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Post  Phil Dana on 6/5/2014, 1:43 am

Greetings!

I've done some raised bed gardening decades ago but have been too busy since.  Now that I'm retired I'd like to get back into gardening.  I'm still quite busy so this will be slow going for me.

My focus is indoor gardening.  I'd like to grow vegetables year round, particularly tomatoes which don't do well up here at all.  I'll have room for four 2x8 beds and will have electricity and water as well as windows so I think it's doable.  As I go along I'm sure I'll need guidance.
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Post  boffer on 6/5/2014, 1:28 pm

Welcome to the forum!

I've been experimenting with indoor winter growing the last two years; MM makes a great growing medium. I've found that I just don't get enough sunlight for winter growing, and lights are must.

What is on your list to grow besides tomatoes?
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Post  Phil Dana on 6/5/2014, 3:31 pm

MM?  See, I already need help!  Laughing 

My wife and I like to have salads at least once a week so I'd do lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, and radishes.  I'd also like an herb garden since I do a lot of cooking, (I'm a recipe tester for Cook's magazine).  It would be  nice to do onions since we use a lot of them.  Green beans of course.  I'd also like to do a dwarf lemon and lime tree as well as some berries if possible.

That seems like a lot but I can start slow and add over time. 

We do grow green onions, cilantro, and basil as well as strawberries in outdoor pots but the critters get about half the strawberries!  We have strawberries, blueberries, rose raspberries, and huckleberries growing wild on the property so we might try to cultivate them over time.  The problem is walking all over creation to water them, otherwise they are pretty puny, (we went 160 days without rain last summer).
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Post  walshevak on 6/5/2014, 4:48 pm

MM is shorthand for Mel's Mix, the soil-less growing mix used in Square Foot Gardening.  It is a blend of 1/3 coarse vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 of a blended compost consisting of at least 5 different types or homemade.

All of this is covered in the book, ALL NEW SQUAREFOOT GARDENING, 2nd edition which is the how to manual for square foot gardeners.

Go to the home page and look at the left hand side of the page.  There are a series of grey bobbly bumps under the word hover that are essential topics.  Click on them for more information.

Kay

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Post  sanderson on 6/6/2014, 1:05 am

Phil Dana, Welcome to the Forum and the wonderful world of Square Foot Gardening!  glad you\'re here 
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Post  Marc Iverson on 6/6/2014, 2:04 am

@Phil Dana wrote:(we went 160 days without rain last summer).

Sounds like us! We reliably get zero rain all summer.

Sounds like you're growing in a greenhouse, then? Or a big sun porch or something like that? Sounds like you have some interesting experiments coming up that could be interesting for many of us to read about. Do let us know about your adventures, be they successes, failures, or just puzzles we can gnaw and worry away at with you. Hundreds of heads are better than one, as they say.

And welcome!
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Post  Phil Dana on 6/6/2014, 2:47 am

Thanks all!

I am doing an outbuilding.  In our county you're allowed to do 400 sq. ft. without a permit so everyone does 400 sq. ft.!  Very Happy 

My plan is to build a 25x16 and use the back half for a storage/shop and the front half as a greenhouse, 8x25.  From all my neighbors experience it's nearly impossible to keep the critters from eating everything so I thought doing as much indoors as possible would be the way to go, with the added benefit of having fresh produce in January.

Since I'm doing all the construction work I can pretty much do anything I want.  My thought as of now is in slab electric heat and soil heating pads as needed.  I'll be replacing the T8 fluorescent lights in my garage with LED floods so I'll repurpose the T8's as grow lights.  Add a drip system and timers and, perhaps naively, I'm good to go!

I'll pick up the book and do more reading as I go along.  Book first.

It's on Kindle, yea!
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/6/2014, 11:21 am

Hi Phil Dana.  Welcome!

Sounds like a good plan.
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Post  gwennifer on 6/7/2014, 12:26 pm

Hi Phil Dana and welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have big plans! Can't wait to see pictures of that new gardening structure.  glad you\'re here 
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Post  nurzemjd on 6/7/2014, 2:51 pm

Hi Phil! This site and the people are a great resource for your gardening  Very Happy 

I just wanted to say hi and welcome; and to tell you that I saw on a gardening TV show recently that they have developed blueberries intended to grow in containers, so you might check that out.  How exciting to be a tester for Cooks, love to cook myself!
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Post  Phil Dana on 6/8/2014, 2:08 am

Thanks gweniffer, nurzemjd.  Reading the book it looks like I inadvertently stumbled onto the right size of planters, 64 sq ft. total for the wife and me.  Totally by accident of course, it just happened to be what fit.  Turns out I can add a fifth 2x8 so that would allow for some cushion to share with neighbors.

We get a new recipe to test about once or twice a month and have been doing it for years now.  Though I've had a couple of 5-6's I'd say they average about a 9+.  Some of them I'd give 11 out of 10 they are so good.  Very Happy 

I'm drawing up the plans for the building now and have already contacted a concrete guy and our neighbor the excavator.  Haven't heard back from them yet, hopefully next week.  Once I've finished the plans I'll try to upload a drawing.

Meanwhile, more reading.  I was glad to find out melons work, we love watermelon and muskmelon.  I'd love to try corn, must start slow though.
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Post  davecourington on 6/11/2014, 2:41 pm

@Phil Dana wrote:
We do grow green onions, cilantro, and basil as well as strawberries in outdoor pots but the critters get about half the strawberries! 
The simple solution to the critter problem is to put them critters in the pot next to the vegetables... LOL, that is how we roll down South!!!
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Post  Phil Dana on 6/11/2014, 3:41 pm

Brilliant!  cheers   Why didn't I think of that!  I have heard squirrel is actually a delicacy, not sure about moles, voles, mountain beavers, mice, etc. 

Were I a hunter, there is plenty of deer, bear, and elk around.  Then there are cougars, bobcats, coyotes, and wolves.  Needless to say I don't go wandering around the property after dark!

Of course at my age I don't roll unless I trip on a hill.  rofl
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