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Post  kittykat on 3/18/2012, 2:09 pm

Hi Everyone! I'm brand new to SFG. I'm on Coastal British Columbia and have quite a few perennial gardens, rambling in nature. I spied Square Foot Gardening in my online travels last year and set up the boxes in the fall with cardboard under them to kill the grass. I just filled them in the last few days, added the square-foot dividing strings and made a cage to go round to keep the beasties out (wild cats and a resident peacock)... I'm SO happy to have found the forum - there's nothing like daily hands-on advice from seasoned pros and newbies looking for answers!

Here is my garden so far:

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Garden10

I still have to put the nylon garden fence netting around the cage, but hopefully I can do that today.

After looking at everyone's beautiful gardens and gathering ideas, I'm want to add some trellis's, too. Love the idea of growing the squash and pumpkins on a trellis... LOL - I do believe I'm addicted.

Thank you all for being here!
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Post  mschaef on 3/18/2012, 2:30 pm

What you have done looks great!!! I was wondering though if you were going to be putting the nylon netting on the top too? If you do be careful that your plants do not get too big and hit the top. Other than that it looks wonderful, goodluck!!
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Post  kittykat on 3/18/2012, 2:46 pm

@mschaef wrote:What you have done looks great!!! I was wondering though if you were going to be putting the nylon netting on the top too? If you do be careful that your plants do not get too big and hit the top. Other than that it looks wonderful, goodluck!!

Yeah - I'll have to keep an eye on that. I do want the netting on the top... Might have to take the covers right off once things are well under way... or maybe I could add some height to the covers by adding PVC extensions to the legs with a coupler. I'm choosing bush beans and bush peas this year, and will just have to adapt as necessary for anything that grows taller... hehe - newbie at work!

Thanks for your input!
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Post  kittykat on 3/19/2012, 2:01 pm

Covered! And planted some peas today! Woot! Kids are loving this!

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Garden13
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Post  gwennifer on 3/19/2012, 5:14 pm

Wow you don't mess around do you?! What a great first start! Love the critter cages - thanks so much for sharing your garden pictures with us. And welcome to the forum!

cheers
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Post  quiltbea on 3/19/2012, 5:45 pm

kittykat....You're doing a great job so far. I look forward to more photos when things get growing. Good luck.
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Post  kittykat on 3/20/2012, 11:03 am

Thanks for the welcome and the encouragement! This site is such an awesome resource... a person could read old posts and follow links all day long!

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Post  daryl.weaver on 3/20/2012, 2:46 pm

Love the idea of making the grid with string. I used quarter round and have a devil of a time keeping it in place. Will replace mind today!
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Post  kittykat on 3/20/2012, 7:29 pm

@daryl.weaver wrote:Love the idea of making the grid with string. I used quarter round and have a devil of a time keeping it in place. Will replace mind today!

I used those little u-shaped double-ended nails that are used to attach barbed wire to fencing to attach my strings. When I nailed them in, I just left enough to make a little hoop to tie to. Nice and tight and I won't catch myself on them leaning in and out of the garden...

Fun, fun, fun!!
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Post  kittykat on 4/16/2012, 4:51 pm

Okay - time for some update pics...

I replaced all the little twist ties that were holding the mesh together with some green jute twine that I wound through it all. Made it look a little less messy. The reason the grass is brown in places is because I've been spraying all the dandelions with vinegar in hopes of beating them back. I thought it might work to kill the grass around the edges of the boxes, too. Even if I have to reapply, it's not toxic and seems to work.

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Garden21

Here's the site with the instructions for making the cage, by the way:

http://www.charsgardening.com/2010/10/19/how-to-build-a-multipurpose-raised-bed-protective-cover/

These are our Little Marvel peas, all sprouted and thinned with the scissors. The kids are thrilled! In the box behind them are our bush beans (Tema). Apparently they can stand a cooler start than most, so we're giving them an early start with the 2x2 cold frame over them to hopefully keep them warm.

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Garden22

I made a poly tunnel for the inside of the cage so we could start some things early. Next time I have the cage and tunnel off, I'll take a pic of what we have growing in there. Here's the website I got the idea for the poly tunnel from:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/37418774@N04/3680898429/in/photostream/

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Garden23

I also planted up about 28 strawberries each into 2 tubs like this one. Beats the heck out of the 6 plants over 2 squares in the SFG!

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Garden24

Jury's out on the worm tunnels. I haven't seen any in there for quite a while. I'm hoping they're still alive, but I fear they themselves have added to the compost factor in the garden mix.

I have to do things low-tech, as I'm not a woodworking kind of gal, but there are so many great ideas in the book and here in the forum and on the internet that I seem to be able to find a way to achieve what I need to for my situation if I keep poking around long enough...

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Post  debclements on 4/16/2012, 5:08 pm

Wow! Your garden looks wonderful! I'm new to SFG and won't be able to put mine up until the end of the month, but sure am enjoying reading about everyone elses!

Deer will be a problem for me as well, so am very happy that you posted this!

Thanks-

Deb
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Post  kittykat on 4/16/2012, 9:33 pm

This one is slightly more updated... It's from April 13. We planted that bunch of mixed lettuces from a little planter pot we got at a nursery - it was great for the kids because they could start picking leaves from it right away. The butter lettuce I just picked up about a week ago - again, it has great appeal for the kids because they can eat salad right from their garden right away.

