Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

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Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  newSFGinNorthDakota on 4/26/2011, 5:56 pm

Hello everyone! This is the first time I've ever posted anything in a forum, and this will be my first year of gardening as well. My father kept a vegetable garden when I was a child, but that was in the Seattle area. I moved here last summer with my boyfriend (now fiance) and have learned that the growing season is pretty short-we're in zone 4.

We just bought our home in January, there is a 22' by 13' garden plot out in our backyard that the previous owners were using. I don't have any experience gardening, I do have a ton of tomato seedlings successfully growing that I started indoors on March 29. I just learned of square foot gardening within the last couple days and we will be planting a SFG this weekend in hopes that the rain and snow they're currently predicting doesn't come. The SFG will be over the same area. I know I need to lay something down for weed control and to my understanding untreated wood is better than treated wood.

If anyone has any tips to offer that would be appreciated, the nursery here in town doesn't open til Saturday the 30th of April and I don't want to be doing everything under a time crunch or last minute. Thank you for reading and I hope to learn to use this site alot better soon!


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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  middlemamma on 4/26/2011, 6:03 pm


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Weklcome newSFGinNorthDakota

Post  Kelejan on 4/26/2011, 6:12 pm

I am the second newest newbie here so I would like to say Welcome to the newest newbie.

I had a lovely welcome and I think we are both going to love it here.

I will leave it to the "oldies" to put you on the right path, then I can tag along with you. I did start last year so I am a bit in front of you, but others have been SFGing for donkey's years.

Last edited by Kelejan on 4/26/2011, 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Computer can't spell)

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Post  newSFGinNorthDakota on 4/26/2011, 6:23 pm

Thank you to both of you for the nice welcome! I am beginning to get the hang of this forum thing, and have found the two different regional forums that may apply to my area here on the arctic tundra, as my fiance and I referred to it over the long, bone-chilling winter we had here, Laughing


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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/26/2011, 6:37 pm


What a great time for you to discover SFG. Smile

First things first, have you read the ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING book originally published in 2006? That is going to be your go to book for questions and simple explainations of the basics of SFG. If you don't have a copy, borrow one from your library or purchase one soon.

Then make sure the garden area gets plenty of sun.

Do you know your last average frost date for Spring and first average frost date for Fall?
Check this link and use your zip code to get information that is applicable to you and your specific location FROST DATES These dates will help you determine when you can start various types of seedlings indoors, or plant transplants or direct seeding outdoors.

One of the biggest tricks is making sure your properly create your Mel's Mix in order to have nice fluffy growing mix with lots of nutrition for your veggies.
1/3 vermiculite
1/3 fluffed peat moss (peat moss often comes in compacted bales and when you 'fluff' it up, the volumn almost doubles)
1/3 blended compost. You need to blend at least five types of compost.

We want to help you do well. Please let us know your questions and we will do our best.

This is a great group of people and I am sure you will enjoy yourself here.

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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  dreamingoutloud on 4/26/2011, 11:35 pm

Hi from Minot, I am starting a SFG this year too !!

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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  quiltbea on 4/27/2011, 12:12 am

Welcome to a wonderful way to grow veggies.
If you have questions, this is the place to ask. Someone is sure to have an answer for you.
Enjoy the experience.

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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  dizzygardener on 4/27/2011, 1:22 pm

So very glad to have ya!

Do you have the All New SFG book? If not, you should definitely consider buying it. It is a fantastic resource for those who are just starting out with SFG. You'll find just about everything you need to know in that book.

Here are a few tips:

• Peat Moss in compressed bales is actually twice the volume listed on the package. If it says 3cu.ft. it is actually 6 cu.ft. when fluffed up.
• Moisten the peat moss before you mix it into the Mel's Mix. peat moss tend to repel water until it is moistened the first time. Warm water works best for this.
• READ THE LABELS ON YOU COMPOST BAGS. You want your bags of compost to be as pure as possible. Some good ones are cow, horse, and chicken manures; mushroom compost and worm castings. make sure that the bags are NOT 50%+ peat or mulch. Especially in the case of peat it will throw off your Mel's Mix.

I agree with everything else that has been suggested especially about frost dates. starting on page 254 of the book you'll find planting schedules that go according to last frost date. That ought to help you figure out when to plant things.

If you have any more questions please feel free to ask them. We are always eager to help out fellow SFGers if we can.

We LOVE pictures around here. We can learn so much from each other just by looking at the beautiful pictures posted on these forums. When you get your SFG up and running please post some pictures for us.

I see you've found your regional forums. Please stop on by when you have a chance. Regional forums are a great place to get region specific information, ask regional questions, and generally get to know folks from your area.

Take care and happy gardening.

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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/27/2011, 1:31 pm

Just look at the loads of free advice flowing in from our members and hosts! Do I need to tell the three of you that we love to help?? Cool

Welcome aboard, all of you. The two from ND will find our Midwest, High Plains, and Canadian regional forums to be a place you frequent I'm sure....along with the General SFG and other forums. You guys, though, likely live in a very blended climate. I would love to hear, in time, where you feel your climates fit best.

Post some pictures as you guys get up and running, too. We love those!

As for setting up the SFG, I would like to emphasize the combination of soil we call Mel's Mix around here. It's the absolute backbone of your garden....and what sets SFG apart from plain old gardening. The MM is what creates the easy weeding, less watering, no tilling and no fertilization you will be reading about. In short, it cuts your workload substantially. Don't skimp on it if you can.

Converting existing beds/gardens to SFG will likely be focused in this area. I know we would love to hear your progress....and any questions you come across. We would love to help you get it as close as possible to the way the book recommends. It may seem labor intensive, but it's a one-time process. Like gramps used to say, "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right!"

Welcome again! Hope to see more of you.

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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

Post  Goosegirl on 4/27/2011, 2:10 pm

flower flower flower flower flower

Welcome from South Dakota! Our winter has been horrendous and yours has been worse! Spring has to come eventually, or so we are told. This is my first year setting up SFG as well. Post pics of your progress!


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Wow! This is great!

Post  newSFGinNorthDakota on 4/28/2011, 1:43 am

Thank you to everyone for all the advice and welcoming! I did order the All New SFG book and should be receiving it Friday through Amazon.com. I'm looking forward to being able to post some pics once I get my garden up and running!


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Re: Hello! Just discovered SFG and am new to North Dakota

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