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2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 Toplef102 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 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.

2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 I22gcj102 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 14dhcg10

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Mark's first SFG

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Post  markqz 4/21/2020, 4:57 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
@markqz wrote: But the purple kohlrabi has incredible foliage that wants to shade the kohlrabi in the center and all the plants on each side.

I have found this to be a benefit in the heat of summer - the plants shade the soil and reduce evaporation of water. Plus, weeds tend not to sprout in the shade.   The same is true of bush beans - planting 9 per square is very dense, and no soil will be visible through them, but the plants get more than enough sun to generously produce beans.

The problem is that they're shading the square over to the East. These bok choy definitely did not like the shade:

2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 BBMEhba

Actually, in general, the bok choy may be more trouble than it's worth.
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2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 Empty 85% transmission, really?

Post  markqz 8/20/2020, 5:44 pm

Our favorite yard-goods store went out of business just before the Corona epidemic. So I probably won't be getting more tulle for awhile. After a year in the sun, the tulle, especially on the south side, rips easily. I decided to order some Agribon and see how it works. Unfortunately, Johnny Seeds only had Agribon 19 (I wanted 15). Still it claimed 85% light transmission. That sure looks more like 65% transmission to me. You can see there's a world of difference between the tulle portion and the Agribon portion.

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Post  OhioGardener 8/20/2020, 5:51 pm

Mark, if you need more fabric check out Arbico Organics:

https://www.arbico-organics.com/category/agribon-crop-protection

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Post  sanderson 8/20/2020, 6:31 pm

You don't have a Joann's Fabrics?

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Post  markqz 8/20/2020, 7:00 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Mark, if you need more fabric check out Arbico Organics:

https://www.arbico-organics.com/category/agribon-crop-protection

I'll have to make a note of that just in case. But I notice that you have to special order by phone, and it's twice the price for the same amount at Johnny Seeds ... and apparently I should have waited, because JS has it in stock now ... grr ..

Thanks!
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Post  markqz 8/20/2020, 7:01 pm

@sanderson wrote:You don't have a Joann's Fabrics?

Oh yeah, forgot about them. The old place had such better deals. Thanks!
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2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 Empty Planting a bumper crop of labels

Post  markqz 10/9/2020, 5:05 pm

Trying 5 different labeling techniques. Printed labels, sharpie (red/black), labels covered with plastic packaging material (sharpies, printed), wax pencil, regular pencil.

My experience in the past suggests that the red sharpie will fade. Others may wash out when the rain comes. I'm using cheap printer label, so it may fade. Pencil might do ok, but is harder to read.

2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 BafvHWU
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Post  yolos 10/10/2020, 5:38 pm

@markqz wrote:Trying 5 different labeling techniques. Printed labels, sharpie (red/black), labels covered with plastic packaging material (sharpies, printed), wax pencil, regular pencil.

My experience in the past suggests that the red sharpie will fade. Others may wash out when the rain comes. I'm using cheap printer label, so it may fade. Pencil might do ok, but is harder to read.

2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 BafvHWU
I have tried just about everything you are trying (even the label gun and even spraying the labels with clear acrylic).  I finally settled on pencil because it did not fade and because it could be erased (or use comet) at the end of the season and can be used again the following year. I bought a construction pencil (big thick pencil with big thick lead).
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Post  markqz 10/11/2020, 1:15 pm

Yolo wrote:I have tried just about everything you are trying (even the label gun and even spraying the labels with clear acrylic).  I finally settled on pencil because it did not fade and because it could be erased (or use comet) at the end of the season and can be used again the following year. I bought a construction pencil (big thick pencil with big thick lead).
Yeah. It's a balance between reusability, visibility, durability, and convenience. Red markers are convenient and visible, but fade fast. Printed labels are visible, but may not last 2 months and are inconvenient to make. Grease pen, in my handwriting, is re-usable and probably durable, but somewhat illegible. Pencil is durable, but very light and hard to read. 

I'm ordering some 2B pencils to see if the result is easier to read. Doesn't fix my handwriting though  Smile
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Post  OhioGardener 10/11/2020, 2:15 pm

Regardless of what type of marker I used, the garden tags all look pretty much the same when they come in from the garden - they are dirty on the bottom, and clean on the top. Shocked 


2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 Plant_10

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Post  markqz 10/11/2020, 3:58 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Regardless of what type of marker I used, the garden tags all look pretty much the same when they come in from the garden - they are dirty on the bottom, and clean on the top. Shocked 


2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 Plant_10

Wow. What type of marker did you use? At least your tags didn't disintegrate in the sun, which is what happened to most of my home-made tags made from yogurt containers.

I actually have a Japanese gardening marker which I think actually works, but I didn't keep track to make sure. Like, once the plant fails, I lost interest in the tag. 

