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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Hi from Buffalo Empty Hi from Buffalo

Post  Nikko on 3/30/2018, 10:11 pm

Do people still join here?

I suppose im new. Ive gardened before but never put much effort into it. I usually have just mixed in compost to ground soul and dropped a few tomatoes and other things in.

Now that ive got more money to build a very nice garden, i came across the sfg method while researching proper soil.

Im a scientist in real life so i hope its ok i choose to experiment with gardening vs reading some guys opinion and following it blindly. Wink.

Last thing i want to do is offend. Im here for tye resource and from what ive read so far, this group is very knowledgable.

Cheers,
Nikko
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  farmersgranddaughter on 3/31/2018, 12:32 am

Welcome, Nikko!  

I enjoy research and, when I first considered planting a garden, was intrigued by Mel Bartholomew's book, All New Square Foot Gardening, primarily because of the weed free soil mixture that has become known as "Mel's Mix."  He's an engineer who, while working with a community garden, began asking "why?" to some traditional gardening methods.  I'm guessing that he conducted a lot of experiments on the path to creating the SFG method.  I like SFG because it minimizes work (no tilling, weeding, or thinning) while maximizing production.

The "Search" box is a wonderful research feature.  As you scroll down the Home page, you'll find regional groups which fosters communication with others who share the same climate.

What are your plans for your new garden?
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  Nikko on 3/31/2018, 6:41 am

I am converting a corner of my yard to raised beds I bought at Costco. I will have one 6’x6’x24” bed with a keyhole, two 4x4 beds, and one 4x12 bed. For this year, I’m going to try the SFG method on the two 4x4 beds. I have purchased a lot of raised bed....well it felt like I didn’t but with about 110 square feet, I think I’d be overwhelmed if I did the whole garden this year.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t see a tomato fitting in a 1x1 square. I’m used to my tomatoes growing super huge. It I’m going to try this new (to me) method and see how I like it.

I’m super excited for the warm weather to arrive. I’ve been planning and reading for a few months. My wife is getting upset I’m not paying enough attention to her. Lol


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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  trolleydriver on 3/31/2018, 9:14 am

Welcome Nikko from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  :canada:


You ask, "Do people still join here?".   
Answer: They certainly do and more will join as Spring progresses.

You say, "I choose to experiment ... vs reading some guy's opinion ..."
Answer: Many of us experiment with various things in our gardens. I am an engineer and experimenting is built into my genes. I do a combination of regular soil, old style SFG, All New SFG and even lasagane gardening. Within those parameters I experiment with different kinds of trellises, different ways to make compost, different ways to start seedlings, etc. As for "some guys opinion".  First, the "guy" is Mel Bartholomew. He was an engineer. He experimented and came up with a great system called All New Square Foot Gardening. It works!!! The three part Mel's Mix (vermiculite, peat moss and compost) works. You can even put an open bottom raised bed on a concrete patio, fill it with Mel's Mix, and it will work. His book provides what I consider to be a wealth of information for successful gardening. Just look at the simplicity and strength of his EMT conduit trellis design.

You say, "I don't see a tomato fitting in a 1x1 square".
Answer: it won't if you use determinate tomatoes and let them sprawl. I grow indeterminate, vining tomatoes and grow them up a trellis. I remove the suckers and allow only the main branch and one or two sucker branches per plant. Some people remove all suckers but I allow one or two to grow in case the main branch gets damaged/broken. The plants grow tall and produce like crazy. Because there is better air circulation there is less disease.

You say that you are starting with two 4x4 beds.
Answer: That is a great decision. That is how many of us started. I really think you are going to be pleasantly surprised by SFG.

Nikko, we all wish you success with your gardening efforts. There are some very good and knowledgeable people on this forum. There is also a wealth of archived information that can be accessed from the search box. We are looking forward to seeing photos of your garden. All the best from your friends here on the Official SFG Forum.
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/31/2018, 10:19 am

@Nikko wrote:I am converting a corner of my yard to raised beds I bought at Costco. I will have one 6’x6’x24” bed with a keyhole, two 4x4 beds, and one 4x12 bed. For this year, I’m going to try the SFG method on the two 4x4 beds. I have purchased a lot of raised bed....well it felt like I didn’t but with about 110 square feet, I think I’d be overwhelmed if I did the whole garden this year.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t see a tomato fitting in a 1x1 square. I’m used to my tomatoes growing super huge. It I’m going to try this new (to me) method and see how I like it.

