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Greetings from south-central Washington

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Greetings from south-central Washington

Post  garden girl on 6/17/2011, 1:02 am

I have been a SFG fan for several years and am finally approaching actually doing it! :-)

I have 3 4x4 boxes and I just got vertical frames attached to 2 of them. Actually, these frames go around all 4 sides to give the peas a place to grow. After the peas are done, the 3 extras will come down and will replant with other veggies. I am so very pleased with the look of the vertical frames. The 2 boxes have pvc frames; the others I used electrical conduit. They all look really nice. Now I'm just hoping that some of our famous winds don't come along and take them all to the next county!

I am trying some other new things. I read about some of Mel's work in Africa and how they use straight compost there, so one small box (actually a re-purposed sandbox) is our test garden for that. My youngest gardener has a tomato, pepper and a few peas in it right now. The quail enjoy the peas so much that we won't get anything from them, but the others are doing well. Tomorrow we'll add a pumpkin plant. Would love to hear if anyone has used this method in the US and what your experience with it has been.

I will try to post some pictures later. My gardens aren't picture-perfect, but I am pleased with them so far and hope to continue to work and improve them as time goes on.

garden girl

Posts : 21
Join date : 2011-04-08
Location : south-central WA - dry!

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Re: Greetings from south-central Washington

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/17/2011, 1:52 am

Hi neighbor! I am so excited to someone local! We have a few people that around the eastern Wa/or and Idaho. I had the wind knock down my conduit trellis just last week. I had pushed the bars into the ground by had, mix over watering (oops) and wind and the soil just couldn't hold it up. I went and bought one of those huge hummers and they went right into the ground deep and now seem really stable.

Best of luck! Can't wait to see how your garden goes!


Female Posts : 298
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Central Washington Zone 7a

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Re: Greetings from south-central Washington

Post  dizzygardener on 6/17/2011, 8:46 am

So very glad to have ya!

Sounds like you are off to a fantastic start! Please post of pictures when you get a chance. We love pictures around here.

About the compost, you'll find that you have better success with Mel's Mix. Planting in compost is not Mel's preferred method. The problem is that peat moss and vermiculite are not available in many other countries (especially those in the third world). You'll get something, but it won't be like the Mel's Mix.


Female Posts : 668
Join date : 2011-01-26
Location : WNC 6b

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Re: Greetings from south-central Washington

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/17/2011, 10:17 am


We are so glad to have you join us.

Your younger gardeners will enjoy helping in the garden. I volunteer with some kids ages 6 to 14 in our community garden and they love planting, watering and now our first harvests of broccoli and radishes.

I second Dizzy's comment on the straight compost, but understand the desire to test the two growing mixtures.

Please keep us posted on your progress and share those pictures.

Again, Welcome!


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

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Re: Greetings from south-central Washington

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/17/2011, 10:29 am

glad you\'re here Glad you found the Forum.

I also agree with Diz, but you'll be able to let us know how it works out for you.

I'm doing a potted tomato with pure compost, and one with potting soil but they haven't even come close to the Mel's Mix SFGs.


I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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Female Posts : 1842
Join date : 2010-09-30
Age : 57
Location : Glen Burnie, MD

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Re: Greetings from south-central Washington

Post  garden girl on 7/9/2011, 6:00 pm

Our entire garden continues to struggle a bit this year because of the crazy weather. Just wanted to post an update on the straight-compost plan. This is in a re-purposed sandbox, about 6 or 8 inches high. I put in one tomato, a pepper, and a pumpkin, along with peas. As we figured, the quail got most of the peas, but we had enough for a few snacks. The best news so far (knocking on wood so I dont jinx myself!!!) is that this tomato plant is going crazy with little tomatoes all over it. Forgot what I put in there and the marker has disappeared, but they appear to be about grape-sized and bright yellow. It is doing by far the best of any in the entire garden. So pleased with it - the proof will be in the eating, of course. Only one looks ripe today, but we finally have some warm/hot weather, so hopefully in the next week we can have enough to actually eat.

The other tomatoes put out a million suckers, which I dutifully pinch off EVERY day, but they have been very slow to start setting fruit. There is some coming on now and a few that should be ready to eat in the coming week.

I had a plethora of volunteers, so with the number of others that were stunted, wind-damaged, blighted, or otherwise not willing to work, I gritted my teeth and pulled them out. Today I moved two of the volunteers into the empty spots as a test to see how they will do. They don't have much of a root system, but the branches are strong and healthy, so one more experiment in a year full of experiments.

garden girl

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Location : south-central WA - dry!

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Re: Greetings from south-central Washington

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