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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Toplef10Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 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.

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 I22gcj10Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 14dhcg10

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Kiwi's SFG Adventure

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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Empty Re: Kiwi's SFG Adventure

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/18/2022, 1:56 am

That is just priceless!  lol! 

And thanks OG for the explanation Smile  Definitely will remember the idea if I'm ever making lots of MM at one time...
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/20/2022, 7:43 pm

sanderson wrote:I don't think you need any shims for the bed to drain.  Set the acrylic sheet down and set the bed on top.  Try to fill it with the hose and you will see water running out between the plastic and the wood.  You will have to line the interior with weed fabric to hold in the Mel's Mix.
Give the lady a pumpkin sticker!  Dead on the money again, sanderson Smile  Fortunately finding a good product was not hard and not scary-expensive.  It's even about the right width, so all I have to do is cut a square of it and shove it in the box!!

Thanks again for saving me from watching my precious MM draining away.  That would have broken my heart after how hard it's proving to make.  Batch 5 of 7 (we hope) this afternoon...

Yesterday I laid out the cardboard, put pavers around the outside, and spread out my (free!) woodchip -- to discover that I didn't have enough No   Clearly my volume calculations were out.  Fortunately it's easily available.  (I also got the bed constructed, obviously)

It was an amazing experience looking at the results.  I'm deeply pragmatic -- I don't grow flowers except as companion plants -- this garden will be a "working garden".  But standing there looking at it and mentally comparing how it would look without the perimeter materials.....this was beautiful!  This was a real garden, not just a wooden box plonked on a lawn.  (And the box is still empty!)

I'm deliberately not taking a photo until the woodchip is all down, so will post one later today -- I got more woodchip this morning.
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/20/2022, 11:07 pm

The garden plot this evening:
Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2629

And the soon-to-be residents (not the stuff under chicken wire, or the ones at top right):
Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2628
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Post  sanderson 12/23/2022, 3:57 am

I love you Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 3170584802 It's really pretty.

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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Empty What I spent my Christmas Eve doing

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/24/2022, 2:26 am

Finally at the end of yesterday all my MM was made, so this morning before the heat got too bad I got it into the bed:
Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2635Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2634Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2633

I watered each of the 7 batches as they went in, and then the entire thing again about 3 hours later.  Fingers crossed there's enough water in there for the transplants tomorrow evening.

It feels fabulous to finally get to this point! Smile
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Post  OhioGardener 12/24/2022, 7:37 am

Looking good!  One of the advantages of those wood chips around the bed is that they are like a huge sponge when it rains -- they soak up and retain the moisture rather than letting it run off.

We won't be worrying about it getting too hot here today. It is currently -1ºF (-18ºC), with a projected high of 10ºF (-12ºC).  Brrrrrrrrrrrr............

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/24/2022, 4:23 pm

Brrrr indeed!  I've only ever skied in temperatures that low lots o 

In my case I don't think the woodchips retaining moisture will help (the bed is sitting on an acrylic panel to stop tree root invasion) but I guess it'll help with the cardboard breakdown.  It sure does dry out quick -- I'd thought a good hosing after installation would have it softening nicely, but I had to repeat later that day (a hot sunny one) and even yesterday, after several days sitting under the woodchip I found some very dry patches.  I'd figured once the woodchip was down it would keep the cardboard moist but it dried out from just a few non-rainy days.
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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Empty The plants are in!

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/25/2022, 2:46 am

Well, the setup phase of my SFG adventure is at long last over.  The grid is in, and so are the plants:

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2710

I didn't realise until too late tonight that from this distance it's not possible to see them all! Embarassed  Stoobie mistake.  There are beans along the back, tomatoes in dead centre, marigolds in a row between tomatoes and beans, and chives around the tomatoes.  In the very front there are some beetroot, with three currently-empty squares which will progressively contain beetroot also, and maybe some carrots.  I'm also going to sow basil behind the tomatoes.

I'll try to post a more close-up photo tomorrow!
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/25/2022, 6:48 pm

Still not really showing the chives, but a better idea of how we look this morning:

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2711
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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Empty There are worms in it!

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/25/2022, 9:49 pm

I keep forgetting to tell you folks, but during the processing of my historical leaf mould last week while making my MM batches I saw not one, not two, but three worms!  Very exciting Smile  So, hopefully I won't have to buy in foreigners.