I’m super excited for the warm weather to arrive. I’ve been planning and reading for a few months. My wife is getting upset I’m not paying enough attention to her. Lol


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Welcome, Nikko!
SCIENCE Hi from Buffalo 2027012869
 I started gardening with OSFG (old square foot gardening) - compost/amendments in the dirt plus square foot growing spacing. Then I got tired of digging  and I added some ANSFG (all new square foot gardening - raised beds with Mel's Mix). I grew vegetables in both, and many types did better in the ANSFG, so that's the direction the garden expanded in. I do have a few vegetables that do better in the OSFG, or aren't suitable for raised beds. You may find the same thing, but which vegetables will depend on your soil, climate, watering style, and sundry other variables. Two 4x4's is a great way to start - starting small is highly recommended so you can get a feel for the differences between ANSFG and regular gardening. I have clay-heavy dirt, so the differences in watering the two types of garden was a challenge for me.

As TD explained, there's a particular method for getting a tomato to fit in a 1x1 square. I find it difficult to sucker my tomatoes diligently enough, so I plant closer to 1.5x1.5 per tomato -- and/but plant low-growing plants, like lettuce, in that half square worth of space on the front.

I look forward to hearing about your experiments/experiences!
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  countrynaturals on 3/31/2018, 11:53 am

glad you\'re here  Nikko! I was born in Eden -- moved to Hamburg when I was 3. Dad owned a real estate firm in Buffalo. I still remember the animated dept store windows at Christmas time. 

I had lots of relatives there, and they all gardened. I think you have the most fertile soil on Planet Earth. I remember picking and eating strawberries as big as my fist (I was 5). They were the sweetest and juiciest I've had to this day. I also remember flower gardens that were like a jungle to my little self.  thanks for the trip down memory lane.

As others have already mentioned, we love to experiment and share the results -- good or bad. I'm in California now, and I have one bed of ANSFG, one bed of "humanitarian" ANSFG (all compost, leaves, and rabbit poo -- no store-bought materials at all), a large, raised "keyhole" walled OSFG garden (search Butterfly Junction for my story) a large plot of BTE (Back To Eden -- another guy's idea of easy, no-till gardening) and dozens of containers.

Again, Welcome. We'd love to see pics of your set-up, before, during, and after.
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  Nikko on 3/31/2018, 1:21 pm

Awesome. Thanks for the welcome!

I should probably take pics......wish I took one before I moved a lot of stuff around

The space I’m converting to raised bed gardens was a large “river rock garden”. Essentially it was a very large area of river rock.

Hi from Buffalo 15225110

.....I hate river rock

The area gets great sun exposure and because of the thick layer of rock, I probably won’t have many weeds for a year or two.

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Post  countrynaturals on 3/31/2018, 1:41 pm

Looks great, Nikko. Thanks for posting the pic. Can't wait to follow your progress.  Very Happy
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  trolleydriver on 3/31/2018, 1:43 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:Looks great, Nikko. Thanks for posting the pic. Can't wait to follow your progress.  Very Happy
+1
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  sanderson on 3/31/2018, 2:39 pm

Hi Nikko, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here What a beautiful corner garden. I love you I think every thing I would have said has already been said by others. The Mel's Mix formula works, trust us.

As the beds are open to the rocks, I would recommend lining the bottom and up the insides with commercial grade weed fabric. Even 2 layers. You do't want to lose any of the precious Mix!

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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  Kelejan on 4/1/2018, 5:14 am

glad you\'re here  Nikko happy hi 
from Kelejan :canada: in the Great White North.  The last of my snow should disappear this week.

I live in British Columbia and I started with two 4x4 Square Foot gardens the first year and kept myself in fresh salad vegetables all that first summer; I am sure your wife will appreciate your efforts and will realize you are not neglecting her.  I like the seat in your garden where you can watch it all grow,

I sometimes experiment a little.  My last one was a two-worm yogurt container bin where I started with two worms, only adding food and bedding, and after a while ended up with 75 worms that I eventually transferred to my normal sized worm bin.
wave smile
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/1/2018, 8:10 am

@Nikko wrote:Awesome. Thanks for the welcome!

