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

I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

View previous topic View next topic Go down

I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  vallie61 on 6/21/2011, 7:15 pm

My husband built me 7- 4x4 boxes we filled the best we could by the Mel's mix recipe we planted everything on May 1st I'm in Illinois everything I planted by seed over 100 Beets and Spinach,lettuce,carrots, chives, Oriental peas,
pole beans ,bush,beans,the only things that came up by June 20th is the carrots, bush beans very few pole beans, 2 pea vines not worth my time 1 beet plant I replanted again like a week in a half ago and then the plants I put in green peppers, jalepeno peppers, banana peppers, yellow squash,Zuccinni squash, watermelon and tomatoes cilantro,basil,marigolds, flowers, everything I planted as plants are basically the same size they were when I planted May 1st except for the squash they have grown alittle have blooms but nothing coming from the blooms the blooms have been on the squash plants for 2 weeks no fruit, 1 tomato plant has grown alittle everything else is the same size they were when I planted them it has been raining alot in our area but what I read in the book is you cant overwater from Mels mix I bought Miracle Gro the other day to see if that helps I'm not going to get anything compared to my previous years in the ground that is surrounded by walnut trees.
Can anyone tell me what's going on this is the same area I planted in many previous years and have had no problems just wanted to get more out of my gardening by investing in SFG so far I'm not real impressed.

vallie61

Female Posts : 2
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : Princeton,Il

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  stripesmom on 6/21/2011, 8:19 pm

@vallie61 wrote:My husband built me 7- 4x4 boxes we filled the best we could by the Mel's mix recipe

I hate to say the same thing every one says, but, did you have 5 different kinds of COMPOSTED compost? I say this, because I didn't and had to amend my mix. I had steer manure, which I counted as one (it was not composted, it smelled so bad, but I didn't know it was not suppose to smell), then cow manure, which was two (not sure if it is, they are from the same family), then chickity do do, three. Then some thing from Walmart, a blend of a bunch of stuff-4. Then I mixed that all up and figured it would do the trick. Well, no, it don't. You got to get some more stuff in that mix. It would be great if I could find shellfish compost, worm castings, mushroom compost or any other thing, but I've yet to see it around here. I then added other things. So, I added some off the shelf stuff (Miracle Grow for tomatoes). Then, I added something else-powdered milk and epsom salts (1 tbs of each to each tomato plant and pepper plant). Right now, I do have a garden that I'm proud of. But, I also, cover if there is too much rain with old tent material (you could use plastic). We've had so much rain here, it's washing all the nutrients out of the soil. I also spend time out there and see what is going on. The old man says, I spend way too much time out there. I say, he spends too much time talking about his old motorcycle. But, he can ride it all he wants. Ride with the wind old man, lol.

Number 2. You are planting things that are not meant for this season in this region. I live in SE Iowa. I tried to plant those things early May (lettuce, radish, beets, spinach). I just pulled out the lettuce and radishes, because they looked great, but they tasted bad or didn't mature right. Beet leafs look great, no beets. Wrong time of the year. Try again, but do it for fall planting or before next spring.

Number 3. Do yourself a favor and test your MM. That's the only real way you can tell what is going on. A test kit doesn't cost that much. You can always contact your county extension office and have them test it, or buy a kit and test yourself. Amend your MM if needed, bottom line.

I have always, always, been a traditional gardener. I can not tell you how impressed I am with the way this has come together for me. Give it more of a chance. Try doing some home made compost. I'm doing that for the first time and I'm (can't believe it's true) 54 years old. It can't hurt. Add different compost that you don't have in your MM. Read about what should be planted at this time of year, do what you can to make it work. It will work-and your going to be so pleased.

stripesmom

Posts : 291
Join date : 2011-03-28
Location : SE Iowa

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  camprn on 6/21/2011, 9:11 pm

A few points... congrats on starting your new SFG! +1 on the 5 sources of compost. If you didn't fluff the peat moss before measuring and mixing, you probably have too much of it in there. Leave the beets in, they will bulb but they take quite a while to get there! mine took more than 3 months last year, but the greens were oh so tasty! +1 testing your mix and on the powdered milk and epsom salts for the heavy feeders of tomatoes, eggplants. Top dress with compost or giving the plants compost tea may help. Start your own homemade compost pile to add at the end of the season. Do not despair, your beds will be better next year! Welcome to the Forum!!! Very Happy

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/21/2011, 9:20 pm

Vallie

So sorry to hear you have had disappointing results so far. Many of us have had marvelous results with Mel's Mix.

When you say you filled the 7 boxes the best you could by the Mel's mix recipe, does that mean you were not able to find everything that was needed for Mel's Mix? Please check this link HOW STRONG IS YOUR BACKBONE. There really is a lot of helpful information there.

Often problems are caused by the type or types of compost we use, or the fact that compacted peat moss fluffs to twice the original volumne and can make your MM too heavy in peat moss and lacking in nutrients.

It is true you cannot overwater Mel's Mix, but did you rehydrate the MM well as you were filling the boxes?

