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First Timer. Zone 5b 8x8 SFG

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First Timer. Zone 5b 8x8 SFG Empty First Timer. Zone 5b 8x8 SFG

Post  ecks.marksthespot on 8/5/2019, 12:06 am

Hello Friends!
I am 100% new at this and would love any tips and/or feedback. I have an 8x8 raised bed that I would like to do as a SFG. Any tips and advice is much appreciated. Thanks!  Wink 
[url=https://servimg.com/view/20099182/1]First Timer. Zone 5b 8x8 SFG Img_6710[/url]
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/5/2019, 7:09 am

Hi Ecks.marksthespot! Welcome to our party!! Glad you've joined us.

Looks like you've got a good spot. And your helper is adorable....!

It's recommended that your bed be no more than 4'x4'. You're not going to be able to reach into the middle otherwise.... Using your configuration, you COULD set it up as a keyhole-type bed. Just cut a pathway through the middle on one side so you end up with a U instead of a square. (I think there may be some pics in the gallery.)

How deep are your timbers? Did you account for mulching height? My beds are 8" high so I can put 2" of mulch on top of the 6" of Mel's Mix (MM).

Looks like you've got the beginnings of a great set-up! I can't wait to see how it does.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/5/2019, 7:21 pm

Welcome, X!  So glad you are here!  I would either lay a walking plank down the middle of that baby or do the keyhole thing.  You dont want to walk on the MM, it will compress and not behave like it normally does (which, BTW, is amazing!!!))). Up to you.  

What do you like to eat?  Do you have any gardening experience in general?  It is completely optional!  

Would love to hear more about your plans!   glad you\'re here
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Post  mollyhespra on 8/5/2019, 10:42 pm

Hiya, Ecks! Welcome to the forum.

I third the votes for breaking up that space. A keyhole layout would probably take up the least of your real-estate but a plank down the middle would also work too.

Although I think if it was me, I'd rather get three more of those logs (it looks like you have one extra already) and create a simple pathway down the middle that's two feet wide. You can fill the void with some mulch right over the black landscape fabric.

I don't know the cost of more lumber but I do know that MM can get pricey so you might end up OK budget wise if you account for the savings in MM offsetting the extra cost of materials?

HTH!
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Post  sanderson on 8/6/2019, 3:13 am

Love your avatar! I love you  I guess you already have your nickname, X.  Your set up is beautiful.  I 4th the idea of making a key hole plot.  I edited your photo to show what I'm thinking.  The entrance would probably be best near the hose bib. If you don't want to cut the frame for an entrance you can just attach on the inside a 2'x4' frame for the "key hole entrance" and put wood chips on top of the weed fabric.

I would recommend making your grids in sections, i.e., two (2) 3'x 4', and two (2) 4' x4'. It makes it easier to lift them out for heavy cleaning and amending. Just remember to put them back in before seeding or setting starts. I made that mistake only once! Embarassed

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Post  bonniesherbals on 8/8/2019, 12:04 pm

you do not want it to be wider than 4 ft as you will have to walk in the garden to reach the middle, the widest you want is 4 ft but it can be as long as you want as long as you can walk all the way around
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Post  sfg4uKim on 8/8/2019, 1:45 pm

Welcome! Welcome! glad you\'re here 

Yep! I agree with the above advice for making it no wider than 4' and the keyhole suggestion is great.

You'll want to grab a copy of any of the All New Square Foot Gardening books. The 3rd edition just came out last November and is awesome: THIRD EDITION BOOK

Take your time when choosing your Mel's Mix ingredients. You will never regret making it right, but making it incorrectly can be a huge disappointment.

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Post  sanderson on 8/9/2019, 3:17 am

I see I forgot to insert the photo! Embarassed  Maybe your nickname should be Ecks. ?? First Timer. Zone 5b 8x8 SFG Plot_p11

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Post  Bunny J on 8/9/2019, 3:18 pm

Welcome!!  Ditto on the suggestions too!  You really want to read up on the SFG concepts and take your time with your setup.  I started my gardening journey here with very little knowledge; everyone is friendly and eager to help.  Remember, the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.  In the beginning I didn't take my time with the setup and have been correcting issues every season since, lol.  Even so, each one gets better and better!  Enjoy your journey!!!
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Post  johnbmarek on 8/9/2019, 3:19 pm

Welcome! Looks like you’ve built a good, strong box there. I would reiterate, though, what others have posted that you do not want your planting space to exceed 4’ in width, so you can reach all of your planting areas without having to step on your soil and compact it. In my classes, I also suggest that if you are building your box from treated lumber, which I believe those landscape timbers most likely are, then you might want to run a moisture barrier, such as 4 mil plastic sheeting, along the inside of the box wall to minimize leaching of chemicals into your soil.

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Post  crankyoldman on 8/17/2019, 12:17 pm

As long as one dimension of your bed does not exceed 4 feet the other can be as long as you like. I have 2 beds 4 X 4 feet and 2 others 4 X 12 feet. For me any bed longer than 12 feet would be cumbersome, too much distance to get around the bed.

I would suggest you divide your bed in to 2 beds of 4 X 8 feet.
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