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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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2014 SFG in Brooks, GA

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Post  yolos 9/7/2014, 6:48 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:Are those little stakes in there?  You stake your broccoli?

Those are real small bamboo stakes, about the diameter of my little finger.  I put them in there to mark where I am going to plant the broccoli.  Then I lay the soaker hose around the bed staying as close to the stakes as I can.  Then when I plant the broccoli I plant it next to a stake so it will be beside the soaker hose.  I lay the soaker hose first so I do not damage any broccoli.  I leave the stakes in the ground for a while to make sure all the broccoli stands up straight.  If they are needed, then I will tie a broccoli stem to the stake.  But they are so small and stuck only as far down as the MM goes, so they don't really act as a real stake would.
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Post  svanahgirl 9/7/2014, 6:51 pm

I would never have thought of that and it is cheap and easier to handle! Thank you for sharing that.
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Post  Windmere 9/7/2014, 7:29 pm

Oh yolos, I am always so impressed with your work.  Nice job, especially with our awfully hot and humid weather.  I am working on just clearing beds.  I need to go to Pike soon, so might just break down and get some broccoli transplants.

My biggest accomplishment as of late was just to get the lawn cut!
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Post  yolos 9/7/2014, 8:05 pm

Windmere wrote: I need to go to Pike soon, so might just break down and get some broccoli transplants.


Watch out for the broccoli transplants at Pike's.  I brought them home and put them on my screened porch.  After a couple days, there were holes in the leaves.  I found lots of little bitty baby caterpillars.  I found some nicer looking ones at Swints and Lowes.  The only problem was that each one of these stores only had one flat of Broccoli.  When I went back to Lowe's to replace the ones I bought at Pike's, they were all gone.  I do not know if they ever got any more in stock.
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Post  Marc Iverson 9/7/2014, 8:20 pm

That's a pretty neat idea, yolos, thanks. I can see myself applying it even without considering irrigation -- just to know in advance exactly where I'm going to plant.
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Post  Windmere 9/7/2014, 11:35 pm

yolos wrote:
Windmere wrote: I need to go to Pike soon, so might just break down and get some broccoli transplants.


Watch out for the broccoli transplants at Pike's.  I brought them home and put them on my screened porch.  After a couple days, there were holes in the leaves.  I found lots of little bitty baby caterpillars.  I found some nicer looking ones at Swints and Lowes.  The only problem was that each one of these stores only had one flat of Broccoli.  When I went back to Lowe's to replace the ones I bought at Pike's, they were all gone.  I do not know if they ever got any more in stock.
Thank you very much for the head's up.  I have enough unwanted insect visitors without importing them from nurseries.  I'll keep an eye on Lowe's.  I think they have pretty good turn over; new stuff is coming in all the time.
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Post  yolos 9/12/2014, 12:00 am

Windmere - I stopped by Lowes on the way home from work today (Thursday).  They had a new shipment of Premium Crop Broccoli transplants for sale.  They were not fantastic looking but not bad.  I bought a few more.  I don't know why.  I already planted 23.  But I have a few empty flower beds that could really use some green color this fall so I thought I would just stick them around the different flower beds and hope the worms/caterpillars or rabbits don't find them.  Yea right.
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Post  walshevak 9/12/2014, 6:07 am

svanahgirl wrote:I would never have thought of that and it is cheap and easier to handle! Thank you for sharing that.

Keep an eye out for Joannes Fabrics coupons, store flyers and online.  I have a phone app that each week sends me  specials.  One week was 50% off any single non sale item.  I bought a bolt of 108" wide tulle.  I use 54" wide usually but the discount was for 1 single cut of fabric and I could get twice as much tulle by being willing to cut it in half myself.  The 108" is exactly twice the price of the 54".  FYI.  54" will just fit over a 10' PVC hoop.  Fasten the middle fold to the middle of the hoop and bring the edges down to the bottom of the hoop and fasten.  Exactly as Yolos shows.

Kay

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Post  Windmere 9/12/2014, 7:50 am

yolos wrote:Windmere - I stopped by Lowes on the way home from work today (Thursday).  They had a new shipment of Premium Crop Broccoli transplants for sale.  They were not fantastic looking but not bad.  I bought a few more.  I don't know why.  I already planted 23.  But I have a few empty flower beds that could really use some green color this fall so I thought I would just stick them around the different flower beds and hope the worms/caterpillars or rabbits don't find them.  Yea right.
Thanks for the info.  I'll have to go take a look.
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Post  yolos 9/12/2014, 12:47 pm

SWEEET POTATO HARVEST 09/07/14

This year I planted my sweet potato slips in a 3 x 8 foot bed.  I planted 11 plants in the bed on 4/26/14.  They were planted 18" apart and 8 squares were left empty.  The vines are supposed to grow across the open squares, take root and produce more potatoes.  They did this, but the vines that rooted produced potatoes that were about half the size of the ones grown from slips.

