Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/2/2011, 10:05 pm

Better late than never as they say! I've been lurking on the forum for the better part of the past three months taking notes on tips and advice, oohhing and aahhing over pictures of your gardens and harvests, and waiting for the rain in our area to stop! Finally, we had a two-day break from the rain this weekend, so we jumped on it. My mom (71-years young!) and I, with a little help, set up six 4"x4"x18" boxes this weekend! Why start with one and wish we had done more?!

"Before" picture of the sunniest spot in my yard:
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Boxes purchased at Costco. Extremely easy to put together!:
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Here are the boxes set up and half filled (had a couple of menfolk fill the bottom half) who?me?
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My mom and I then took on the task of filling the top half of the boxes with MM. Whew! Let's just say that after wearing ourselves out using the tarp method for the first box, we concluded that as much as the mind was willing, our bodies just weren't up to the task. affraid So for the other five we mixed right in the boxes, and it worked like a charm! That went much faster for us although we did take a few breaks!
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Dusk was coming, so I used tape to mark off the grids for a couple of the boxes, and we planted onion sets and strawberry plants which arrived this week. We didn't have time to plant anything else before dark and rain came again, but it should clear up again tomorrow.
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When we were done we were exhausted, but as they say: "It was a GOOD tired!" This was a great bonding experience for us. We sang negro spirituals when we were trying to push through the most physical part of the work, talked about her experience growing up on a Mississippi farm, and hugged and kissed when the mission was accomplished! Joy!

Still need to add trellises and the rest of the grids, but at least we have the start of our SFG! Now the planting begins. Woohoo!
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Post  Blackrose on 5/2/2011, 10:14 pm

Those are beautiful boxes! I can't wait to see pictures of them full of veggies. Great job to you and your Mother!!

cheers
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Post  jazzymaddy on 5/2/2011, 10:16 pm

Wow. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing, and a very hearty welcome. Can't wait to see more!

Tracy
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Post  Furbalsmom on 5/2/2011, 10:26 pm

Renee,

What a huge project for the weekend. You and Mom are to be congratulated cheers . (and nice of the menfolk to help out, too)

flower Lovely results.
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/2/2011, 10:32 pm

Thanks, ladies. I tell you putting these boxes in is like having a new born baby! Even though we don't have much planted, I've checked on them several times a day since Saturday, and I swear I see growth already! cheers

Oh, and regarding the menfolk, they were "borrowed" help! My husband and son were out of town and I couldn't wait for them to return and risk missing the break in the weather. sunny
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Post  sceleste54 on 5/2/2011, 10:35 pm

Such Beautiful Boxes!! You will have so much fun !! Joy! Joy! Joy! 61949
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Post  ashort on 5/2/2011, 11:31 pm

Nice job! Those look great
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Post  kjenkins82 on 5/2/2011, 11:38 pm

Wow! Just gorgeous. Congrats to you and your mom!
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Post  Miss M on 5/2/2011, 11:40 pm

Beautiful! Can't wait to see pictures of it all overflowing with greenery!!! bounce
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Post  ErinAdkins on 5/3/2011, 12:34 pm

Your boxes are beautiful. I live slightly Northeast of you! This weather is something else isn't it? HOt one day, perfect one day, rain, rain, rain, cold...I hope it all stabilizes soon so we can all get going on our gardens.
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/3/2011, 12:45 pm

Thanks for the encouragement everyone! This has been a long time coming. Last year I gave up because I couldn't find coarse vermiculite, and this spring we've (all) had to contend with crazy weather, but we got it done. It's been raining again for the past couple of days, but we're supposed to get a break tomorrow which is when I plan to get some of my seeds planted (beets, carrots, collards, kales, radish, and spinach). I'm hoping that we're not too late on those cool-weather veggies, because they are some of our favorites!
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Post  madnicmom on 5/3/2011, 4:44 pm

That is a beautiful garden and it's high enough so you don't have to stoop down all that much. Best of Luck with the spring crop! I feel your pain with rain. Will it ever leave the Cincy area?
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/3/2011, 7:48 pm

