Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hi from Northern VA! Toplef10Hi from Northern VA! 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.

Hi from Northern VA! I22gcj10Hi from Northern VA! 14dhcg10

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hi from Northern VA! Toplef10Hi from Northern VA! 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.

Hi from Northern VA! I22gcj10Hi from Northern VA! 14dhcg10

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Hi from Northern VA!

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Hi from Northern VA! Empty Hi from Northern VA!

Post  novanewbie 3/10/2023, 11:19 pm

Hello everyone! 

I’ve been combing through so many wonderful threads on this forum for a few weeks now and finally actually signed up so I can introduce myself Smile


We have two littles at home (2 and 2 months) so I feel like a bit of a crazy minority who decides to start a garden while chasing toddlers! Growing up, my parents had a garden just one summer but it made a permanent impression on me. Every year Id ask my parents to garden again. Gardens are magical I think, but especially in childhood! I’m excited to share the experience of a garden with my own children. If you garden(ed) with little ones around I’d love to hear about it!


We live in the burbs on a 1/4 acre lot - our HOA allows gardens in the backyard so we will be taking advantage of that! Last weekend we built our four beds (4x6) and this weekend we’ll be working on the garden zone. I love the peastone look so we’ll be prepping the area and putting that down and then hopefully we’ll be ready to mix the MM’s next weekend to fill the beds!  


A question for all of you…how far would you drive for compost? $10 a 50 lb bag for rabbit poo….it’s an hour away….what about free composted horse manure? 45 min away? Or is it worth it to just spend the $$$ at the garden store around the corner? Smile

Looking forward to sharing progress pics throughout this first year of our SFG! 

Hi from Northern VA! 7bd33f10
A “before” of our garden corner. The fence on the “left” here is the northern edge of our yard

Hi from Northern VA! 17f29d10
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Post  sanderson 3/11/2023, 2:28 am

Nova, Welcome to the Forum from California.  glad you\'re here  Hopefully you have a copy of ALL NEW Square Foot Gardening.  It is invaluable.

Involving your children at a young age is a blessing.  The 2-year old might like his own 2'x2' or 2'x3' bed.  Leave a spot for baby to someday have his own bed.  

Square Foot Gardening with Kids - Square Foot Gardening

How far to drive for compost?  I drive 200 miles to visit kiddies and pick up bags of different composts because my area is a compost desert.  Be careful about animal manures.  You want all manures COMPOSTED, not aged, which is most horse manure.  Bunny manure should also be composted.  Look for real composts, not soil amendment, raised bed mix, planting mix, etc.  No added fillers like peat moss, sand, perlite.  You will be making the Mel's Mix with 1/3 fluffed peat moss so you don't want extra from the bagged composts.

Mel's Mix. How strong is your backbone? (forumotion.com)

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Post  talentetta 3/25/2023, 6:19 am

Hello novanewbie, I’m in the area and would love to share my extra MM ingredients. I got a pallet of peat moss open bags cheap, and have some extra vermiculite I drove to Blacksburg to get at the best price (visiting kiddos). If you want to meet up, let me know.
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Post  Chuck d'Argy 3/25/2023, 7:27 am

Hi and welcome!

A bit north of your northern fence in western PA is where I live. I am in my 3rd year of full blown SFG. I am mostly a container guy as I have a very small backyard. But I can tell you Sanderson and another guy Ohio Gardner are Masters at SFG. They know their sruff.

I wish I had taught my children to garden. A couple have picked it up on their own though. I think that's great that you're doing that.



