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First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 Toplef10First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 1zd3ho10

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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.

First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 I22gcj10First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 14dhcg10

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 Toplef10First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 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.

First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 I22gcj10First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 14dhcg10

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First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024

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Post  flossy21 Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:54 pm

Hi,

My wife and I picked up Mel's book and decided to give it a try.  Here's some pics of our setup.  We are a little deeper than recommended.  I filled the first 2/3 of the beds with straight compost and then Mel's Mix for the. top 8-12" of bed.  So far we have $325 in the raised beds, $468 in compost, peat and vermiculite.

Our beds are 5/8" thick cedar fence pickets with steel angle iron on the corners.  I reinforced them with internal stainless steel cables that zigzag through the beds.  

We are in zone 7b and planted lettuce, spinach and onions so far.  Next up is tomato and peppers at the end of the month

First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 First-timer-heres-our-build-v0-ifcy3vug5yrc1
flossy21
flossy21

Posts : 3
Join date : 2024-02-09
Location : Palmyra, VA (7a)

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Post  flossy21 Fri Apr 12, 2024 1:11 pm

pics from today...

First timer in Central Virginia (7b) - newly built beds 2024 Img_1614
flossy21
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Join date : 2024-02-09
Location : Palmyra, VA (7a)

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Post  OhioGardener Fri Apr 12, 2024 3:54 pm

Welcome to the forums from Ohio!  Nice looking beds, and it looks like you are off to a good start.  The only future problem I see is that since you filled the bottom of the beds with compost there will be a lot of shrinkage in the bed fill, and you will be adding a lot of new Mel's Mix to top off the beds as the compost decomposes. But, the vegetables should do very well with all of the nutrition in those beds.

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Post  Scorpio Rising Sat Apr 13, 2024 2:06 pm

Welcome to the forum!  Looking good!  I filled my first re-purposed window boxes with leaves, which of course decomposed over time.  The boxes were not conventional in size, but they hung on until this year! 

You will learn so much…and this is a great site!  I can’t wait to see your progress!
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Post  sanderson Sat Apr 13, 2024 4:16 pm

Flossy, welcome to the Forum from California.  The beds are beautiful.

In order for beds to not shrink down, the SFG Foundation recommends an inert lower fill like topsoil or clean sand.  Then top with 6-7" of Mel's Mix.  At the end of the growing season, we then mix in enough blended composts into just the MM layer to bring the level back up to where you started.

This fall you can make a decision.  A) Keep topping off with more MM as the beds shrink, or B) Bite the bullet and remove and save most of the compost fill.  Replace that with inert topsoil or clean sand, and replace the MM on top.  The compost fill will not go to waste.  Just store it off the ground and under protection.  You can use it to refresh the beds each time you plant.  Your plants will definitely not starve with all of that compost.   Very Happy

You may like browsing the SFG Foundation page.  Square Foot Gardening Foundation

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Post  flossy21 Thu May 16, 2024 5:34 pm

The garden is going gangbusters!  You can also see my Rube Goldberg watering setup in the background.  We've been eating lettuce, spinach and greens almost every afternoon and evening meal.  Our cucumbers, planted last week, are coming through the ground.  We have our first small tomatoes!

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