Thanks, Kim. I think I'm just going to have to plant my seeds between showers. The silver lining is that I don't have to pay to water my plants just yet!
cloudy-bummer
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Post  dixie on 5/3/2011, 8:19 pm

Beautiful boxes & they are nice & deep. Congrats & welcome. Can't wait to see more pictures.
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Post  nancy on 5/3/2011, 8:22 pm

Oh, Renee! I'm SO jealous! They look beautiful! I can't wait to see pics of everything as it grows. Kudos to you & your mom - what a great way to spend a day together.
cheers flower cheers
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/3/2011, 10:21 pm

Thanks Dixie and Nancy! By the way Nancy, I know you are waiting to get back into your boxes after the flood, so if you need it, I'm sure I'll have plenty of extra seeds to share, plus I have a 4 cf bag of coarse vermiculite if you need it to get started back up again. Just let me know!
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Post  buttaflie143 on 5/3/2011, 11:03 pm

I think I have garden envy. Very Happy Its beautiful. I can't wait for it to start growing for you. I think you Joy! Joy! Joy! 107167 when you stated its like having a baby. I feel the same way. I equate the sense of accomplishment with childbirth. Happy Gardening!!!!!! Joy! Joy! Joy! 654548 Joy! Joy! Joy! 654548 Joy! Joy! Joy! 654548 Joy! Joy! Joy! 654548
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Post  nancy on 5/4/2011, 2:14 pm

Renee you bring tears to my eyes. Thanks so much! I am not going to sweat the spring crops anymore. Some might survive, others surely will not. I'm going to wait a few weeks, refill my beds, and then I'll be ready for summer. The tomatoes will be ready by then and I'm going to start watermelons tonite. My boss is going to let me use a south-facing windowsill here at work since I'm out of room at home. I promised him a watermelon this summer in return for the favor. I have all of the other summer seeds I need. Thank you so much for the offer!! And keep posting pictures - I can garden vicariously through you. Smile
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/4/2011, 4:38 pm

Thanks, Buttaflie! I'm hoping to be able to catch up with you! Very Happy

Nancy, my pleasure! Just hang in there. You'll find a piece of land you can keep dry! sunny
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Post  milaneyjane on 5/4/2011, 7:56 pm

Renee---Your beds look great!!!!! Do you mind if I ask how much they were at Costco? I was trying to find them online and didn't see them.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/4/2011, 8:03 pm

Amazing gardens! Thanks for sharing your efforts. I look forward to more.
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/4/2011, 9:18 pm

Thanks, BBG! I hope there is more to share. Lot of rain today so I could't get my seeds in. Hoping for tomorrow. sunny

Milaneyjane: The beds are only available in the store. Each kit was $99 and include two 9" deep 4x4 beds that could be used separately or used as one 18" bed. A bit costly, but easy to set up, they won't deteriorate, and they pass the HOA acid test. Hoping never to have to replace these! By comparison, the same kits cost $179+ everywhere else they are sold. The kit also includes a plastic tent I actually set up today, because we are having frost tonight.

When setting up the frames before putting on the actual tent, I realized that I can clip tulle and shade cloth onto these also!
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Here it is with the tent (got to protect those strawberries from the frost!). The tent has two flaps that can be zipped open to expose a mesh panel or unzipped to be completely open:
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Post  WolfHeart on 5/4/2011, 10:27 pm

What a Face What a Face What a Face

Renee,
those are amazing looking!

Joy! Joy! Joy! 657780 with how much work you put into this. I can't wait to see the journey your gardens take over the summer. looking forward to more pictures as the season continues.
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Post  Glendale-gardener on 5/4/2011, 10:41 pm

Renee, your beds look great!! I hear you on not wanting to waste a second of that weather we had over the weekend, where is that weather now?! It sounds like you and your Mom had a nice early mother's day bonding time!
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Post  MasonGarden on 5/4/2011, 10:48 pm

Thanks, Wolfheart & GG! I am looking forward to seeing all of the Cincinnati/No. Kentucky harvests that come out of this crazy rainy spring we've had. And yes, it was an early Mother's Day bonding experience for us. We usually head out to the garden center to pick up flowers for planting on that day, but decided to go "all out" and set up a garden this year! What fun!
yahoo
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