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What will you do differently this year? Toplef10What will you do differently this year? 1zd3ho10

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.

What will you do differently this year? I22gcj10What will you do differently this year? 14dhcg10

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What will you do differently this year?

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quiltbea
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Post  johnsonjlj 1/9/2013, 7:56 pm

This will be our 3rd year gardening (the second year using the sfg method) and I've discovered that each season brings something new we want to try. Changes for us in our 2013 garden:

- Adding two 4'x12' beds, along with long 1' or 2' wide beds against the fence for cucumbers & melons.
- Developing a drip irrigation system on timers (needed in our hot, humid Florida summers!)
- Starting ALL of our plants from seed. I just received our new grow light today and our seeds and planting trays should be in this week. (Just in time- we're almost ready to start planting!!) Laughing
- I think I've convinced hubby to try potatoes!

What changes are you going to be making to your garden this year?


Last edited by johnsonjlj on 1/9/2013, 8:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Addition)
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Post  deriter 1/9/2013, 8:07 pm

I am not going to start my tomatoes as early as I did last year. I going to follow the book closer.

I am going to try a couple bales of straw.

I want to build a table and use those 2x3 plastic boxes from lowes.

I will water my garden more frequently!

That's my plan.
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Post  Lemonie 1/9/2013, 9:50 pm

Where do I start?
1) Will be trying winter sowing of cold plants as my indoor seed start area is too small and got overwhelming last year. (translated- many lost!) Sad
2) bigger and sturdier rain barrel system w/ soaker hose hook up.
3) 2nd compost tumbler so one can "cook" while we fill the other.
4) More organic pest prevention/control. I always start w/ this but get lazy and pay for it big time.
5) No potatoes this year! I've done them twice and spent a lot of space, time and energy for a handful of tater tots. Will be trying zuchinni and maybe celery instead.
6) Starting a small scale wormery. Smile

My husband is just glad that I've agreed to no make the garden bigger this year. But he might compromise but letting me hack down the hideous shrubs in the front and put in blueberry bushes.
rahrah
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Post  GWN 1/9/2013, 10:11 pm

OH YES ...... blueberry bushes, require very little work and the sooner you get them in, the sooner you will have large blueberry bushes.

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Post  bwaynef 1/9/2013, 10:59 pm

I'm not going to start my tomatoes so LATE this year. (Actually, I'm significantly upgrading my seed-starting infrastructure w/ new 4-bulb t8s, a heat mat, ...and a newly cleaned spot in the garage near sunlight for when I'm hardening the seedlings off.) Everything should be in place by the weekend. I'll likely start the peppers soon.

I'm going to water, perhaps automatedly, on a more regular schedule ...and w/ soaker hoses where possible allowing me the freedom to vacation if the opportunity presents itself.

I'm going to catch the squash bugs before they've devastated my plants/harvest. (I'm hearing Dwarf Marigolds in/around may help here also.)

I'm going to grow peppers and possibly eggplant in pots ...since I have the pots and I'm reading they like their roots hot to really get them producing. This will give me more room to grow the wonderful varieties of squash I've found and all those yummy melon seeds that keep showing up.

I'm going to save seed. (This involves hand pollinating the cucurbits ...or at least the ones I'm going to save seeds from.)

I've acquired seeds for a really large Pumpkin (Atlantic Giant variety of some sort. I'd have to check the notes) so I'm toying with the possibility of that challenge.

I'm going to figure out how to grow beans and peas!
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Post  Goosegirl 1/10/2013, 10:12 am

I am cutting down the variety of what I plant (read: no experiments this year!) and concentrate on what we will definitely freeze/can to use all winter. Only 3 varieties of toms instead of 15, corn this year, and LOTS more potatoes!

GG

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Post  littlejo 1/10/2013, 11:09 am

I am putting Marigolds in each bed, maybe it will help. I also plan on planting a bed of blooming flowers, maybe a 'fake' garden, some squash, cukes, a few hundred feet from my sfg, to maybe get some of the bugs to go there?
I'm also starting most everything in pots or in the house. I'm putting cornmeal on all the beds to help combat the blights, but cornmeal inhibits seed from sprouting.
I've got an extra compost bin working, hope it will be ready soon, lots of compost on all beds. I have worm castings, about 15 gals. Will make worm tea to use maybe weekly, for extra fertilizer.
I've ordered some mini type seeds, peppers, toms, will plant in hanging pots on the porch, much better to eat, than grow flowers!
Will save seeds this yr. I have been making lots of tulle bags.
I plan on using mulch on the beds to help keeping the beds cool and maybe will keep the beds from drying out so quickly.