I like those tall tags. Where did you get them? My thought is that with my current tags, which are only 4" stem to stern, I could strap them to wooden skewers with a zip tie.
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Post  OhioGardener 10/11/2020, 4:20 pm

@markqz wrote:What type of marker did you use?
.
.
.
I like those tall tags. Where did you get them?

I bought those at the local Lowe's store two or three years ago, they were less than $2 for 25 of them. I just looked, and they still stock them:
Bonds 25-Pack Plastic Stakes

I have used all kinds of markers from the Sharpie Fine Permanent Marker down to a carpenter pencil, and everything in between. The sun and rain always does a job on them. The ones I've done with the carpenter pencil are the most readable at the end of the season.

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Post  sanderson 10/12/2020, 3:09 am

I bought my tall markers at Home Depot. I also have a huge collection of 4" and 5" small plastic markers for the seed cups. I have found that the old yellow #2 pencil on the "rough" side of both types of the markers is the only one that lasts. I wash mine after use (yes, the bottoms are permanently MM stained), and stick the small ones back in their seed packets.

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Post  markqz 10/15/2020, 12:11 pm

The yard long beans planted as a side project continue to produce even this late in the year. I'm thinking next time I will plant them more densely, since their foliage is very sparse:

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Post  sanderson 11/4/2020, 3:09 pm

Are they tender and string-free? They look so healthy!

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Post  markqz 11/5/2020, 2:44 pm

@sanderson wrote:Are they tender and string-free?  They look so healthy!

Yes, they've all been pretty tender except for the ones growing too high in the tree (hedge actually) which were left to become seeds for next year.
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Post  markqz 11/8/2020, 2:43 pm

In all, I've had 3 sets of asparagus bean trellises this year. The one in the front yard, like almost everything in the front yard, was a total fail after April.

This one is coming along, but I don't know if it will yield beans before the weather turns "cold". Long beans like it really hot, they say. The temperatures finally came down just this weekend, so we'll see. The ugly yellow stalks are pear tomatoes, which are still yielding and even flowering.

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Post  markqz 11/10/2020, 10:24 pm

Here's my optimistic fleet of starter winter plants. Bok choy, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce.  

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Post  markqz 11/14/2020, 3:41 pm

I have mostly brassica's growing under the agribon on SFG #2. This is the first year attempting to grow brussel sprouts. I think it's still too hot for them.

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Post  markqz 12/8/2020, 12:07 pm

It turns out that eggplants are perennials (at least they can be). There's 3 fruits in this picture.

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Post  markqz 12/10/2020, 2:52 pm

These are some of the plants I started on 11/10 (see prior image), less about 20 pots that I've already transplanted.

It's weird that some plants take right off, and others just sit there. Consistency is tricky.

Almost all the bok choy, once transplanted, did terribly. I'm trying to work out if it's insect attacks, soil conditions, or the agribon covering that's at fault. My current theory is that insect bites, and subsequent disease is at fault.

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Post  markqz 12/14/2020, 6:44 pm

@OhioGardener wrote: The only pest problem I typically have with them is the Cabbage Worm, but Bt spray controls them.

The Bt may have cleared up the looper worm problem. But what seems to be happening is that they are being attacked by an aphids, thrips, or white flies ... Darn it Jim, I'm a gardener not an entomologist!

The Bok Choy then gets a virus, and starts to go sickly. The attacking insect is really small. About as small as the period on the end of this sentence.

I tried to get a close up here, but they're really hard to see, and it's hard to get a good picture what with the glare on the camera screen and all:

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Post  sanderson 12/15/2020, 3:08 pm

Mark, I found that in CA, I have to grow my starts under bridal tulle.  And, then, plant them out under bridal tulle.  Not Agribon.  My husband made me a couple of frames from scrap wood.  I can cover them with plastic for spring starts or bridal tulle for winter starts. 2 - Mark's first SFG - Page 6 Seedli27

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Post  Scorpio Rising 12/16/2020, 1:06 pm

I appreciate your posts, Mark.  We of the North are under snow and live vicariously through you guys!  Same struggles...different season! 

Might be thrips.  Are there lots of holes?  They like my eggplants.
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Post  markqz 12/18/2020, 10:55 am

@sanderson wrote:Mark, I found that in CA, I have to grow my starts under bridal tulle.  And, then, plant them out under bridal tulle.  Not Agribon.  My husband made me a couple of frames from scrap wood.  I can cover them with plastic for spring starts or bridal tulle for winter starts.

That's a good idea. I think I could do the same thing with a sturdy cardboard box. Maybe I need to go wonder around the Costco parking lot. What a Face :

I liked the tulle, but it only lasts about a year outside. Then it starts tearing apart with the slightest movement. I'm hoping the agribon lasts longer. But for seed starting, the tulle would work pretty well.

My current plan is to use insecticidal soap on the plants at regular intervals. Aphids take 2 to 5 days to build up their populations, so it might be possible to control them before the damage occurs. If it works then I could plant Bok in places where the agribon or tulle would be inappropriate.
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