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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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Monthly Avatar Theme for August: Show off your Garden!

+17
ericam
darci.strutt
Boz
Turan
greatgranny
Josh
Gilly21
gregrenee88
southern gardener
CapeCoddess
littlesapphire
GWN
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LittleGardener
RoOsTeR
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21 posters

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Post  gregrenee88 8/4/2012, 4:04 pm

darci.strutt wrote:Hopefully my avatar updated! I struggle with such things some days. The garden has been wonderful this first year!! I'm loving it!
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Very pretty! I'm guessing you have trouble with deer due to the fence?
Renee
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/4/2012, 6:10 pm

Boz, good for you! I can't get spinach to grow right now to save my soul. What zone are you in?

Darci, lots of footage in that pretty garden. What's growing in there?

CC
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Post  darci.strutt 8/4/2012, 10:39 pm

We have deer and rabbits! The fence is a must. The deer mesh is nearly invisible so it doesn't hinder the view of the veggies - LOVE that! I anchored it with cinder block planted with flowers on the sides, and flower beds in front, and enjoy them too.

We've eaten well this first year - spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, radish, peas, beet, carrot, kohlrabi, turnip (though only enjoyed the leaves since the root didn't form for me), rutabaga, cilantro, basil, zucchini, tomato, beans - and hopefully soon...cucumber, peppers, acorn squash, parsnip, and some sunflower seeds. I have seeds to plant for a fall crop of spinach, lettuce, kale, arugula, and more radish. Next year I'm planning to plant more leaf crops in the spring since we didn't have enough. And just maybe cut back on the zucchini which did VERY well this year...
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Post  southern gardener 8/5/2012, 12:07 am

darci.strutt wrote:We have deer and rabbits! The fence is a must. The deer mesh is nearly invisible so it doesn't hinder the view of the veggies - LOVE that! I anchored it with cinder block planted with flowers on the sides, and flower beds in front, and enjoy them too.

We've eaten well this first year - spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, radish, peas, beet, carrot, kohlrabi, turnip (though only enjoyed the leaves since the root didn't form for me), rutabaga, cilantro, basil, zucchini, tomato, beans - and hopefully soon...cucumber, peppers, acorn squash, parsnip, and some sunflower seeds. I have seeds to plant for a fall crop of spinach, lettuce, kale, arugula, and more radish. Next year I'm planning to plant more leaf crops in the spring since we didn't have enough. And just maybe cut back on the zucchini which did VERY well this year...
wow! congrats on a nice season!! cheers cheers
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Post  Boz 8/5/2012, 12:35 am

CC
I don't have spinach growing I just planted a fall crop. I have been using beet tops and Swiss Chard for my greens during the heat of the summer.
Your garden looks like it is doing good.
Boz
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Post  ericam 8/5/2012, 3:43 am

Everyone's gardens are looking great, puts my little garden to shame! Laughing

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Can't get it as my avatar whilst I'm on the iPad, but thought I'd share anyway. Smile

Big space at the back of the closest bed was my mandarin tree but it died so I pulled it out today and move the pansies and strawberries that were there as well. Just need to get some more tomato stakes for a new grid and 6 more squares, here I come!
ericam
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Post  gregrenee88 8/5/2012, 1:28 pm

ericam wrote:Everyone's gardens are looking great, puts my little garden to shame! Laughing

Monthly Avatar Theme for August:  Show off your Garden! - Page 2 1a07c327

Can't get it as my avatar whilst I'm on the iPad, but thought I'd share anyway. Smile

Big space at the back of the closest bed was my mandarin tree but it died so I pulled it out today and move the pansies and strawberries that were there as well. Just need to get some more tomato stakes for a new grid and 6 more squares, here I come!

It looks great! Since you are in the southern hemisphere you are in the middle of your cold season. I see you are growing stawberries...how cold do your nights get? Do you ever get any snow? I've never been to Australia but it is neat talking to someone who is just starting their gardening season when we are over half way through ours.
Renee What a Face


Last edited by gregrenee88 on 8/5/2012, 1:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : reword)
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Post  ericam 8/5/2012, 6:00 pm

Thanks Renee, no snow here, don't even get frosts at my house as I'm on one of the higher parts of the suburb. We do get the occasional frost down the hill but in the 12 years I've been at my house I think I've only seen 1-2 frosts in my yard.

