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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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Post  floyd1440 3/1/2015, 8:28 am

My old grids, made of 1" slats, have detrained to the pint that I can no longer use them.  Does anyone have an alternative to wooden grids?  I think I saw some other ideas out there using something other than wood.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/1/2015, 10:42 am

I use surveyer string.  I know it's not recommended, but it works...

I've seen others use pvc pipe that includes watering for the squares.

You might look at some plastic slats, if you can find them.  But I'm not sure how well they'll hold up in the sun/rain/etc...
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Post  Dara 3/1/2015, 11:20 am

I'm wondering if slats from mini blinds would work?? If you could find 4' ones...?
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Post  yolos 3/1/2015, 1:17 pm

I use cord/string that is strung thru those eye screws.
New Grids 4_x_4_10
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 3/1/2015, 1:29 pm

Mine deteriorated to the point of being pulled out so I'll read along with interest! 

I would say if you use a twine to find something that will last longer than a season or two like mine did.  Any recommendations for durable twine?  I was thinking perhaps a wire instead.  I like the thinness of this kind of divider better than wood.
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Post  yolos 3/1/2015, 1:39 pm

audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:Mine deteriorated to the point of being pulled out so I'll read along with interest! 

I would say if you use a twine to find something that will last longer than a season or two like mine did.  Any recommendations for durable twine?  I was thinking perhaps a wire instead.  I like the thinness of this kind of divider better than wood.

I put my string/cord grids in this bed in the fall of 2011 and they are still very strong.  I will have to look around and see if I can figure out what size cord it was.  The last couple of times I have used the cord, I used mason line.
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Post  plantoid 3/1/2015, 6:22 pm

I have had 100 mtrs of thin black neoprene rubber beading cord that is used to seat the glass panes on an aluminium framed glass house , it was very very cheap .

 It is UV resistant and can stand all our weathers here in the UK .

 I use 9 inch long home made seed labels as pegs to secure them ,  drill two small holes in the top of each peg that is ever so slightly tight on the rubber cord .
 The cords are about 9 inches longer the the square side , once passed through the pegs the cords are knotted at the ends to stop them pulling through.
 
I push a peg in the MM at one end of the row and gently roll some of the cord onto the other peg to take up the slack then do another half rotation to give it gentle tension , then push it in to the MM  at the opposite end

My neoprene " Lines " are now into their fourth year.  When it's bed clearing time , I simply take them out still on the peg & roll them up on the pair of  pegs .
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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/1/2015, 6:41 pm

Dara wrote:I'm wondering if slats from mini blinds would work?? If you could find 4' ones...?

Yes, they would.  I know I've seen SOMEONE on here using them...  Now, who was it... thinking
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Post  floyd1440 3/2/2015, 7:56 pm

yolos wrote:I use cord/string that is strung thru those eye screws.
New Grids 4_x_4_10
I wonder if there is a way to put some kinda weights on each end of the string to hold it in place.  I think I would have to put a small grove in both sides of the boxes on 4' center.

But I like the look of your strings...very clean and after planting I don't find the grids necessary.
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Post  sanderson 3/2/2015, 8:09 pm

I know everyone is sick of this photo, but here are screws, slightly raised, that I ran one long string around serpentine like. New Grids Table_18
However, I'm going to replace the string with the wood grids because I can just lift the grid out of the way (as well as the drip tubing and go to town mixing stuff up in the Mix if I want. Original wood grids are 24 months old and still solid. Maybe our drier weather allows them to last longer? New Grids West_s10

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Post  mschaef 3/2/2015, 9:27 pm

I am thinking of using dowel rods for my box this year. They are easy to cut and come in several sizes.
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Post  yolos 3/2/2015, 9:28 pm

floyd1440 wrote:
yolos wrote:I use cord/string that is strung thru those eye screws.
New Grids 4_x_4_10
I wonder if there is a way to put some kinda weights on each end of the string to hold it in place.  I think I would have to put a small grove in both sides of the boxes on 4' center.

But I like the look of your strings...very clean and after planting I don't find the grids necessary.

Jimmy cee uses bricks to hold down one side of the string grid.  I found this picture on one of the other threads.  Maybe he will read this and direct you to some better pictures of his grids.
New Grids Sept_g10

I have a 4 foot long 1" x 1" that I mark with 1 foot intervals in permanent marker.  When I get in a hurry and don't have time to reset the grids, I just use this as a measure and mark the grids off in the soil.
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Post  FamilyGardening 3/2/2015, 11:25 pm

we have used string, wood & green wire

this year we are going to use carrots, onions and radishes for a live grid Very Happy

happy gardening
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Post  AtlantaMarie 3/3/2015, 8:08 am

Rose, what a COOL idea!  Please let us know how that turns out.  Functional and edible...  what a concept!
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Post  jimmy cee 3/3/2015, 8:20 am

I'm always eager to help, I liked these grids because they are, easily removable,  ever lasting, clean, self adjusting, and just plain pretty.
I plan on replacing the bricks with old window sash weights when I can find them..Will make it less bulky. 
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Post  llama momma 3/3/2015, 9:19 am

