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my new garden! Toplef10my new garden! 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.

my new garden! I22gcj10my new garden! 14dhcg10

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my new garden!

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CapeCoddess
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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 11:06 am

So we've been working like crazy getting the large bed built. It's 12x3 and has mostly tomatoes in it, along with some seeds. Self-watering. Here are pictures of the process. (We have renamed Mel's Mix "Murder Mix" because of all the dreaded sand gnats eating us alive while working with the compost.)

water reservoirs

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Frame

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Plumbing installed

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Murder Mix added

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Planting tomatoes

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(more to come...)
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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 11:07 am

That last shot is my amazing, genius lover planting tomatoes. Very Happy
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Post  GWN 4/14/2013, 11:09 am

what great pictures, what are those green things in the first picture.... I gather they have something to do with plumbing?
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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 11:13 am

Those are big plastic tubs (storage bins) that are being used for the water reservoirs. We got them at Target. Very Happy

I'll have Michael do a write-up on what he did. There are more pictures of the process in different stages that I will post later.


Last edited by jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  CapeCoddess 4/14/2013, 11:14 am

How does the water reservoir leech into the soil?

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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 11:21 am

Here you can see the holes in the bins. The large hole in the middle has a large, dirt wicking column in it, and the smaller holes have cloth wicks, as you can see in the next picture.

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Post  yolos 4/14/2013, 11:30 am

Hmm. that is interesting. Let us know how it works. What about an overflow hole. How do you know when you have enough water in the container?
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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 11:52 am

Finished garden. (semi-finished, I should say. Mostly finished.)

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container garden (and our mess that we have to clean up. YIKES!)

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When I went out this morning, something had been digging. I thought it was one of the cats but there was no cat poo, so I think mabe a squirrel dug up some seeds or something. Looks like something has been out there again. We'll be adding some deer fencing later. I hope that works. It seems kinda flimsy, but we'll see. If I need to I'll add some hoops or something.

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Tomatoes for Michael to take back to NC with him when he goes home. I'm sure they're happy to be out of those little cups. Very Happy

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We have to put the grids back on. We took them down to add the mulch. I kinda wish we hadn't done that, but oh well. Live and learn. What an amazing process this has been. What a Face
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Post  CapeCoddess 4/14/2013, 12:00 pm

Everything looks great! And that wicking set up is remarkable. Where did you folks get that idea? Was it a YouTube vid or something?

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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 12:29 pm

yolos wrote:Hmm. that is interesting. Let us know how it works. What about an overflow hole. How do you know when you have enough water in the container?

Overflow holes...

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Kira Cat helping out...

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The fill holes will also have gauges in them (wine corks attached to wire or something) that will tell me when they need water.

Fill holes

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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 12:37 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Everything looks great! And that wicking set up is remarkable. Where did you folks get that idea? Was it a YouTube vid or something?

CC

Michael has an engineer's mind. (It runs in the family. He's a sound engineer, his father designs stuff for the government and his aunt started Mother Earth News magazine years ago. She has since sold it.) He designs things all the time and can fix almost anything with duct tape and some wire. I showed him a couple of videos/pictures of some self-watering containers and he came up with this idea. He designed the bed (as you can see it's on a slope) so one end is taller than the other (it would good for carrots, but I have tomatoes on that end). He will do a write-up at some point explaining exactly what he did. He's awesome. What a Face
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Post  Pepper 4/14/2013, 4:45 pm

Neet idea. I am definitely following this to see how the self-watering functions. I also like the 'mulch' Laughing
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Post  jazzycat 4/14/2013, 5:01 pm

We had a battle of wills about the mulch. He won. He feels mulch is necessary for a self-watering bed to work, and he might very well be right, especially for one this large. I have no idea, but he's pretty dang smart, and he has actually looked into this kind of stuff before.

We went and bought a moisture meter earlier so we could check and see how it's doing, and the bed (and containers) all have plenty of moisture, so it's working. YAY! When we went out this morning to see if the reservoirs needed water, the one on the end with no plants in the last squares didn't need any, but the others did. So the tomatoes are definitely drawing up what they need.

What is a little confusing, however, is the reading on the PH level (on the meter), because around the tomatoes it said alkaline, but in front it read more toward acid. Could the tomatoes change the ph of the soil just by being there? Is this something I should worry about?

On another note, I called Boogie Brew the other day to order an inline water filter for the garden hose (to remove the chlorine), and John Kohler was there. He heard what I said when I was describing what we were doing, and he said if it works, he will come do a video on it. That blows me away. What a Face
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Post  jazzycat 4/24/2013, 5:45 pm

So yesterday I finally got all the fruit trees replanted into 15 gallon containers. The blueberry bushes haven't been replanted, because I'm waiting to see how the bokashi thing worked. I dug a trench where I want to plant them several days ago, and after 2-3 weeks it's supposed to be fully broken down into compost, so we shall see. Today I went and strung the tomatoes that are in the raised bed. They are over 2 feet tall now and look amazing. I still have not added water to the reservoirs, and I'm sure the fact that it's rained a couple of times has helped. Anyway. On to the pictures...

I was just going to weave long ways, and then I realized I could also use the hoops to criss cross. Also, some of the leaves are still touching the ground, but there is cedar mulch. Do I need to trim those, or just keep forcing them up? My understanding is that it's the soil that is a problem, and that's why a lot of people use mulch, to keep leaves and veggies off the soil (in addition to holding moisture). There are a couple of plants that have branches at the mulch level. Should I trim them off?


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See how this one branch is coming out right at the mulch level? Trim it, or leave it alone?

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Meyer Lemon Tree

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree (blueberry bush in foreground)

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Red Navel Orange Tree

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Haas Avocado Tree

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Blueberry Bush

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Blueberry Bush

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Does anyone know these things are on this leaf?
I thought it might be an insect sac, but I wasn't sure if it was beneficial or not, so I didn't want to destroy it.
my new garden! Img_7137
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Post  jazzycat 4/24/2013, 7:04 pm

First tomato blossom... YAY! What a Face

my new garden! Img_7143
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Post  TejasTerry 4/24/2013, 8:20 pm

jazzycat wrote:

On another note, I called Boogie Brew the other day to order an inline water filter for the garden hose (to remove the chlorine), and John Kohler was there. He heard what I said when I was describing what we were doing, and he said if it works, he will come do a video on it. That blows me away. What a Face

I love my Boogie Brew filters. Have 2 of them. Wow, John Kohler coming to your place??? so awesome. I would be a nervous wreck ! affraid
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Post  jazzycat 4/24/2013, 11:56 pm

Well, it hasn't happened yet. Very Happy I wanted to wait and be sure everything worked before letting him know. If he does end up coming, I'm sure I will be pretty nervous. Very Happy I love meeting people though. I worked in Hollywood in the entertainment industry for 10 years, so I'm pretty used to meeting celebrities. This is, admittedly, a little different though. Very Happy
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Post  camprn 4/25/2013, 1:26 pm

Who?

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Post  jazzycat 4/25/2013, 1:56 pm

John Kohler. He has a channel called "Growing Your Greens" on youtube. I found out about him through people here, on this forum. He has some really informative videos on gardening, and you can get discount deals from various websites on gardening accoutrements if you mention his name/website. I was already familiar with him, because when I bought my juicer last year, I found his videos on juicers. (that's his business, he sells juicers.)

Here is a link to his channel, if you're interested camprn.

https://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens?feature=watch
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Post  camprn 4/25/2013, 2:14 pm

Oh him, yeah I know his channel. Some good stuff there.

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