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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Another NE Ohioan here Toplef10Another NE Ohioan here 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.

Another NE Ohioan here I22gcj10Another NE Ohioan here 14dhcg10

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Post  lwcommunitygardner 4/24/2010, 10:45 pm

Hi! I've been gardening in our community garden the last 2 years, but our soil is not so great. (unless you love clay) and I'm going to invest in at least 1 if not more SFG boxes this season.

what types of compost did you find in Cleveland area and where??? I'm finding sweet peat and cow manure all over the place, but that is about it. Vermiculite in Medina County per a phone call. Hope they are still in stock when I get there! I'm anxious to get going!
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Post  mckr3441 4/24/2010, 11:29 pm

How wonderful to have another Northern Ohioan on board this awesome Forum. Another NE Ohioan here 396615 .

I hope you have checked our Vermiculite Database. Depending on where you live you might like to visit Bremec Garden Center on Cedar near Taylor in Cleveland Heights. The info is in the Database including their phone number. I bought coarse there earlier in the season. I was over there a couple of days ago and they had several bags but I think they are medium grade. There could be some coarse bags in the stack.

Bremec's also has mushroom compost as does Cleveland Heights Home Depot. I'm going on a compost safari tomorrow for some more variety. I'll let you know what I find.

I think it would be great to put an SFG in a Community Garden. Let us know how you are doing.

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Post  Guest 4/25/2010, 6:22 pm

Actually, I flatter myself. I've never grown anything except some inedible tomato plants in a pot. However this year I am determined to start a garden and can't believe how overwhelmed I am by all of the information out there. I thought that SFG would be so much easier, but I suppose I would prefer a step by step list by day of what I'm supposed to do. As a result, I've done nothing (and if you knew me at all this is SO unlike me). I haven't started any seeds, and so I am hoping to at least build the box within the next week, throw in the seeds and cross my fingers...
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Post  lwcommunitygardner 4/26/2010, 12:11 pm

I didn't see that in our home depot.
I am anxiously awaiting your compost report. Smile
Thought we'd buy the Sam's Club boxes this weekend, but our DC did not allow that to happen. With the rain, they would not have been assembled anyhow. Hopefully this week we'll make some headway. I really want to get lettuce and pea pods planted.
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Post  mckr3441 4/27/2010, 2:31 am

Another NE Ohioan here Icon_flower
lwcommunitygardner wrote:I didn't see that in our home depot.
I am anxiously awaiting your compost report. Smile
Thought we'd buy the Sam's Club boxes this weekend,

I'm surprised HD didn't have the mushroom. Stuff goes real fast this time of year. You might have to wait for next shipment. This is what the bag looks like.
Another NE Ohioan here Img_1514

Regarding the Sam's Club boxes, are they 4x4? What material and how much do they cost? I haven't looked there. We have built our own. Just went to Home Depot and bought a 16' 2x6 and had them cut it into four 4' lengths. Got 4 inch construction screws and some hardware and landscape cloth. They're real easy to screw together. We use a power stapler to put on the cloths.

I didn't get around to the compost places on Sunday like I thought I would. I ran out of time! I will still post what I find on my next expedition!

Violet welcome to the Forum! Another NE Ohioan here 396615

Do you have Mel's book, All New Square Foot Gardening? The instructions for putting together the box and mixing the compost are in there. Libraries have the book if you can't buy it now. I'll help you with the start of a list:

  1. See above for Home Depot shopping list.
  2. Go to Home Depot and buy stuff
  3. While there look for mushroom compost and moopoo or other manure compost. Avoid planting mixes like Miracle Grow and other name brand all-in-one stuff
  4. Go home.
  5. Next day. Build Box. Give self

Another NE Ohioan here 993580

Hope this has helped!

We need to assemble the NE Ohioans for a tea party -- COMPOST TEA that is Another NE Ohioan here 410210

Happy day.

Claire Another NE Ohioan here Icon_flower
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Post  lwcommunitygardner 4/27/2010, 10:54 am

The are 3.5'x7.5'x8" for $39 made out of the composite fake wood. Box says they are largely made of recycled plastic bags. They have a crossbeam in the middle and have clips for stacking. In our community garden, plots get reallocated each year, though this will be my 3rd yr in essentially same place because I have strawberries. As we grow, this could change, so I can fit 3 of the boxes in my designated plot. If the plot has to shrink due to more participants and we can't increase overall size for some reason, then I figure I can stack the boxes I have. Also, they appear to be easy to disassemble in case I do need to move plots, so should be long lasting for my needs. If need be, I think we can screw in corner brackets. I also like the 8" depth. I looked at the trex and trex-like materials at HD and couldn't come close to making them for the price. If they don't work out, lesson learned. Smile I'm hoping the weather cooperates so I can install them over the weekend and get going. They had a composter there I was VERY tempted to buy too, but passed for now.

Thanks for the pic of the mushroom compost. I will check again. Also, could also call down to Medina store and see if they have it there. I'm guessing that area is more "garden friendly".

Back to work. Another NE Ohioan here Icon_redface


Last edited by lwcommunitygardner on 4/27/2010, 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add info)
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Post  mckr3441 4/27/2010, 1:03 pm

LW, I think those boxes will work nicely for you considering all your constraints. You've thought it out very well. I think people in our community garden keep the same spots each year but I'm not sure about that. I'm lucky enough to have space to have the garden at home even though I'm in a first-ring suburb.

I'll keep looking for other local sources of compost. You may want to rethink the compost bin. Homemade compost is gold! But the initial cost of SFG setup can be somewhat high and budgets only go so far Another NE Ohioan here Icon_cry .

