Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

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.


Display results as :


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Amaranth
by Scorpio Rising Today at 9:53 pm

» Franken-mato!!!
by Scorpio Rising Today at 9:48 pm

» Mid-Atl - Aug 2017 - Planning/Planting Fall/Winter Garden
by sfg4uKim Today at 8:51 pm

» Newbie Oldbie
by yolos Today at 8:17 pm

» who has chickens
by RoOsTeR Today at 7:59 pm

» Tips for compost tumbler
by trolleydriver Today at 4:56 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Today at 3:48 pm

» It's actually more like surviving.... these days...
by RoOsTeR Today at 3:14 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Today at 2:40 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in August 2017? 2017
by SwampTroll Today at 1:20 pm

» Heat wave and shade screen
by sanderson Today at 1:17 pm

» Sweet Potatoes
by sanderson Today at 1:04 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by countrynaturals Today at 11:37 am

» Grow Produce from Produce!
by countrynaturals Today at 11:18 am

» Huge Box of Seeds from 2003!
by countrynaturals Today at 11:12 am

» Water....
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 8:45 am

» Bee 'Sleeping' in Cucumber Flower
by hammock gal Today at 7:10 am

» Store Bought Compost
by plantoid Today at 6:58 am

» N & C Midwest: August is here!!! 2017
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:58 pm

» Monarch Supporter
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 6:54 pm

» Top Dressing with Compost
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 3:59 pm

» What do you know about making sauerkraut?
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 3:55 pm

» cherokee purple...seed to dish
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 12:57 pm

» I feel VERY fortunate!
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 8:28 am

» Things You Never Knew Existed Until SFG...
by llama momma Yesterday at 6:47 am

» Anyone want walking onions??
by RoOsTeR 8/15/2017, 9:27 pm

» What weed? is this? (with pic)
by yolos 8/15/2017, 8:53 pm

» Ground Cherries
by Scorpio Rising 8/15/2017, 7:18 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising 8/15/2017, 7:17 pm

» What I've learned this year
by countrynaturals 8/15/2017, 4:38 pm


Search SFG Forum

Being Resourceful

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Being Resourceful

Post  sarahemeline on 3/4/2010, 12:14 pm

After pricing a bunch of stuff out at the local Home Depot (and spending most of my garden budget on building those boxes), I'm determined to find resourceful and clever ways to NOT buy materials new by substituting other things in their place.

Store bought grids: all warped.
Substitution ideas: plastic window grids? coated chain link? string? dowels? bamboo? Venetian blinds slats?

Store bought fabric liner: $15 a roll (me=poor)
Substitution ideas: cardboard? (do you puncture holes in it?) cheap cloth from the fabric store? anything else?

I think it would be nice to have a forum about item substitution for any of the following materials, and more:
path (gravel, brick, woodchip, etc)
Vertical climbers
sorting seeds
storing seeds


Let me know what you all think and find out!
Happy Gardening!


Posts : 9
Join date : 2010-03-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

great idea!

Post  boffer on 3/4/2010, 12:23 pm

Why don't you start a thread in the general forum to that effect. It will be seen by a lot more people that way. A lot of us garden on a budget, and I'm sure many folks will have suggestions. Watch for posts from Ward-I think he's one of the best at finding free stuff for his garden.

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 64
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  herbarium on 3/4/2010, 1:07 pm

Grids - I use lath. I picked them out individually because I didn't need as many as came in a bundle. Also, that way I can check the condition. Old blinds would likely blow away on my property. Dowels might work but I don't know if I would save anything. String is too flexible for me. Bamboo is not sturdy enough. The lath helps prevent cats (including mine) from digging in my garden.

Fabric - I only put fabric under boxes where there is bindweed. Some people call it morning glory. It will come up through almost anything so I used the heavy duty landscape fabric. Where there was just grass I just put the box down and filled it. No problems with grass coming through. You could put cardboard or newspaper down if you want and don't have bindweed.

Boxes - I use douglas fir which should last quite a few years in my dry climate as it has a previous houses where I have lived.

Path - I use straw and leaves (I have tons). Be careful though because it can be slippery. After the grass underneath is killed off I will be putting down wood chips and planting some ground covers. I need to take out some trees so if I can get someone to chip them for me I will have wood chips. Tree pruners will sometimes let you have wood chips for free or cheap because they don't want to have to go dump them somewhere. Watch when they are clearing power lines in your area or doing other pruning.

Vertical - I built the trellises just like Mel says using EMT from the electrical department. They are fantastic - hold up well, just move them to the garage for the winter. There are spiral type supports you can buy at some nurseries and garden centers. I like them too but I don't know if they would save you anything in the long run.

Shade - I haven't needed to worry about that. Shade cloth is sometimes available on sale. Home Depot had some on clearance that is green and has a drawstring because it is designed to place over a potted plant for warmth. You could just pull out the string and use it either from some frost protection or shade.

Seed storage - I store mine in ziplock bags and I use the same bags year after year. Once in a while one tears and needs replaced. I have heard of using film canisters.

