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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Student needs desperate help on growing! Toplef10Student needs desperate help on growing! 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.

Student needs desperate help on growing! I22gcj10Student needs desperate help on growing! 14dhcg10

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Student needs desperate help on growing!

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Student needs desperate help on growing! Empty Student needs desperate help on growing!

Post  aqua_loving 3/6/2010, 5:58 pm

Hi everyone,

Im an architecture student in UK.

Im designing a 'concept' faculty building where one of the main ideas is that food is grown in the building (probably top floor) to support the 100 students living on-site.

I am using aquaponics (sustainable food concept of combining hydroponics & aquaculture).

Ive been told by Bevan Suits at accesstoaquaponics to allow 80 sqft for each student.
But he said to check here to get some idea of what 80 sqft will yield in production per month!
He said soil-based growth figures could apply to aquaponics too.

Can anyone help? Obviously the foods would be more tomatoes, cucumbers strawberries rather than herbs etc.

thanks
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Post  Retired Member 1 3/6/2010, 7:07 pm

I'm sure more experienced folks will come by later, but quoting from the book:
One 4x4 SFG box (equal to 16 square feet) will supply eough produce to make a salad for one person every day of the growing season.
One more 4x4 box wil suplly the daily supper vegetable for that person.
Just one more 4x4 box will supply that person with extra of everthing for preserving, special crops, showing off, or giving away.
So each adult needs one, two, or three boxes depending on how much they want. In square feet, that is 16, 32, or 48.

In another section, he states one 4x4 box will produce:
one head each cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower
4 heads each of romaine lettuce, red lettuce, leaf lettuce (followed by 16 scallions), 4 heads salad lettuce
5 pounds sugar peas
8 bunches swiss chard
nine bunches of spinach followed by 9 turnips
16 small carrots, 16 beets plus 4 bunches greens
16 long carrots and 32 radishes

You'd need a second box for tomatoes, cukes, melons, squash, green beans, etc.

Using SFG methods I would imagine 80 square feet would feel 2 - 3 people almost all they need. Cheers!
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Post  aqua_loving 3/7/2010, 9:49 am

perfect answer to what i was looking for

thanks so much!
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Post  boffer 3/7/2010, 10:42 am

Great post, Belfrybat.

A while back, those of us who are big eaters (is that PC?!) were talking about this subject, and we agreed that Mel's recommendations for number of square feet per person is low. That conclusion is based on just our own experience and preferences. 80 sf/person is a more realistic number per person, even considering the increased efficiency of the SFG method. Sounds like a fun project, let us know how it is progressing.
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Post  WardinWake 3/7/2010, 4:30 pm

Also check with the Allotment growers association in your area of the U. K. The will have information on weather conditions and what grows best, etc.

God Bless, Ward.
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Post  Odd Duck 3/8/2010, 3:36 pm

You might also consider "aeroponics" if you haven't already. My understanding is that it is considered no more expensive on initial set-up (and possibly less although I haven't priced it myself) than hydroponics, and is MUCH less weight since there is not a large amount of growing media/water for each plant. The plant roots hang down into a fairly sealed box and water/fertilizer is sprayed onto the roots frequently by timers/pumps. The production is supposed to be a bit better since the roots get more oxygen and get the nutrients just the same as hydroponics. It is also easier to stack levels of plants since the boxes can be transparent/translucent and will let more light down to lower levels.

I would be VERY interested if you could keep us posted on your project and photos, please!

Sharon
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