Still haven't found how to combat the millipedes. They were bad last yr. I may have to resort to chemicals and I don't want to do that, but they devastated my strawberries.
Jo
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Post  kat51415 1/10/2013, 1:33 pm


Planting fewer varieties because we didn't get enough to really put up last year. Mostly tomatoes, potatoes, beans and turnip greens. Some squash, a few cucumbers, a couple plants each of canteloupes, watermelons and pumpkins for the grandkids. With the drought last year, we almost killed our fish in the pond using water from it to irrigate the garden so no large corn patch this year. We were covered up with cucumber beetles the last half of the season so ALL the marigolds and nasturtiums WILL get planted this year. We stagger planted last year and for our family, it didn't give us the volume we needed so everything gets planted at once this year. All the SFG boxes will be tomatoes this year but not so many plants per box. They grew so thickly that we couldn't get to them to pick them. Also, growing only cooking tomatoes this year, no slicers. Again, everything is heirloom. No GMO or hybrids allowed.
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Post  WolfHeart 1/10/2013, 2:35 pm

for 2013 I am using some lessons I learned from 2012:

1) I am going to plant more onions, but not close together. last year I planted four square feet in a row and they over took the area and I couldn't plant anything in the surrounding areas

2) I am going to pay attention to how many to plant per square.....I put 9( Shocked ) shallots in a square when it should have only been 4, this also was next to my onions it looked a hot mess

3) I am going to build a better backbone. Last year I put in a new 4x4x10" box and dedicated the time to hunting down good compost. the difference between that one and my other two was amazing. so this year I am going to build better backbones for those two boxes.
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Post  1airdoc 1/10/2013, 3:51 pm

After two seasons of having great gardens to start with, only to face devastation by insects despite trying all the organic advice I could reasonably implement while working fulltime, I will probably give up on trying to do 100% organic gardening.
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Post  Pollinator 1/10/2013, 10:20 pm

littlejo wrote:
Still haven't found how to combat the millipedes.
Jo

I discovered last year when I put out pans of beer for slugs, that I caught more millipedes than slugs. Hundreds of them. Might help.

Dave
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Post  littlejo 1/10/2013, 11:13 pm

Pollinator wrote:
littlejo wrote:
Still haven't found how to combat the millipedes.
Jo

I discovered last year when I put out pans of beer for slugs, that I caught more millipedes than slugs. Hundreds of them. Might help.

Dave
I did not try the beer for the millipedes, but tried putting fruit out for them to eat, this worked but I had millions, and I really mean millions. I may try the beer to see if they are attracted to it, my slugs didn't even bother with it! They were in my strawberry beds. Maybe if I use frozen strawberries to attract them to the beer to drown? I may have to resort to a non organic method, sevin will kill them, but at twice the % than for other bugs.I really hate to do that to my garden.
Jo
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Post  Lemonie 1/11/2013, 2:57 pm

Pollinator wrote:
littlejo wrote:
Still haven't found how to combat the millipedes.
Jo

I discovered last year when I put out pans of beer for slugs, that I caught more millipedes than slugs. Hundreds of them. Might help.

Dave

I will definitely be trying beer traps for slugs. This guy and his family came in droves last year. Yes, that is a US quarter to show size.
I also heard that using Epsom salt in your soil helps get rid of them and is beneficial to the plants.

[img]What will you do differently this year? Giants10[/img]
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Post  CapeCoddess 1/11/2013, 3:17 pm

Oh that's just gross, Lemonie. Altho I have to say he's a lot prettier than mine.

This year I will grow alot more foods that I actually buy at the store when without, and less foods that I know nothing about.

CC
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Post  llama momma 1/11/2013, 3:29 pm

This year add 2 more boxes and add a new cattle panal arch.
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Post  plantoid 1/11/2013, 3:44 pm

I'm putting in an order for some sunshine instead of liquid sunshine . Wink
Will try dwarf sweet corn , lemon grass and some massive Italian tomatoes all in mother earth beds rather than take up valuable space in my MM beds.

I'll also be much more consciencious with my seed & sowing sheets than I was .. there are big gaps in periods of family deaths , funerals etc. and as a result I didn't get the full benefit of doing all my sucessional sowings .

I've also put various lists on eXcel as spread shets . this will be updated in a few days or as I've just made some hand written note of used seeds and replacements etc.

I've also started sowings under my UV lamps in my heatbed . So I'd better get the greenhouse cleaned and sterilized much earlier than last year ready to take the new plants in as cold frame stock in pots. For on checking this morning I see all 10 lettuces have germinated and are 1/4 inch tall , all 10 Kabuki cauli seeds have sprouted and they are now Just 1/3 inch high .