Just to touch on one of the plants you mentioned, squash, do you have both male and female flowers blooming at the same time and are there pollinators in your garden? Sometimes squash will have a first flush of male flowers, which don't produce fruit, and then when the female flowers finally bloom, they need to be hand pollinated due to the lack of bees.

Edited to add: Seems like many of us have the same thoughts. Please let us know how things progress. This is a great method of gardening and we want you to succeed.

Again, Welcome.

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: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/21/2011, 9:30 pm

@vallie61 wrote:I'm not going to get anything compared to my previous years in the ground that is surrounded by walnut trees.
Can anyone tell me what's going on this is the same area I planted in many previous years and have had no problems just wanted to get more out of my gardening by investing in SFG so far I'm not real impressed.

Planting near Black Walnut trees may be affecting things, too. Not likely if your beds are raised with fresh soil, but it's worth watching going forward. Search either here or on Google for "black walnut toxicity" and read up on it.

I wish I could help more, but the post is pretty vague. I am reading, "I planted all this stuff in Mel's Mix and virtually nothing sprouted. And, what sprouted didn't grow much. I started over and still....nothing."

You've gardened before from the sounds of it. So, I'm assuming you kept your seeds moist AND planted them at the appropriate depths?

I'm perplexed because I have never heard of Mel's Mix not sprouting things. There is something going on, but I can't think of what. I hope you get the help you are looking for. Welcome aboard, for what it's worth.

BackyardBirdGardner

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

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/22/2011, 9:56 am

@vallie61 wrote:we filled the best we could by the Mel's mix recipe we planted everything on May 1st

A couple questions:

1. What did you mean by "the best we could"? Did you need to skimp on some of the materials? Were you able to find coarse vermiculite? Did you use the 1/3 proportions? Etc. Did any of your "composts" also contain peat moss (a common ingredient in commercial composts). It will help us to answer if you can give us as much detail as possible. Smile

2. I know when I started seeds, the information for each was different and I found myself starting some of them indoors in February all the way to starting some outdoors in June. Was there a reason you needed to start them all May 1st? It sounds like you have a WONDERFUL mix of crops - I'm impressed.

I hope we can help you figure out what went wrong and get you on track. SFG is a marvelous method and we all try very hard to make sure everyone has the best outcome possible.

____________________________

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


sfg4u.com
FB: Square Foot Gardening 4 U




sfg4uKim

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 1871
Join date : 2010-09-30
Age : 58
Location : Glen Burnie, MD

View user profile http://sfg4u.com

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  westie42 on 6/22/2011, 11:40 am

I had not seen this before http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone it sure sums up a lot of what the school of hard knocks teaches you over a very long time. As a 50+ year gardner this first year in SFG has been quite a let down. But then books don't usually sell well if you are not impressed with where they try to lead you either. I feel my problems and those of many in the upper midwest in particular are several fold. This years weather has not been nearly what we expect in this region. Store bought compost is a recipe for disaster. New boxes need some time for nutrients to marinate thru the MM making it useful as a growing medium. There is a learning curve in all new things we encounter. In spite of abysmal performance so far I do have hope it will get better. Being a heavy duty skeptic told me to ease my way into SFG. So my natural non engineered garden will probably always be part of my gardening and the SFG will claim as much territory as it proves worthy of claiming. The one box I have that is doing well has 1/3 more compost than the recipe calls for everything else was extremely well measured and worked up.

westie42

Male Posts : 512
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 74
Location : West Union, Iowa

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  camprn on 6/22/2011, 12:09 pm

@westie42 wrote:The one box I have that is doing well has 1/3 more compost than the recipe calls for everything else was extremely well measured and worked up.
+1

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/22/2011, 4:50 pm

@westie42 wrote: I feel my problems and those of many in the upper midwest in particular are several fold. This years weather has not been nearly what we expect in this region. Store bought compost is a recipe for disaster. New boxes need some time for nutrients to marinate thru the MM making it useful as a growing medium. There is a learning curve in all new things we encounter. In spite of abysmal performance so far I do have hope it will get better.

All valid for midwesterners, among others across the nation this year.

@westie42 wrote: Being a heavy duty skeptic told me to ease my way into SFG.

So, did Mel.

@westie42 wrote: So my natural non engineered garden will probably always be part of my gardening and the SFG will claim as much territory as it proves worthy of claiming. The one box I have that is doing well has 1/3 more compost than the recipe calls for everything else was extremely well measured and worked up.

Nothing wrong with this at all, imo, as long as we still differentiate that it's not a true SFG...by the book anymore. In any other forum, this doesn't matter. However, here, it needs a small disclaimer so people don't get confused.

I have no problems with tweaking concepts so long as we tell everyone what we are doing....and why. Experience matters!

My recommendation to anyone converting from traditional methods is to go SFG 100% at first...in a small 3x3 or 4x4. Maybe, due to weather or other things, another year is necessary to determine which you like better. I am not so naive as to believe everyone will find SFG's methods better. I, however, do. I have never had better gardens than with SFG techniques.

BackyardBirdGardner

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

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  camprn on 6/22/2011, 6:20 pm

I have found it really gets better the second year (and beyond) because of the addition of the compost.

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm a newbie I really need some pointers!!!

Post  Sponsored content Today at 1:17 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


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