The closest place that gets snow is the Blue Mountains (about 1 1/2 hours drive from me) but that is only occasionally.

Night time temps get down to around 3-4C (37F) on average. Daytime maximum is around 15C (59F), 20C (68F) if it's a warm day.
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Post  llama momma 8/5/2012, 6:05 pm

This is my first ever Mortgage Lifter. To me it is a monster. Bigger than my hand. The 2nd picture shows the "U" shape even better.
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Post  littlesapphire 8/5/2012, 6:10 pm

Wow, that thing is a monster! I just read the other day that they can get to be four pounds but I thought it was an exaggeration. I guess I was wrong!
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Post  llama momma 8/5/2012, 6:33 pm

After you replied I had to cut it up to fit the pieces on my little wt. watcher scale which only goes up to 1 pound. It was 21 oz. and just under 5 inches long - not a prize winner, still the biggest one for this 2 year newbie Very Happy
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Post  southern gardener 8/5/2012, 6:39 pm

Monthly Avatar Theme for August:  Show off your Garden! - Page 2 3170584802 Monthly Avatar Theme for August:  Show off your Garden! - Page 2 3170584802 What a Face What a Face wow!! congrats!!
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Post  Josh 8/5/2012, 7:13 pm

llama momma wrote:This is my first ever Mortgage Lifter. To me it is a monster. Bigger than my hand. The 2nd picture shows the "U" shape even better.
Monthly Avatar Theme for August:  Show off your Garden! - Page 2 8-5-1210
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WOW cheers Be sure to put it in the BIG STUFF photo album, no one has any tomatoes in there yet...it might be a winner!!!
Josh
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Post  camprn 8/5/2012, 7:18 pm

Josh wrote:
llama momma wrote:This is my first ever Mortgage Lifter. To me it is a monster. Bigger than my hand. The 2nd picture shows the "U" shape even better.
Monthly Avatar Theme for August:  Show off your Garden! - Page 2 8-5-1210
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WOW cheers Be sure to put it in the BIG STUFF photo album, no one has any tomatoes in there yet...it might be a winner!!!
I have to try the mortgage lifter next year. That surely is a beautiful tomato!!

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Post  llama momma 8/5/2012, 7:21 pm

Ok Josh, I'll put it in there as a starting point for other contributers Smile

Thanks camprn!
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/6/2012, 11:55 am

Holey moley! Nice!

What I can't figure out is how come you have a ginormous red mater in zone 6, and I can't even get my cherrys to turn from green in zone 6....?

CC
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Post  camprn 8/6/2012, 12:23 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Holey moley! Nice!

What I can't figure out is how come you have a ginormous red mater in zone 6, and I can't even get my cherrys to turn from green in zone 6....?

CC
USDA Hardiness zones refer to temperature extremes only, not growing conditions. To answer your question, find out the Growing Degree Days for your area. The link is to a calculator that will give your local information.

The old saying'to everything there is a season' speaks to this. You both may be in zone 6 but he may have more consistent heat over the course of days or weeks than you do at your location, which will make his tomatoes ripen faster.


:scratch: study

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Post  CapeCoddess 8/6/2012, 12:40 pm

Camp, I don't understand that calculator. If I put in 02645, what temp do I use and why? Also, it seems I'd use 2011 & 2010 to get the avg of ....what...I don't know.

If I use 70 degrees, it says
Growing Degree
Days (GDD):
2011 = 236.0 GDD
2010 = 298.5 GDD
Average** = 0.0 GDD

I have no idea what this means...that I have zero days at 70???
Feeling pretty dense right about now. Embarassed

CC
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Post  llama momma 8/6/2012, 3:18 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Holey moley! Nice!

What I can't figure out is how come you have a ginormous red mater in zone 6, and I can't even get my cherrys to turn from green in zone 6....?

CC

CC -- Maybe 13 + hours of sunlight forces them to turn big and red? Used extra compost, llama tea, and eggshells, or maybe its plain old beginners luck in addition to camprn's input. :scratch:
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Post  gwennifer 8/6/2012, 3:24 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Camp, I don't understand that calculator.

Camprn beat me to the punch - I was going to offer to explain the differences in growing seasons for different locations the same way. (Thanks to boffer for clueing me into GDD's!)

