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Antony's SFG Garden in Germany Toplef10Antony's SFG Garden in Germany 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.

Antony's SFG Garden in Germany I22gcj10Antony's SFG Garden in Germany 14dhcg10

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Antony's SFG Garden in Germany

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Post  Antony 5/13/2022, 12:36 pm

Never done a Forium like this so hope works ok.
Anyhow I´m Antony living in Germany, I did some Tomatoes last year (I have never done any Gardening before) and it worked so I decided to do a bit more this year and discovered the SFG Program, and I thought how cool is that! So Idid the courses and got my CI.
I have two big boxes joined by a archway which will also serve as a climbing frame for Tomatoes and climbers , one box has an extension so I could do some deep stuff like patatoes and carrots, a smaller one with Strawberries in it and at the house entrance I have 4 plastic Boxes with herbs.
I know a bit about Herbal Remedies, so I have Herbs which can be used for eating or medical purposes. I was a bit worried at first because I put seeds in most squares and nothing seemed to come, now it is really doing well. I found some small chalk labels, but I used label maker as I thought the chalk might run if it rains. I printed them so I could see exactly which square had something in it and what, as at first I was always running in the house to check my charts! Only got to post a few photos, seems we are limited, in one however is Robin I am sure he was a Gardener in another life, everytime I go in the SFG he always follows like he is keeping an eye on me to do it right. hope you like this. have a good day, AntonyAntony's SFG Garden in Germany P1040710
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Post  OhioGardener 5/13/2022, 2:28 pm

Welcome to the forums from Ohio, U.S., Antony!  Looks like you are off to a good start! Love the pictures you posted, and looking forward to more. You may wist to set up your own thread on the regional forum for Europe, perhaps titled something like "Antony's Garden in Germany".

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Post  sanderson 5/13/2022, 4:48 pm

Antony,  Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here  I love your gardening buddy, Robin.  My Sweetie followed me around the garden, also.  She was excellent and did not get in the boxes.  She did, however, like snacking on bean leaves.

If you want, I can change the title of your post so it becomes your "journal".  Something like what OG mentioned, "Antony's SFG Garden in Germany".  ??

Can you share how you had to make Mel's Mix in Germany?  That could be very valuable to other Germans who want to do SFG.


Last edited by sanderson on 5/14/2022, 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Antony 5/14/2022, 5:45 am

First off Thanks Sanderson for the Greeting.
As regard to Mels Mix on the one Box I used the Basic mix of Compost, Vermiculite, and Peat Moss
I bought several sacks of composte and mixed them however later I found a good thing. Over here in Germany things are pretty strict with Trash in so far that they are sepperated, Green bin for paper, yellow bin for recycleable plastics, Grey for the rest, There are also areas where you can give up glass, and there is a brown bin for organic trash, but if you do alot in the garden like mow a lawn then there is a place where such can be dumped, now it gets interesting because from the material they make a giant compost and it is about the best you can get it is even city certified with its chemo/bio make up and excuse the pun "dirt cheap" buy ca100l sack 8-euros
bring the empty sack back and fill yourself cost 1 euro!!! The Vermiculite I bought from Amazon as when I asked in DIY / Gardening places just got the "Deer in Headlights look" and the comment hmmm heard of it. Interesting is that it seems to be used a lot in pet shops for Reptile Habitat here but is probably cheaper over amazon.  On my second box instead of Vermiculite I used perlite which I got at the DIY store both seem to work ok as to Peat moss seems quiet easy to get hold of and although I did not get  any as an alternative Coconut coir seems to be widely available here.       If you want to change title fine, I don´t know however how often I can add content.   I hope that answered a few questions Thanks and have a nice day
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Post  Soose 5/14/2022, 7:20 am

Hi, Antony.  I'm new here, too.  But you have a good advantage over me -- as you've been trained.  (CI)  Well done.

Your cat Robin brought a smile to my face. ( I am a dog lover. But this looks like a very nice cat.)

I also have the problem of labels in my new garden beds.  I can't remember the varieties of what I have planted even when I recognize the plants.  My book is inside and I am outside.  Glad you found a solution.  I have some old "mini-blinds" of aluminum, and was thinking I will cut strips to make labels for the gardens.

