Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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.

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]
Paul's First SFGs Toplef10Paul's First SFGs 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.

Paul's First SFGs I22gcj10Paul's First SFGs 14dhcg10

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Post  pkadare 5/26/2023, 4:01 am

I'm using 30" raised beds from Raised Bed Gardens Canada and am very happy with them. These are 8' x 4' x 30" so I'll have lots of space to start with. I filled the lower 16" or so with organic material (logs, etc.) and then filled the voids with sand. The top 12" are filled with Mel's Mix. I've got one ready to plant (once I put a grid in) and should have the second ready to plant in a day or 2.
This is my very first crack at gardening and I'm quite looking forward to it!

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Post  sanderson 5/26/2023, 1:23 pm

Nice looking beds. What will you be using as grids?

A couple of notes. The Foundation encourages inert material as bottom fill (sand or top soil) so it won't decompose and shrink over time. Only 6-7" of Mel's Mix is needed to grow 98% of veggies. It's a good thing so little Mel's Mix is needed as it is expensive to initially make. Very Happy

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Post  pkadare 5/27/2023, 5:00 am

sanderson wrote:Nice looking beds.  What will you be using as grids?

A couple of notes.  The Foundation encourages inert material as bottom fill (sand or top soil) so it won't decompose and shrink over time.  Only 6-7" of Mel's Mix is needed to grow 98% of veggies.  It's a good thing so little Mel's Mix is needed as it is expensive to initially make. Very Happy

I'm going to start with twine for the grids as I'm having a little trouble sourcing cedar slats which are my first choice.

As far as the bottom fill, I'm aware of the recommendations but the logs were free, whereas any "inert" material would have been an additional expense, and as far as the 12" versus 6" depth goes, I'm good with the former, thanks appreciate the input!
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Post  pkadare 5/27/2023, 5:06 am

Here is my plan for my first year...

Garden Plan - Paul's Veggies (almanac.com)
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Post  markqz 5/27/2023, 2:16 pm

pkadare wrote:
I'm going to start with twine for the grids as I'm having a little trouble sourcing cedar slats which are my first choice.
It can be difficult to source those slats! Which is odd since I'm pretty sure they're produced as the leftover from trimming boards. A lot of people are using PVC for spacing, as you can see in the photo currently in the header of this forum.

The problem with string/twine is that it rapidly gets dirty and/or breaks. Currently I like using green, lightweight clothing line (not copper cored). It stays clean and is easy to take out or put in as needed.
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Post  pkadare 5/27/2023, 3:17 pm

I've wound up using rebar which world a treat!
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Post  sanderson 5/27/2023, 3:26 pm

May I make a couple of comments about the plan?

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Post  sanderson 5/27/2023, 3:29 pm

pkadare wrote:I've wound up using rebar which world a treat!
One person used binder clips on the edges of the metal beds with string.

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Post  pkadare 5/27/2023, 3:52 pm

That's a cool idea!
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Post  pkadare 5/27/2023, 3:52 pm

sanderson wrote:May I make a couple of comments about the plan?

Absolutely!
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Post  sanderson 5/27/2023, 4:17 pm

silly me I replied and lost it.

Shorter version.

Corn needs a block for good pollination. 4' x 4' is a minumum.

Swiss chard can get huge. I plant 2/sq on a diagonal and harvest large outer stalks.

Broccoli and bok choy (even radishes) are in the cabbage family and prone to the caterpillars of the white butterfly and cabbage looper/moth. I plant all of mine in adjacent squares for the convenience of securely covering with insect netting or bridal tulle.

Leaf lettuce can be planted 4/square and the outer leaves harvested for a continuous harvest. Iceberg lettuces can be large and maybe 1/sq is best.

Winter squash are perfect for tall 8' trellises on the north side of a bed. The vines grow really long and can be trained back on the trellis when they flop over. Plant 1 per 2 squares along the trellis.

Alaska peas look like a bush variety and can be planted 9/sq. A short, cheap garden fence ot 4 stakes with string wrapped around can help corral them.


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Post  pkadare 5/27/2023, 4:24 pm

Thank you very much for the advice.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 5/28/2023, 6:14 am

Paul, was your birthday the other day?  I thought I saw your name & just didn't put it together with your postings....  I apologize if that's the case!  And hope you had a happy birthday!
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Post  pkadare 5/28/2023, 11:06 am

AtlantaMarie wrote:Paul, was your birthday the other day?  I thought I saw your name & just didn't put it together with your postings....  I apologize if that's the case!  And hope you had a happy birthday!
Nope, March 9th for me. You can catch me next year. 🍺😎
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Post  donnainzone5 6/7/2023, 3:31 pm

Paul,

As your logs and other similar materials break down, the level of your Mel's Mix will sink, and you'll have to make more Mix to restore the same depth.
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Post  pkadare 6/7/2023, 4:38 pm

donnainzone5 wrote:Paul,

As your logs and other similar materials break down, the level of your Mel's Mix will sink, and you'll have to make more Mix to restore the same depth.
 I'm aware of this, but thanks.
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