Here's the short answer: First, let's call them growing degree units, or heat units instead of growing degree days. It's much less confusing since more than one unit can accumulate per day. More than one day per day just doesn't make sense!

Second, all plants have a base temperature below which they do not grow. Simplistically, this is 40 degrees for cool season plants and 50 degrees for warm season plants. Tomatoes are a warm season plant, so lets use 50 degrees as the base. So any time the temperature is above fifty, the tomato plant can grow (assuming all other needs are met). The more heat units the plant gets, the more it grows. And remember, more than one heat unit can accumulate per day.

Let's assume all things are equal and do a comparison between you and llama momma. We'll say you both planted identical tomato plants on May 1st. Using the calculator, select 50 degrees as a baseline and a date range from May 1st of this year to yesterday, August 5th. Plug in your zipcode first, and use the same date range and baseline temp with zipcode 43102 for llama momma in Amanda, Ohio. Here's what we get:

zip code 43102: 2171.5 GDD's
zip code 02645: 1499.5 GDD's

So llama mommas tomatoes have been able to soak up 672 more heat units then your tomatoes. Nearly 45% more! Very simply speaking, her tomatoes are 45% further along then yours. Makes sense then, that she would have ripe tomatoes before you, right?

I hope that helps!
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Post  camprn 8/6/2012, 3:42 pm

+1 the base temp indicates growth, or cell division within the plant. I know the GDD can be tough to wrap ones brain around but keep mulling it over and it will eventually make sense. Very Happy


Last edited by camprn on 8/6/2012, 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  CapeCoddess 8/6/2012, 4:05 pm

Wow Gwennifer! That was amazing! I totally get it!
Thanks so much.

Now, what about the other end of the temp spectrum? Like I read in the Mother Earth News link that maters stop growing around 90 degrees to kick into survival mode. Is there a calculator for that?

CC
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Post  littlesapphire 8/6/2012, 4:09 pm

Gwennifer, thank you for that explanation! GDDs have stumped me for a long time, but your simple explanation has really helped me as well Very Happy
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Post  camprn 8/6/2012, 4:13 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Wow Gwennifer! That was amazing! I totally get it!
Thanks so much.

Now, what about the other end of the temp spectrum? Like I read in the Mother Earth News link that maters stop growing around 90 degrees to kick into survival mode. Is there a calculator for that?

CC
I think all you need is a thermometer for confirmation of that. What a Face

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  southern gardener 8/6/2012, 4:48 pm

gwennifer wrote:
CapeCoddess wrote:Camp, I don't understand that calculator.

Camprn beat me to the punch - I was going to offer to explain the differences in growing seasons for different locations the same way. (Thanks to boffer for clueing me into GDD's!)

Here's the short answer: First, let's call them growing degree units, or heat units instead of growing degree days. It's much less confusing since more than one unit can accumulate per day. More than one day per day just doesn't make sense!

Second, all plants have a base temperature below which they do not grow. Simplistically, this is 40 degrees for cool season plants and 50 degrees for warm season plants. Tomatoes are a warm season plant, so lets use 50 degrees as the base. So any time the temperature is above fifty, the tomato plant can grow (assuming all other needs are met). The more heat units the plant gets, the more it grows. And remember, more than one heat unit can accumulate per day.

Let's assume all things are equal and do a comparison between you and llama momma. We'll say you both planted identical tomato plants on May 1st. Using the calculator, select 50 degrees as a baseline and a date range from May 1st of this year to yesterday, August 5th. Plug in your zipcode first, and use the same date range and baseline temp with zipcode 43102 for llama momma in Amanda, Ohio. Here's what we get:

zip code 43102: 2171.5 GDD's
zip code 02645: 1499.5 GDD's

So llama mommas tomatoes have been able to soak up 672 more heat units then your tomatoes. Nearly 45% more! Very simply speaking, her tomatoes are 45% further along then yours. Makes sense then, that she would have ripe tomatoes before you, right?

I hope that helps!

Thank you for that explanation! once you said "units" instead of "days" it made sense! I was so confused as to how we'd have 675 etc days?? I get it now Smile
southern gardener
southern gardener

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Join date : 2011-06-21
Age : 43
Location : california, zone 10a

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