Hope you will continue to post photos and experience with your garden.  I would like to learn more about which herbs I should include for medical uses.  Growing them is first of course, but I have always been a little hesitant to know how to properly prepare them for use, without hands-on training.  I think the herbs are sensitive to when they are picked, how ripe they are, and how they are processed.  Is it easy to make a mistake?

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Post  Antony 5/14/2022, 7:49 am

Dear Soose,
Thank you,  Growing Herbs is very interesting, and you can always do courses to learn more
online like at www.udemy.com who offer courses in nearly every thing you can think of and (secret Tip) if you get the newsletter and add courses to your wish list then you can get courses for say 9 dollars instead of 100 dollars! and as far as I know they are for life long to visit, sometimes I´ve bought courses there because cheap and dont start for a while though..
Also you could do internet research. You can start easy like growing Mint, I have morrocan Mint but any will do, just take about four leaves (after thanking the bush) put them in a glass of hot water and leave for about 5 minutes, believe me you won´t buy some from the store after that!
It can also be used for upset stomachs etc. check it out on the net.
Similary I have sage which can also be used as a tea, mixed with honey it makes a great tea for sore throats and winter, you see usng herbs is not hard in fact a plus because you have something to use in the kitchen and as a med help.  Here is a quick look how my boxes are built up with the arch (before planting)  and another pic of Robin creeping in... Got two cats and they are sure funny, people come past the street sometimes with their kids just to see if the cats are out, I´ll post a picture of Minky our other.  EnjoyAntony's SFG Garden in Germany Grid10
Antony's SFG Garden in Germany Melsmi10
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Antony's SFG Garden in Germany Empty Labels.

Post  markqz 5/14/2022, 9:40 am

Welcome Antony! Guten Tag!

I've tried printed labels as well. Alas, they fade in a only a couple months.

The best direct, in situ method of labeling I've found are the larger plastic labels, and then use a 2B pencil to write on them. The pencil writes darker than a standard pencil. Black grease pen works well, but you have to use a chemical to clean the labels.

In the last few months I've been using a printed grid. My notes go on the grid. The paper goes into a plastic envelope. I can keep the envelope out at each SFG during non-rainy weather. Part of my working kit is a clipboard. I would like to find a true water-proof envelope. Another possibility is to use water-proof printer paper. I should post the templates I'm using sometime.

I've been using udemy too -- but for software!

Happy gardening!


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Post  OhioGardener 5/14/2022, 10:26 am

The only survivable plant labels I have found are the metal ones, which I etch the name with a battery operated engraving tool. These labels last from year to year, and the name of the plant can be highlighted with a permanent marker to make it easier to read at a distance if desired but the engraved name never disappears. I use them both in the flower gardens and vegetable beds.

Metal Labels:
https://www.amazon.com/GardenMate-25-Pack-Weatherproof-Labels-Height/dp/B00814L088?th=1

Engraver:
https://www.amazon.com/DYNAMIC-7-Inch-Battery-Operated-Engraver/dp/B015UY5ORY


This Lychnis etched tag is 3 or 4 years old, and the etched name is still easily readable. Antony's SFG Garden in Germany Etched10

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Post  Hip2B 5/14/2022, 8:08 pm

Welcome Antony (and Robin). Your setup looks great. How lucky you are to have a source of good, cheap compost there. Many European countries are far, far ahead of Australia in terms of recycling and waste processing. There is not a great deal of leadership from federal government, so it is up to individuals and local governments. I like your philosophy of thanking your plants. Gratitude is something I am trying to practice daily. I find it makes a huge difference to my mind set.
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Post  markqz 5/14/2022, 8:27 pm

OhioGardener wrote:The only survivable plant labels I have found are the metal ones, which I etch the name with a battery operated engraving tool.
The thing is, I want a system that will help me remember the variety I planted, when I planted it, outcomes, amendments, sprays, etc.
Antony's SFG Garden in Germany MKN6sBD
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Post  OhioGardener 5/14/2022, 8:34 pm

markqz wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:The only survivable plant labels I have found are the metal ones, which I etch the name with a battery operated engraving tool.
The thing is, I want a system that will help me remember the variety I planted, when I planted it, outcomes, amendments, sprays, etc.

