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Hello from Middle TN Toplef10Hello from Middle TN 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.

Hello from Middle TN I22gcj10Hello from Middle TN 14dhcg10

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Post  Murfreesboro Bud 2/25/2022, 3:11 pm

I am getting ready to construct a 4’ x 8’ SFG and in interested in Wayne Schirner’s study on 6” vs 12”.  Is there a link to that project available?
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Post  sanderson 2/25/2022, 5:02 pm

Murf, Welcome to the Forum from California. glad you\'re here

Docwas (Wayne Schirner) did not post the results on this Forum. His experiment results were that the 6" did as well and slightly better than the 12" of Mel's Mix. When adding the moist/wet new Mel's Mix to the bed, do water well to let it settle. Then top off with more for a true 6" depth.

Wayne is both a SFG Certified Instructor and a Master Gardener. He did the test of two depths of MM for his project to be a MG.

Most of his beds are 4' x 4', instead of 4' x 8'. I also recommend 2 smaller beds than one big bed. Once a trellis is added to the north (or west) end, it is hard to tend and harvest in the row next to the trellis row.

If you are wanting a taller bed for aesthetics or mobility issues, fill the bottom with clean sand or top soil, and top off with the MM. Filling the bottom with organic matter will result is the whole bed dropping, causing you to have to keep topping off with more MM, which is an investment ($).

You can message him on Facebook. I think he posted a topic there on the experiment of 6" vs 12" of MM.

If you have more questions regarding SFG, you can ask here. Very Happy

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Post  Murfreesboro Bud 2/26/2022, 9:16 am

Thank you for the result’s information. That is exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks also for the tip on 4x4 rather than 4x8. Had not thought of that 1st row.
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Post  Hawgwild 2/26/2022, 4:58 pm

Howdy and welcome from northwest Louisiana.. great site and as you can quick advice and info on questions.

Was thinking of adding a 4x8 foot SFG myself but want do that now. Just regular 4x4 foot SFG's.

Howdy again,
Scottie
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Post  Soose 2/27/2022, 12:00 am

Greetings, neighbor, how's that?!  I'm new here and ... South of you in Huntsville/ North Alabama?  Ah, yes, Murfreesboro.  You'll have colder temps than we do - our last frost is April 20th.  Some don't plant out until May 1st. 

Sounds like you're experienced at gardening.  Glad you asked the question because I learned several items in the answer!  Smile

See you on the regional board here?

I am scrambling to learn!

Murf, my beds will have 12" -- so I need to note down the recommendations.  If I can find this thread in a few days!  (So much info coming at me.) 

I'll have to research Murf's answer about trellis location.  (When are trellises added to West sides of boxes?  Only have heard of North trellises.  Though I was thinking of using an arch of a cattle panel between two beds and assume that would be from the East side of one bed over to the West side of the next.  For pole beans and picking overhead?  Newbie questions. Waiting on my 2nd edition book, didn't order 3rd, trying to get it from library.)

Soose


Last edited by Soose on 2/27/2022, 12:03 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : [Edit sorry! got wrong i.d. in my Greetings])
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Post  OhioGardener 2/27/2022, 8:30 am

Soose wrote:I'll have to research Murf's answer about trellis location.  (When are trellises added to West sides of boxes?  Only have heard of North trellises.  Though I was thinking of using an arch of a cattle panel between two beds and assume that would be from the East side of one bed over to the West side of the next.  For pole beans and picking overhead?  Newbie questions. Waiting on my 2nd edition book, didn't order 3rd, trying to get it from library.)

I have a cattle panel arbor built between two 12' long beds. The beds run north-south, so the arbor between them also runs north-south.  I plant peas, pole beans, cucumbers, acorn squash, etc., on the arbor, and they all do well.  The only "problem" has been the pole beans which like to climb up the 6' side of the arbor, over the top, and down the other side. Ha!

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Post  Soose 2/27/2022, 8:59 am

Wow, awesome beds and arbor between!!  Beautiful!  So this is a good plan. Thanks!  

One thing I don't understand is how each side of the arbor gets enough hours sunlight, seems that the East side would be shaded from afternoon sun, and vice versa. I'll talk to my dh who is not a gardener but is a sun star moon bug etc observer by nature.
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Post  OhioGardener 2/27/2022, 9:07 am

Soose wrote:One thing I don't understand is how each side of the arbor gets enough hours sunlight, seems that the East side would be shaded from afternoon sun, and vice versa.

