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
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My 1st 4x4's 2014 Toplef10My 1st 4x4's 2014 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 1st 4x4's 2014 I22gcj10My 1st 4x4's 2014 14dhcg10

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My 1st 4x4's 2014

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Kelejan
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WayneBending
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My 1st 4x4's 2014 Empty My 1st 4x4's 2014

Post  WayneBending 1/26/2015, 4:11 pm

We live in the Detroit, Michigan area and created our first SFG's from Trex. Had to order the soil from Amazon. Results were amazing. Replanted carrots, beets and radishes 3x; cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli twice. Doubling the height this year from 6" to a foot for even better roots!

Cannot post the pictures - SFG picture page is full My 1st 4x4's 2014 998388915
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Post  donnainzone5 1/26/2015, 6:03 pm

Wayne,

Did you add compost after harvesting each square?

It sounds as if your garden has been successful.  However, I don't quite understand why you'd want to double the depth for those particular crops.  You really only need 12" if you're growing potatoes, long carrots, leeks, etc.
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Post  Cajun Cappy 1/26/2015, 6:11 pm

Years ago the square foot gardening guru Mel went from recommending 12" to 6" Well living by the if it aint broke don't fix it I did not change and stayed with 12 inches.  I have my reasons in soggy south Louisiana we get lots of rain and that's not counting storms.  Like all great ideas you can make them fit your needs and adopt them a little.  I do not follow the books to the letter and do pretty good for a country boy.  I have a free source for horse barn hey and manure cleanings, hey and a pretty good compost pile it supplies my garden well but I will occasionally sprinkle on fertilizer and miracle grow plant food I also listen close to old timers.  The beauty of sq ft gardening is ya can plant lots in a small area and its low maintenance. Also its very versatile and forgiving. 
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Post  has55 1/26/2015, 8:40 pm

I found that I had to increase the height because of the heat. but also found huge roots 10 inches down  with swiss chard, carrots and watermelon
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Post  WayneBending 1/27/2015, 1:41 pm

I had roots trying to break through and intertwining with the bottom lining from the marigolds, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli so I'm going to 12" deep. Also want to grow longer crops too. Yes I add a trowel full of compost when replanting a square - combo of worm, manure, lobster, chicken & homemade - along with some fresh Mel's mix.

Found that if you call Home Depot and order 10 or more 1.5 Cubic Feet bags of Mel's Mix they will cut the shipping charge in half... They charge $8.97 per bag and wanted $10.00 each for shipping. So $13.97 each comes out cheaper than the $29.95 that Amazon wants for the 2 Cubic Feet bag they ship 'free'.

It absolutely amazes me that Home Depot, Menards and Lowe's here in Michigan carry all sorts of Square Foot Garden Beds (They call them Raised) but will not stock the soil.

Can't wait for Spring  sunny
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Post  Kelejan 1/27/2015, 4:01 pm

:welcome:WayneBending.  Sounds as though you are doing well.

When you say you add a trowel of compost when replanting, you mention including Mel's Mix.  I don't think you need to add any more MM  as two-thirds of MM does not need to be replaced each time.  You will be altering the ratios of one-third Peat, Vermiculite and Compost. Compost is the only addition you need.
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Post  sanderson 1/27/2015, 9:12 pm

Kelejan wrote: I don't think you need to add any more MM  as two-thirds of MM does not need to be replaced each time.  You will be altering the ratios of one-third Peat, Vermiculite and Compost. Compost is the only addition you need.
Hi Wayne,  Kelejan is correct.  You don't want to add more MM each time you plant or the ratio will become high in peat moss and vermiculite.  Only add compost since that is what gets depleted over time.  I think you can post photos here.  Testing: My 1st 4x4's 2014 Cartoo11
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Post  has55 1/28/2015, 4:47 am

sanderson wrote:
Kelejan wrote: I don't think you need to add any more MM  as two-thirds of MM does not need to be replaced each time.  You will be altering the ratios of one-third Peat, Vermiculite and Compost. Compost is the only addition you need.
Hi Wayne,  Kelejan is correct.  You don't want to add more MM each time you plant or the ratio will become high in peat moss and vermiculite.  Only add compost since that is what gets depleted over time.  I think you can post photos here.  Testing: My 1st 4x4's 2014 Cartoo11

+1 sanderson right
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Post  AtlantaMarie 1/28/2015, 7:07 pm

Hi Wayne.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA!  Glad you've decided to join us.

Kelejan - that avatar of Jazz is adorable!!!!!
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Post  has55 1/28/2015, 10:23 pm

AtlantaMarie wrote:Hi Wayne.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA!  Glad you've decided to join us.

Kelejan - that avatar of Jazz is adorable!!!!!
+1
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Post  bmoore49 1/29/2015, 8:53 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Wayne,

Did you add compost after harvesting each square?

It sounds as if your garden has been successful.  However, I don't quite understand why you'd want to double the depth for those particular crops.  You really only need 12" if you're growing potatoes, long carrots, leeks, etc.

I use 12" deep beds here in Redding, CA, because we are regularly over 100 deg and single digit humidity in the summer. Six inch beds just dry out too fast.
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Post  sanderson 1/30/2015, 3:10 am

Bmoore, Are your beds made of 2" x 4" lumber? I have both 2" x 4" beds and 3/4" x 8" fencing plank beds. The 3/4" thick beds dry out fast, even with 2" of wood chips on top. I hope to replace those with the thicker 2" x 4". I started out with two layers of 2 x 4 (7") but added another row for 10 1/2", which I really like for keeping the MM moist. I will be trying out bedding straw this summer as mulch.
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Post  Turan 1/30/2015, 12:32 pm

I like the height of 12" beds and the room for mulch on top.  My  beds range from 12" stacked 2X4s to 1x8s to berms of various heights according to the materials found,  year and purpose etc. 

Sanderson, shake that bedding straw out well.  It often has enough grain in it to grow a crop with.  All that wheat growing in ones bed makes a fine green manure though.  On a more serious note, unless it is organic it was treated with herbicides and those might not have had enough time to break down.  So be a bit careful until you are sure how plants will respond.  You might try a test in a container with beans and peas,  those being quite herbicide susceptible plants you would want to seed through a mulch.  I assume established transplants will be less susceptible.

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Post  sanderson 1/30/2015, 1:17 pm

Turan, Yes, I shake out and check for seeds. I started using the bale for compost and mulching last summer and it seems to be safe to continuing using it this summer. I carefully bagged the remainder against the winter rains. rofl All 3+" so far.
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Post  bmoore49 1/30/2015, 2:05 pm

sanderson wrote:Bmoore,  Are your beds made of 2" x 4" lumber?  I have both 2" x 4" beds and 3/4"  x 8" fencing plank beds.  The 3/4" thick beds dry out fast, even with 2" of wood chips on top.  I hope to replace those with the thicker 2" x 4".  I started out with two layers of 2 x 4 (7") but added another row for 10 1/2", which I really like for keeping the MM moist.   I will be trying out bedding straw this summer as mulch.

The beds in my backyard are 2" x 12". These were already built when I converted to SFG. The new beds in the front yard started out as 2" x 6" and after a couple of seasons I added another 2" x 6" on top (not shown in the picture on my new member post).
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