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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Fishtell - 2021 SFG Toplef10Fishtell - 2021 SFG 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  Fishtell 6/25/2021, 11:54 am

Hello Fellow SFG folks,
Below are photos of our completed fully enclosed 20x40 ft raised bed garden w/about 300+ s.f. of growing area   
   *   We are located in a Asheville, N.C. suburb on 9 acres. 
   *   The beds made of cedar 
   *   24" in height
   *   paths are over 3 ft in width , with pea stones and fabric underneath,   
   *   have 16" of topsoil purchased from local stone yard
   *   6" of Mel's mix with chicken and Cow manure  for the  composts.  
   *   We water by hose as needed.  
   *   We marked on all the seed packages the number of seeds per s.f. and are mostly following that, except for our neighbors that are planting completely free style.  
   *   I think we are following the SFG  philosophy except for the grids 

We have two neighbors that helped with the construction and we have assigned each of them about 50 s.f. of space in  to plant their own veggies.   

I've purchased a large pressure cooker/ canner and a Dehydrator  for preserving.   



PROBLEM/ISSUE:  or is it a problem? :   
   *  I went out and purchased over 500 linear ft of moulding to construct grids 
   *  I constructed beautiful grids  (for a small 2x20' section of the garden)  with bolts that fit inside the beds  
   *  My wife removed the grids and has planted what you see in photos without any grids. 
   *  I now have a large 8'  long box full of moulding that can't be used  (for now) 
   *  The neighbors didn't say anything as they are guests in the garden
 
WIFE'S ARGUMENTS AGAINST USING THE GRIDS: 
   *  The grids take up too much space 
   *  The trellises and grids get in way of each other 
   *  Bugs come and eat wood  
   *  We don't need to be so efficient 
   *  Grids impose too many restrictions on where and how to plant.  
   *  We have more space than we need, we can't eat or preserve all the food we can grow.   


MY THOUGHTS /COMMENTS: 
   *  We are not concerned presently about having enough growing space or having not enough food  
   *  I don't believe the grids take up space that the veggies would be using 
   *  I believe it makes sense to train ourselves to grow as efficiently as possible now and not when under any pressure should food become more scarce. 


Any comments or thoughts ?  


Fishtell 



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Post  OhioGardener 6/25/2021, 2:40 pm

Fishtell, i set this up as your own thread in the regional forum rather than the introduction. With your own thread, we'll be able to follow your progress through the gardening season.

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Post  Fishtell 6/25/2021, 2:49 pm

Thank you sir
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Post  OhioGardener 6/25/2021, 3:23 pm

You have quite a conundrum regarding your beds and the use of grids. I guess I would be considered middle-of-the-road when it comes to grids. I use portable grids for planting, and then remove them for ease of maintenance of the beds -- this is primarily because I have a drip irrigation system on all the raised beds. Some plants I don't strictly follow the SFG spacing because I do what is often referred to as "multi-planting", i.e., I heavily plant things like beets and carrots in a section, and thin them as they mature by pulling the larger ones and letting the smaller ones continue to grow. Others, such as tomatoes, are planted according to the size of the tomato cage that is installed for the plant -- my tomato cages are 18" square, so they occupy 1.5 sq ft per plant. Meanwhile, most staples such as beans, chard, kale, onions, and peppers are planted by the SFG spacing guidelines because that gives me the most plants for the space.

As an example of the benefit of SFG spacing, I'll use bush beans.  If I planted them according to the package instructions, the seeds would be planted 2" apart in rows 1.5' apart. For a 4'x4' section of the raised bed, that would be approximately 72 plants. (3 rows of 24 seeds). Planted according to the SFG spacing, that would be 16 squares with 9 seeds each, for a total of 144 plants, twice as many.  Can a 4'x4' garden bed support 144 bean plants? Yes, it does it easily with very heavy production, year after year.

But, back to your conundrum, when we changed from the in-ground gardens to raised beds we dealt with the same thing.  After 30-some years of in-ground gardening, there was much fear, trepidation, and gnashing of teeth because "we had never done it that way before", and what about all of that rich soil we had built up over all those years? But, after nearly a decade of raised bed gardening, we wonder why we haven't always done it this way. No digging or tilling, more produce in less space, and much less work.

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Post  Fishtell 6/25/2021, 10:13 pm

Hello Ohio, 

The only issue they have is with the GRIDS 
My wife's and my neighbors points:
   1.  They are getting all the benefits of Mel's Mix without using the squares. 
   2.  Don't have to Till or Dig 
   3.  They are growing more than they can eat or preserve
   4.  No need to use squares and increase efficiency 
   5.  They are already getting benefits of less work because of using Mel's Mix.  

My point was....
     *    I have to agree with them in that there is no benefit to using the squares if we have more space than we need 
     *    I'm trying to convince them we should train ourselves to use the squares to  prepare ourselves for a potential severe food shortage.  

What say you sir? 