My research showed that I was supposed to harvest the sweet potatoes before first frost or when the leaves started turning yellow.  They started tuning yellow about 2 weeks ago so I harvested them 9/7/14.  I harvested 50 lbs.  The largest was 2 lbs and the average was about 1 lb.

This is the Sweet Potato corral.  The vines grew so large I had to put trellis up on all sides.  One side had a 7 foot trellis and the vines grew to the top and came back down about 3 feet.
2014 SFG in Brooks, GA  - Page 5 Sweet_13


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Post  sanderson 9/12/2014, 1:40 pm

Sweet potato envy, here! Very Happy

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Post  yolos 9/12/2014, 2:59 pm

walshevak wrote:
svanahgirl wrote:I would never have thought of that and it is cheap and easier to handle! Thank you for sharing that.

Keep an eye out for Joannes Fabrics coupons, store flyers and online.  I have a phone app that each week sends me  specials.  One week was 50% off any single non sale item.  I bought a bolt of 108" wide tulle.  I use 54" wide usually but the discount was for 1 single cut of fabric and I could get twice as much tulle by being willing to cut it in half myself.  The 108" is exactly twice the price of the 54".  FYI.  54" will just fit over a 10' PVC hoop.  Fasten the middle fold to the middle of the hoop and bring the edges down to the bottom of the hoop and fasten.  Exactly as Yolos shows.

Kay

KAY - I may be misunderstanding you.  But there is no way a 54" wide piece of tulle will fit over a 120" (10 foot) PVC hoop.  Even allowing for the fact that the tulle only has to reach down to the top of the board forming the bed, I still don't see it.  So in my case, a 120 inch PVC hoop will sit down inside the bed 10 inches on either side of my bed.  That leaves the PVC hoop 100 inches from top of one side of the bed to the other side of the bed.  So a 54" wide piece will not fit.  I use the 108" wide tulle and cut my PVC hoops down to about 96" (8 feet), that leaves enough tulle hanging down the sides so I can anchor it with wood strips and also have some left over to fluff out if my plants start getting real wide.

What am I missing here.  Or are you saying your tulle measures 54" when it is folded and 108" wide when you unfold it.
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Post  Marc Iverson 9/12/2014, 4:30 pm

Holy cow, those are some awesome sweet potato plants, yolos!

What a great success. I love sweet potatoes so much!

Are you going to plant them any differently next year? Like not leave those open squares and plant more potatoes in there, or just plant a different crop in the unused squares? From the looks of your corral, you would seem to have everything figured out just fine.
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Post  yolos 9/12/2014, 4:51 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:Holy cow, those are some awesome sweet potato plants, yolos!

What a great success.  I love sweet potatoes so much!  

Are you going to plant them any differently next year?  Like not leave those open squares and plant more potatoes in there, or just plant a different crop in the unused squares?  From the looks of your corral, you would seem to have everything figured out just fine.

Yes, I will plant sweet potato starts in all the squares next year.  The size of the sweet potatoes under each start were at least twice as big as the ones that rooted in the empty squares. There is no way I could plant a different crop in the same bed because the vines would overtake everything planted in the empty squares.  I have heard of bush sweet potatoes but don't know anything about growing them.
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Post  Marc Iverson 9/12/2014, 5:17 pm

So are you going to modify your trellis at all to accommodate the other new plants? Or maybe single-string them from the same trellis?
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Post  yolos 9/12/2014, 6:20 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:So are you going to modify your trellis at all to accommodate the other new plants?  Or maybe single-string them from the same trellis?

No - I will not add any more trellis. The trellis all around the outside is nylon netting.  I will just wind the vines up and around the netting where ever they end up.  You have to weave them in and out of the netting, they will not climb the trellis on their own.  They are very tuff vines and you can just direct them where ever you want weaving them in and out.  I don't think the extra sweet potato plants will overwhelm the current set up.
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Post  Windmere 9/12/2014, 11:31 pm

Congrats on your harvest.  Those sweet potatoes re gorgeous!
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Post  AtlantaMarie 9/14/2014, 8:07 am

Yolos, those look great.  I can't believe your leaves are already yellowing...  Mine sure aren't!  And I've got vines wandering thru the tomatoes and grass, lol!  Ended up cutting some of them yesterday when mowing.
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Post  yolos 9/14/2014, 11:57 am

AtlantaMarie wrote:Yolos, those look great.  I can't believe your leaves are already yellowing...  Mine sure aren't!  And I've got vines wandering thru the tomatoes and grass, lol!  Ended up cutting some of them yesterday when mowing.

