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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  has55 2/5/2021, 10:57 am

how long have you had it?
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Post  OhioGardener 2/5/2021, 11:09 am

@has55 wrote:how long have you had it?

The oldest 2 beds are 5 years old, the newest ones are 2 years old.

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Post  has55 2/5/2021, 11:17 am

thanks. they look great
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Post  sanderson 2/17/2021, 2:33 am

OG, I went back over your posts on Blue Lake beans. Great job.

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Post  OhioGardener 2/17/2021, 8:13 am

thanks 

The Blue Lake beans really produce in this area. Love that they are both stringless and heirloom.

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Post  mollyhespra 4/16/2021, 1:43 pm

Hi, OG. I'm back with more questions for you, lol.

So I got 6 of the Fresa model beds and started laying them out last week in the new garden area. Looks like I'm going to be needing 6 more...so...here's my question:

I noticed when I was out there how incredibly BRIGHT the sun's reflection is off the plain unpainted beds. Like, painfully bright.

So now I'm thinking maybe I should get the ones that come pre-painted but they want an additional $50 for the paint.

For $300 bucks, I can paint a lot of beds myself but my question to you is how well are the ones you painted green holding up? Is the paint chipping or maybe you used spray paint?

And did you have to do any special treatment to the metal so the paint sticks better?

Thanks so much for your help, OG!
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Post  OhioGardener 4/16/2021, 2:06 pm

Molly, I just spray painted the ends of the beds that were reflecting light into the house. The other 3 sides weren't painted. I used Rust-Oleum Universal Flat Metallic Spray Paint (had to look at the can to get the name of it), which has the primer included in the paint. It is important to use flat paint, not glossy, since the glossy paint will reflect light as well as the unpainted beds. I didn't do any prep except to wipe them before painting to ensure there was no dirt on the metal. None of the paint has chipped or come off, and so far I have not scratched them to expose the metal. So far, so good.

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Post  mollyhespra 4/16/2021, 4:48 pm

Hey, thanks for the info, OG! Roughly how many cans of paint did you need? I'm thinking it can't possibly be $50 per bed. I'm going to have to spray paint all 4 sides because I'm on a slight hill and they're so bright, everyone below me will be blinded by the light once they're set in place.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/16/2021, 4:59 pm

I only used 2 full cans and part of a 3rd can of spray paint, and they weren't very expensive. I thought I would need more than I did, and I bought them in a case of 6 cans for something like $24.95 at the local Lowe's store. I have 5 beds that I had to paint - the sides of one, and the ends of 4 of them.

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Post  mollyhespra 4/16/2021, 7:33 pm

Thanks for your help, OG.

So the way I read your post, about 3 cans covered 8 of those individual panels that make up each bed?

If that's the case, I'd need maybe 4 cans per each "Fresa" model which has 10 panels, would you say?

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Post  OhioGardener 4/16/2021, 7:46 pm

I'd guess 3 cans would do the 10 panels, maybe with a little left over to start another bed, since I didn't use much out of the 3rd can when I did mine.

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Post  mollyhespra 4/20/2021, 9:09 pm

Thanks, OG! I'll give it a go and let you know how it goes!
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Post  OhioGardener 5/19/2021, 11:29 am

Finished making the new tomato cages, and got them installed on the beds. These cages are 18" square, and just short of 7' high. Will be transplanting the tomatoes into them tomorrow or the next day. Looking forward to the new season of fresh tomatoes! Smile
The past several years I had been using Texas Tomato Cages, but last year the tomatoes got so heavy that they bent the cages, and a couple of them collapsed when a wind storm came up. It was time for some new, heavy duty cages.
I made these tomato cages based on a plan shown in a video by Joe Gardener (I'll post his video below), but I modified his plans slightly. He cut the cattle panels to 6' length, but I just cut the original panel in half so that I had two 8' panels instead. This resulted in the tomato cages being 16" in the ground and  80" (6'7") above the ground. Had I cut the panels as he suggested, the above ground cages would have been only 4'6" high, and that is too short for our tomatoes.


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Post  OhioGardener 6/22/2021, 12:24 pm

The gardens are all growing great. We've had a lot more rain than usual this spring, and watering the beds has not been necessary yet.


