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I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

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I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  boffer on 9/14/2011, 4:27 pm

Activities are slowing down in our gardens and on the forum. This is a good time to review the ALL NEW SFG book. The book is a fast read the first time through, and although we may refer to a few sections occasionally, we seldom go back and read the entire book again. Let's help each other out by re-reading just one chapter, and then reporting in this thread if we learned something new. This helps ourselves out, and it also may provide a different perspective for someone else reading the same text.

The chapter in the book that you will read is determined by looking at the last digit of your user number. Ex: if your user number is 1465, then you would read Chapter 5. One way to find your user number is to look at the bottom of the home page where it says "SFGers who are online at the moment:" If you put your cursor over your name, you will see your user number at the bottom left of browser; it starts with the letter 'U'. You can see in this picture that my user number is 7 so I'll be reading Chapter 7. If the last digit of your user number is '0', then read Chapter 10. There just happens to be 10 chapters in the book...sweet!




There's no doubt that some chapters have more content and can be more interesting than others. If you get a small, boring chapter, then, tough luck, Charlie Tuna! Make the best of it: Look for something new, something you had forgotten, something that you think everyone should be reminded of, something that stands out to you.

(If this works, we'll do it again sometime, and you'll get a different chapter to read.)

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  boffer on 9/14/2011, 4:28 pm

I re-read Chapter 7.

The sentence, "You can't over-water Mel's Mix" gets mentioned occasionally on the forum. What I had forgotten was that the structure of the MM that makes over-watering a non-issue, also means that we have to water more often than row gardeners.

I got to remembering that a lot of new SFGers are surprised at how often they need to water. At first, it seems to them that they must be wasting water, when in fact, MM can hold only so much water before it drains out of the box. The water applied to a box is used by the plants, or lost through evaporation, but not wasted.

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  middlemamma on 9/14/2011, 4:33 pm

I will be re-reading Chapter 8!

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  Chopper on 9/14/2011, 4:58 pm

Geez. I guess I have to buy my own book, huh? LOL. I have depended on my son and the info in this forum and SFG web pages for my guidelines. So I imagine I have LOTS to learn.

I went to see if it is at my library and someone checked it out YESTERDAY. So I have a hold on it. Shocked

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  llama momma on 9/14/2011, 5:45 pm

First - Nice Idea Boffer !

Second - Chapter 5, Mel's Mix: I thought at some distant future the peat moss might need replenishing. Wrong! On page 98, "You add peat moss once and only once when you first create your Mel's Mix. Therefore, you'll never need to add peat moss to the garden. (What you will add is compost, which is renewable.)"

This reminded me of homework, Boffer, but it turned out good and informative. Thanks. Smile

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 9/14/2011, 9:28 pm

I got chapter 5 to re-read. Maybe I'll find some time here soon. Very Happy

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/14/2011, 10:00 pm

It didn't show me my number. I'm sure I was on my name correctly because it turned from the trowel to the carrot, but nothing at the bottom changed.

What am I doing wrong?

____________________________

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  boffer on 9/14/2011, 10:22 pm

This is what I get when my cursor is over your name: your user number is 2373


Another way is to put your cursor over your name that is under your avatar when you make a post.

Another way is to put your cursor over your name if you see it in the 'Latest Topics' list.

Yep, I tried it...believe it or not...it works in IE and Chrome and FF!




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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/15/2011, 4:13 am

hhhmmm didn't think about that. I'll try with FF as hubby has my Mac's default set to Safari.

____________________________

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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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/15/2011, 10:14 am

Looks like I'll be reading chapters 2, 4, 9, and 9 again....lol. I think I'll stick with Chapter 9 per Boffer's original instructions.

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 9/15/2011, 6:34 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Looks like I'll be reading chapters 2, 4, 9, and 9 again....lol. I think I'll stick with Chapter 9 per Boffer's original instructions.

lol!

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  mijejo on 9/16/2011, 10:38 am

What a great idea for us to read again sections of the book. Better yet, having to report on pieces that interest us and open it up for discussion is an even better plan. Kudos Boffer!!!

My "assigned" chapter is nine, "Extending the Seasons." Hmm . . . rather appropriate since we are ending our summer season and beginning our fall season.

I liked what Mel wrote (page 173) about storing root crops.