AM - When did you plant your sweet potatoes.  I planted mine on 4/26 and harvested on 9/7.  That is about 135 days.  The leaves were yellowing but they could have been yellowing if I did not water enough.  Or maybe they needed fertilizer.  Don't know but 135 days is plenty of time.
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Post  yolos 10/19/2014, 9:43 am

FALL UPDATE

I took a weeks vacation from work so I could enjoy the outdoors before it gets too cold and to finish cleaning up the summer garden.  Of course I was sick for four days and couldn't get much done.  I still have to clear out the tomato bed and the bean bed.  And kill all the pesky ants that have decided to set up house in some of my beds and both of my compost piles.  I know, I know if I had kept my compost pile wet enough they would not have made their home in the piles. 

EXPERIMENT:
I still have a 4' x 32' bed that I never fully converted to SFG.  It still has soil in it but every year I have been adding large amounts of compost and small amounts of vermiculite so it is still great working in that bed.  This year I decided to try a cover crop.  I grew corn in the following bed and then on 9/26/14 planted Buckwheat.  It will die with a frost so I will turn it under as a green manure crop.  I wish I had planted it earlier so I could see the flowers.
2014 SFG in Brooks, GA  - Page 5 Buckwh10

PARTIAL FAILURE
I planted a 3' x 8' bed of sugar snap peas which germinated very well.  Unfortunately, with the movement of the sun this time of year, that bed is in shade a lot during the day.  I also planted a 3' x 8' of English shell peas but had terrible germination.  I soaked them but did not wait long enough to let them sprout before I planted them.  I only got about 33% germination.  So, I transplanted them to one end of the bed and planted some more broccoli.  I now have a total of over 50 broccoli plants but will be lucky to get any because I planted them so late.  This will be a test of how well they develop in cold weather.
2014 SFG in Brooks, GA  - Page 5 Brocco14

A few Winterbor kale plants my daughter uses in here smoothies.
2014 SFG in Brooks, GA  - Page 5 Kale_110
A few Bonnie brussel sprouts I am going to try to overwinter.  I have planted them at least two times before in the spring and have not been successful.  So this is another experiment.
2014 SFG in Brooks, GA  - Page 5 Brusse10
Out of the 11 varieties of tomatoes I planted, I have three varieties still hanging in there.  Better Boy, Juliet, and Gilbertie.  The Gilbertie developed Blossom End Rot on a few of the tomatoes due (I assume) to the uneven watering.  Fairly beat up with few leaves but still producing a few toms here and there.
2014 SFG in Brooks, GA  - Page 5 Gilber10
And my volunteer tomato taking over one of my empty compost boxes.  It is either a Juliet grape tomato or a Gilbertie because the baby toms setting on are pear shaped.  I doubt the toms will get much bigger because our first frost date is around the end of Oct.  Maybe I will cover it with a plastic tent to see how it does.  I purposely did not stake it so I could cover it if I decided to.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 10/19/2014, 10:31 am

Of course, Yolos!  You took vacation!  No wonder you got sick!

But the pics are nice.  Everything seems to be fairly healthy...  Hope your fall planting goes well!
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Post  sanderson 10/19/2014, 1:51 pm

Yolos, Everything looks so well tended. I'm so sorry you got sick on your time off!

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Post  Marc Iverson 10/19/2014, 2:35 pm

Good luck on those broccoli. Are they hardy enough to overwinter and give you heads in the spring?

I planted some buckwheat this year. Supposedly they're a good crop for bees, as their flowers can be in bloom when most other things have stopped flowering.
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Post  Windmere 10/19/2014, 7:41 pm

Yolos, I'm sorry to hear you got sick during your vacation.   Regardless, I have to tell you:  Your beds look textbook perfect!  I can only aspire....
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Post  yolos 10/30/2014, 7:38 pm

Well, cold weather is coming this weekend to the South.  It is predicted to go as low as 30*F this weekend.  I just came in from cutting down my cover crop of Buckwheat and hoeing it into the bed because it can not take a frost.  I planted it on 9/26/14, the following picture was taken on 10/18/14, and I cut it down today on 10/30/14.  It was too dark to take a picture today before I cut it down.  But in 34 days it grew to 2 - 2.5 feet tall with flowers just starting to bloom.
2014 SFG in Brooks, GA  - Page 5 Buckwh11
I think this might be a good way to easily improve the beds when they are not in use.  I planted some winter peas as a cover crop or green manure crop in another bed on 10/22/14.  They are not sprouting too good so will have to see how they do.
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