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Hello Guest!
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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Material between 4x4 boxes.

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Post  msfriedman 4/4/2010, 10:36 pm

Hi all, I've been SFG for a few years and love it! I have about 16 4x4 boxes and few other ones. In between the boxes we have grass. I've found it is too hard to keep up with the grass and the bugs... Anyway, I'm looking to remove the grass and put down another surface, such as bluestone dust or gravel. Do you have any suggestions on what you used? Thanks, Martin
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Post  daisyhill 4/6/2010, 8:06 am

My husband wanted to grow grass between our beds, but I could see that very quickly turning into a jungle so I put my foot down. Instead, we covered everyting with weed matting and put down 30cm square concrete pavers as stepping stones. We haven't quite agreed on whether to use bark or pebbles to fill the gaps, but even with just the bare weed mat it looks quite neat and is very low-maintenance. In addition, the concrete acts like a heat sink and keeps the temperature up for a little while after the sun goes down.

We got a very good deal on the pavers by going to the manufacturer and buying factory seconds. They're not flawless but it's a veggie garden, so who cares? Material between 4x4 boxes. Icon_biggrin
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Post  new2this 4/6/2010, 8:18 am

Hi Martin
I dont' have any suggestions for you, but I do hope you share pictures if you can. I would love to see what you come up with.
I do like Daisyhill's idea of big pavers; I saw the before and after pictures she posted in another thread, and those pavers look really nice and neat.

I agree with you though.....mowing and trimming around those beds would be tedious. I only have 2 beds and I will lay rock between mine soon; that way the mower will zip around the area no problem!
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Post  Theresa 4/9/2010, 8:58 am

This is what we use between our SFG's, it is a cement stone look walk. My husband has a mold that he uses to make it with. He doesn't remove the grass, he just pours the cement right on top of it. I remove any grass from between the box and walk and I've added different ground covers to the area around the boxes to keep any weeds or grass from growing there. As we add new boxes to our SFG area, he adds more walk.
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Post  chocolatepop 4/9/2010, 9:49 am

Theresa, are you coming to Mid Michigan any time soon? Material between 4x4 boxes. Icon_eek

WOW...WOW...where did he get that kind of mold?
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Post  boffer 4/9/2010, 10:00 am

@chocolatepop wrote:
WOW...WOW...where did he get that kind of mold?

The big box stores usually have them in the dept. where they sell concrete supplies. I have a couple that make different size rectangles and squares. It's a fun project. The mold is 2x2 feet and takes one 60 lb. sack of pre-mix for each mold pour. That's about 80 cents a square foot.
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Post  chocolatepop 4/9/2010, 10:13 am

Niece is going shopping after class.... yeah I'm on SFG forum IN my grad course.... Material between 4x4 boxes. Icon_twisted
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Post  Theresa 4/9/2010, 10:17 am

He got the mold at Lowes. We have two different kinds, one looks like bricks and then I really liked the stone look for my flower garden, and our SFG's. They also have cement color that you can add, there are several colors of red and dark gray to choose from.
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Post  nursekat424 5/10/2010, 9:06 am

i love the pyramid "box" you have. how did you (or your husband) make it. i would love to have my hubby make me something similiar. you have an amazing garden.
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Post  Toastie 5/10/2010, 11:09 pm

I put oak leaves between the rows. Hoping to keep the soil under it somewhat moist so it does not wick away the water from my boxes
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Post  chocolatepop 5/10/2010, 11:18 pm

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Post  Megan 5/10/2010, 11:19 pm

I love the concrete molds and the idea of gravel, but I need something more knee-friendly. Any alternatives to mulch?
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Post  chocolatepop 5/10/2010, 11:21 pm

what about shredded rubber? straw?
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Post  Megan 5/10/2010, 11:26 pm

I looked briefly into shredded rubber but I don't think I can afford it. Straw, love the idea but I am worried about how it would look? My garden is literally in my front yard and I have my HOA to worry about.
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Post  chocolatepop 5/10/2010, 11:44 pm

yeah that rubber can be expensive, I only put it in a small area around my boxes (in between two three boxes) and the pea gravel on the back side.

Yeah, your HOA would have a fit with the straw, unless you were growing grass probably.what about a steppable ground cover?
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Post  Megan 5/11/2010, 12:04 am

I have grass, ripped up a fair chunk of it to build the beds. I am thinking of tearing up more, though, because I have some vining crops coming (I hope!) and am worried about how it will look with unmowed grass growing through spillover from the SFGs. Some of that will be inevitable, I know, not to mention the mess of the vines themselves. I have grown a couple squash plants/etc in the past and no one said anything, but if everything comes up this year, I am going to have one heck of a lot of biomass in my front yard! Worst case scenario, I'd have to tear most of it out and put in flowers (and cry!), so I'm trying to keep it as neat as I can and looking good. So far nothing but positives from the neighbors. (Of course, they all want tomatoes! Very Happy)

What is a steppable ground cover? Do you mean something growing?
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Post  chocolatepop 5/11/2010, 12:23 am

haahaa, keep sweeting them up with tomatoes then!

here is the brand my green house sells
http://www.stepables.com/
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Post  Megan 5/11/2010, 12:26 am

Thanks chocolatepop, I will definitely read through that when I am more awake! Thank you for listening.
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Post  ander217 5/11/2010, 9:40 am

We just finished placing a thick layer of straw between our boxes and beds, but now I'm questioning the wisdom of that.

We have what appears to be a vole problem, and everything I'm reading says to keep the garden free of debris to eliminate any hiding places for voles.

Also, we have lots of squash bugs, and I'm thinking straw paths will give them a nice place to overwinter.

Has anyone had problems using straw?
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Post  miinva 5/11/2010, 9:50 am

We didn't tear up the grass when we put our gardens in, so it's just grass between our boxes.

Megan, have you considered trellising? Supposedly those vining plants will grow upward just as happily as they'll grow along the ground. We're going to try trellising our cucumbers, although the cold got them pretty badly the last couple of night Sad
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Post  nursekat424 5/11/2010, 10:49 am

ohhh, thanks sosososo much chocolatepop, this is awsome!!!!!!!!! cant wait to build one with my hubby!!!!!
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Post  aspiegardner 5/11/2010, 12:39 pm

Okay I like those stepables. I have the garden in the back yard and the center is supposed to be dug out and new grass plant.

But now I'm going you can't tell it isn't grass LOL.

Where the garden boxes are I keep debating ground cover or grass most of it is boxes with stepping stone butterflys and I just need something so its not dirt.

Too many options.
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Post  Megan 5/11/2010, 5:51 pm

Miinva, I will be trellising several things, but not the squash. Those are my main concern.
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Post  miinva 5/11/2010, 8:32 pm

I'm pretty sure that you can trellis squash, but I haven't tried it personally. I have all kinds of ideas for things to try, like building two long narrow beds and putting an arch over top of them and then planting pole beans in both beds that climb toward each other Smile A squash bed with a big, strong trellis to keep my squash off the ground is on the list too.
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Post  Megan 5/11/2010, 9:38 pm

I'm trying the Three Sisters setup that uses corn, beans and squash. The corn will already be trellising the beans (I hope!), so the squash will be on its own. I have grown squash here before and I know how big it can get, so, I am a bit afraid Smile May have to do some pruning of it, too!
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