I also wonder whether some might arrive from the land around the bed, coming up through the cardboard and woodchip and then across the inch of acrylic panel and into the MM.  Would be nice Smile
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Post  OhioGardener 12/26/2022, 7:21 am

Build it, and they will come.

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Post  sanderson 12/27/2022, 4:11 am

What OC said. Build it and they will come. Very Happy

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/27/2022, 9:06 pm

Way cool! bounce   Is there some way to know that the numbers are increasing?  I don't expect they'll want to be at the surface in the middle of summer???
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Post  sanderson 12/30/2022, 1:31 am

I usually see them when I mix in more compost, or when it's been raining and raining.

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/30/2022, 1:54 am

Oh OK, so when I'm turning over the soil, that makes sense Smile
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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Empty Giant strawberry!

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/30/2022, 2:16 pm

This isn't from the SFG bed, so strictly speaking it doesn't belong here, but I just can't help showing off my giant strawberry: it weighed in at 48g! (1.7oz)  Very Happy

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2715
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Post  sanderson 12/30/2022, 11:27 pm

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 3170584802

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Post  NZ Square Foot Gardener 12/31/2022, 5:10 pm

Nice strawberry, I have one too. Mine's a "Sweet As"Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 20230110
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 12/31/2022, 5:18 pm

Well done! Smile  I grow "Aromas" because they produce all season long.  Last year I still had fruit forming in May when I did the winterising haircut!!
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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Empty The first big storm

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/2/2023, 10:27 pm

We have an ex-tropical cyclone moving in, with gales and heavy rain forecast for the next 48 hours.  This morning I took the tulle off, and figured that was all I could do to prepare the garden.  A quick check this afternoon told me I needed to do more -- my poor beans were obviously having the moisture sucked out of them by the wind (the rain having not yet begun).

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2716

So, I folded the shadecloth in thirds, sewed it together, and tied it to a bunch of strong poles which I use to support my "breeding" lettuces once they get really tall.  I've also given the beans a good watering (their second of the day), in case it helps.  I love my MM -- it's great knowing I can't overwater!

Also extremely glad I took the time to screw clamps to the inside of the bed before installation: corners and midway along each side.

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 Img_2717

And I just got inside before the rain began Smile
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Post  sanderson 1/3/2023, 11:10 pm

May I have this photo for show and tell on other sites? Well done. Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 2 3170584802

Just for future reference, you only need to slow down the wind. A single layer may have worked for that purpose. Burlap or any well ventilated material so that the wind can go through and not tear down the structure, but thick enough to slow the wind.

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/3/2023, 11:28 pm

Goodness, I didn't think it was anywhere near that good! Smile  But yes, I can email it if you like.

However, you may want to revise that opinion.  This afternoon I looked out and counted the stakes....one...two...three......oops.  The fourth one was nowhere to be seen; it had snapped at garden bed top level, and of course it was the one right next to the beans No 

Fortunately I had a further thick stake -- half an hour in the rain and wind.... Rolling Eyes  -- but my hopes for the structure surviving the night are now significantly lower.

I suspect it's as you say, that I'm blocking too much wind -- the only reason I folded the shadecloth in thirds was that I didn't want to cut it, and even two thicknesses was going to be too tall!!!

We are at the start of our ex-TC season, so I will probably go out one day soon and get some real windbreak cloth.......and a few more stakes!
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Post  sanderson 1/4/2023, 12:19 am

Maybe you can buy some itchy 44" burlap tomorrow/today ? And 4 poles a little longer than the width of the bed and some cotton twine. Strap them to the near tops of the upright poles creating a more wind resistant frame for the shade cloth or burlap.


Last edited by sanderson on 1/4/2023, 3:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/4/2023, 12:37 am

My memory from research back in spring was that it's expensive here (surprise, surprise).  But I didn't look into it carefully so maybe I missed something.  Is it better than stuff sold expressly for making windbreaks?
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Post  sanderson 1/4/2023, 3:21 am

I was thinking burlap from the fabric store or even the plant nursery. I looked at some of your fabric stores and couldn't find any. What about Etsy if shipping isn't crazy? https://www.etsy.com/nz/market/burlap_fabric

What about new or used wool sacks or coffee bean sacks, since you can sew.

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