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Copy_o10

It's hard to tell in the pic, but we have carrots and romaine lettuce on the far right, then spinach and beets one over, radishes behind the square of butter lettuce, and carrots planted 10 days later and a mixed lettuce on the far left. I have garlic planted at the top left of most of the squares. There are now onion sets in front of the top hat on the right. The top hats are for potatoes, which are already planted, too.

I put that poly tunnel over the whole front 2 rows almost all the time, except for really nice days. The poly house has windows lined with tulle at each end that I pretty much leave uncovered all the time. It's not cold enough here to damage the plants with the tunnel over them, and then if it does heat up in the afternoon I haven't scorched everything...

It's small-scale at this point, but the kids are having a ball... Oh, okay - one more pic so you can see them loving the process...

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Post  marc-in-pa on 4/16/2012, 10:59 pm

Nice work! I felt like all thumbs my first year with SFG. Everything is looking fantastic. Great that your kids are taking an active role and interest! Brava!
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Post  quiltbea on 4/17/2012, 9:14 am

Your garden is coming along just great. I like your cages. Very good job with those. The kids are adorable.

I am using nylon tomato twine for marking my squares this year. The nylon won't rot in bad weather.
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Post  marc-in-pa on 4/17/2012, 2:50 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I am using nylon tomato twine for marking my squares this year. The nylon won't rot in bad weather.

Nylon tomato twine is a good idea for square markers! The first year I used string, which rotted. After that I found a white plastic-coated clothes line from Home Depot. Snaked it through slightly-raised screws. It was cheap and has held up well. If I was as bright as Quiltbea I would have gone with the tomato twine... more eco-sensitive.
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Post  kittykat on 4/17/2012, 3:05 pm

Yup - my string is nylon string, as well. We got a huge roll of it years ago for camping when we bought our 5th wheel trailer and STILL have a huge roll of it.

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Post  kittykat on 4/21/2012, 1:01 pm

I have an old mini greenhouse frame that I've had for years. The plastic fell apart a long time ago and got tossed and the frame was actually being used in the garage as a shelving unit...

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Greenh10

A little 6-mil poly,some (a lot of) ductotherapy and some head-scratching and I have a brand new greenhouse for starting plants! (Oh, plus some help from my very curious kitty!)

Brand new to SFG!  My first efforts... Greenh11

I used some tulle netting and made a window in the front with a roll-up poly cover for air circulation. The whole front is a flap that lifts up so I can get to the plants. And the whole cover lifts off the frame.

Yay! Now I need to go and get a heating pad and I'm ready to start trying to germinate some annual flowers!

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Post  walshevak on 4/21/2012, 4:55 pm

Doesn't Duck Tape have a contest on the creative ways to use their product? If so you have a candidate. Good work.

Kay

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Post  CindiLou on 4/21/2012, 4:58 pm

Great use for one of those little things! I have two. One I have in my little greenhouse for shelves. I will have to remember that for next spring. I may use the littler one for starting plants inside.
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Post  kittykat on 4/21/2012, 5:56 pm

@walshevak wrote:Doesn't Duck Tape have a contest on the creative ways to use their product? If so you have a candidate. Good work.

Kay

Hehe... thanks... With my very, very low-tech handyman skills, duct tape is my best friend! I used a whole role of it when I put together my 5x2' hoop house last month... Thank God for duct tape!
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Post  givvmistamps on 4/21/2012, 6:07 pm

That looks great! Definitely enter it in the Duck Tape contest!
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Post  kittykat on 4/22/2012, 12:24 am

And - ta da! - I even went out and got a heating pad and some supplies from the hydroponics shop and started marigolds, cosmos, nasturtium and sunflowers in my new little greenhouse! (I'm old, with young children AND I'm Gemini - to start a project, finish it and then actually put it to it's intended use boggles the mind...)

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Post  kittykat on 4/23/2012, 8:58 pm

Next - Project Sweet Peas

Thanks to the ANSFG book and browsing the forum here for ideas, I've completed my next low-tech, yard-architecture-for-dummies project... Well, it's not quite completed - it needs the netting yet, but the construction is done, anyway... It's 3/4" PVC with the fittings actually glued this time, the two ends over 6' rebar pounded about 2' into the ground - and, oh yeah, painted garden green rather than construction white... LOL!

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The sweet peas are *just* sprouting, protected by the netting strung between the two smaller black garden trellises... That will all come down when they get a little bigger.
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Post  quiltbea on 4/24/2012, 12:18 am

@kittykat.....You'll want to take down the short garden trellis now before the peas get attached to it if that's your plan. Once they start growing up the trellis, you won't be able to unwind the vines easily.
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Post  kittykat on 4/24/2012, 12:51 am

@quiltbea wrote:@kittykat.....You'll want to take down the short garden trellis now before the peas get attached to it if that's your plan. Once they start growing up the trellis, you won't be able to unwind the vines easily.

Yes - I will, for sure. It looks like it's just netting sitting there, but it's actually bent over in an upside-down V shape keeping the little birds and peacock from picking at the sprouts. As soon as all the sprouts are up and growing, I'll take down the tented netting and get the permanent netting in place for them. Might have to rig something else against the permanent netting to protect the sweet peas from critters a while longer, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there... LOL..

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