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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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not new but moving. Toplef10not new but moving. 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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Post  Eric Lingo 5/30/2015, 2:19 pm

Hello all I am not new to here..but I am moving from southern California hardiness 9 to south west area of Montana which I believe is hardiness 3 any suggestions on what to plant how to plant and critter protection cause I do know Elk and Moose do like to come trotting into town. so should I do planter benches like 3-4ft off the ground with a 1-2ft depth or just normal beds on the ground and curious how MM does in the much wetter climate also what about winter on closing down your beds..anything special needs to be done that kinda thing..ok rambling is done for now
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Post  Kelejan 5/30/2015, 2:43 pm

Eric, it sure is a big difference so that is like almost being a new gardener. At least I can extend a welcome from a neighbouring province in Canada, British Columbia so your condition should be somewhat like Eastern B.C. which is different to the coast.

We have had some hot and dry weather lately so we are now having some much needed rain, a bit of to much of it as my lawn is about eight inches high and I may need a scythe to tame it. The strawberries have green berries but need the sun now.

If it helps, today I have sown some radish seeds, and yesterday tomato and cucumber transplants.  If you plants seeds they will eventually grow enough to give a harvest.  As we keep saying, it's only seeds.

Hope all goes well in time for fall.
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Post  Eric Lingo 5/30/2015, 2:52 pm

time and cost wise I will probably not plant this season in montana just wana get preped for 16 season
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Post  vortex 5/30/2015, 3:05 pm

Guessing you can grow just about anything, but you'll have to start more things indoors from seed.

Combine with hoops for row covers to extend the season a bit in both directions, and you should be just fine.


Moose/Elk/Big critters is another thing. Hopefully you'll have a fence or something, because they would have a great time with your stuff on the ground. If you make it higher, then all you'll do is make it easier for them and they won't have to bend down so much.


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Post  Turan 5/30/2015, 3:08 pm

Hello from the Gallatin Valley near Bozeman.

Elk and Moose will like you putting beds up to easy eating height Very Happy
Ask your new neighbors but I am thinking a fully enclosed space is what you will need. You could use table tops, they will thaw out earlier than the ground but freeze faster in the Fall. If you are serious gardening you will need some sort of greenhouse for tomatoes and even beans are tough. MM will be fine, you can tweak it as you see the need.

Check out the Western Mountain and Plains region forum here. I have been trying to give some sort of an account of the gardening year at least for me. SO far I am the coldest zone represented. I am in zone 4. I am guessing you are moving near the park up river from me.

Welcome to the mountains!

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Post  AtlantaMarie 5/30/2015, 4:19 pm

Congratulations on the move, Eric!  Wish we could do the same....  although, I'll confess, I'm not sure I could handle the cold... Wink
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Post  boffer 5/30/2015, 4:42 pm

If I were starting from scratch in that climate, I'd go greenhouses all the way.  They will extend your season, provide more heat for warm season crops, and provide protection from wildlife.

With a little scrounging and basic DIYer skills, you can put up a 12x24 greenhouse like this for a couple hundred dollars.

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Post  Turan 5/30/2015, 4:59 pm

+1

This is the land of high tunnels.
My boss does her whole garden in a 24x48 high tunnel.
You can find the frames pretty cheap from abandoned growing operations. Just tie them down really well for the wind and put new film on them (Farmtek is where to go for the film)

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Post  sanderson 5/30/2015, 5:09 pm

Eric, At least you will get a winter rest from gardening. In CA, an empty square in the winter is a wasted area. Very Happy The good thing about this Forum is that you will have help from others growing under similar conditions. Don't drop out of sight, please.

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Post  boffer 5/30/2015, 5:13 pm

Turan wrote:...(Farmtek is where to go for the film)

+1

We've been dealing with them for 20+ years, and I can't speak highly enough about their customer service.

