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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Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Hello Neighbors! Toplef10Hello Neighbors! 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.

Hello Neighbors! I22gcj10Hello Neighbors! 14dhcg10

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quiltbea
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Post  DirtFarmer 3/13/2013, 12:06 pm

Hi Fellow SFGs!

I live in Manteca (between Stockton and Modesto) and have been spying on this forum for a little while now... and I'm ready to jump in!

I've never done SFG, but I've read the book a couple of times, and have helped others garden (not SFG). I finally got my own little garden spot at our new house, and I'M READY! cheers

I should have started two months ago, since we Californians think it's spring already, but I just have to do what I can... maybe for my first go transplants will be better than seeds anyway.

I'm starting small, hoping to get my feet wet and not get discouraged by overdoing it. Tomatoes, squash, lettuce... just the basics for this year. I'm really looking forward to learning and growing this year.

DirtFarmer

P.S. I have nothing but plans on paper right now, but I hope to get pictures from start to finish - I love seeing the pictures of everyone's gardens; it's so helpful and motivating!
DirtFarmer
DirtFarmer

Posts : 14
Join date : 2013-03-13
Location : Manteca, CA (Zone 9)

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Post  mrsfish94 3/13/2013, 12:42 pm

We have a long growing season so, don't worry about not starting "on time". When the weather gets really hot...the plants shut down production but continue after the heat breaks.

I would start with tomato transplants first. Zucchini you can start from seed very easily. It is the one seed I can start with my eyes closed. Lettuce I would start from seed. But put it in the ground when you start. It might be too late to start eggplant and peppers. You could try direct sowing them. We are in for some warm weather for the next few days...they may germinate outside.

I hope this helps. I am not a super expert gardener. But I try every year...hopefully one year it will stick..lol!!!
mrsfish94
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Location : Central Valley, California

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Post  quiltbea 3/13/2013, 2:02 pm

Welcome to the forum. We love to see pictures.
You'll do well to start with some transplants this year. Its overwhelming to begin by starting your own seeds indoors. You need to get a little experience before you commit to that, I think.
Lettuce can be started right outdoors, spreading the seed on top of the soil. You don't even have to cover it, but keep the soil moist til it germinates.
How about some radishes? They are so fast from seed, you'll be eating them in 3-4 weeks.
Squashes also start easily directly sown outdoors.
Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant I'd buy started plants this first year. Have fun with it. Enjoy.
Let's see pics when you get your garden going.
Happy Gardening!
quiltbea
quiltbea

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Post  DirtFarmer 3/14/2013, 2:32 pm

Thank you for the info and encouragement. I picked up 2 cu ft of vermiculite at OSH today for $18.99 a bag (ouch!). Good thing we only need it once every ten years or so.

For anyone in CA looking for vermiculite, both OSH and Home Depot in my area carry it, but Home Depot is more expensive. The OSH brand is organic and appears to be coarse grade (compared to the size at Home Depot) and OSH loads it for you (WIN!). Just putting it out there for any other newbie CA gardeners. A few more supplies and I'll be ready to start snapping some pictures. Very Happy
DirtFarmer
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Post  Turnip 3/29/2013, 12:08 pm

Thanks for the tip on vermiculite...I've been getting it at HD..and it's med. grade. Lowe's also has it..same stuff. I'll check OSH. They have a lot of good organic fertilizers and such..seems like they are trying to fill some of the void left by the closure of many small, locally owned nurseries. OSH is a CA company that started in the south bay, so it's not as bad as buying from the big box stores!

Turnip
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Turnip
Turnip

Female Posts : 25
Join date : 2013-01-25
Location : Sacratomato, CA/USDA 9b

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Post  DirtFarmer 3/30/2013, 1:01 am

You're welcome Turnip! I didn't know that about OSH - just one more happy thought to add to the garden. Very Happy

Hubs and I are still trying to figure out how to use some old ranch vinyl fencing to make the boxes, but once we get that figured out and buy one more bag of vermiculite... I'll hopefully have some pictures to post! Yay! sunny
DirtFarmer
DirtFarmer

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Post  PNG_Grandma 6/1/2013, 2:32 pm

Hi Neighbor! We're just down the road from you in Modesto. If you haven't seen our project, take a look here at the Apollo Garden

This is our 3rd year of the Apollo Garden and we grow stuff year round. We've had our share of pests... first the cutworms, then when the rains came so did the snails, slugs, and the earwigs joined them. We've had feral cats use the garden boxes so we put up netting but found it deterred the birds who ate the bugs! Ahhh, such a learning experience trying to grow our food!!

