Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello New to this please forgive me.

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Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  jhayford on 6/17/2011, 4:03 pm

Hi my name is Jennifer. This year I decided to start "homesteading" because I live on 5 Acres and with 3 kids and stuff only want to work as little as possible. I stumbled upon Mel's Book in a magazine on homesteading. Checked out the website and a garden planner website all that would coordinate with his book. I think there is a link from here somewhere. Anyways. I started with a plan and just started to slowly emplament it. Then I got poison ivy bad so I had to quit for 3 weeks. So this is what I am doing. I had about 80 cinder blocks in the back 40 that I decided to have my boyfriend move up where the garden will be (front 40 lol). Found some 75% off weed liner so we are using that and cardboard under the boxes. They make almost perfect 4 foot boxes on the inside. I plan to use painters tape for the grid untill I can find something that will work more permanent I am trying to make everything out of "found" and really cheap stuff that will last reasonably. I have 2 questions. Can I use perlite instead of vermeculite. And has anyone used railroad ties I was wondering if the oil on them would cause a problem like the treated wood. I am guessing that by three seasons I will have all the boxes but still grow veggies while I work on the structures. Thank you all for your time. cyclops

Jennifer
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One more question

Post  jhayford on 6/17/2011, 4:16 pm

You you all get your seed at the local stores or order them from cataloges I remember grandma was forever getting seed cataloges before she past. I found a bunch of seeds at kmart for 40% off gonna save them for next year.
Thanks again
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  Denese on 6/17/2011, 6:15 pm

Can
I use perlite instead of vermeculite. And has anyone used railroad
ties I was wondering if the oil on them would cause a problem like the
treated wood.

I would encourage you to really try to find the vermiculite. I know it's difficult to find, but it really is much better than perlite, in my opinion. Mel highly recommends the vermiculite over perlite. You can read that in the section Vermiculite vs. Perlite. Having said that, he also says in his book "Many people do use perlite instead of vermiculite... It's a matter of preference and availability, but I know which one I'm buying."

I'm not sure if the creosote in railroad ties leaches into the soil like the treated wood does, but personally, I wouldn't want to take the chance. Besides I can't stand the smell.

I usually get my seeds locally, just because it's more convenient.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  camprn on 6/17/2011, 6:29 pm

Perlite is fine to use. Mel says he doesn't lie it for the dust whilst mixing his mix. I used it with satisfaction.
I say no to RR ties, creosote (coal tar) is poisonous. I use simple pine boards and expect to get at least 4 years out or them.
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I found it

Post  jhayford on 6/17/2011, 8:43 pm

I was reading on here about someone going to the co-op so i went got there 5 minutes till close and they had the vermiculite. It was even the course kind.
Thanks for your help on everything. I am sure I will have a million more questions.

2 4x4 boxes so far hope to have a lot more in the future.
Jennifer
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  Denese on 6/17/2011, 8:55 pm

Congratulations on finding the vermiculite! Can't wait to see pics!!
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  WardinWake on 6/17/2011, 9:22 pm

@jhayford wrote:I was reading on here about someone going to the co-op so i went got there 5 minutes till close and they had the vermiculite. It was even the course kind.
Thanks for your help on everything. I am sure I will have a million more questions.

2 4x4 boxes so far hope to have a lot more in the future.
Jennifer

Howdy Jennifer:

We have a vermiculite database on this forum. Please add your find to the list. Scroll down to you find the vermiculite page and follow the links.

Thanks and God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/18/2011, 8:55 am

RR ties leak forever, when I was a kid my dad lined the drive with them, we were forever getting in trouble for sitting on them and ruining what ever we had on at the time. They are nice and big, and it's tempting to sit on them, but you will have all that gunk on your clothes and hands every single time, not worth it in my opinion.
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  dizzygardener on 6/18/2011, 5:22 pm

I also wouldn't use the railroad ties. If I had no choice I'd line that bed with plastic.

I just used regular pine boards from Lowes. I don't they won't last forever, but they are pretty cheap and they won't leech nasty stuff into my bed.
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rr ties

Post  jhayford on 6/18/2011, 6:23 pm

Yeah that is what I was thinking. Just hoped I was wrong. I will cross the what to use road when I run out of cinder blocks. Thanks Everyone. I could always use them in the flower beds.
Jennifer
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/19/2011, 9:44 am

You could use them in the flower beds, but remember to use a knee pad to kneel on or sit on, that stuff gets all over you when you sit or kneel on it, and it will not come out of clothes, and turpintine might remove it from your knees. I still have nightmares of my mother trying to remove that stuff from my legs, I was the one who would sit on them the day before I had to wear a dress to some family thing.
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Re: Hello New to this please forgive me.

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