In my area, single car portable garages are frequently used for excess cars, big boys' toys, and horses.  I regularly see them abandoned with no canvas.  If not free, they can be had for pennies on the dollar.
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Post  Eric Lingo 5/30/2015, 8:19 pm

ya I will be in the bozeman area..going to be working at the university..going to either ultimatly get a place in either bozeman,livingston,4 corners,belgrade or manhattan
and ya ultimatly going fully enclosed might have to be the way..my sister who by the way I got doing square foot gardening too lives in livingston and she didnt have to much of an issue with the critters..they did loose some stuff but not alot before they did somekinda fencing I think.
I will miss getting 2 or even 3 crops but having time off from it will help too and also can more easly give way to new prjects or upgrades
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Post  Turan 5/30/2015, 9:20 pm

We will be close neighbors. I live outside Belgrade. It is zone 4 here. Lots of stuff you can grow in a raised bed on the ground. You will see lots of them around town. There is a community garden near the university and a number of good CSAs. Those all are great places to learn what grows well here and some tips on the hows.

Livingston is a bit warmer than Bozeman. Manhattan is also warmer but has some nasty cold spots were frost settles.

Elk and moose are rarities wandering through town, you got to get up toward Big Sky for them to be garden pests. Now deer....... they can be trouble but mostly they move further out in the spring. A good dog that runs in the yard at night (we leave our doors open around here) will remind deer to keep moving. I see raised bed gardens along sidewalks in Bozeman that are not bothered.
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Post  Eric Lingo 5/30/2015, 9:37 pm

nice to know Turan..whats a CSA?
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Post  quiltbea 5/30/2015, 10:13 pm

In watching some of the programs on buying homes in Alaska, I've noticed that to protect outdoor gardens folks put up board fencing.  Its just ONE board all around at a height that discourages the tall moose.  One sturdy board that goes around the garden about 4 or 5 feet high I think and about 10" wide.  They don't leap like deer so it stops them in their tracks.
But as suggested earlier, a greenhouse might work better for you for summer crops like tomatoes, but your cool-weather crops should do well in an open garden.
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Post  ralitaco 5/30/2015, 10:17 pm

Turan wrote:...put new film on them (Farmtek is where to go for the film)
Which film do you suggest for a greenhouse?
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Post  boffer 5/30/2015, 11:06 pm

This is what I ordered for the greenhouse I built last winter.

https://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/ProductDisplay?catalogId=15052&catalogId2=10001&ftCatalogId=10001&searchMethod=wcSearch&searchType=ANY&searchBeginIndex=0&searchDefaultPerPage=10&ftSearchBeginIndex=0&ftSearchDefaultPerPage=10&mfPartNumber=108656

My first greenhouse is 4 years old, and the film is still more clear and pliable than new 'construction grade, clear' 6 mil plastic from any big box store.    The extended longevity and clarity make the extra cost a bargain.  I can't tell you for certain that the plants appreciate the difference, but the gardener does!
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Post  Turan 5/30/2015, 11:14 pm

A CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. Basically it is a vegetable farm that you subscribe to for the season and receive a box of vegetables every week. There are a number of them in our area. About our local CSAs~ https://www.bozo.coop/Bozeman_Area_CSAs

What kind of covering for a greenhouse sort of depends on what you are up to. I used a single layer for my first cattle panel high tunnel greenhouse. Making a double layer and using a fan to inflate the area between is the norm around here for commercial high tunnels. My current greenhouse is 4mm double walled polycarbonate. It does a good job but is rigid so not really a film you can stretch over a frame. Double walls really makes a big difference here but I had 5 good years from my single layer one. The various drop sheet plastics at Home Depot etc are not UV stabilized and shred pretty quickly. Here is Farmteks page~ http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/cat1;ft_building_materials-ft_roofing_wall_coverings;ft_greenhouse_film_covering.html

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Post  Marc Iverson 5/30/2015, 11:31 pm

It certainly would be a heck of a lot cheaper than fencing. Even a pretty small garden can cost over a grand to fence in, if you use sturdy posts and build it high enough to at least discourage deer.

Re building up off the ground, I generally like that, because it makes it harder on moles and other burrowing animals. Even the ones that don't eat plants can still stunt or kill them by digging right through their roots in pursuit of worms and other meaty goodies.

And wow what a relief for your back, especially as a person gets older or if you get hurt ... at least one or the other of which is gonna happen one day. It makes gardening so much more pleasurable when you don't have to bend over so much.
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