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MomVet - My first Square Foot Garden Toplef10MomVet - My first Square Foot 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.

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MomVet - My first Square Foot Garden

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Post  momvet 2/27/2015, 6:02 pm

Hi - I have struggled with gardening in my tract home back yard for years. I used to have lots of room and did it the old-fashioned way. I always assumed we would move back to the country. Apparently that isn't going to happen so I've finally decided to adapt. I had these two beds built 30 years ago because I knew the soil wasn't good, but I have filled them with mostly roses over the years. Always left room for a few tomatoes, but the crop keeps getting poorer every year. I finally decided that if this is where I live, this is where I do what I love - vegetable gardening.  So I cleared out the beds and am giving SGF a try. I am concerned that the western bed near the fence may not get enough sun anymore due to the neighbor's trees. It's been a lot of work (and I loved my roses) and it was expensive to find all the components for Mel's Mix, but I am finally ready! I even planted some pea seeds today although it's probably a little late. My DH made me the frames for the trellises. So excited (yet still a little skeptical) to give this a try. Here is a picture of my beds.
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Post  sanderson 2/27/2015, 6:49 pm

Your beds, black trellis, and EMC trellis are absolutely beautiful! Maybe you can plant semi-shade tolerant plants in the West bed. I'm thinking greens. Maybe others will make their suggestions. My neighbor to the West said she wanted to get rid of her tree, hated the leaves (she has a pool) but when I offered our help (renting a chain saw, doing the cutting, she said she will do it when she wants to, and not before. ?? Shocked

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Post  momvet 2/27/2015, 7:05 pm

Ugh, I know. My nearest neighbors don't even live there but have the tallest Queen Palms you have ever seen. My plan does put mostly greens in that bed, but I love tomatoes so the north side will be trellised for them. I look at as an experiment, although when you raise them from seed you (I) get very attached. Smile
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Post  littlesapphire 2/27/2015, 8:07 pm

Wow, what a beautiful garden!  It looks like it should be very easy to take care of now Smile  No weed wacking around the boxes like I have to do all the time.  And those bricks looks like they make it perfect for sitting on the edge of the garden when you're digging in it.  I'm jealous! 

I can guarantee you'll have fun with this growing method.  It's easy and simple, so it lets you focus on the fun part (playing with plants!).  When I looked up vegetables that tolerate shade, Google suggested this list:

Beets
Carrots
Chard
Cilantro
Garlic
Kale
Lettuce
Parsley
Parsnips
Potatoes
Spinach

I've grown carrots, lettuce, kale and potatoes in partial shade just fine (my south-facing neighbor has the hugest oak tree I've ever seen), and I've also managed to grow snap peas and even cucumbers in the same shady part of my garden, though I'll admit that the peas aren't as sweet as when they're grown in full sun. 

Good luck with your new garden!  I'd love it if you kept updating us with photos.
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Post  yolos 2/27/2015, 8:23 pm

I love those beds.  No rotting wood, no tree roots.  Hope veggies will grow exceptionally well in the beds.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 2/28/2015, 10:12 am

+1!  I think it'll work great!
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MomVet - My first Square Foot Garden Empty Trellises and irrigation - check!

Post  momvet 3/8/2015, 4:19 pm

It's been a lot of work, but the new garden is shaping up nicely. I am excited about gardening for the first time in a long time. I have radishes, turnips and potatoes sprouting, and thanks to the advice on this forum, my second set of indoor seedlings promises to be better than the first.
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Post  sanderson 3/9/2015, 2:40 am

Looking good! Very Happy

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Post  Kabaju42 3/14/2015, 10:47 am

Your garden looks great. I'm sure it won't be long before it'll be all green and happy.
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Post  Goosegirl 3/14/2015, 11:47 am

momvet wrote:..... I look at as an experiment, although when you raise them from seed you (I) get very attached. Smile

Don't we all?! My seedlings are my babies (after my Puddy Tats, of course) and I get more emotional over them than is rational! Your garden looks fabulous and we all look forward to hearing and seeing it progress for you this season.
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Post  Windmere 3/14/2015, 12:27 pm

Oh word, what beautiful work momvet!  I love it!  Keep us posted on your progress.
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Post  Triciasgarden 3/15/2015, 2:17 pm

Looks like you got all the answers! I have to add my enviousness to the list of others, lol!
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Post  momvet 4/12/2015, 5:49 pm

