Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners Toplef10Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners 1zd3ho10

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Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners I22gcj10Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners 14dhcg10

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners Toplef10Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners 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.

Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners I22gcj10Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners 14dhcg10

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Update: Square Foot Gardening in Greer, South Carolina - Exploring Hügelkultur and Connecting with Fellow Gardeners

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Post  kevintunis 4/25/2023, 8:26 am

Hello everyone, I wanted to provide a quick update since I've been a member of this forum for a little while now. My name is Kevin Tunis, and I've been practicing square foot gardening for several years.

Since my last post, I've moved to Greer, South Carolina and have continued to explore gardening in this area. I've had some great success with using Hügelkultur in my raised beds, and I'm always looking for new ways to improve my gardening techniques.

I'm still interested in connecting with other gardeners in the middle south region, and I'd love to hear from others who have experience with square foot gardening or other innovative approaches. I'm also happy to share what I've learned so far and offer any insights that might be helpful.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to continuing to engage with this community!
kevintunis
kevintunis

Male Posts : 6
Join date : 2011-03-16
Location : Greer South Carolina

https://kevintunis.com/

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Post  sanderson 4/25/2023, 3:03 pm

Hi Kevin,  Welcome back to the Forum.  There have been some changes in recent years and I want update you with these changes.

The Forum was the original "social media platform" for SFG gardeners.  Depending on who were the Admin and Mods, different "non-SFG" ideas started blending with Mel's method of gardening.  Lack of interest in the Forum by the SFG Foundation meant it wasn't watched.  Which in a way was fun, because we became a gardening family and had a lot of fun.  Rooster, Camp and Boffer wanted to retire from active duty so they made me a Mod, and by default, I eventually became the Admin.

Mel passed away in 2016, and his son and DIL, Steve and Laura Bartholomew, became the legal Founders and Owners of the SFG Foundation.  I have been working with them, trying to bridge the gap between the Foundation and the Forum.  As a result, the Forum is back to Mel's original recipe of Mel's Mix (1/3 coarse or super coarse vermiculite, 1/3 fluffed peat moss and 1/3 blended composts) in raised beds and topped with a grid.

In the Wild West days, one could throw anything into the bottom of deep beds and top with Mel's Mix.  Then the word Hügelkultur started creeping in.  The original Hügelkultur was mounds.  Today, the word is incorrectly used as filling the bottom of deeper beds.  SFG with Mel's Mix and Hügelkultur don't mix.  It's fine for non-SFG gardens but not for SFG gardens.  The reason is any organic material placed as the lower fill will eventually break down and the whole bed will drop.  The only ways to bring the MM back up to the starting point is to remove the MM it and add more lower fill, or, add more and more MM until eventually the whole bed is MM.  That is way too expensive.

The Foundation, and now the Forum, supports using an inorganic fill that will not shrink/decompose such as top soil or washed sand.  The MM is then placed on top of the inorganic fill, with or without a layer of weed fabric to keep them separate, and topped with 6-7" of Mel's Mix.  An alternative is to have table top beds.  My whole SFG garden is now TT beds and it turns out it was a blessing at my age because I had a couple of major physical health issues occur.

Maybe you would like to try one bed the approved way, with inert bottom fill topped with 6-7" of MM, and see how you like it.  ??

Another change is the use of blended real composts, real being with not fillers like perlite, peat, coir, sand, etc.  Being in SC, you should be able to find different sources (original raw materials used to make the compost), unlike some other areas of the country.  It is being recommended to limit manure-based composts to 20% of the total and worm casting (really rich stuff!!) to 5% of the total for the purpose of reducing Phosphate buildup.  Phosphate buildup can interfere with the uptake of other nutrients.

Another change involves vermiculite.  Due to the shortage of coarse vermiculite, super coarse is also recommended now.  Most folks now order coarse or super coarse online.  Uline, Farm Tek, Greenhouse Mega store, etc.  Perlite is not recommended as it does not have the electrical conductivity that vermiculite has.

And another subject is peat moss vs. coir.  Fluffed up compressed peat moss is preferred over coir.  Peat moss is acidic and when mixed with real composts produces a near neutral pH around 7.  Coir doesn't have this ability.  I know there are environmental debates raging over which one is better but the facts support peat moss.

https://www.gardenmyths.com/coir-ecofriendly-substitute-peat-moss/?fbclid=IwAR0bG8ENswcm7sCj2GZet8hoHPc4TufgskULA8IbNdMK5gbSeHbalYzFtPI#more-4272

https://www.gardenmyths.com/peat-peatmoss-true-story/

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Post  kevintunis 4/25/2023, 5:47 pm

@sanderson   Thanks for the update
kevintunis
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Post  Hip2B 4/30/2023, 9:09 pm

sanderson wrote:The Forum was the original "social media platform" for SFG gardeners.  Depending on who were the Admin and Mods, different "non-SFG" ideas started blending with Mel's method of gardening.  Lack of interest in the Forum by the SFG Foundation meant it wasn't watched.  Which in a way was fun, because we became a gardening family and had a lot of fun...
Mel passed away in 2016, and his son and DIL, Steve and Laura Bartholomew, became the legal Founders and Owners of the SFG Foundation.  I have been working with them, trying to bridge the gap between the Foundation and the Forum.
Thank you for this explanation Sanderson. Although not directed at me, it has helped me to understand the tone of some previous posts.

Months ago I stopped participating in this forum in solidarity with a stranger that I felt was being addressed unfairly. It seemed that the person's ideas were being dismissed without consideration and in a closed minded manner. Now I understand the reasons for this and the fine line that you must traverse between embracing ideas and innovation and adhering to SFG Foundation guidelines.

In some ways I was cutting off my nose to spite my face because there have been lots of SFG questions I have wanted to ask as well as times that I know I could have contributed valuable information to threads.
I have still been checking in daily to keep abreast of developments and increase my knowledge.
So I'm back, with my tail between my legs. Mostly I will just continue to absorb and learn, but you might see me pop my two cents in again from time to time.
Hip2B
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Post  sanderson 5/1/2023, 12:35 am

thanks
BIG hug

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