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what will do well in less than 6"?

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Post  jazzymaddy on 4/15/2011, 10:30 am

Hi friends. I've finished filling my box... well, let me restate - I've used up all my ingredients. And in the areas where I used some rocks as filler, I actually ended uup with only about 4". The "deep end" has about 8-9". I had calculated for about 12 at that end, and it didn't end up being quite that much. But I'm ready to start planting, and don't really want to spend any more time or money on more mix right now. I plan to add another box in the fall or next spring, and will just finish filling up my current box then.

So my question for now is what will do well in the shallow end? I had planned to put my corn there, but am now thinking of changing that because of their height and toppling potential.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/15/2011, 10:36 am

I would take shots with lettuces, spinaches, bush beans, and maybe even some radishes or little finger carrots. I would probably take my shots in that order, though.
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Post  Blackrose on 4/15/2011, 10:39 am

Did you put weed cloth between the rocks and the MM? If not, it probably fell between the rocks and would account for being shallower in that area.

Other than that, I agree with BBG on his recommendations. Smile
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Post  donnainzone5 on 4/15/2011, 10:43 am

I've grown lettuce, spinach, chard, and Asian greens in 4" - 5" of Mel's Mix. Go for it!
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Post  jazzymaddy on 4/15/2011, 10:48 am

Cool. Thanks folks. Yeah, I did put weed cloth on top of the rocks. I simply ran out. Smile
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Post  Blackrose on 4/15/2011, 10:54 am

@jazzymaddy wrote:Cool. Thanks folks. Yeah, I did put weed cloth on top of the rocks. I simply ran out. Smile

I hate it when that happens!! Evil or Very Mad
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Post  Lavender Debs on 4/15/2011, 10:55 am

I did not allow for compacting last year. My 6" box had only about 3 to 4 inches of mix if my pics are telling a true story.

Three kinds of Peas, salad greens, bac-choi, spinach, beets, radishes, a tomato, chard and short carrots amazed me with how well they did.
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Post  jazzymaddy on 4/15/2011, 3:29 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:I did not allow for compacting last year. My 6" box had only about 3 to 4 inches of mix if my pics are telling a true story.

Oh, awesome! Thanks for putting that concern to rest for me! Now I'm just worried about a little bit of smell coming off my mm since I put in the Black Hen stuff people were talking about here a couple of days ago. Seems like there's always something...
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Post  Lavender Debs on 4/15/2011, 3:34 pm

@jazzymaddy wrote:snip.... there's always something...
Story of my life.... and just happens to be the title of my next toy box post.
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Post  elliephant on 4/15/2011, 4:54 pm

My chicken compost is always stinky and I haven't had any problems from it.

I think Boffer got a box REALLY full once and after allowing for compacting found it took more like 10 cu ft.
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Post  boffer on 4/15/2011, 7:10 pm

One of this year's experiments. Growing lettuce in house rain gutters. They are shallow at +2½ inches.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0210

They take up no space if you have fence posts handy. Every weekend, I plant 1 or 2 feet of lettuce.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0211


elliephant had the memory of an elephant when she wrote:I think Boffer got a box REALLY full once and after allowing for compacting found it took more like 10 cu ft.
Exactly.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/15/2011, 7:45 pm

@boffer wrote:One of this year's experiments. Growing lettuce in house rain gutters. They are shallow at +2½ inches.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0210

They take up no space if you have fence posts handy. Every weekend, I plant 1 or 2 feet of lettuce.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0211


elliephant had the memory of an elephant when she wrote:I think Boffer got a box REALLY full once and after allowing for compacting found it took more like 10 cu ft.
Exactly.

Of course you realize you aren't SFG'ing properly, right? I mean, heck, where's your grid? Wink
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Post  Blackrose on 4/15/2011, 7:52 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
@boffer wrote:One of this year's experiments. Growing lettuce in house rain gutters. They are shallow at +2½ inches.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0210

They take up no space if you have fence posts handy. Every weekend, I plant 1 or 2 feet of lettuce.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0211


elliephant had the memory of an elephant when she wrote:I think Boffer got a box REALLY full once and after allowing for compacting found it took more like 10 cu ft.
Exactly.