So I am a little disappointed because the bugs are eating everything. BUT I am growing a lot of plants in a small space and I need to be appreciative of that. So far radishes (duh), turnips, swiss chard and lettuce (before they get eaten) are the stars. All of my spring veggies are in and doing great (a couple of robins tried to eat my one sunflower sprout but I chased them away). I have corn, beans, squash all sprouting. My cukes, which looked so great before transplant, have lost color. Should I fertilize! (I really really worked hard to make my Mel's Mix right, especially the compost). I pulled out two of the peas because it was obvious I planted too late but the Sugar Daddies are hanging in there so they will survive. As far as pests, I have found and removed 2 tiny caterpillars under a few pepper leaves. I did use Sluggo (even though no "slime" found and insecticidal soap. I have been feeding my tortoise the radish, turnip and beet greens and he LOVES them. Here is my garden today (if I can remember how to post pics!) After being unable to post multiple pictures, I went out to my garden to unwind. Lo and behold, 3 of tow of my four corns and my single sunflower are now gone. I have never had problems growing sunflowers. I am SOOO frustrated. Will try the pics again.
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 So it was birds that got the last ones, I get it. But I feed the birds ! Not near the garden because I don''t want the seeds. Anyway, I have a lot more growing than I would have without SFG.
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Post  CitizenKate 4/12/2015, 8:03 pm

Despite the problems this looks great!  But I'd be frustrated, too.  It'll be my turn soon... CitizenKate will transform into Helga the Worm Slayer.  Twisted Evil
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Post  Nicola 4/12/2015, 9:38 pm

Condolences on your lost plants. Maybe it's time to put up some bird netting?
And your beds are beautiful (Don't suppose you still have instructions on how they were made?)
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Post  sanderson 4/13/2015, 4:19 am

Momvet,  Sluggo or Sluggo Plus? Your garden is looking good. The sow bugs are eating some of my plants. When I sprinkle SP, the feeding stops.

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Post  momvet 4/13/2015, 9:17 am

Nicola - I will look into the bird netting. Don't see any other way. As far as the beds, they are 30 years old so no specifics. I remember they used some kind of blocks, stuccoed them and capped them with the bricks. Sanderson - I think it was plain old Sluggo - will have to check my shed. Will get Sluggo Plus (although I know what it eating my peppers is a little green caterpillar because I've found two. Thanks!
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Post  momvet 4/19/2015, 2:31 pm

Thanks for everyone's advice. I used Sluggo Plus and sprayed with an organic spray (can't remember the name right now) and the plant munching seems to have subsided. The tomatoes and cucumbers seemed a little shocked at first, but seem to be taking off. The squash and corn have sprouted (as has my re-seeded sunflower) and are surviving thanks to the bird netting and mason jars/plastic bottles placed over them at night. I have carrots, arugula, kale, lettuce, chard, bush beans, cosmos, zinnias, eggplant, beets, and one square of peas that is doing OK so I left them. I have harvested radishes already and they were very yummy. Very happy with the progress and so happy with the progress. Thanks to the help of you guys! So here are some more pictures.
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Post  littlesapphire 4/20/2015, 11:55 am

The garden is looking great!  I'm glad you figured out a way to keep critters from eating your plants; that's really the worst trouble I've had in my garden.  The critters are just as hungry as I am.  I have to cover my cucumbers every night with plastic cups until they're big enough to climb, or the slugs literally eat them down to the ground.  So I approve of the mason jar idea!  I may have to try that myself.  That way I won't have to put a rock on top of it or worry it'll blow away like the plastic cups I use.
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Post  FRED58 4/20/2015, 7:43 pm

I used to use something similar to those mason jars: 2 liter plastic bottles with the bottoms cut out as mini greenhouses. They last three or four seasons and when they get messy, you can still recycle them, The caps act as a vent on warm days. Pop soda bottles work, but I like cranberry or V8 juice bottles best. Green ones don't work quite as well. I've been saving them since Christmas. (But I really cut back on soft drinks and juice, so I'm going to be short).
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Post  momvet 5/8/2015, 3:53 pm

Hi to everyone who has helped me! Things are looking real good (so glad it rained!). My container tomatoes seem to be yards ahead of those in my beds, but they also get a little more sun. Just thought I would post a couple of pictures.
Baby Cukes!
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Pole Beans!
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Update on the beds!
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Post  sanderson 5/9/2015, 12:13 am

Everything is looking so beautiful. Very Happy

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Post  AtlantaMarie 5/9/2015, 8:56 am

+1!
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Post  momvet 5/26/2015, 3:01 pm

Here are my latest pics. Worm tubes waiting to be filled! Everything looks good but my peppers and eggplants aren't doing much (it has been cool) and my tomatoes in the beds look like wimps compared to those in bags. I'd blame it on less sun, but the cukes are going crazy!
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Post  momvet 5/26/2015, 4:51 pm

Here's my first "harvest". I have been eating radishes as soon as they pop up and using the herbs, etc. I used to think I hated beets until I tried roasting them. I have Chioggia and Detroit Red and I know they are small, but I just had to see them and I have heard that baby beets are great. Other than radishes and carrots, I had never grown root vegetables and I decided to pull a turnip because the greenery was so overwhelming everything else - little root, not ready. You live and you learn. So excited to again be growing my own stuff! Thanks to everyone here!bounce
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