Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  michelleisgroovy on 3/8/2012, 11:31 am

Hello,
I am new here, and thought I would stop in, wipe my feet and say hi! I am trying to learn about SQF, I just recently moved to the Washington DC area and we are living on post, I had a regular in ground garden in West Virginia at my house, which produced a lot but, eh, it wasn't so good. So, I want to try SQFG since I am not sure how the Army feels about be digging up their ground, and I am not sure how the soil is. One thing I can't seem to figure out is how much Mel's Mix to use in each 4x4 raised bed. So I am going to look around on this site to see what I can find, also, does anyone live in Northern VA, who can tell me what grows well there? I am wondering about berries and melons mostly. I have never grown fruit before.
Thanks!
Nice to meet all of you,
Michelle
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Age : 45
Location : Fort Belvoir, Va

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Post  sfg4uKim on 3/8/2012, 11:59 am

Hello from DC! 61949 Michelle and welcome to the Forum.

Here's a Mel's Mix Calculator. which should help. I've got to tell you though, a 4x4 says 8 cf total, but I usually use 9 cf and "mound" it a little because it tends to settle. Don't forget to water VERY WELL in between each 2" layer of Mix. It's hard to get the peat moistened all the way, but it MUST be done.

When you have a chance, check out the Mid-Atlantic Regional Forum. I try to put things there that are specific to our area.

Have you been able to find vermiculite & your 5 different types of compost yet? LOL don't forget to read the ingredients on each bag as some of them may also contain peat (up to 90% peat only only 10% compost!).

Kim

____________________________

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Post  michelleisgroovy on 3/8/2012, 3:59 pm

Excellent, thank you for the calculator, I haven't started trying to gather my supplies yet, every time I get the time and energy to do it, I have to make a trip to Pittsburgh for some medical junk. I need in my garden, I need some therapy. I will check the contents for sure, I usually just buy gardening soil, is there a reason this mix is better for sfg? I am going to go check out what grows well now. Thanks!
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Post  sfg4uKim on 3/8/2012, 4:37 pm

If you go to the Home page of the Forum you will see the word "Hover" in the upper left corner. If you put your cursor on one of the "bumps" just under "Hover" you will see a bunch of great "beginning SFG" topics.

The first one is "Mel's Mix is the Heart and Soul of SFG". This explains beautifully why MM is MUCH better than anything else you could grow in. Here's the article: Mel's Mix

The second article explains why 5 components are used.

LOL if you PCS overseas, you will want to use part of your weight allowance for peat moss & vermiculite. Wink Trust me. Been there, wish I'd done that when we were in Germany.

There is also a Regional Forum which you might want to pop on (also found on the Home page - just scroll down). Although VA is in the Mid-Atlantic, for purposes of this Forum, depending on where you live, you are probably considered Upper South. They will be able to tell you more about what grows well in your area. But this should get you started: Cultivars for VA

Have you had the chance to read the All New Square Foot Gardening book yet?

____________________________

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


sfg4u.com
FB: Square Foot Gardening 4 U



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Post  bakermtb on 3/8/2012, 10:13 pm

Hi Michelle

Follow Kim's Guidelines. If you do not have the ANSFG book then go get it and read the section on the soil. As Kim said, It IS the main part of SFG. Follow what Mel wrote, he has done extensive research on the soils and it works.

If your near VA you may be able to get some Black Kow or Black Hen. They sell this in VA but not in Maryland. (Not sure who sells it in VA) You could use them as part of your 5 composts. (Read the bag before you buy it)

Mike (MD)
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Post  walshevak on 3/9/2012, 5:35 am

http://www.blackkow.com/_html/bkcomposotedmanure.htm

http://www.blackkow.com/_html/mushroomcompost.htm

Since I highly recommend the Black Kow products, Black Kow, Black Hen and Mushroom compost, Thought I would post links for their distribution map and the address for finding out where to buy it. They are out of FL and are mostly southeast.

Lowes carries it in some markets.

Kay

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