I've used mini blinds, vinyl clothes line, lined up free wooden paint stirrers from Home Depot pushed into the mix on its skinny side.  Pros and cons with each.  To me the mini blinds have won. The blinds could blow around on windy days so I pushed in an eye screw in almost every piece that intersects. The tiny bit of extra weight fixed it. It looks very nice.  
Wooden grid attracted slugs and vinyl clothes line sags in the heat of the sun and looks droopy.  The wood lath that Mel recommends was hard to find and when some was located at Menards it looked unappealing.  Had splintered pieces but maybe they had a very bad load.
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Post  Goosegirl 3/3/2015, 9:29 am

I want to try the carrot grid this year. I know that radishes will pop up faster, but I am just not a radish fan! However, there can NEVER be too many carrots in the garden~
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Post  littlesapphire 3/3/2015, 9:56 am

Love all the ideas, everyone.  I have such a hard time finding a grid setup that works for me.  I've used mini blinds (fell apart the first year), strings (breaks or rots very easily), cedar shims (hard to get in and out of the MM, at least for me), onions (they're heavy feeders so they take a lot of nutrients from the plants they're surrounding and kind of stunt them), and finger drawn lines (washes away!).  I'd really like to find something that works!  For the last couple of years, I've pretty much given up and gardened without grids.  I like the idea of a heavy clothesline weighted down by bricks (or maybe a 4' piece of lumber?).  I need to be able to get in there and really dig before and after the season, because we have a tree that loves putting its roots up into the boxes and I need to chop them off once in a while.
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Post  jimmy cee 3/3/2015, 11:23 am

littlesapphire wrote:Love all the ideas, everyone.  I have such a hard time finding a grid setup that works for me.  I've used mini blinds (fell apart the first year), strings (breaks or rots very easily), cedar shims (hard to get in and out of the MM, at least for me), onions (they're heavy feeders so they take a lot of nutrients from the plants they're surrounding and kind of stunt them), and finger drawn lines (washes away!).  I'd really like to find something that works!  For the last couple of years, I've pretty much given up and gardened without grids.  I like the idea of a heavy clothesline weighted down by bricks (or maybe a 4' piece of lumber?).  I need to be able to get in there and really dig before and after the season, because we have a tree that loves putting its roots up into the boxes and I need to chop them off once in a while.

Sorry to say this, If tree roots are invading your beds, they are sucking up most of what your plants need for good growth...I found this out last year when in my 2nd year things didn't go a well as the year before..
My 4 beds were completely filled with my neighbors roots..
New Grids Bed_3_14
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Post  jimmy cee 3/3/2015, 11:30 am

Dara wrote:I'm wondering if slats from mini blinds would work?? If you could find 4' ones...?

Slats from any kind of bilnd can be connected together and cut to desired length.
All that needs to be done is to use cyanoacrylate adhesive ( better know as crazy glue).
Rough up the surface with sand paper, clamp together and it will be tough to get apart.
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Post  littlesapphire 3/3/2015, 2:25 pm

Jimmy, yeah, I know the trees are sucking up a lot of the good stuff from my gardens, but chopping the tree roots up a couple times a season is the best I can really do right now.  I thought about digging a deeper bed and putting some plywood down under the mix, but decided it was more work than I really wanted to do!  Besides, I still get a decent crop even with the tree roots.  Makes me wonder what I'd be getting if I didn't have the trees!  Unfortunately, the trees are on a neighbor's property, so as much as I'd like to remove them, it ain't gonna happen anytime soon.
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Post  jimmy cee 3/3/2015, 8:00 pm

Here's what I wound up doing with my4 beds, if not I would have given up.
New Grids Bed_2-10
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Post  littlesapphire 3/3/2015, 8:11 pm

Wow, that looks really cool!  Is that plywood as the base of your box?  Does your MM dry out faster up in the air?  Were you having serious problems getting your plants to grow with tree roots before you raised your beds up?

I bet that would really get rid of my slug problem....maybe.  I accidentally brought in a slug last year when I brought some MM in to start some plants in.  The little critter lived in my basement for a month!  I had no idea who was eating my little seedlings; I blamed the cats until I caught the little beast.

Anyway, I really like your idea a lot.  I'm not sure I'll go to that level (pun not intended!), but I'm glad it's working for you.
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Post  sanderson 3/3/2015, 8:24 pm

Here's a more simple design to start with. New Grids Raised13

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Post  jimmy cee 3/3/2015, 9:00 pm

littlesapphire wrote:Wow, that looks really cool!  Is that plywood as the base of your box?  Does your MM dry out faster up in the air?  Were you having serious problems getting your plants to grow with tree roots before you raised your beds up?

I bet that would really get rid of my slug problem....maybe.  I accidentally brought in a slug last year when I brought some MM in to start some plants in.  The little critter lived in my basement for a month!  I had no idea who was eating my little seedlings; I blamed the cats until I caught the little beast.

Anyway, I really like your idea a lot.  I'm not sure I'll go to that level (pun not intended!), but I'm glad it's working for you.

Don't know yet if it's going to work, since I finished up in late fall it's all frozen solid now. I have no doubt that it should work, nothing in the bed grew down the 1st season and I had the most gorgeous veggies.
Bottoms of the beds are deck planking, I found they were about the same price as plywood and easier to work with.
I don't look for a dry condition, if I do I think that's minor compared to tree roo
ts.
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