Actually, the simplest way to store root crops is not to dig them up at all. Roll a ball of hay over the planted area; this will break their tops and stop the plant's growing cycle while keeping the ground from freezing, When you're ready to harvest, simply roll the bale over, dig up a few vegetables, and then replace the bale.

Has anyone tried this? What were your results? Where does one purchase the rolls of hay?

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  boffer on 9/16/2011, 11:47 am

A roll of hay? Around here they make rolls of hay, instead of bales, but they weigh in at 7-800 pounds and must be picked up by a spear attached to a tractor bucket or a forklift. I wonder what Mel had in mind?!! Usually, the advice given is to spread hay 6-12 inches deep for its insulating properties. (Or better yet, use straw because it has fewer seeds)

Most root crops over-winter in the ground just fine. You want to keep the ground from freezing so they are available to dig up when you want them. I store my carrots and beets in the ground without any freeze protection. I typically get a few short freezes where I can't dig them up, but generally a couple freeze/thaw cycles doesn't seem to hurt the veggies.

You probably get colder and longer freezes in your zone, so you'll have to experiment some to figure out the best way to insulate.

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Chapter 8 - Vertical Gardening

Post  gwennifer on 9/16/2011, 12:40 pm

This is a neat idea Boffer - thanks for the assignment.

I re-read Chapter 8, which is all about vertical gardening. I just built my first trellis, using the rebar and conduit method Mel describes in this chapter. I had forgotten that he recommends driving a steel fence post into the ground instead of rebar to make an extra-strong frame for heavy crops (attaching the frame with pipe clamps). Our family isn't into squash/melons/pumpkins, so I'm not going to worry about it.

I was reminded of his solution for when your trellis is so covered with greenery, it can act like a sail in the wind - guy wires.

This chapter is also where Mel talks about his "lay-me-down" method for planting tomatoes. Kind of a random place for it, so some may not have remembered where to find that again.

Anyway, I'm excited about my trellis and vertical gardening. Seriously, having it there makes me feel like a real gardener! My peas aren't making much use of it this fall (it's a shorter variety), but next summer I'll get some cucumbers on it. And Mel suggested planting some vining flowers, and I think I'm going to have to try that! I never wanted to deal with them in my yard, but now the system is all set up, so why not? Very Happy

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  squaredeal on 9/16/2011, 5:09 pm

Some of us have complained, or at least thought to themselves, they didn't have enough output for canning or preserving. Chapter three clearly states how much you need for your size family. If you want enough for daily meals and preserving, multiply the number of adults in a family by 50 (sqr ft) and number of children by 20 (sqr ft). In my two person household, I should have 100 sqr ft of garden and I only had 64. Embarassed Aha! Plus I decided to add some determinant tomatoes to my squares next year. (I cheated; that was in the appendix.)

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  Lindacol on 9/16/2011, 5:37 pm

@mijejo wrote:What a great idea for us to read again sections of the book. Better yet, having to report on pieces that interest us and open it up for discussion is an even better plan. Kudos Boffer!!!

My "assigned" chapter is nine, "Extending the Seasons." Hmm . . . rather appropriate since we are ending our summer season and beginning our fall season.

I liked what Mel wrote (page 173) about storing root crops.

Actually, the simplest way to store root crops is not to dig them up at all. Roll a ball of hay over the planted area; this will break their tops and stop the plant's growing cycle while keeping the ground from freezing, When you're ready to harvest, simply roll the bale over, dig up a few vegetables, and then replace the bale.

Has anyone tried this? What were your results? Where does one purchase the rolls of hay?



He actually said roll a bale of hay over the planted area. In this case roll is a verb. All the smaller bales of hay I have seen are rectangular or square. But it is much easier to just roll the bale over than to pick it up and move it.

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  camprn on 9/16/2011, 8:10 pm

All right then, I must be dumb as a rock because I cannot figure out what my number is... Sad

____________________________

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  sherryeo on 9/16/2011, 8:32 pm

Your number is user 196, camp. Run your cursor over your name in your post, above, and look at the bottom left of your screen. It will say http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/u196.

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  Denese on 9/16/2011, 9:40 pm

Okay, my chapter is 4 (a very long chapter). Something I didn't remember (probably because I wasn't making boxes with bottoms) is that he recommends different thicknesses of plywood for the bottoms, depending on the size of the box and whether they would be elevated on blocks or saw horses. He also said he uses just plain plywood, not the marine plywood for outdoor use. He indicated that he felt it wasn't necessary.