The Blue Lake Bush Beans have really taken off. I planted 18 squares with 9 per square, but 4 beans didn't germinate.
OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Beans12

The Lacinato Kale and Rainbow Chard have been growing since mid-March, and we are harvesting it every 3 or 4 days.
OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Kale__12

The peppers are getting a good start. There are 6 each of Jalapeno, Sweet Banana, and Bell peppers.
OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Pepper33

The tomatoes are in their new cages made from cattle panels. Only 6 tomatoes this year, since we had way too many last year to keep up with them. There are 2 each of Sun Gold, Yellow Brandywine, and Golden Jubilee.
OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Tomato58

OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Tomato57

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Post  OhioGardener 7/20/2021, 10:33 am

The Blue Lake Pole Beans are taking over the raised bed arbor. These beans were planted on May 22nd, so they are just under 60 days since planting.

OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Bean_a10

OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Bean_a11

I can't believe the size of the leaves on these beansOhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Bean_l12

OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Bean_l13

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Post  OhioGardener 7/27/2021, 8:21 pm

Made a short video today for a mid-summer tour of the gardens. With all of the vegetables in full production mode now, we are enjoying the fruits of our labor.


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Post  sanderson 8/7/2021, 6:01 pm

So Green and healthy!

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Post  OhioGardener 8/8/2021, 8:41 am

Last evening I did both a foliar spray and soil drench of compost tea on all of the beds. The weather cooperated much better than ever expected. We had a nice shower come through at about the time I was preparing to spray the garden, so I delayed my work until the rain was done. The soil was pre-moistened by the rain before I applied the compost tea, which is ideal. Then a couple hours after I applied the compost tea, we had another nice shower come through. That second shower ensured that the soil remained moist enough for the microbes to move around.  The soil and the plants are very happy this morning....  rock on

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Post  yolos 8/8/2021, 11:00 am

@sanderson wrote:So Green and healthy!
Exactly what I was thinking.  My garden is completely opposite.  Depressing walking around this time of year due to the dried up diseased plants.
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Post  markqz 8/8/2021, 12:21 pm

Really beautiful!

The small white wire fences -- are they cosmetic or do they keep anything out? Or in?
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Post  OhioGardener 8/8/2021, 12:53 pm

@markqz wrote:Really beautiful!

The small white wire fences -- are they cosmetic or do they keep anything out? Or in?

They actually serve a purpose, a necessary purpose. A few years ago we had problems with rabbits jumping up on the bed and eating everything in sight. Nothing I tried kept them out. Then I put that little 12" high fence wire around the bed, and the rabbits no longer jump into the beds. I theorize that they are afraid of getting trapped if they try to jump over it.

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Post  OhioGardener 8/14/2021, 10:08 am

Noticed a lot of pollinators on the squash and cucumber blooms this morning.  Love to see them making my next harvest...
OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Bee_on11


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Post  OhioGardener 8/18/2021, 4:24 pm

Expanded the area around the main raised beds with a load of free wood chips that was delivered yesterday. Not sure what the new area will be used for, but the immediate goal was to reduce mowing of grass. Next year might see Butternut squash growing there in the chips, as part of the Back to Eden gaarden.

The area inside the yellow lines was the original wood chipped area, and all of the chips outside of the yellow lines are new. There is heavy cardboard under the chips to smother the grass.
OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 South_12

OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 West_v13

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Post  OhioGardener 8/25/2021, 7:13 pm

The Cushaw Squash has gone wild this year. Not only have the plants taken over the entire BTE area of the garden, but they have set a record number of squash. The two plants currently have 11 squash in various stages of maturity, but they are still blooming.  The Cushaw winter squash grows to 15 to 25 pounds each.  Last year we harvested 7 squash with the smallest one weighing in at 18#, and the largest weighing 23#.

This is one of the larger Cushaws on the vinesOhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Cushaw16

A group of four Cushaws on one part of the vineOhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Cushaw17

The Cushaw vines taking over the BTE area of the gardenOhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Squash25

OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Squash26

OhioGardener SFG - Page 5 Squash27

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Post  OhioGardener 9/2/2021, 9:16 pm

Had one of the early Zucchini plants get attacked by the Squash Vine Borer (SVB), and it nearly died. I tried something different with it, and used a sharp pointed knife to dig out the worm that had bored into the plant, and then cleaned out the area around the damage. After everything was cleaned out, I covered the plant with soil. The plant sent out new shoots and continued growing. It has survived the entire summer, and continues to provide us with beautiful Yellow Zucchini Squash on a daily basis.

I made a very short video of the beautiful plant that is still flourishing.

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