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Post  sanderson on 5/22/2019, 6:16 pm

This is a new thread. The narrative and graphic are from the SFG Foundation.

Mel tirelessly researched all the ways to make gardening simpler and "fixed" everything he hated about gardening. The result is Square Foot Gardening which he introduced in the mid-1970s. Part of this was limiting the size. Compared to a traditional row garden, SFG takes only 20% of the space!

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Post  sanderson on 5/22/2019, 6:19 pm

From last Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Square Foot Gardening is GREAT for both beginning and "seasoned" gardeners. Beginners love the simplicity, while others love the challenge of planning to use each square 2 and even 3 times per growing season for maximum production.

BEGINNERS - no matter what method you choose, we encourage you to start small. Learn how to grow just a few veggies at first, THEN expand your garden as you become more proficient.

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Post  countrynaturals on 5/22/2019, 9:16 pm

What I liked about it as a beginner, was the structure. I always felt Mel was right there holding my hand. Back then, I was on AOL and we had a very active forum for SFG. Everyone referred to the big guy as "Uncle Mel." It was like having a family farm. It was such a great experience, that when I was able to start gardening again in 2016, I went right for the SFG forum to hang my hat. BIG hug
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Post  sanderson on 5/22/2019, 10:45 pm

Ditto for me back in 2013. SFG just made so much sense and with a tiny back yard, I felt it was the right way to go.

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Post  sanderson on 5/29/2019, 4:11 pm

May 29, 2019

"We use just a pinch (2-3 seeds) in each planting hole."

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Post  sanderson on 6/5/2019, 10:19 pm

I have to heartily agree with this tenant. No palms, no knees, no feet. "Stay Off!"

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Post  sanderson on 6/20/2019, 2:47 am

June 19, 2019

Part one of 4 Parts.

"Next month we’re celebrating World SFG Day, so we’re taking about the very beginning – before Mel had invented Square Foot Gardening. This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on the birth of Square Foot Gardening we’re calling Pitfalls of Conventional Gardening."

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Post  countrynaturals on 6/20/2019, 11:20 am

@sanderson wrote:June 19, 2019

Part one of 4 Parts.  

"Next month we’re celebrating World SFG Day, so we’re taking about the very beginning – before Mel had invented Square Foot Gardening. This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on the birth of Square Foot Gardening we’re calling Pitfalls of Conventional Gardening."

Wednesday Wisdom - SFG Foundation Founda14
HA! I have the book, so I don't have to wait for next Wednesday to read the next part. Razz  Think about what an adventure gardening has been for us, then just imagine what it was like for Mel. Shocked
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Post  sanderson on 6/22/2019, 4:47 am

Amen! Mel did all the hard work for us.

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Post  countrynaturals on 6/22/2019, 10:57 am

@sanderson wrote:Amen!  Mel did all the hard work for us.
Yup, and I have a new favorite thing about SFG -- once it's set up, it's never overwhelming. Right now, my SFG bed is in radishes, but every day I pick a square and plant carrots in the empty spots where I'm harvesting the radishes. Not only is it easy, but keeps a continuous crop going. Mel was the best. I love you
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Post  sanderson on 6/27/2019, 3:46 am

June 26, 2019. Part 2 of 4.

"Next month we’re celebrating World SFG Day, so we’re taking you to the beginning – before Mel had invented Square Foot Gardening. This is Part 2 of a 4-part series on the birth of Square Foot Gardening.

Last week we looked at the pitfalls of conventional gardening. Mel obtained a plot of land, had it fenced, rototilled, fertilized, and divided into plots ready for people to rent. There was a lot of interest and excitement and initially seemed like a great success. But . . . Spring fever doesn’t last." Wednesday Wisdom - SFG Foundation Founda15

Using SFG, I find my enthusiasm increase through the season! How about you folks?

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Post  sanderson on 7/3/2019, 10:33 pm

July 3, 2019. Part 3 of 4.

"This month we’re celebrating World SFG Day. Last month we took you to the beginning – before Mel had invented Square Foot Gardening. This is Part 3 of a 4-part series on the birth of Square Foot Gardening.

The last two weeks we talked about Mel starting a community garden and how enthusiastic everyone was . . . until the weeds started growing and many participants dropped out. This week we’re talking about A Sad End to the Season."

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Post  sanderson on 7/10/2019, 4:28 pm

July 10, 2019. Part 4 of 4.

"This month we’re celebrating World SFG Day. Here is the final installment of a 4-part series on the birth of Square Foot Gardening.