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Post  ellemc6 3/25/2023, 9:51 am

Hi there from nearby MD! Gardening with kids is possible! Crazy to start a garden with two babies/toddlers? Yes/AND... That is, at times it's a little nutty and does not go as planned AND it's a total blast. The kids take ownership and responsibility for the plants they helped start, getting excited as things grow. Do you end up with WAY more of one thing than you intended to plant (in my house it's carrots) and way less or none of another thing? ("Whoops! Did I forget to plant the squash?") Yes.
My oldest who is now 5 asked for a garden spot of his own this year so he could do his own thing... Just like another poster mentioned. And they get excited to pick out seeds, suggesting things we'd never tried before. I discovered they're more likely to eat vegetables if they grew them... 😅
Remember to give yourself grace on all the steps while they're little, though. Have fun out there!
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Post  anajinn 3/25/2023, 11:53 am

novanewbie wrote:Hello everyone! 

I’ve been combing through so many wonderful threads on this forum for a few weeks now and finally actually signed up so I can introduce myself Smile


We have two littles at home (2 and 2 months) so I feel like a bit of a crazy minority who decides to start a garden while chasing toddlers! Growing up, my parents had a garden just one summer but it made a permanent impression on me. Every year Id ask my parents to garden again. Gardens are magical I think, but especially in childhood! I’m excited to share the experience of a garden with my own children. If you garden(ed) with little ones around I’d love to hear about it!


We live in the burbs on a 1/4 acre lot - our HOA allows gardens in the backyard so we will be taking advantage of that! Last weekend we built our four beds (4x6) and this weekend we’ll be working on the garden zone. I love the peastone look so we’ll be prepping the area and putting that down and then hopefully we’ll be ready to mix the MM’s next weekend to fill the beds!  


A question for all of you…how far would you drive for compost? $10 a 50 lb bag for rabbit poo….it’s an hour away….what about free composted horse manure? 45 min away? Or is it worth it to just spend the $$$ at the garden store around the corner? Smile

Looking forward to sharing progress pics throughout this first year of our SFG! 
Everyone has warned me not to use horse manure. Your rabbit manure is worth driving for I believe. Mine cost me $25 Canadian for 2 cubic feet, which is very expensive compared with other manures. Yours is cheap. The only thing I don't like about it is that the rabbit pellets do not seem to break down. I put some on top of the soil in some plant pots that had herbs growing in it. It seems to work like a slow release pelleted fertilizer. When it rains, it creates a liquid that drips down into the soil. RABBIT MANURE is very safe in every way. It is called COLD because it will never burn the plants and can be put in the soil or on the plants immediately it comes out of the rabbit. I have a big container that I forgot to cover and it got full of rain water. I have used the resulting tea on plants but also put it and the pellets in my compost. I have not yet completed a full year of composting but am hoping to be able to use it in the fall or or next year. I am told that people have won prizes for their vegetables grown with rabbit manure.  You are making a good decision to grow a garden. I am much older than you and I have only just started. I wish I had done it before now. HOWEVER there are going to be food shortages and we must not miss this opportunity to attempt to be self-sufficient. Very best wishes to you. I am sure you will do well, especially as you have little mouths to feed.
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Post  sanderson 3/25/2023, 2:44 pm

talentetta wrote:Hello novanewbie, I’m in the area and would love to share my extra MM ingredients. I got a pallet of peat moss open bags cheap, and have some extra vermiculite I drove to Blacksburg to get at the best price (visiting kiddos). If you want to meet up, let me know.
That's very kind of you!

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Hi from Northern VA! Empty Hi back, also from NoVA!

Post  onebirdiema 3/25/2023, 4:06 pm

I've been on here a long time but haven't done much except look at what folks are/were saying.  I describe where we live as suburban small-holding h*ll -- third of an acre riparian soil over lain with fill from four mile run back in the day... I'm somewhere between two months and six weeks late with the most demanding of the seeds I have to start -- but I also have some gibberrelic acid from J.L. Hudson that I may try out to make up for my dereliction of duty . . . . this afternoon I must finish today's mega chore of four or so loaves of buttercrust bread (bakers: see Redstar yeast for recipe) and putting more of kitchen back to rights!  //  How long have you lived in NoVA?  And hoe long have you gardened?  And do your littles like playing in the dirt? //  OK, must extricate myself from comfort and go back to WORK.
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