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Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

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Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  erbarnett on 6/4/2011, 1:02 pm

I think we all agree that this year's weather has been most unusual and has adversely affected our SFG's. My garden is doing OK. Everything is living but the plants are much smaller than I would have expected on this fourth day of June.

But what about your neighbor's garden. I know a lady who has described to me her husband's traditional garden. All of the potatoes have rotted, the seeds have been washed away, and plowing was delayed at least a month due to all of the rain. The early peas that were planted have rotted and will need to be planted over. He may wait until next year to plant a garden.

Does anyone have any stories to tell? I think I am glad to have this garden. I have already harvested a little of my lettuce.

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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  westie42 on 6/4/2011, 3:05 pm

Thanks for providing hope that getting into SFG after 50 years of regular gardening success is not going to be another boondoggle. The stories from my locality closely echo yours. So after a lot of work and fussing from my wife about the cost of it all and ten full rain barrels waiting for it to stop exercising the overflow it is nice to pause and enjoy hope. Certainly not in any political sense just plain honest hope.

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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/4/2011, 4:45 pm

I just held a SFG 201 class this morning (it covers the stuff after the 10 SFG Basics).

One of my students said that her neighbor was making fun of her SFG . . . you can't grow melons on that trellis . . . you're putting your plants too close together . . . you need to dig down further . . . you can't grow in 6" . . . and that soil mix . . . etc.

She says that every year he tills, plants, weeds then abandons his garden when it gets to be too much.

She attended our SFG 101 class and admitted that she had done some things incorrectly. To remedy this she has made 2 "pure" SFGs and has a couple of "traditional" boxes. She said that her boxes with "SFG4U Growing Medium" (we make our own version of MM) are doing MUCH better than the ones where she used her existing amended soil.

Her neighbor is almost at the "abandoning" stage and her SFGs are going strong. Now he's asking her . . . how do you do that? . . . what's the purpose of . . . I see there aren't any weeds . . . you're hardly every out here . . . etc.

happy hi Hi Neighbor!

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I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  Kelejan on 6/4/2011, 4:52 pm

Hurrah for your student, ksrosman.

Perhaps SFG will have another convert.
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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/4/2011, 7:39 pm

I don't want THAT convert if it takes three times to knock him off the stupid fence...lol. Just kidding. I'll take all the converts I can find. Some are just faster to find that the veggies ARE greener on our side of the fence. Great story!
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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  Old Hippie on 6/4/2011, 9:10 pm

ksroman wrote:
She said that her boxes with "SFG4U Growing Medium" (we make our own version of MM) are doing MUCH better than the ones where she used her existing amended soil.


I am curious about your version of Mel's Mix. I thought that as certified SFG teacher one was supposed to follow the prescribed formula.

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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/5/2011, 7:35 pm

Gwynn:

We DO follow Mel's formula - strictly. We're just not allowed to call what we sell "Mel's Mix" since Mel's reputation is on the line. We are allowed to call it a "Certified SFG Teacher's Growing Medium".

Kim

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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/7/2011, 5:36 pm

Kim, I think it is great that as a Certified SFG Instructor, you are able to make and sell great SFG soil and sell it to your students or others that are interested in SFG.

Making MM is a hard job, and new students may not be able to pick out good composts (not realizing some are full of fillers) and they may miss that tip about the peat moss fluffing to about double size. It is good for them to have an option that will allow them to have a better chance of success right out of the gate.
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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  Pam Nix on 6/7/2011, 5:49 pm

My elderly neighbors are constantly working their flower beds. Two days ago they went past my house and he said something to his wife about me being down on my knees. (I was sitting on the garden cart watering) She told him that he has to come up and see what's going on. (she knew since she'd already eyed it) He came up and looked and said "I've heard about these things" and just shook his head and returned home. Their curiosity is peaking and they will be back. Smile
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Older Folks

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/7/2011, 7:21 pm

When dealing with anyone over 50 I make sure to mention that it was developed by Mel in the 1970s. It seems to make them more at ease with the system.