Has not been a problem. The east side gets plenty of sun from around 6:00am until 1:00pm, while the west side gets plenty of sun from around 12:00pm until about 7:00pm.  Plants need 6 hours of sun to be happy, and they are happy.

One year I had tomatoes on the east side of the arbor, and they loved it.  They got enough sun to fully develop, but they never got sun scalded as they tend to do with the afternoon sun.

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Post  Soose 2/27/2022, 9:38 am

Great to know, about arbors,  OhioGardener!  A little sun and back relief while picking beans will be good. 
TY so much for the help.  So grateful to learn from others' experience!
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Post  OhioGardener 2/27/2022, 9:52 am

Soose wrote:Great to know, about arbors,  OhioGardener!  A little sun and back relief while picking beans will be good. 

Being able to pick beans from overhead while standing in the arbor is really nice... Hello from Middle TN 3170584802 

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Post  sanderson 3/2/2022, 5:02 am

Soose wrote:. . . I'll have to research Murf's answer about trellis location.  (When are trellises added to West sides of boxes?  Only have heard of North trellises.  Though I was thinking of using an arch of a cattle panel between two beds and assume that would be from the East side of one bed over to the West side of the next.  For pole beans and picking overhead?  Newbie questions. Waiting on my 2nd edition book, didn't order 3rd, trying to get it from library.)Soose
Soose, it was me, Sanderson, that mentioned trellises on the north end or the west end. ". . Once a trellis is added to the north (or west) end, it is hard to tend and harvest in the row next to the trellis row." Adding a trellis on the west side is an option for a bed that runs north-south. The shorter plants on the east side get the gentle morning sun and the tall trellised plants get the hotter afternoon sun, and in turn protect the east short plants.

As OG showed in his photo, west side trellises work good on N-S oriented beds.

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Post  Soose 3/2/2022, 9:31 am

sanderson wrote:
Soose wrote:. . . I'll have to research Murf's answer about trellis location.  (When are trellises added to West sides of boxes?  ... SNIP
Soose, it was me, Sanderson, that mentioned trellises on the north end or the west end. ". .  Once a trellis is added to the north (or west) end, it is hard to tend and harvest in the row next to the trellis row."  Adding a trellis on the west side is an option for a bed that runs north-south.  The shorter plants on the east side get the gentle morning sun and the tall trellised plants get the hotter afternoon sun, and in turn protect the east short plants.

As OG showed in his photo, west side trellises work good on N-S oriented beds.
Thanks for the correction, Sanderson.  I am going to have to learn which vegetables need "gentle morning sun." 

Lettuces, greens that bolt, I assume.  For protection from overhead sun, I already have some self-wicking boxes on a large open porch, 10ft ceilings so lots of gentle light. (We still call them Earth boxes, even though they are DIY versions made out of 18 gallon bins.)  All I've grown in them are greens.  I haven't figured out if or how much I need to plant more of those greens out in the raised SFG's.

[ For that matter I haven't figured out how much of anything yet about placement in the garden.  But that's another thread.]
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Post  sanderson 3/2/2022, 3:50 pm

Soose wrote:. . . Thanks for the correction, Sanderson.  I am going to have to learn which vegetables need "gentle morning sun."  Lettuces, greens that bolt, I assume
I want to correct, or tweak, what I wrote.  Almost everything you want to grow will do good with the just east sun.  Lettuces and greens can even grow in filtered light.  Most plants need an equivalent of a minimum of a full 6 hours of sunlight.  What happens in the afternoon is that the land and air has heated up, and with the hotter afternoon temps and sun shine and maybe reflective heat, fruits and leaves can scald and can benefit from shade.  Lettuce and other greens will bolt when the air temp gets hot enough, despite morning or afternoon sun or filtered light.  Just their biology.  There are some plants that can survive extreme afternoon heat such as corn, cotton, okra and sunflowers.  That's their biology.

I have peppers in a N-S bed that get both morning and afternoon sun, but I have found overhead sun shade has been a game changer.  Even my tomatoes have benefited from any shade cloth I can give them.  My summer temps reach 110*F with 10% humidity, and the plants are struggling and quit setting blooms.  But with shade cloth, they can survive until early fall and give me a second harvest.  Your location will determine what extra care or consideration you need.  Experience, research and advice for your area will eventually make you a really good gardener.

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