Send a PM if you'd like to come by and see the whole thing. We love showing people what and how we do this!
happy hi
PNG_Grandma
PNG_Grandma

Female Posts : 297
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Location : Modesto CA, Central Valley, USDA Zone 9b, Sunset 14, AHS Heat Zone 8, whew!

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Post  sanderson 6/1/2013, 3:51 pm

Welcome from Fresno. Drove from Sac back to Fresno last night. I still want to see Apollo Garden. Read their story. I really enjoyed it. There are several of us in this area.
sanderson
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Post  PNG_Grandma 6/1/2013, 4:00 pm

Next time you're planning to be on Fwy 99 through Modesto let us know... we're a short distance off the freeway with easy access on and off.
happy hi
PNG_Grandma
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Post  DirtFarmer 6/2/2013, 6:58 pm

Hello again everyone!

Yes, I've seen the Apollo thread. I'd love to stop by one day. We sometimes shop in Modesto, and it sounds like it would be an easy trip to the garden! My preschoolers would love it. They're already so excited about our little garden.

I got to planting late, but I have been taking pictures. I hope to get them up on the site here soon. We just have our first little zucchini growing, and I ate the first tomato of the season today! It didn't quite make it to the house (don't tell hubby!).

We built our boxes from some leftover vinyl fencing, and they do look beautiful! I'm amazed at how well the plants are doing in the Mel's Mix. It's quite impressive. We're lucky to live in a climate where we can grow so much for so long.

Here in Manteca we get even more of those Delta breezes. Sometimes they threaten to blow us right over! I hope to share more soon. Thanks again for the friendly shout out! flower
DirtFarmer
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Post  Yardslave 6/9/2013, 8:51 pm

Hello, and welcome DirtFarmer, You can expect a nice long season, so be choosey with what the nurseries are offering. It seems that they are pushing way too many dwarf varieties to the public. Last fall the major cabbage offerings turned out to be baseball size that I could have planted in a 6" pot. The corn grew to a towering 2 feet! Do some research, and ask the nurserymen- if your lucky you won't need a magnifying glass to harvest your crops.
-----
Dave
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Post  PNG_Grandma 6/9/2013, 9:32 pm

Wow, there's NOTHING dwarf size in any of the garden boxes here in the Apollo Garden!
cheers
Everything seems to grow way beyond our expectations!! Must be our hot weather??
happy hi
PNG_Grandma
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Post  DirtFarmer 6/10/2013, 12:10 pm

Thanks Yardslave! Most of my plants were from seed, so I kind of knew what to expect, but I was eyeing some of the plants that are starting to be marked down because (apparently?) our season is winding down. Or the plants are just dying from all the crazy heat!

My small garden, planted a few weeks before the "big" bed, is doing pretty well. Lots of tomatoes waiting to turn red, and some good growth on the cukes. Unfortunately, my first little zucchini developed blossom rot, so I am crossing my fingers that it won't happen with the cukes and yellow squash too. I have a second zucchini that looks healthy so far, but we'll see...

We went to Colorado for a few days, and I overwatered while we were gone. tongue I was so afraid my plants would die in the heat! Unfortunately, between the alternating 100+ and under 90 degree weather, coupled with my overwatering and the fact that I put cardboard under the large bed (I think it's causing problems with drainage) I have some struggling plants. Luckily, I started small so I wouldn't get too discouraged. Smile So far I'm still amazed ANYTHING is growing, so I'm definitely getting hooked!

Apollo - I can't wait to get into town and see your place. We will be coming someday....
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