I hope to have many many more celery stumps taken on for further cultivation in MM as the nine or so I did last year were all a great success.

We need to obtain some more nematode slug killer much earlier than last year so we have it by mid March to get maximum effect .
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Post  littlejo 1/11/2013, 5:43 pm

Couple of questions: Does epsom salts do anything to the ph of the soil?

I want to get some lights for starting seeds this yr. Since I won't be growing all the way to flowering stage, do I have to get grow bulbs, or will regular bulbs do? I'm lost when I get into spectrums and kelvins, etc.
Thanks, Jo
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Post  CharlesB 1/11/2013, 6:35 pm

littlejo wrote:Couple of questions: Does epsom salts do anything to the ph of the soil?

No

littlejo wrote:
I want to get some lights for starting seeds this yr. Since I won't be growing all the way to flowering stage, do I have to get grow bulbs, or will regular bulbs do? I'm lost when I get into spectrums and kelvins, etc.
Thanks, Jo

You don't need grow bulbs. I just bought these two from 1000bulbs.com...

FC105-S41OD 105 Watt - CFL - 400 W Equal - Cool White - 80 CRI - 65 Lumens per Watt - 24 Month Warranty - GCP 206 1 $18.69ea

FC105-S27OD 105 Watt - CFL - 420 W Equal - 2700K Warm White - 80 CRI - 68 Lumens per Watt - 15 Month Warranty - GCP 168 1 $18.14ea
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Post  plantoid 1/11/2013, 6:37 pm

Most light bulbs produce heat with light . the light is called a light frequency or light wave .
The type of light produced by different bulbs relies on how the bulb is made .
Plants require a range of light conditions called the plant growth spectrum and heat enought to germinate and grow .
The light wave is measured in frequency & also measured by the colour of the light produced Bulbs called grow lights have the required band of light frequencies required .
Light is split into the colours of the rainbow called the spectrum , plants need a certain range of frequency's in the light spectrum to grow and carry out photosynthasis.
Ordinary light bulbs including fluroescent tubes do not have all the frequencies needed for quality growth & deveelopment but some will have enough of them to produce mediocre plants .

Usually a light with good plant growing qualities will be refered to as a " grow light " Those CFL's ...compact fluroescent lamps do have quite a range of growing light just don't singe the plants with the mild heat they give off.
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Post  CindiLou 1/12/2013, 6:01 pm


What will you do differently this year? Giants10

Hubby says that is what the giant slug "Giant Transylvania Red-Ear slug" flat car was built to transport! rofl

He has a garden railroad and this was a car he entered into a contest. Tied for second place.

What will you do differently this year? 10171110
What will you do differently this year? 10171111
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Post  Turan 1/12/2013, 11:11 pm

CindiLou wrote:
What will you do differently this year? 10171111
rofl

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Post  GWN 1/14/2013, 5:59 pm

WOW cindylou no wild animals will be excaping that one... no way. rofl
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Post  GWN 1/14/2013, 6:48 pm

Hmmm this is a very good question. This year I will plant less tomatoes, (been saying that for years) LESS beans, they are great fresh but I really have not used them as much frozen OR canned.
I will plant MORE PEAS for shelling. I did freeze some but really could have used a lot more.
I will watch my pepper plants MUCH more closely and pot them up sooner (this last year I was not paying attention and did not notice they were not growing at all for about a month)
I will try VERy hard not to plant indoors until at least February.OKOK I will try HARDER than I did last year not to plant indoors before February.
I am going to try to simplify my watering system with soaker hoses, we have a complex system with all those little attachments and for the most part, I feel that I never really knew what was being watered enough last year. Soaker hoses seem more predictable
I will plant more carrots and mark them better and I might even leave pieces of wood on the bed, so I can just lift them up and dig carrots.
I will mark where EVERYTHING is, so when the snow comes and my DH is plowing......... affraid
I will be MUCH more careful with my squashes and cross pollinating, now that I have so many heirloom/open pollinated squash. I will keep them all apart instead of having a "squash area" where I made 6 mounds and planted 6 totally different kinds of squash (goodness sakes, big mistakes Embarassed ) I am sure that there are a million other things.. but we will see
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Post  littlejo 1/14/2013, 6:54 pm

I sure hope I don't find a slug that big! If I do, well, I think the garden is on it's own!
Jo
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Post  Goosegirl 1/14/2013, 8:45 pm

GWN wrote:.....I will try VERy hard not to plant indoors until at least February.OKOK I will try HARDER than I did last year not to plant indoors before February.....

rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl

With you there!!! Just planted a round pot with marigold seeds and an oblong herb pot with lettuce, spinach, and basil for a mini indoor garden just to satisfy the urge!

GG

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