Fishtell
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Post  OhioGardener 6/26/2021, 10:44 am

@Fishtell wrote:My point was....
     *    I have to agree with them in that there is no benefit to using the squares if we have more space than we need 
     *    I'm trying to convince them we should train ourselves to use the squares to  prepare ourselves for a potential severe food shortage.  

What say you sir?

What say I? I say, whatever saves the marriage....  Very Happy

Having more space than you need is not a bad thing, and it gives you room to experiment. The squares offers the discipline for poly-crop rather than mono-crop planting. That is, instead of a large area of just one vegetable, and then another area of one vegetable, you have a square of lettuce, a square of radishes, a square of carrots, a square of cabbage, another square of lettuce, a square of beets. This not only gives a variety of vegetables, but reduces pest infestations since they don't have a large plant of their favorite food.

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Post  sanderson 7/5/2021, 3:06 pm

Whatever saves the marriage.

That said, if you bought the 3/4" x 1/4" moulding, it does not take up too much space. If it was understood that you wanted to try SFG, then the grids are part of it. Maybe some of your designated beds can have grids. You plant those and your wife plants her half. Or grids are used for planting/sowing then stored away until the next planting/sowing. The neighbor can do what he wants. ??

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Post  markqz 7/6/2021, 1:05 am

@Fishtell wrote:My point was....
     *    I have to agree with them in that there is no benefit to using the squares if we have more space than we need 
Do you have your complete group in place? Or might more neighbors be joining? The grids make it feasible to share (split) beds between individuals.


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Post  SFGHQSTAFF 7/12/2021, 11:54 pm

The SFG Foundation explains all things SFG in the "Essentials" videos on YouTube. Show this one to your wife!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejk4jqNPaGE
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Post  SeptemberVaudrey 7/13/2021, 9:00 am

Personally I like the grids but I've always struggled to keep them neat-looking. I bought this SFG planting template, which helps me stay accurate as I plant--and be grid-free afterward.
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Post  lenNW 7/13/2021, 10:03 am

Fishtell that is one magnificent garden, how ever you and your team plant it!

I love to come to this forum and see what you great gardeners are doing but just don't have the  discipline to follow the  instructions. We love our raised beds, and love our trellises. Like you said  we can't eat everything we grow so a bit of random is OK.
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Post  Fishtell 7/13/2021, 12:03 pm

For some reason I just received all these responses to my older post.   I can't figure out how to respond individually to each post so I'm responding here to all.   

I like that template idea...I emailed that to wife and neighbors.... I'll work on getting them to check it out.   Not bringing in anymore neighbors.   They also have 8-9 acres and might be building their own garden next year or year ofter.   They helped build this garden and we are letting them use space to grow.  

thanks for the s.f. gardening, promoting the grid video... I sent it to neighbors and wife. 

I'm not involved in any of the gardening.  I helped build it and its a full time job maintaining the 9 acres we have.  Wife is in charge of the veggie garden.   We are eating food from the garden every night and its hard to keep up.   I'm pickling some of the cucumbers, dehydrating some of the zucchini and other veggies....   and have a pressure canner ready to go this fall and winter when the outside work ends.   

Fishtell in Asheville, N.C. area
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Post  OhioGardener 7/13/2021, 1:05 pm

@Fishtell wrote:For some reason I just received all these responses to my older post.   I can't figure out how to respond individually to each post so I'm responding here to all.  

To post a reply to a post, scroll to the bottom, just below the post, and you will see a button labeled Post Reply.  Click on that button, and it will open a window for you to enter your reply.

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Post  Fishtell 7/13/2021, 1:14 pm

Hi Ohio, 
My question was .... is there a way to post a reply to each specific person?  I know how to reply if there is only one response to my post.   In my case I saw more than one response to my post and wanted to reply separately to each person's post.   I couldn't figure it out, so I was forced to reply to all in one post or reply by me.  

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Post  yolos 7/13/2021, 1:20 pm

@Fishtell wrote:Hi Ohio, 
My question was .... is there a way to post a reply to each specific person?  I know how to reply if there is only one response to my post.   In my case I saw more than one response to my post and wanted to reply separately to each person's post.   I couldn't figure it out, so I was forced to reply to all in one post or reply by me.  

Fishtell
Yes,  In the upper right corner of the actual post that you want to respond to is a green button that says QUOTE.  Click on that button and a screen will appear with the original post on the top with a yellow background and below that Is a white area.  Click on the white area and respond to the post.
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Post  Fishtell 7/13/2021, 1:59 pm

@yolos wrote:
@Fishtell wrote:Hi Ohio, 
My question was .... is there a way to post a reply to each specific person?  I know how to reply if there is only one response to my post.   In my case I saw more than one response to my post and wanted to reply separately to each person's post.   I couldn't figure it out, so I was forced to reply to all in one post or reply by me.  

Fishtell
Yes,  In the upper right corner of the actual post that you want to respond to is a green button that says QUOTE.  Click on that button and a screen will appear with the original post on the top with a yellow background and below that Is a white area.  Click on the white area and respond to the post.
Thanks Yolos.  Lets see what this looks like
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