Compost - I make my own but it is never enough because I use it on my entire yard - even the lawn. Sometimes you can find it on sale or discounted. If a store has several that are broken sometimes you can get a deal on them. If you know someone with horses, chickens, etc you may be able to get it free or cheap. Also, check with area dairies, etc. I have bought some from Johnny's Dairy in Riverdale, Utah


Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 150
Join date : 2010-03-04
Age : 59
Location : Bountiful, Utah Zone 6

View user profile http://gardeninspire.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/4/2010, 9:43 pm

Path:I'm going to try grass for a path. The trick will be that I'll have to dig down my boxes so that the bottom is 4" under the soil. That way the grass roots shouldn't get under them.
Box: I have some planks of wood from a pantry shelf I took apart and I'll be using that for boxes, as well as some wood I got off craigslist

Male Posts : 249
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : Salt Lake City, UT

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  Amy in Idaho on 3/31/2010, 2:26 am

Boxes: I used free pallets. Just ask. Also, I just learned I know a lot of people in construction who will save wood for you if you ask.

Grid: Lath is $0.35 per 4" length at Home Depot. .35 x 6 = $2.10 per box. I also thought, since I need to make mix as this is my first year, of using large sticks from my birch trees bound with wire at the intersections.

Compost: Know anyone with a farm? I have three garbage cans to rotate my compost. Went to my friends farm and got one garbage can full of chicken droppings and straw, and another of horse, goat and cow droppings with straw. I blended them on a tarp and filled the two back up. Will turn through using the empty garbage can once a day. After all, I can have all I want, she doesn't mind someone cleaning her barn and chicken coop.

Weed paper: Again, know anyone with a farm. I have learned that the heavy duty feed sacks, i.e. purina is using them now, with the grid work plastic woven stuff, keeps even bindweed(?) (morning glory) from coming up. I plan to layer feed sacks then newspaper since both drain well.

I will let you know more as I learn. I like recycling and thinking outside the box (pun intended) so I am sure I will find more ideas.
Amy in Idaho

Female Posts : 53
Join date : 2010-03-26
Age : 37
Location : South East Idaho (Zone 4a/4b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down


Post  sarahemeline on 3/31/2010, 9:11 am

I found a GREAT substitute for the wood laths (all of which seemed to be crooked at the stores I tried).
I went down the plumbing aisle at Lowes and they have the drip irrigation tubing stuff priced .09-.11 cents per foot. I bought several feet of their smallest tubing that was kind of a milky white in color. I then bought a packet of those small copper-plaited brad nails and went to town.
This is kind of experimental in nature- I don't know how they'll fare by the end of the Fall, but I'll keep you all posted. Smile


Posts : 9
Join date : 2010-03-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  nidiyao on 3/31/2010, 11:21 am

good idea to use the tubing. i need something that will keep that naughty cats out. Anyone have any recommendations?

Female Posts : 56
Join date : 2010-03-25
Age : 58
Location : Indianapolis, US

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/31/2010, 11:25 am

@nidiyao wrote:good idea to use the tubing. i need something that will keep that naughty cats out. Anyone have any recommendations?
I have not personally tried it but using cocoa hulls for mulch is what neighbors swear by (smells like expensive dark chocolate on warm days). Someone here said holly leaves works for them. There is a thread in the PNW reign on this.
Lavender Debs

Posts : 2054
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 60
Location : Everett, WA USA

View user profile http://songs-of-coming-rain.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  OahuSFG on 3/31/2010, 7:32 pm

@nidiyao wrote:good idea to use the tubing. i need something that will keep that naughty cats out. Anyone have any recommendations?

I read this tip but haven't tried this yet. Put stakes that are above the ground at least 6" high around the area you want to keep free of cats/dogs in a zig zag pattern. Run clear fishing line on the stakes. Critters will not like the feeling of getting tangled and keep away.


Female Posts : 84
Join date : 2010-03-18
Location : Oahu, Hawaii

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  camprn on 3/31/2010, 7:44 pm

@nidiyao wrote:good idea to use the tubing. i need something that will keep that naughty cats out. Anyone have any recommendations?
hmmm... maybe plant catnip (mint) in it's own box across the yard from your veggies. place a cage over it so they don't totally destroy the plant. I would use a smaller cage than this one so that some of the plant may grow out.

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
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: Being Resourceful

Post  bonnie0128 on 3/31/2010, 7:51 pm

to keep cats out of my boxes, I placed my grids (using string) then laid plastic chicken wire over the boxes - cut to size then stapled on with a staple gun. As the plants grew, I cut enough room for them to fit through the chicken wire. Worked really well. This year it is a bit of a pain as I have to pull up all the staples to remove the chicken wire (to add compost and plant) and the holes won't line up for the new crop rotation - but it'll be worth it...even if I have to lay down new chicken wire as I still have a lot left.

Female Posts : 110
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 41
Location : Lake Milton, OH (zone 6A)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Being Resourceful

Post  Sponsored content

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