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I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  tazman7 on 6/7/2011, 7:46 pm

I have a few neighbors (that I haven't talked with but take a nightly "stroll by" to check out their gardens progress) that have both raised bed gardens and traditional and they all look MUCH better than mine so far..I have one neighbor with a traditional garden who his plants have grown a foot this week in the hot weather, while mine are still at the same 6" today that they were a month ago...

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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  myhouseofBOYS on 6/7/2011, 10:17 pm

my results have varied. My neighbor who looks to be using amended topsoil in a raised bed an started his toms from seed around the same time as mine has bigger toms. His are as big as the ones I got from the nursery that are in MM in a modified table top (so the toms are growing in less than 6 inches of soil with no ability to grow deeper unlike his) which I'd say is 1/3 to 1/2 bigger than my starts. I have MM in a SWC with a zuchini (the best of the 3 I grew from seed) and it is growing pretty good and better than the 2 runts that I gave to my mom next door but they are starting to take off as well. Hers only seem to have male flowers thus far but that helped me out when all I had seemed to be females and it has been overcast for quite a while so no bee activity. Melons (moon and stars, orangleglo, crane melon and cataloupe) are refusing to grow this year... so really it is hard to tell. It appears my topsoil ammended neighbor has a leg up on me thus far. Only time will tell though.

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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  shannon1 on 6/8/2011, 12:43 am

@tazman7 wrote:I have a few neighbors (that I haven't talked with but take a nightly "stroll by" to check out their gardens progress) that have both raised bed gardens and traditional and they all look MUCH better than mine so far..I have one neighbor with a traditional garden who his plants have grown a foot this week in the hot weather, while mine are still at the same 6" today that they were a month ago...
Fear not Tazman, Those folks are I suspect are useing chemical fertlizer. Their gardens may look large and lush now but just wait. The pests just love large, lush, succulent vegies. Your plants grown naturaly will catch up and not be so over run with pests that you end up spraying poision all over your garden just to stay ahead of the little devils. I have been a strickly organic gardener since I started gardening over 20yrs ago and two things I have learned are organic gardens may not be as pretty as "traditional" gardens and they don't grow as fast, but the pay off is in the quality of the harvest.
I put traditional in quotation marks because if one goes back 100 years or so organic gardens were the tradition. The young woman, Jessie Youngblood, that won first prize this year in St.Johns county FL. organic division of the garden contest has a 85% SGF. I spoke to her after the awards banquet and she said when she moved (which will be soon) she will SFG 100%.
Do not lose faith. Hang in there and you will be rewarded. If your plants need a boost try a little manure tea, or side dress with earthworm castings. That should help. I hope this did not come off too "preachy". It is just that I want to reasure you that your garden will do well. Just follow the book, ask questions here if a problem arises and don't forget the search box.
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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  nancy on 6/8/2011, 9:44 am

Last night when I was at the community garden pulling weeds and watering, my garden neighbor Ed (who is in his 70s) came up to me to show me a snake he had caught. He spent several minutes telling me how great my garden looked and marveled at my lack of weeds. We all suffered the same wet spring and it is amazing to see the differences in each allotment. My lettuce is simply gorgeous, yet my broccoli never really developed. There is yet another neighbor whose broccolis are gorgeous. I think for us, it really depends on what you started at home or transplanted versus what you put in down there in addition to the raised beds. I'm the only one down there who practices sfg. Yet I truly expect that will change in the upcoming years.

A lot of how we look at our gardens is "the grass is greener". If you think your garden doesn't look very lush, take a step back and look at it from a different angle. Try another view.
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Re: Your SFG and Your Neighbor's Garden

Post  shannon1 on 6/9/2011, 12:13 am

My neighbor is reading my copy of the all new SFG book right now. I should say rereading it. I think he is a convert. What a Face
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