The last three weeks we’ve talked about Mel starting a community garden and how enthusiastic everyone was . . . until the weeds started growing and many participants dropped out. This week we’re going to explore why Mel decided to “fix” gardening in a segment we’re calling A Search For Answers."
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/10/2019, 5:51 pm

That book started it all!  It was my first successful garden ever.  Old method, dug out...loved it, so much easier!  I lived in a trailer, and it was in my front yard where the sun was.  My farmer neighbors were intrigued that you could fit so much in 16 square feet!  Now here I am many years later with ANSFG going on in the back yard!
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Post  sanderson on 7/11/2019, 5:04 pm

I love you

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Post  countrynaturals on 7/11/2019, 5:12 pm

For me it was 1999. We were caretakers at a campground in the Sierras. All I remember about it was that it was highly productive. Carrots were the biggest surprise. They took so long I gave up on them. Then one day I decided to yank them out, and there they all were -- beautiful, perfect carrots, just waiting for the right time to be harvested. I love you
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/11/2019, 10:45 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:For me it was 1999. We were caretakers at a campground in the Sierras. All I remember about it was that it was highly productive. Carrots were the biggest surprise. They took so long I gave up on them. Then one day I decided to yank them out, and there they all were -- beautiful, perfect carrots, just waiting for the right time to be harvested. I love you
I had never grown carrots until this 4x4....GAME CHANGER!!!!  Getting ready to put in a “fall” crop!  I love them so much...
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Post  sanderson on 8/8/2019, 1:28 am

The benefit of growing vertically!

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Many of us have a large collection of seeds because SFG sowing is so frugal with seeds.

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Post  sanderson on 9/20/2019, 6:16 pm

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Post  countrynaturals on 9/20/2019, 11:21 pm

@sanderson wrote:Wednesday Wisdom - SFG Foundation Founda21
I love you  thankyou Excellent post! I know I've been guilty of quitting too soon, which is dumb, since I have nothing to lose by hanging in there. Love the idea mulching and getting early spring greens and flowers for the pollinators.  happy turtle

I've read that book twice and  still missed this. Time for a 3rd reading. Embarassed
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Post  sanderson on 9/25/2019, 10:32 pm

"If you decide to not grow a fall/winter SFG, here are some things you can do to "winterize" your raised beds."

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A trowel full of compost per square foot isn't very much.  I add a full 5-gall bucket to a 2'x7' bed, or a quart+ per square, to bring the Mel's Mix back up to the original height.  Is it because of my Mediterranean climate?  Active microbes? What do the rest of you add?

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Post  yolos on 9/26/2019, 12:39 am

@sanderson wrote:
A trowel full of compost per square foot isn't very much.  I add a full 5-gall bucket to a 2'x7' bed, or a quart+ per square, to bring the Mel's Mix back up to the original height.  Is it because of my Mediterranean climate?  Active microbes?  What do the rest of you add?
I add whatever amount it takes to bring the level of the MM up to the original level.  In my environment that is way more than a trowel full.  So it may be that our climate allows growing for many, many more months than other areas.  So if we do not add compost throughout the growing season, then we will need to add a large amount when we clean the bed.  For instance, I plant my tomatoes usually at the end of March and do not pull them out until the frost nips  them at the end of Oct or beginning of Nov.  That is about 7 months of growing the same vegetable.
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Post  markqz on 9/26/2019, 9:55 am

@sanderson wrote:"If you decide to not grow a fall/winter SFG, here are some things you can do to "winterize" your raised beds."

The book also talked about taking off the guide laths for storage. Wasn't sure why. Maybe a cold/snow weather thing?
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Post  sanderson on 9/27/2019, 7:19 pm

I left my grids on top of the MM year-around for 5 years before thed started rotting. I am replacing them with white plastic ones as they fall apart and for my new beds. I think if one had long cold, rainy, snowy winters, it would be good to store them.

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Post  sanderson on 10/3/2019, 5:09 am

"Each Wednesday this fall and winter we're going to focus on teaching people how to plan their garden to get the most out of it in the smallest space. We're going to chunk it up into small, easy bites so you won't get overwhelmed.

We find that people just don't understand how small they can make their Square Foot Garden. If you're just starting out with SFG, we encourage you to start out with around 48 squares - that's equal to three 4'x4' raised beds, or two 4'x6' beds, or one 4'x12' bed, or two 3'x8' beds, or one 2' x 24' . . . or whatever configuration works for you.

No matter where you live, you can extend your growing season just by using some PVC pipes and row cover or plastic sheeting. We know people that grow a little bit year round all the way up to Nova Scotia. So if you're in a more temperate climate, there's no stopping you.

In the famous words of our founder, Mel Bartholomew . . . "Happy Gardening, Friends!" "

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