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Just discovered SFG

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Just discovered SFG

Post  luefella on 3/28/2010, 10:51 pm

I recently moved to a new home and have horrible dirt...rocks...etc...and it's on a slope!

I've read a lot in the forums and the website...and I have two questions.

Someone mentioned Concrete blocks....has anyone done that? Just a little afraid that the beds would get TOO hot....live in Mid-Arkansas and the summers are extremely HOT...

Question 2....how do I deal with the slope?!

Any advice would be great.....

SFG may just be the answer to my prayers!!!! Didn't have a clue how I was going to deal with trying to amend my soil enough to have a decent plot this year!!!!

luefella

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Retaining wall blocks

Post  sunshine0408 on 3/28/2010, 11:07 pm

My beds are not the completely square, wooden frames everyone is posting. I cannot afford them yet. This is my second yr with sfg and I had to improvise because I was gifted 815 landscaping red concrete blocks. Each block weighs 27 pounds so I made the beds as square as possible. I think they will be able to keep the soil at a reasonable temp. I had no problem last yr but I stood the blocks up on the edge. This year I stacked the blocks 3 high so I could (dig less) and have 12"-18" of great soil to work with. I am also on a slight slope. I catch all the neighbors' water from up the hill and my property ends in a creek on that side. (bottom land). good luck. I think the concrete works fine because of its r-value. Anyone else have an opinion??
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Re: Just discovered SFG

Post  argardener on 3/28/2010, 11:25 pm

Yeah! Someone else from AR. I'm in Central AR and I used cinder blocks (4x8x16 - $1.09 at Lowes) last year for my tomatoes and they did fine. I do not feel like they required anymore watering than my wood bed, but tomatoes are more heat tolerant than other crops. I have built more beds this wknd, all with cinder block. As far as the slope, you may just need to have more blocks on one side than the other to level out your bed. I built 2 55gal rain barrels last year (they are both full and we really haven't even had any rain YET) and plan to irrigate with soaker hoses.

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Re: Just discovered SFG

Post  MidTNJasonF on 3/29/2010, 12:12 am

Welcome the the forums.

I understand your pain on the poor soil and slope issues. In my area we have about 6 inches of poor quality soil before you hit either thick clay or plain ol rock. Square Foot Gardening is in fact a great solution to those kinds of problems.

I have 4 boxes that are 4 foot by 4 foot each. I built them out of 2 x 10 lumber and the first two I went through a ton of effort to cut out the grass and dig a level spot out of the slope. That was a bunch of work so on the last two boxes I just sat on the slope as is and filled the boxes with mix. I leveled the mix so that the mix was deeper at the low end of the slope and a little more shallow at the high end. All 4 beds worked well and I noticed no real difference in any of them.

I have no direct experience with using brick or block as a box material but I would think it should work fine. the lighter colored concrete blocks would seem to me to absorb more heat from the sun than wood boxes. They certainly could insulate a bit more but I do not see that as a huge problem.
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Blocks are OK.

Post  WardinWake on 3/29/2010, 5:59 am

Luefella:

God Bless and welcome to the SFG forum. I do not know of any two Square Foot Gardens that are the same. Square, Not so Square, Round, Octagon, level, on a steep slope or in a bucket, a tower shape or a combination of all. Most of my beds are made from found lumber, most did not have straight edges when I picked them up. So don't worry if your blocks are not lined up just so. The plants do not care and will grow just fine and the blocks will prevent your mix from falling out of the bed. I am even thinking of making a bed out of irregular firewood just to be different! The best part of SFG is that it can be adapted to almost any growing condition on the earth, maybe not outside at Santa Clauses house, but you get the picture.

Have fun, raise lots of veggies and flowers and post here often. Have questions? Ask. Have answers? Post'em. Keep us informed of your successes and what could be better. We are always looking to improve this forum so let us know what we can help you with and be sure to visit your regional forum as well.

God Bless, Ward.
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