For those of you who are into woodworking, would probably think "well duh, of course", but I probably would have just gone out and bought 1/2 inch for them no matter the size of box. Rolling Eyes

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  camprn on 9/16/2011, 10:12 pm

@sherryeo wrote:Your number is user 196, camp. Run your cursor over your name in your post, above, and look at the bottom left of your screen. It will say http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/u196.
affraid
Thanks! tee hee Very Happy

____________________________

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  moswell on 9/17/2011, 10:45 am

I re-read chapter six, and this time I really forced myself to sit down and think about where Mel's numbers of plants per square foot come from. I'm pretty smart (or should I say, overeducated), but I can really be math-dumb sometimes. So I did a combination of reading chapter six and re-reading parts of the introduction (or chapter 1, can't remember which), where he explains.

And I finally get it! The whole square root thing was throwing me off - I was trying to figure out how 1, 4, 9, and 16 were related to 144, the square of 12. But that's not it at all. It's simple addition/multiplication. Three inches apart - three goes into 12 four times, and since it's a square, you can get four times four into one square. I had a diagramless puzzle grid sitting around, which is how I ended up understanding it. I'm sure this is something everyone else got right off the bat, but I'm glad I forced myself to sit and actually think about it.

cheers

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  Chopper on 9/17/2011, 7:39 pm

I was so excited that my SFG book was at the library ahead of schedule! However, it was the old one and not the new one. So I went back online to place a hold on the new one and got the following information in a blurb about the All New Square Foot Gardening book:

Ten New Things:
1) New Location - Move your garden closer to your house by eliminating single-row gardening. Square Foot Garden needs just twenty percent of the space of a traditional garden.

2) New Direction - Locate your gardenon top of existing soil. Forget about pH soil tests, double-digging (who enjoys that?), or the never-ending soil improvements.

3) New Soil -The new "Mel's Mix" is the perfect growing mix. Why, we even give you the recipe. Best of all, you can even buy the different types of compost needed.

4) New Depth - You only need to prepare a SFG box to a depth of 6 inches! It's true--the majority of plants develop just fine when grown at this depth.

5) No Fertilizer - The all new SFG does not need any fertilizer-ever! If you start with the perfect soil mix, then you don't need to add fertilizer.

6) New Boxes - The new method uses bottomless boxes placed aboveground. We show you how to build your own (with step-by-step photos).

7) New Aisles - The ideal gardening aisle width is about three to four feet. That makes it even easier to kneel, work, and harvest.

8 ) New Grids - Prominent and permanent grids added to your SFG box help you visualize the planting squares and know how to space for maximum harvest.

9) New Seed Saving Idea - The old-fashioned way advocates planting many seeds and then thinning the extras (that means pulling them up). The new method means planting a pinch- literally two or three seeds--per planting hole.

10) Tabletop Gardens - The new boxes are so much smaller and lighter (only 6 inches of soil, remember?), you can add a plywood bottom to make them portable

So all of you still using the old book - here is what you are missing. Although I am guessing that much of this is from the old book and this is for marketing purposes, but still. Interesting. Hope my new book comes soonest.

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/17/2011, 9:28 pm

Here's what I learned from Chapter 3:

Page 51: Design
Here is a fun idea: explain to the entire family the basic size and layout then let each member draw up ideas and plans. Maybe everyone could have an area to design, build and plant. Wouldn't that be a great family project?

Page 52: Be Creative
The design is just as important as the size. You're going to be spending a lot of your time in your SFG--not working or weeding, but just enjoying and relaxing. Be sure to make room for some chairs, a bench, a water fountain, or a bird bath. One of the advantages of a Square Foot Garden is that you have options in how you put it together so that it's perfect for you.


____________________________

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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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  shannon1 on 9/19/2011, 1:41 am

10) Tabletop Gardens - The new boxes are so much smaller and lighter (only 6 inches of soil, remember?), you can add a plywood bottom to make them portable

TT RULE

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

Post  shannon1 on 9/19/2011, 1:44 am

@camprn wrote:
@sherryeo wrote:Your number is user 196, camp. Run your cursor over your name in your post, above, and look at the bottom left of your screen. It will say http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/u196.
affraid
Thanks! tee hee Very Happy
Now I get it and I'll be rereading chapter5. Well chapter 5 for a start anyway.

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Re: I learned something new when I re-read Chapter (X)

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