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Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

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Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  jymarino on 6/2/2011, 11:17 am

I had a few minutes, the kids are peaceful reading, so I wanted to post a tesimonial about how great this gardening method is. Let me also preface this by saying that before I owned a house I had a giant black thumb. The only thing I didn't kill was my dd's nasturtium which lived for 3 years from seed. I do come from a family of home gardeners but always thought the growning gene passed me up. cyclops (My son just insisted that I put this cyclops in. It has nothing to do with the post, just the impulse of an active 5.5 yo.)

This is my first year SFG and my third doing a home garden. In past years we've just plotted out an area behind the garage and planted away. I've always gotten good results from the garden but it was hard b/c of weeds and overcrowding. The overcrowding is my fault b/c I did silly things like put 3 toms in one 2x6 cage and didn't prune them at all.

This year is my first SFG and so far, even though my dd still complains about horticulture, it has been the most fun thus far. I've done most of what Mel recommends with the exception of a slightly different MM. I do not and am not advocating any newbies to do what I did. My situation is specific to my family and I am certain that what others say about the true MM blend is accurate.

The only reasons for the alterations I made are:
1) I just did not have man power/woman power to hand mix 24 cf of MM.
2) I did not have the time to be able to do it since I am homeschooling the kids f/t, working p/t and handling the household while my wonderful dh brings in the bacon.
3) I found a premixed peat moss + rice hulls + black forest compost. I also added seabird guano, local black compost (free), and mushroom compost. This cut my workload and time in half and enabled us to try this method of gardening.

I have also bought course vermiculite to add in since I know that rice hulls will break down over time, but I only added a small amound as I planted each square.

I've started with transplants for everything except for the carrots and potatos.

To date everything is going really well and I am so glad. Weeding is a breeze, harvesting is a breeze, cultivating is a breeze, planting is a breeze. You get the idea.

My kids and I are learning so much more this year and I am hopeful they will develop a love for gardening. My dd has her "own" 4x4 box and is diligently taking care of it. Yesteday, her cauliflower plants were not happy about not getting watered in the a.m. and told her so in the afternoon. Instead of panicking she just said "Oh, I think they are thirsty. I'll get them some water." She proceeded to water all of her box, my box, the strawberry box, the blueberry bushes (3 of them), the raspberry, the lilac, the peonies and the flower garden. She likes being able to water the gardens with a watering pail instead of the hose, and I like that we have a better idea of exactly how much water they are getting.

We haven't battled bugs much yet but are planning to do so soon since the japanese beetles are about to emerge here.

If your gardens aren't going well yet just hang in there, it will come and you will be so excited when you get to eat all those yummy fruits and veggies!

God bless!

Jennie

jymarino

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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/2/2011, 2:17 pm

This is great!! So glad the people here helped you.

But, don't underestimate your experience over the past couple of years. You seem to learn from what didn't work and change things the next year. That is equal in the concept of SFG in helping your year.

SFG makes good gardeners great and cuts out a lot of the learning curve. However, solid experience can NEVER be underestimated.
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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  quiltbea on 6/2/2011, 3:27 pm

jymarino.
How great that your garden is going well.
And don't worry about not doing things exactly as mandated in the last couple of years. Sometimes we must make different choices and its OK.

I started mine 3 yrs ago with Mel's old book and absolutely never having heard of Mel's Mix. I used good garden loam, peat moss, composted manure, and a few organic amendments like bloodmeal, limestone, greensand, etc. The boxes were all 12" deep atop removed lawn.
Mine are doing just fine but I bury some dry fallen leaves into each hole as its emptied of a crop and cover the beds with compost before winter. Then in the spring compost is added (a large trowelful) in each planting hole. I love getting my hands right down into the soil. It feels great.

Sometimes we have to make do with what we've got.
I have to admit that if I started this year and wanted to go Mel's Mix, I'd never begin because I couldn't afford all those bits on my fixed income.

So welcome to the SFG group even with a few changes. I'm sure your garden will grow well and you'll love eating those fresh harvests.

I've learned that when I weed, I weed just the top inch of soil so that I don't inadvertantly pull up any old weed seeds to the top. If you keep clearing the top inch, the weeds will eventually decline on their own, except for those the wind and the birds drop into your beds. I love having less weeding in my garden.

Good luck and enjoy. Keep those kiddies interested with their own squares and chores and they'll enjoy their resulting food.
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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/2/2011, 3:34 pm

Welcome and thanks for sharing. Boy howdy do I understand the time issue you have, we homeschool too, and I teach cake decorating. People think because you stay at home you have all the time in the world, I can assure you that I do not sit around watching soap operas and eating bon bons.

Anyway I just wanted to welcome you before my daughter got on the computer to finish up a review of To Kill A Mockingbird, and read the next chapter of Animal Farm. Holler if you need any help, gardening, homeschooling, or sanity (which is overrated). Oh, hey do you know what it's called when a homeschool mom talks to herself, a parent teacher conference!!!!
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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  CindiLou on 6/2/2011, 4:02 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote: Oh, hey do you know what it's called when a homeschool mom talks to herself, a parent teacher conference!!!!
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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  jymarino on 6/2/2011, 4:29 pm

Farmer Val

That is too funny! Laughing

My 9yo dd did not appreciate it, but she has been diligently working on creating a native american puppet show for history class. She is having fun, and is learning, so that is fine with me.

Soon we'll be off to horticulture class and then off to the library...

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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  sherryeo on 6/2/2011, 9:08 pm


Farmer Valerie wrote:
Oh, hey do you know what it's called when a homeschool mom talks to herself, a parent teacher conference!!!!

I love it!!! I only wish I was a teacher so I would have as good an excuse when I'm caught talking to myself! Oh, no, wait a minute, not really. I've always said that the two careers I could never do would be to be a teacher or a doctor. But still, that's a really good excuse for talking to yourself!
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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

Post  jazzymaddy on 6/2/2011, 11:10 pm

I loved your pointless cyclops. MY 5.5 year old was the one who insisted that I add the pointless "eyes popping out of head" emoticon in a post or message not too long ago. So you're not alone... affraid
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Re: Thanks to SFG and this forum, this gardening year is the best year EVER!

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