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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Toplef10Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 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 3 I22gcj10Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 14dhcg10

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Kiwi's SFG Adventure

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AtlantaMarie
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/9/2023, 4:13 pm

I ended up going for a plastic windbreak product; turns out burlap is called hessian here, but finding a small amount for a decent price was proving challenging, and the windbreak was easily available and not outrageous.  I bound it onto a plastic trellis mesh which was ziptied onto stakes:
Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2718

The lee side has a "gate", so I can get in easier during storms if necessary.  The zipties here are deliberately loose, to enable the stakes to slide.  The fabric therefore sags a bit, but this is the lee side so I don't think that'll matter any.  There's no trellis mesh on this side.

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2719
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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Empty My poor beans!

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/9/2023, 4:17 pm

If I get any beans off my current plants I'll be a very happy lass.  These poor plants have had a hell of a week.  First they got the moisture sucked out of them by last week's ex tropical cyclone; after a good tidy-up on Saturday I thought they could be left in peace for a while, but on Sunday morning I discovered that the neighbourhood slugs had had different ideas:
Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2720

The marigolds also got attacked, as did my new beetroot seedlings SIGH   I'm still learning what frequency I need to be scattering the slug poison!!!
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Post  sanderson 1/11/2023, 10:39 pm

You are rather creative. Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 3170584802

I am sorry the slugs had such a feast. Do you know from where they are coming? If they are outside the bed, then sprinkle the exterior base and right inside the top of the frame. Then lightly sprinkle over the whole bed. Did you sprinkle both before and after adding the mulch. Any plant with the terminal/growing tip nibbled off should be re-sowed. Being summer, just pull back the mulch from each seed planted and they should be up within a week.

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Post  Soose 1/12/2023, 7:17 am

Sorry for the bean losses.  Obviously you have an environmental struggle we don't face here!  Whew.  Maybe beans come up so quickly, you could replace. (Newbie here - astounded newbie when we planted the first beans last Summer.  But rely on experienced. )  Just letting you know I'm enjoying your garden developing thread. (Had to catch back up -- not getting notifications most of the time for some reason. )  Must have missed something --  I'm puzzled at the bark perimeter around the bed - purpose?   

Did slugs come in with the mulch?  I remember one year all the rose gardeners locally were complaining about a batch of mulch from the city botanical garden, and swore never again to source from there due to bringing in slugs.
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/12/2023, 5:19 pm

sanderson wrote:You are rather creative. Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 3170584802

I am sorry the slugs had such a feast.  Do you know from where they are coming?  If they are outside the bed, then sprinkle the exterior base and right inside the top of the frame.  Then lightly sprinkle over the whole bed.  Did you sprinkle both before and after adding the mulch.  Any plant with the terminal/growing tip nibbled off should be re-sowed.  Being summer, just pull back the mulch from each seed planted and they should be up within a week.
Thanks sanderson Smile

Not sure where they're coming from; perhaps all the rain we're having is washing the trails away (but then I haven't looked very closely).  My slug poison seems to work like magic; back when I caught 25 slugs in one night on the patio and lettuces in troughs, I sprinkled it the following day and have not had one sign of slug activity there since!  I probably just left it too long (esp, again, with all the rain) to resprinkle in the garden bed.  The beans are still growing (there are tiny beans where the flowers were, and some are definitely longer than when I last looked) but I expect it will take them a while to produce much leaf again.
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/12/2023, 5:27 pm

Soose wrote:Sorry for the bean losses.  Obviously you have an environmental struggle we don't face here!  Whew.  Maybe beans come up so quickly, you could replace. (Newbie here - astounded newbie when we planted the first beans last Summer.  But rely on experienced. )  Just letting you know I'm enjoying your garden developing thread. (Had to catch back up -- not getting notifications most of the time for some reason. )  Must have missed something --  I'm puzzled at the bark perimeter around the bed - purpose?

Thanks Soose, I'm definitely enjoying your worms one Smile

The perimeter -- well, I don't think I explained why, since I thought it was like the permanent grid, one of those things that forms part of a 'standard SFG' so I had to do it! -shrug-  It's in the "bible", on pp 82-84, but I see now that it's mentioned in a more optional sort of tone than the other stuff so I obviously got that wrong.  However, I don't regret it, esp since we have horrible yellow clay and after all the recent rains walking and kneeling on the lawn would not be very pleasant!

Also, I noticed today there are some gorgeous lacy-looking mushrooms growing in the bark at one spot; this is free bark that local arborists dump in a park near here for anyone to pick up, so I have no idea what's in it.  These mushrooms are gorgeous, I've never seen anything like them.  So that's interesting too Smile
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/13/2023, 12:28 am

I was doing my periodic leaf clearing job in the carport today (this is what produced the leaf mould which was part of my MM), vacuuming them up with my leaf sucker/shredder...........and all of a sudden there was a lovely big WORM!!!  I tried to get it to crawl on a big leaf so I could transport it to the SFG bed, but it wouldn't go, so I just picked it up and ran out the back.  So now the bed has (at least) FOUR worms (I found three in the leaf mould while mixing my MM batches)  bounce
BB\'s happy face
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/14/2023, 3:17 pm

There were some more of those lacy mushrooms in the woodchip this morning:
Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2722Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2721

They're really very pretty; quite small, and seemingly slightly transparent.  A nice little welcome to the garden in the mornings, although a bit strange in the height of our summer -- not that it's been a normal summer so far weather-wise!  Auckland has had one-quarter of the usual bright sunshine hours so far for January Sad
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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Empty The first green shoots...

