Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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.


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Hi, beginner from NC

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Hi, beginner from NC

Post  bjbragg98 on 12/31/2011, 6:37 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to gardening and thought I would try square footing gardening as I live in suburbia.

I'm hoping this experience will help us eat healthier and eventually become self-sustaining. My biggest hope is that the information that I find here will help me start on that path.

Thanks in advance to all the people here that share the experience and wisdom with newbies like me.

Posts : 2
Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Belmont, NC

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Re: Hi, beginner from NC

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/31/2011, 6:43 pm

The information you gain here will definitely help your path to sustainability. But, your first step should be to read the book the forum supports...All New Square Foot Gardening.

It will give you a much better start than just jumping in the forum. However, the forum really compliments the book. Obviously, you can read the book and play with us on the forum at the same time.

I hope to see you become an active contributor! Welcome aboard! We are all very eager to help others in their quest to what we believe is a better, more efficient way to garden.

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Age : 43
Location : St. Louis, MO

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Thanks for the welcome!

Post  bjbragg98 on 12/31/2011, 7:01 pm

I am reading the Mel's older book "Square Foot Gardening" that I picked up in the library and am really enjoying it. I'm really worried about having to rely on vermiculite. I'm on a tight budget but the real reason is I don't want to rely on something that must be purchased.

I was hoping this first year to buy my compost and soils but eventually learn to make my own. My hope is to learn about soils, amendments, and how they affect my garden vegetables. I doing this so that if the SHTF I can at least provide food for my family. Plus I think this is something I would enjoy doing. When I was a child I used to spend hours in the garden with my grandfather but I didn't pay as much attention to the details as I should have.

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Location : Belmont, NC

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Re: Hi, beginner from NC

Post  camprn on 12/31/2011, 8:11 pm

bjbragg98 to the SFG Forum! the short answer to the worries you express is if one takes short cuts, undesirable results are what you will get. I strongly suggest reading the key points that you will find on the left bar of the home page. There are several threads there that are important things to know if you want to have success in your Square Foot Garden. If you can, get a copy of the All New SFG book(2006). Many things changed over the years and Mel B. refined his gardening method.

Really and truly, my best advise is, if you cannot get the vermiculite, go with the perlite. Do not skimp on your composts, you will need the 5 way blend if you want strong plants that will grow good vegetables. Check out the forum, there is a lot of information here that will answer the questions you have and many questions you have not yet thought of.

I too had very limited dollars when I decided to build a SFG. I started budgeting and buying the ingredients week by week and when spring came I was ready to go.

You have about 12 weeks until spring, good luck getting things together and again, Welcome to the forum! Cheers! flower


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

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



Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

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Re: Hi, beginner from NC

Post  Furbalsmom on 12/31/2011, 10:42 pm

welcome bjbragg98

Nice to have you join us!
I also suggest that you find a copy of the ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING book. I started using the older method of amending my soil as in the original Square Foot Gardening and I found the digging and weeding to be more than I could handle.

Once I converted to the new method from the ALL NEW SFG book that was first published in 2006, I found that yes there was some work at the beginning, but the hardest part for me was mixing the Mel's Mix ingredients. Since I have updated to the new method, I have no digging, no weeding (the occasional wind blown weed seed does show up once in a while, but is easily removed) and I really love the method.

One thing to remember is that the purchase of vermiculite and peat moss is a one time thing. Once your SFG bed is filled, you will not be replacing your mix, only adding blended compost after each harvest. Hopefully, you already have, or will soon have your own compost. Of course, if you add more beds later (and many of us find we do add beds), you will need more peat moss and vermiculite.

My personal preference is vermiculite over perlite, because the perlite seems to migrate to the top of the mix.

Please keep us posted on your progress. We love pictures too!

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Re: Hi, beginner from NC

Post  staf74 on 1/1/2012, 3:02 pm

Happy new year bjbragg98 !

Thanks for joining in the SFG fun.

to the SFG forum. I am the new host for this region and here to help you out any way I can and you'll find that very helpful folks from all over the country and indeed the world, will chime in to help. If you have any questions pls don't hesitate to ask

Check out the middle south and some of the posts and topics there, it might help decide what to plant and when (although you'll be well on the way after reading the book).


I periodically post videos from my youtube channel and that might help you visualize a SFG. You will see them linked in the middle south region link above also. Check them out when you can.

When you are ready to build and set-up, we can help guide you through the process as best we can and help you avoid some of the pitfalls we may have encountered along the way, not that are many!

We are also practically neighbors (in terms of our region size anyhow) and so I can help direct you to sources of compost for your mix etc and other such "local" queries.

Cheers !!!

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Re: Hi, beginner from NC

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