Of course you realize you aren't SFG'ing properly, right? I mean, heck, where's your grid? Wink

Don't you see the zip ties that hold the gutters on? Space them every 12 inches and you have a grid! Razz
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Post  middlemamma on 4/15/2011, 8:00 pm

Boffer you better teach that boy a lesson! Smile
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Post  boffer on 4/15/2011, 8:08 pm

BBG, when you go to make yours, each 10 foot section of gutter holds exactly one 5 gallon bucket of Mel's Mix. Rolling Eyes

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Post  middlemamma on 4/15/2011, 8:13 pm

what will do well in less than 6"? 60389
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Post  Blackrose on 4/15/2011, 8:14 pm

@boffer wrote:BBG, when you go to make yours, each 10 foot section of gutter holds exactly one 5 gallon bucket of Mel's Mix. Rolling Eyes


Hmmm... I have now filed this one in my SFG drawer in the back of my mind. I'll be keeping my eyes on Freecycle for some old gutters. I'm guessing you drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage? Also, did you line with weed cloth or would it be ok without it?
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Post  boffer on 4/15/2011, 8:35 pm

I set them up with a pitch of ¼ inch per foot. So that's a drop of 2½ inches from one end to the other. Then I drilled a couple holes right at the very low end. That way, the gutters could be re-purposed as gutters if desired. If they had been used and free, I may have just drilled some holes the entire length. These are plastic and new, so I didn't use a liner.

No grid. But I'm curious what the magic number will be: 'Plant X number of lineal feet per week for a continuous lettuce supply for two people'. We'll see. It might be a cheap, practical way to free up squares for other stuff.
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Post  clfraser on 4/15/2011, 8:45 pm

Do you think anything else would grow well in the gutters besides lettuce? This could be a real possibility for me. My backyard is only about 20 feet from back door to fence and a large majority is taken up by my kids playground. I want to add more garden but what I have now already takes up the other half, but I could hang gutters along the covered porch and grow there. This is exciting! Very cool idea boffer.
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Post  boffer on 4/15/2011, 9:04 pm

I forget where I saw the idea; it just seemed practical so I thought I'd try it. I imagine spinach and other greens would do fine. I think radishes, beets, and onions would grow OK, but they wouldn't utilize the space as well as lettuces that would bush out over the sides.

When you harvest stuff this year, pay attention to the root structures. That might give you some ideas.
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Post  jazzymaddy on 4/15/2011, 9:07 pm

Super cool Boffer. I also am filing that away.
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Post  ashort on 4/15/2011, 9:53 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
@boffer wrote:One of this year's experiments. Growing lettuce in house rain gutters. They are shallow at +2½ inches.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0210

They take up no space if you have fence posts handy. Every weekend, I plant 1 or 2 feet of lettuce.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0211


elliephant had the memory of an elephant when she wrote:I think Boffer got a box REALLY full once and after allowing for compacting found it took more like 10 cu ft.
Exactly.

Of course you realize you aren't SFG'ing properly, right? I mean, heck, where's your grid? Wink
lol!
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Post  Goosegirl on 4/15/2011, 10:04 pm

@ashort wrote:
@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
@boffer wrote:One of this year's experiments. Growing lettuce in house rain gutters. They are shallow at +2½ inches.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0210

They take up no space if you have fence posts handy. Every weekend, I plant 1 or 2 feet of lettuce.
what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0211


elliephant had the memory of an elephant when she wrote:I think Boffer got a box REALLY full once and after allowing for compacting found it took more like 10 cu ft.
Exactly.

Of course you realize you aren't SFG'ing properly, right? I mean, heck, where's your grid? Wink
lol!

Space out those zip ties holding 'em at the right measurements and I say you got yourself a grid! what will do well in less than 6"? 311672

GG
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Post  herblover on 4/16/2011, 9:52 am

I have found that mine compacted as well in the 2 years of my box. I just keep adding compost and peat moss to my mix; will probably need to add vermiculite soon to get the proper proportions.
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Post  boffer on 4/16/2011, 9:35 pm

Oh man, it's a tough crowd here tonight!

But you're right. It's not SFG without a grid. So I put a grid on. I'm sure it will benefit my planting spacing.

what will do well in less than 6"? Dscn0217

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