Do you ever get to the eastside? I take it you are west/southwest. Bremec garden center over here on Cedar has a nice selection of composts. What about Gales on the westside? or is it Petiti's? I forget. I think on 303.

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Post  lwcommunitygardner 5/8/2010, 11:23 pm

I feel so behind looking at some of the huge plants on other posts. Our weather has been an absolute roller coaster with the better weather while I'm tucked away in an office working.

I am not yet up and running, but this is my mother's day gift to self. Time to set up. I just hope the rain moves out and stays away all day. Still need to make peat run in the morning, but found the mushroom compost at Gale's when picking up the vermiculite tonight.

My 6 yr old dd accompanied me. A strong young man loaded me up - cow manure, sweet peat, chicken manure (for entire group), then the rest... I tell DD, wow we have 3 kinds of poop in the car. Horse, cow and chicken. She looked at me with absolute disbelief and says ha! ha! your are joking. I finally had the young man confirm I was right. It was great! She's old enough to learn a lot more details this year.

Off to bed so I have the energy tomorrow.
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Post  Chopper 5/8/2010, 11:33 pm

Don't feel bad about being behind. Most people are ahead of me in your area and I am in SO CAL! It is early days, you have plenty of time. It isn't even Memorial Day yet. I really dislike community gardens moving people who come year after year. You spend time improving the soil and then have to start over. If you do have to move, bring a tarp and move your soil mix with you so you don't have to do this compost hunting again next year. :>


Last edited by Chopper on 5/8/2010, 11:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post  lwcommunitygardner 5/8/2010, 11:54 pm

Hi Chopper! I knew going in we'd likely move lots-- and we amend as a community, but our soil is truly terrible (alkaline with extraordinary amt of calcium and mostly clay. Last year was such a disappointment. This is a big investment to set up, but it definitely allows me to move my mix if/when I have to move lots. We've had fairly equal number of people start/stop each year so thus far I'm in same spot 3 yrs running, but don't expect to be treated any differently just because I have the boxes. I just want my stuff that I plant to grow more often than not. It is worth the hassle to teach my kiddos where food comes from. I couldn't do this in my backyard as we live in the woods and it is a miracle this garden was even allowed by the HOA.
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Post  mckr3441 5/9/2010, 7:34 pm

Hello again, Another NE Ohioan here Icon_smile

I hope you have had a good Mother's Day in the garden. It was cold but still a good sunny day to be out in the yard. If I were home, that is where I would be. But tomorrow is another day and I hope it will be warmer.

You got chicken poo at Gales? Which Gales? I'll have to make a run! I say finding compost is like a treasure hunt! I got worm castings at a private garden shop on Rt 306 in Geauga County. The place is called Lowes Garden Center (not the big box Lowes). They also had dehydrated cow manure Another NE Ohioan here 601593 . How that's different from any other cow manure I don't know -- but of course I bought it!

We have to connect one day for some one-on-one garden talk. Coffee at Starbucks? Then we could ask them for some coffee grounds -- which I put in my compost pile! Another NE Ohioan here Lol

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Post  lwcommunitygardner 5/10/2010, 9:29 am

It was perfect day to work outside. Realized I was 2 bags short on compost and grabbed 3 cu ft peat instead of 3.8, but hopefully I can fix that in next day or so. It's going to rain most of the week after today anyhow. Another NE Ohioan here Icon_sad

Gale's in Brunswick. It was inside by other soil amendments, not with other compost/bulk materials. I can't take credit -- it was another gardener that found it. Another NE Ohioan here Icon_smile

Meeting up would be good. I get to east side about once a week -- so perhaps later in the summer when work slow a bit.
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Post  mckr3441 5/10/2010, 10:28 pm

LW, send me a PM when you're going to be in the area. I look forward to meeting.

I'm on my to Gale's as soon as I can find the time. I think there's one on this side of town. I could call first but then I wouldn't have an excuse to go to another garden center. Another NE Ohioan here Icon_lol

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Post  Guest 6/3/2010, 5:55 pm

I can't believe I finally put together my SFG box. I think it helped that my sister and I went to a garden center and she picked out a bunch of plants to put in her non-SFG garden. I thought it didn't look so hard, and man, the thought of fresh veggies at my doorstep...

I bought the materials at Lowes, along with the Peat Moss and cow manure. I then went to Home Depot to buy more manure. They said they thought Petiti's in Avon might have vermiculite, but I stopped at Gale's (also on Center Ridge) and they had only one bag. I asked if they expected to get more and they said no. Well, I had forgotten my manure at Home Depot, so I went back there to pick it up, along with the plants, but I was not impressed. I went back to Lowe's and found a few plants but not all I wanted. So I then drove BACK to Gales and picked up some healthy looking plants that were very competitively priced with the chain stores. Whew!

Anyway, built the box that night, waited til the next day to plant everything. My neighbor says the box is too shallow, that it'll never work...
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Post  MarcyG 6/3/2010, 7:16 pm

Your SFG look great!!! I'm also west side Cleveland in North Ridgeville. I got mine built and planted the other day. Can't wait to see how everything comes out.
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Post  Guest 6/3/2010, 7:21 pm

Me too! I apparently picked up some plants WITHOUT the little cards in them, so seeing things grow is kinda going to be like wrapping your own present two months in advance and hoping you'll be surprised when you open it. I just have one space left, which I'm saving for tomatillos. My sister says they're a must for salsa. Now to find them...
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Post  mckr3441 6/4/2010, 12:52 pm

Violet, your garden is lovely! Just wait till your neighbor sees what happens in those 6"! He who laughs last...

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