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New to SFG from Oklahoma Empty New to SFG from Oklahoma

Post  dalepres on 7/2/2020, 11:59 pm

I'm getting ready to retire in a few  years and am building out all the infrastructure around the place - garden beds, bee  hives, chicken coop, and so on at our place in the country where we'll retire to.

In Northeast Oklahoma, the easiest thing to grow, and grow they do, is rocks: sandstone and limestone.  We have just over 2.5 acres with only about 2500 square feet tillable - but that part is almost all clay and sand, virtually nutrient-less.  Raised beds are a must.  So, the plan is, in the hopes of getting the most return for our investment in soil and beds, to do Square Foot Gardening.

Due to our age and physical conditions, we're making the beds 2 feet high - well, two 2x12s high.  The first beds will be 12' long by 4' wide.  The very first, since I have time for it to grow before I retire, is going to be asparagus - which is what brought me to this forum - Googling for square foot gardening and asparagus.

I'm going to put a lot of logs and yard waste in the lower foot, filling it in with some very expensive (because it was all I could get at any price) purchased garden soil mix trucked in from 95 miles away in Tulsa.  We'll save the last 6 inches for Mel's Mix.  I was going to skip using Mel's Mix because of cost but when I realized I only needed the last 6 inches for that, it was more reasonable.

We won't get much planting in this year, if any, but I bought the material and hope to get a few beds ready for early next spring.

I look forward to visiting and getting to know folks here.  Since I'm in the acquiring knowledge phase of my SGF path, I won't have much to give but hopefully I can add some value.
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Post  sanderson on 7/3/2020, 6:53 am

Dale,  Welcome to the Forum from central California!  glad you\'re here  The best way to learn about SFG is the read either the 2nd or 3rd Edition of ALL NEW Square Foot Gardening.

If you are building 2' high beds, you can use anything for the bottom fill like logs and sand, rocks from the property and sand etc.  You don't need top soil   An alternative is table top beds. I have 2' high table top beds with only 6-7" of Mel's Mix in them.  The bottoms are 3/4" plywood with 1/2" drainage holes and lined with weed fabric on the bottoms and up the sides.  A little short for planting but perfect height for tending and harvesting.  

PS:  My mother was from Nowata.

New to SFG from Oklahoma Garden83

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/3/2020, 7:36 am

Hi Dale. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! Glad you've joined us.

Sanderson has given you some good ideas. I would add that once you start planting, keep notes on what grows well & what doesn't for your microsystem.

Looking forward to seeing your progress!
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Post  OhioGardener on 7/3/2020, 8:40 am

Welcome from Ohio, Dale!  Glad  to see you here, where you will find a wealth of information from some experienced gardeners.  Don't be too concerned about not being able to plant very much this year after the beds are ready - the idle time between now and next spring will allow the soil microbes to get active and build healthy soil for you.

Be sure to check out the Regional Forums where you will find gardeners that experience the same soil and weather conditions that you do. The Upper South Regional Forum includes northern Oklahoma.

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New to SFG from Oklahoma Empty Re: New to SFG from Oklahoma

Post  DianeZone7OK on 7/15/2020, 8:44 pm

Welcome, Dale

From just down the 'pike near OKC. If you have any shot at getting your first bed going this summer, I would try to get it by Sept 1st so you can have fall veggies. You probably aren't going to plant those asparagus roots until spring anyway. 12 x 4 would be plenty of room for lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, and peas, all of which I plant around 9/1. With judicious use of hoops and blankets or sheets you can still have stuff growing in late Dec.

My husband is replacing my original ground-level beds built in 2009 with "butt cheek high" beds more suited to my aging knees. They have a false bottom so they don't require as much filling. This first pic is from 1/26/20. The box in the foreground is finished and ready to fill. There were still live broccoli, carrots, and garlic in the bed along the fence.

New to SFG from Oklahoma P1000210

The second pic shows another box going up later that same day.


