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Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? Toplef10Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? 1zd3ho10

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Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? I22gcj10Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? 14dhcg10

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? Toplef10Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? 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.

Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? I22gcj10Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? 14dhcg10

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Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates?

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Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? Empty Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates?

Post  wildyoga 4/5/2023, 5:54 pm

Hi everybody!
I'm a seasoned gardener who used to practice square foot gardening in the Southeast US. Then moved to the Intermountain West (NE Utah) several years ago where the climate is obviously quite different!

I'm interested in trying SFG out again, however, and am looking for feedback on how you guys do with raised beds and Mel'x Mix in arid, windy climates like this one?

My other training in permaculture, etc. has led me to believe that a sunken garden would be more appropriate in this climate.

What are your experiences? Are you able to keep your square foot raised beds from drying out too quickly?

Thanks!
wildyoga
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Join date : 2023-04-05
Location : NE Utah

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Post  sanderson 4/7/2023, 4:47 pm

Hi Wildyoga,  Welcome to the Forum from hot, dry summers Fresno, CA.

Yes, SFG raised beds with Mel's Mix and grids works in Utah.  There are a lot of SFG in the SLC area where preparedness is practiced.  Simple 2"x8" lumber makes beds deep enough for 6-7" of MM with a little room for straw mulch.  (E-Z Straw with Tack from Tractor Supply is my favorite.)  I have been using the method since March 2013.  My beds are actually table tops, up in the air.  Summers are over 100*F for weeks, peaking usually at 110*F, although last year it reached 115*F!  I don't have the high desert plains winds but you can work around that buy erecting wind buffers when needed to slow down the wind.  Any walls of permeable material like shade cloth, sheers, burlap.

Arizona table tops: Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? Table_96

Fresno (me) small part of the garden in August 2018:
Raised beds and Mel's Mix in arid climates? Garde125

Check out threads in the Southwest Deserts subforum and Western Mountains and High Plains subforum. It seems that the further north one goes, the more small green houses are seen to extend the seasons.

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Post  Turan 4/9/2023, 5:43 pm

Hello from Montana!
NE Utah is cold enough that raised beds warm up much earlier in the spring. What spring you ask? This year is already a month behind. THose raised beds will hopefully help us have some sort of season this year. Wind is an issue drying out beds quickly, and requires extra staking of broccoli and such. You must keep up on watering, and by hand with a cup will not be anything like near enough. Soaker hoses, on a timer, every day, make a huge difference. I also make my beds high enough for mulching to keep the soil moist, and to continually feed the plants as it breaks down. I use that early lawn mowing before the weeds bloom, it is heavy so it doesn't blow and has good nitrogen content for continual feeding. 

If I lived in southern Utah I would definitely look into waffle gardens. That seems very compatible with SQFG.

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Post  sanderson 4/12/2023, 6:28 pm

Hi Turan! happy hi Missed you.

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