I should probably take pics......wish I took one before I moved a lot of stuff around

The space I’m converting to raised bed gardens was a large “river rock garden”. Essentially it was a very large area of river rock.

Hi from Buffalo 15225110

.....I hate river rock

The area gets great sun exposure and because of the thick layer of rock, I probably won’t have many weeds for a year or two.

Sent from Topic'it App
So pretty! 

I grow great cherry tomatoes here in New England - 5 plants to a four  foot wide trellis. I don't do too well with the larger tomatoes. I don't think it gets warm enough for long enough here on Cape Cod. Off Cape they have great success with the large ones. 

Anyway, Welcome to The Forum and please keep us updated with photos of how your experiments are working out. I experiment all the time. I love it!

CC
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/2/2018, 9:13 am

Hi Nikko! Welcome also from Atlanta, GA!

What a great space you have!

I think the great majority of us here like science & experimentation. Many of us keep notes from year to year on what variety grew well (or not, lol!). And I agree that I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can grow in your space.

Lots of info in the archives, so please poke around. Ask questions. Give & accept advice. We all like to have a good time together...
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  Nikko on 4/17/2018, 2:08 pm

I've gardened before but it was usually just a few tomato plants and a couple extra random plants.  Three years ago we bought a new house and the backyard looked as though it was professionally landscaped.  So I haven't done any gardening since our last house.  This year I finally decided to garden and to keep the backyard looking great, I have spent a lot of money and effort to make sure the garden won't look to messy.

anyway...the point I'm trying to get at here is....


WHY IS IT SNOWING RIGHT NOW !?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!  It's April 17 and we have about 4" of snow from yesterday and its snowing again now!  Sad

So I bought an indoor led growing light that people probably use to grow marijuana.  Eh, to each their own, I'm using it for my veggies!!
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/17/2018, 3:11 pm

Snowing?  That's crazy.  Mad  Sounds like you're having the same lengthy winter as TrolleyDriver in Canada.
Do you have anything started inside yet?  They'll probably love your new light.

CC
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Post  sanderson on 4/18/2018, 3:51 am

Nikko, there are other members who use these lights for real veggies. Wink

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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  Nikko on 4/21/2018, 6:38 pm

Hi from Buffalo 2aef1210

Got some work done today
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  trolleydriver on 4/21/2018, 6:39 pm

@Nikko wrote:Hi from Buffalo 2aef1210

Got some work done today
That looks great.
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/22/2018, 6:42 am

+1!
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  sanderson on 4/22/2018, 2:23 pm

+2

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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  Nikko on 4/22/2018, 4:24 pm

Hi from Buffalo 56b60010
Almost done. Boy am I sore and tired. Good thing there’s always next weekend
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  Nikko on 5/12/2018, 7:03 am

Hi from Buffalo 66a77f10
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/12/2018, 10:39 pm

How did I miss you?  Welcome!!!!  Nikki,looks like you have some adorable helpers!  Love your plans, and you have a wonderful set up!  Mine is super slapped together, but the great thing about SFG is its flexibility.  

You will need to keep detailed notes.  That is one thing that refer to year after year.  Each year is different!  This year, has been, umm, cold.....and snowy. 

Anyways.  Keep notes, post often!  We love to hear from everybody!  What do you like to eat, what are you gonna plant in your 32 squares?  In my experience, you can fit a tomato into a square, but mine end up about 1.5 each.  I have some repurposed window boxes that are a bit bigger than 1 square foot.  I also use the twirly supports for maters, vs trellis.  

I do trellis cukes, pole beans, and some melons.  And sugar snaps which are in!

glad you\'re here
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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  sanderson on 5/13/2018, 1:26 pm

Nikko, Love your helpers!

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Hi from Buffalo Empty Re: Hi from Buffalo

Post  MrBooker on 5/14/2018, 7:28 am

@Nikko wrote:Hi from Buffalo 56b60010
Almost done. Boy am I sore and tired. Good thing there’s always next weekend
WELCOME NIKKO from S/W Illinois. Looks like most of your hard work is done. The planting and harvesting will be easier. I hope you left enough room for a few compost bins......
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