Yeah, that is a lot more information than I track. I plant it, I care for it, I eat it.  Repeat.  Very Happy

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Post  Soose 5/15/2022, 10:19 pm

markqz wrote: The thing is, I want a system that will help me remember the variety I planted, when I planted it, outcomes, amendments, sprays, etc.

Markqz, may I have a copy of your template?

Ohiogardener, I like your attitude but think -- pretty sure-- I won't remember much of anything.
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Post  OhioGardener 5/16/2022, 8:37 am

Soose wrote:Ohiogardener, I like your attitude but think -- pretty sure-- I won't remember much of anything.

By the time we get to be 80 years old, we know what we like to eat and don't do much experimenting with designer vegetables.  So, when I plant kale, or chard, or beans, or peas, etc., etc., etc., I already know what variety they are and how they will do.
 Antony's SFG Garden in Germany 3170584802

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Post  Soose 5/16/2022, 8:51 am

OhioGardener wrote:
...  So, when I plant kale, or chard, or beans, or peas, etc., etc., etc., I already know what variety they are and how they will do.
 Antony's SFG Garden in Germany 3170584802

Understood. I will be happy to get just one variety of each that we can harvest reliably. I just need to develop skills to feed my family. I don't currently know anyone who does that. But my grandparents did it.
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Post  OhioGardener 5/16/2022, 8:57 am

Soose wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:
...  So, when I plant kale, or chard, or beans, or peas, etc., etc., etc., I already know what variety they are and how they will do.
 Antony's SFG Garden in Germany 3170584802

Understood. I will be happy to get just one variety of each that we can harvest reliably.  I just need to develop skills to feed my family. I don't currently know anyone who does that. But my grandparents did it.

It can be done, we've been doing for more years than I can remember. We not only grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed us during the garden season, but we freeze and can enough to get us through the winter until the next garden starts producing. We especially appreciate being able to grow enough lettuce, spinach, and chard in the cold frame to get us through the winter without having to buy greens from the grocery store.

Someday I'll get too old to do that, but for now....

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Post  sanderson 5/17/2022, 3:01 am

OhioGardener wrote: . . . By the time we get to be 80 years old, we know what we like to eat and don't do much experimenting with designer vegetables.  So, when I plant kale, or chard, or beans, or peas, etc., etc., etc., I already know what variety they are and how they will do.
 Antony's SFG Garden in Germany 3170584802
I'm pretty much the same way.  I know what I like, what I want to put up, and what can grow here in Fresno.  I do try something new or fun each year.  This year it was growing Yukon Gold from seed potatoes in a table top bed. Very Happy   Prior years: cotton, broom sorghum, silver queen corn, Queen sunflowers, bird nest gords, luffa.

I use an Excel page with pencil and eraser for what I plant where. The layout of the beds has changed/expanded but this is what it was in winter of 2016-17.  Antony's SFG Garden in Germany Plot_p15

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Post  jafstuff 5/22/2022, 2:20 pm

Soose wrote:Hi, Antony.  I'm new here, too.  But you have a good advantage over me -- as you've been trained.  (CI)  Well done.

Your cat Robin brought a smile to my face. ( I am a dog lover. But this looks like a very nice cat.)

I also have the problem of labels in my new garden beds.  I can't remember the varieties of what I have planted even when I recognize the plants.  My book is inside and I am outside.  Glad you found a solution.  I have some old "mini-blinds" of aluminum, and was thinking I will cut strips to make labels for the gardens.

Hope you will continue to post photos and experience with your garden.  I would like to learn more about which herbs I should include for medical uses.  Growing them is first of course, but I have always been a little hesitant to know how to properly prepare them for use, without hands-on training.  I think the herbs are sensitive to when they are picked, how ripe they are, and how they are processed.  Is it easy to make a mistake?

Soose

I struggled forever with plant markers and found that a rock and a wide tip marker works great. I think squirrels were taking my markers as I would find them elsewhere and besides plastic markers fade
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