New to SFG from Oklahoma P1000211
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/15/2020, 9:06 pm

So glad you found us, asparagus is my newest foray too!  I have a not raised bed with crowns that I got from Stark Bros of Jersey Knight.  I have clay rock soil...planted them in a “bed” 4x12 with sand, and other amendments...we’ll see?  

Dale, what do you like to eat?   Sounds like you have a great start!  

glad you\'re here
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/16/2020, 7:53 am

Hi DianeZone70K. A warm welcome to you from Atlanta, GA as well!

VERY nice set-up you have...
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Post  dalepres on 7/17/2020, 2:39 pm

@DianeZone7OK wrote:Welcome, Dale

From just down the 'pike near OKC. If you have any shot at getting your first bed going this summer, I would try to get it by Sept 1st so you can have fall veggies. You probably aren't going to plant those asparagus roots until spring anyway. 12 x 4 would be plenty of room for lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, and peas, all of which I plant around 9/1. With judicious use of hoops and blankets or sheets you can still have stuff growing in late Dec.

My husband is replacing my original ground-level beds built in 2009 with "butt cheek high" beds more suited to my aging knees. They have a false bottom so they don't require as much filling. This first pic is from 1/26/20. The box in the foreground is finished and ready to fill. There were still live broccoli, carrots, and garlic in the bed along the fence.

New to SFG from Oklahoma P1000210

The second pic shows another box going up later that same day.


New to SFG from Oklahoma P1000211


Wow!  Great pictures, Diane; thank you!

I built my three-section compost bin last weekend.  It's 110 degrees here right now - and that's real degrees, not heat index, so I'm in the house not moving a muscle more than I need to today - even wondering how many calories I'm burning by typing Smile.  Hopefully I get to start that bed this weekend.  

I have the materials for three beds except I am now thinking of using half-inch hardware cloth under them.  We have several prairie dogs in our yard.  It's amazing how they can dig in rock that takes me all the modern tools I can afford to dig a simple post hole.  Lowe's was out of hardware cloth last weekend and I doubt they're getting more this season, and they're the only hardware store within 40 miles of me.

So.. I think I will do this first one without hardware cloth and hope for the best... With the logs and wood that will fill the bottom, they shouldn't get past to the good stuff anyway - famous last words.

I will definitely have a couple beds in place by fall and will follow your advice on fall vegetables.  I'm planning on building these hoop covers for winter protection and probable summer shade in the hopes of getting some of the cool weather vegetables that just don't grow here in the short cool seasons we have.

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Post  dalepres on 7/17/2020, 2:53 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:So glad you found us, asparagus is my newest foray too!  I have a not raised bed with crowns that I got from Stark Bros of Jersey Knight.  I have clay rock soil...planted them in a “bed” 4x12 with sand, and other amendments...we’ll see?  

Dale, what do you like to eat?   Sounds like you have a great start!  

glad you\'re here

We eat about anything.  We're definitely omnivores; we like vegetables with our meat.  The only vegetable I can think of that I just won't eat is okra.  The only one I can think of that I would eat just fine if I was starving is eggplant.  Otherwise, I can't think of any I don't love - at least of any that I've ever eaten.

We grew a lot of tomatoes last year in our town home very small back yard.  This  year, just at planting time, we headed to the country house for isolation but it wasn't ready for gardening.  I'm able to work from home so being here is also giving us the opportunity to work on building infrastructure for gardening and animals in anticipation of retiring in the next few years.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/17/2020, 6:41 pm

Nice!  

I don’t like okra either...however it does add a nice thickening to certain soups, I have never really used it.  Honestly it requires more hot time than we can do in Ohio.  

I actually hated eggplant until I found these babies:

https://www.superseeds.com/products/pingtung-long-eggplant-66-days

I have never looked back.  A-MAZE-ING.  What was that other thing???

Glad you’re here!  Lots of other cool stuff that people can’t buy!!!!!New to SFG from Oklahoma 3170584802
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