get started.

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/20/2011, 11:04 pm

Welcome homekeeper. It's a pleasure to have you here.

Yes, your startup cost is about right. What I did, to sell the wife, was divide the cost out over 5 years since I won't be changing anything except a touch of compost and seeds. My cost per year plummeted compared to the grocery store over 5 years. Once I showed her, she was so on board you'd think we were taking a Caribbean cruise.

The cost pales in comparison to continuing the status quo at the local PigglyWiggly. You can either cost it yourself or just trust me on this one.

Stop in your regional forum or another of the more specific forums when you get settled in here. We are ready to answer ANY question you may have. Pictures obviously help, if nothing else but to brag about how proud you are. And, I hope to see you contributing, too, as you feel more comfortable around here. Welcome again!

BackyardBirdGardner

Male Posts : 2727
Join date : 2010-12-25
Age : 42
Location : St. Louis, MO

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 4/21/2011, 1:01 pm

Your prices are about normal I believe. When you compare to row gardening, it's cheap.

I discovered the SFG book at Home Depot, while trying to recover from sticker shock on a $650 tiller (not to mention the John Deer tractor, plow and disc that I borrowed in years past for the row garden).

If I was still doing a row garden, I would break ground probably next week... In my SFG, I am several weeks into eating lettuce, radishes and greens. I have everything in the ground except squash, beans, tomatoes and peppers.

Squat_Johnson

Male Posts : 440
Join date : 2010-05-25
Location : Beaver Dam, Kentucky, zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  staf74 on 4/21/2011, 2:15 pm

okay guys.....now I know we all love SFGning and all......and we love BBG and his enthusiasm but perhaps this was a little over the top in terms of start up costs....

"What I did, sell the wife,"
Wink tongue

staf74

Male Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-11-24
Age : 42
Location : York, SC

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  WolfHeart on 4/21/2011, 2:38 pm

@staf74 wrote:okay guys.....now I know we all love SFGning and all......and we love BBG and his enthusiasm but perhaps this was a little over the top in terms of start up costs....

"What I did, sell the wife,"
Wink tongue



OMG Staf, I missed that until you pointed it out......I am wiping tears from my eye

WolfHeart

Male Posts : 159
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 48
Location : Cincinnati, OH

View user profile http://wolfheart68.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/21/2011, 3:38 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:I am not quite sure what you mean when you say your beds are 4x4x7. Do you mean they are 4 ft HIGH and 4 ft. wide by 4 ft. long?

They are 4x4 beds and 7 inches high.

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/21/2011, 3:51 pm

@middlemamma wrote:See if you can find some steer manure and another kind. Here is a link to the Mel's Mix Calculator, it will help you to mix it up right for the best results.

I was going to get the steer manure, which was the only other compost I could find but the garden "expert" told me that it would burn my plants. Is this true? I took his word for it and didn't get it.

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/21/2011, 3:55 pm

@boffer wrote:My mailing address is near 128th and Waller. Does that make us neighbors?! PM me if there's something I can do to help you get started.

I'm about 45 minutes from you, never been to Yelm but there is a nursery there that I found online yesterday that sells a lot of organic transplants/seeds I think. I think its called Garden center or something, do you know of it?

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  ashort on 4/21/2011, 4:27 pm

Maybe a touch higher than mine, but the costs don't seem too far out of line...

ashort

Male Posts : 520
Join date : 2011-02-17
Age : 48
Location : Frisco, TX zone 8a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  boffer on 4/21/2011, 4:37 pm

@Homekeeper wrote:
@boffer wrote:My mailing address is near 128th and Waller. Does that make us neighbors?! PM me if there's something I can do to help you get started.

I'm about 45 minutes from you, never been to Yelm but there is a nursery there that I found online yesterday that sells a lot of organic transplants/seeds I think. I think its called Garden center or something, do you know of it?

Gordon's Garden Center, great variety of seed potatoes for $1.99/lb

Also in Yelm is Jason's Nursery, a wholesaler who sells retail, great prices on starts, variety is basic.

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/21/2011, 6:01 pm

Homekeeper

So very glad to have you here.

It is true that start up costs are more than many of us expect for the first year, but as everyone has said, costs plummet each year in the future.

You will find your trellis is fairly inexpensive. My two galvanized 10 foot conduit poles were about $2.25 @. The two connectors were about 3.00@ and the trellis netting about $3.00 (5 X 10 feet enough for two beds)

I did not make chicken wire cages for my beds. I was able to use two PVC pipes (10 feet long $1.50 @ to create a dome and covered it with tulle (bridal veil material 108inches wide and on sale al JoAnnes fabrics for about $1.50 a yard) as this would provide both critter and insect protection.

Please keep us updated on your progress. We want to see how well you do. You will be so happy with the ease of the SFG technique.

Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 69
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Old Hippie on 4/21/2011, 7:32 pm

@Homekeeper wrote:

They are 4x4 beds and 7 inches high.

Doh! I am a dufus!! I figured it out after I posted back to you when it was too late to edit my post!!

@Staf and Wolfheart, BYG said "What I did, TO sell the wife...." NOT "What I did, sell the wife" LOL! You are going to get him in trouble with his better half by misquoting him.

Homekeeper, I have never had trouble with the steer manure, especially when I have it mixed with other things. If it doesn't smell really strong, it should be fine. Obviously, it might have a certain amount of odour to it, but nothing like fresh manure. The stuff I bought didn't smell much different than regular compost.

Best of luck to you.

Gwynn

Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 65
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/21/2011, 8:07 pm

@jazzymaddy wrote:Welcome! I think I've spent quite a bit more than that at this point - don't have all the receipts together in one place, and honestly, I'm afraid to look... And I still don't have my trellis set up yet.

But as middlemamma says, this is the setup year, the investment year, and it'll be much cheaper (and easier from what I hear) from here on out.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck, and hope you stick around and share your journey with us. It's pretty stinking fun from where I sit.

Take care,
Tracy

When do you plan to put up your trellis? Keep us posted eh?

buttaflie143

Posts : 356
Join date : 2011-04-07
Location : Raleigh, NC - EST

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Homekeeper on 4/21/2011, 8:11 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote: I did not make chicken wire cages for my beds. I was able to use two PVC pipes (10 feet long $1.50 @ to create a dome and covered it with tulle (bridal veil material 108inches wide and on sale al JoAnnes fabrics for about $1.50 a yard) as this would provide both critter and insect protection

This sounds very interesting! I'm assuming you are talking about the pvc pipe domes that was pictured in the book. So this tulle would also keep out insects? Would I need to take it off at all or leave it on at all times?

Hubby brought to my attention that the beds we are using, the chicken wire cage in the book will not not work with them as they have corner posts higher than the side boards. So I have to come up with a new idea now. I posted the cedar bed we got from Home Depot in another post but here it is to show you how the chicken wire cage from the book won't fit it, it will have gaps:


Thanks for all the help you all and the welcome!!

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  1orangething on 4/21/2011, 8:33 pm

Welcome & happy gardening.

1orangething

Female Posts : 72
Join date : 2011-04-12
Age : 57
Location : Spring Hill Florida

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/21/2011, 8:36 pm

Staf, that was so funny! I love when we slap each other around a little here. It breaks the monotony.

Homekeeper, when your husband finishes with your garden, send him over here. I miss that kind of stuff all the time.

BackyardBirdGardner

Male Posts : 2727
Join date : 2010-12-25
Age : 42
Location : St. Louis, MO

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  jazzymaddy on 4/21/2011, 8:49 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:...create a dome and covered it with tulle (bridal veil material 108inches wide and on sale al JoAnnes fabrics for about $1.50 a yard) as this would provide both critter and insect protection..

Oh my gosh, brilliant! I'm SO going to do that!!! Thank you for sharing your brilliance! I have deer netting that I've been happy with, but nothing for the buggies. Now, I imagine you'd have to take it off on occasion for pollination purposes? Can you tell me a little more about your method?

Thanks,
Tracy

jazzymaddy

Female Posts : 309
Join date : 2011-03-20
Age : 42
Location : Fort Mill, SC

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Old Hippie on 4/21/2011, 8:54 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:

When do you plan to put up your trellis? Keep us posted eh?

Buttaflie, what is up with the "eh"? I was told that only us Canadians say that? Are you secretly a Canuck at heart? LOL!

Gwynn

Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 65
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  jazzymaddy on 4/21/2011, 8:58 pm

@buttaflie I'm not sure when the trellis will happen. It's spring break, AND I've got sick kids, so my plans have had to get some back burner action. I will definitely keep y'all updated. Sharing is part of the fun for me - well let's be honest, I like validation and attention. Smile

@homekeeper Your box looks really nice! "Back to the drawing board" has become a common phrase for me lately...

jazzymaddy

Female Posts : 309
Join date : 2011-03-20
Age : 42
Location : Fort Mill, SC

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  staf74 on 4/21/2011, 9:12 pm

I know I was a bad boy....I'll come clean.....a purposeful misquote on my behalf for a cheap laugh.....hehe. BBG took it well. However, I need to watch my back from now on. He owes me one !!!!!

staf74

Male Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-11-24
Age : 42
Location : York, SC

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Old Hippie on 4/21/2011, 9:15 pm

LOL! I thought as much. He's gonna get ya when you least expect it, I bet!

Gwynn

Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 65
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Are these normal costs for start-up?

Post  Sponsored content Today at 1:17 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


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