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/15/2023, 7:07 pm

Very happy this morning to see the first little leaves on my bean plants after last weekend's slugfest!  The bean fruits/veges (which predate the attack) are also continuing to grow, some are as long as my little finger now Smile
Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2724Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2723
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Post  sanderson 1/16/2023, 1:09 am

bounce

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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Empty MM with puddles!!!

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 1/27/2023, 2:46 am

Well it's been quite a day here in Auckland, NZ.  We've received 8" of rain, which is our usual tally for Jan+Feb+Mar.  And looking out at my little vege garden I can see a small lake in one part of the woodchip mulch perimeter.....and even a large puddle in the bed itself.  Never thought I'd see that with MM!  Thankfully I know the drainage of this bed is great, being on top of the acrylic panel, but my goodness it'll be a while before I need to water again..............
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 2/3/2023, 2:51 am

Just over a month ago I carefully transplanted my seedlings into my very first raised vege garden.  The beans have survived having the moisture sucked out of them by gale force winds and losing nearly all their leaves to a slugfest, and have actually begun to produce a slight harvest.  The tomatoes are flowering, albeit not very much yet.

And now they've made it through by far the wettest January week on record.  Last month Auckland received 7 times its typical January rainfall, the vast majority of it in just the final week.  We received around a foot of rain, mostly concentrated into two separate days.  I, like many others in this city built on a volcanic field between two large harbours, live above a steep slope.  The clay didn't have a hope of remaining in place with such huge amounts of moisture in it, and we have had a moderate sized slip.  My garden is around 10 feet away from the top of it, and may well have to be completely dismantled in order to allow machinery in to construct a retaining wall in the months to come (if the insurance will even pay for that).  I have no idea if there will be room for the garden afterwards, despite this being by far the best location slope-wise and security-wise on our property.

I've had to stand at my kitchen window and watch trees and plants which we chose 30 years ago precisely to stabilise the land, be undermined from below and swept down the slope.  It's like having thieves come in the middle of the night and remove parts of my home, but there's nothing I can do about it.  My heart breaks over and over, and it's not finished yet.  The slip continues to move, even if much slower than in the first 24 hours.

In contrast to thousands of other Aucklanders we have at least been spared the hell of having our house flooded, so I count my blessings.  But I'm unable to resist paraphrasing Airline:
        "I picked the wrong summer to take up vege gardening"

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Post  sanderson 2/3/2023, 3:35 am

My heart is absolutely breaking for you. Sad

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Post  Soose 2/3/2023, 5:58 am

Kiwi, I hope you can save the garden. It's beautiful. Hugs.
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Post  OhioGardener 2/3/2023, 7:17 am

sanderson wrote:My heart is absolutely breaking for you.  Sad

+10

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 2/3/2023, 4:10 pm

Thank you all so much for your support!  I had tears in my eyes reading your messages.  I knew you'd understand Smile
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Post  AtlantaMarie 2/4/2023, 6:41 am

Oh, my....  I'm so sorry this is happening!
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Post  dstack 2/4/2023, 7:07 am

That's awful! Kiwi, so sorry to hear about this. Please keep us updated.
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Post  markqz 2/4/2023, 10:13 am

That's very sad. But there's hope. You may have to postpone your garden a  year or so. But don't give up! Because, as they also say in Airplane --

"That's just what they expect us to do!"
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Post  yolos 2/4/2023, 7:41 pm

I am so sorry you are having problems with excess rain.  Hang in there.  There is always next year.  That is what I keep telling myself.
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 2/5/2023, 2:15 pm

Thanks again for your kind words, everyone.  You folks are so lovely!  Yes, you are right there is always another year (we hope) Smile
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Post  Scorpio Rising 2/7/2023, 9:49 pm

Kiwi, so sad for you, but thanks be for everyone safe and moving forward.  Hugs for you and everyone there.  We get it, the world is changing.
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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Empty My first tomato!

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 2/8/2023, 5:40 pm

Hope springs eternal.  This morning I noticed that one of my tomato flowers has turned into a fruit!  It's tiny, but it's there bounce

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Post  sanderson 2/10/2023, 10:41 pm

I love you

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Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Empty Yahoo, the compost tumbler is in place!

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 2/19/2023, 2:07 am

My new compost bin (a tumbler) arrived this week, and I spent a bit more than 3 hours assembling it today.  It seems to be well made.  The barrel is divided in two, and the crank handle is geared, so I'm hoping I can fill it and still have it turning well.  I discovered that there's an optional upgrade for the gearing which makes it easier to turn; hopefully I won't need it.  The next job is to get the contents of my inadequate insulated bin into it!

Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2815Kiwi's SFG Adventure - Page 3 Img_2813

From reviews, one concern is that with our strong UV the plastic breaks down and becomes brittle.  So, I decided to site it beside the house, instead of near the garden, since this means it'll be permanently shaded.  I also liked the idea of having it on concrete instead of our 'wonderful' clay, which after all the rain we've been having is pretty soft.  The concrete is on a slight slope so I'm hoping to be able to level the bin somewhat before starting to fill it this week.

If I find it's too much of a pain getting the finished material out to the garden I can always move it next spring, since it'll be sitting empty all winter.

Many thanks again to sanderson for bumping the Lifetime composter thread and prompting me to think about a tumbler, I'm sure I won't regret getting this baby.
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