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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.

My new assigned SFG task I22gcj10My new assigned SFG task 14dhcg10

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Post  Josh 10/22/2010, 7:21 pm

My mom has a large traditional perennial flower garden,she wants to put me in charge of changing it over to a SFG perennial flower garden. I will dig up the perennials in the spring and make SFGs to plant them in.
Here is the area now after we cut down all the flowers.
It's 25 feet by 35 feet.
My new assigned SFG task Gardenarea

Most everyone talks about vegetables here,does anyone else like flowers?
Josh
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Post  camprn 10/22/2010, 7:26 pm

Josh wrote:
Most everyone talks about vegetables here,does anyone else like flowers?

flower oh yes!
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Post  Old Hippie 10/22/2010, 7:32 pm

I love them and mix them in with my vegetables.


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Post  Megan 10/22/2010, 7:37 pm

I love flowers, Josh! And now that my evil HOA has weighed in about my yard, the front yard will be mostly flowers. I am still going to sneak some veggies in where I can, of course. Smile (I have plenty of herbs going in the side beds already, but those, too, of course.)

I have some simple fall mums and pansies planted now (quick fix) but I'd like to do something more elaborate next year. (I am sorely tempted to plant a bajillion sunflowers and say "but... they ARE flowers, after all!!")
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Post  sfg4uKim 10/22/2010, 7:43 pm

Doesn't your HOA know that Michelle Obama would want them to let you grow veggies?

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Post  acara 10/22/2010, 7:46 pm

Josh wrote:
Most everyone talks about vegetables here,does anyone else like flowers?

Absolutely
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Post  Megan 10/22/2010, 7:53 pm

ksroman wrote:Doesn't your HOA know that Michelle Obama would want them to let you grow veggies?

I have seriously thought about sending her photos, along with a pitch about "What if even one in ten suburbanites did this?" Then realized that, no, ain't gonna happen.

Flowers are good too, though. I had a lot more this year than ever before, and we had a LOT more birds, bees and butterflies (and hummingbirds apparently, though I didn't see any myself) too.

I was in the grocery store this afternoon and red bell peppers are $2.49 EACH.... not per pound. Each. And I had to rip out my peppers before they were done. Rrrrrrrrrrrr.
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Post  Old Hippie 10/22/2010, 8:01 pm

Maybe give the bill for the peppers you have to buy now to the HOA!

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Post  sfg4uKim 10/23/2010, 9:59 am

LOL I almost didn't open the email letting me know about answers to this thread. Of course the email subject lines in emails can only be a certain number of characters. When I was scrolling through the subjects is said "My new @$$". YIKES!

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Post  Old Hippie 10/23/2010, 10:26 am

Megan wrote: (I am sorely tempted to plant a bajillion sunflowers and say "but... they ARE flowers, after all!!")

Oh do it! There are so many different kinds and colours. Twisted Evil

Did they tell you that you could only plant flowers in the front yard? There are lots of plants that are mostly leafy with NO flowers at all or very inconspicuous ones.

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Post  quiltbea 10/23/2010, 1:50 pm

Josh, I know you'll do a good job for Mom.
Last year I had an annual raised bed (berm actually because it wasn't enclosed with lumber), and enjoyed it.
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Here are some of the annuals going in last May. Those are some of my potato plants in the berm back right. I put another later variety in front of them in that bed.
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Here's one of my glads from last year.

Each year I also plant nasturtiums and marigolds in the corners of each of my raised beds.
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As you can see here the marigolds are still going strong with the bed nearly empty, except for the rosemary and lemon balm and the sown winter rye.

I plan on having more next year, but I think I'll put them in pots around the garden area and save my raised beds for eating veggies.

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Post  Megan 10/23/2010, 2:07 pm

You know, Josh, it might be fun to combine your flower project with a bee / butterfly garden. They are pretty plants in and of themselves, and they would benefit the other beds you have, as well.
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Post  ander217 10/24/2010, 6:26 am

I love flowers, Josh. This year I grew beautiful pansies in my first SFG box. I also grew zinnias in my SFG beds which are still going strong, and I'm trying to get some nasturtiums to bloom before frost. I tried growing scarlet runner beans for the flowers, but they didn't do well in this year's extreme heat. Neither did the marigolds. I also grow two kinds of oregano in my herb garden - Greek oregano for cooking, and Italian oregano for the pretty purple flowers which attract bees. I also grow bee balm to attract butterflies and bees.

We are in the process of building beds outside the 32' x 35' perimeter of our garden fence by placing a thick layer of rice hulls and a little sheep manure topped with black plastic to kill the grass over the winter. They will be edged with 3" x 3" 8-foot posts we picked up for $1 each from a man who works for a barge company. (They were used as dividers between pallets and we've been letting them sit in the open for a couple of years to leach out any chemicals they may have picked up.) We hope those outer beds will serve to keep bermuda grass from encroaching under the fence into the garden. We plan to plant one bed in strawberries and the other three mostly in annual and perennial flowers. Eventually we may convert those beds to SFG boxes, but for now all we can afford is the free rice hull/manure mix on our existing soil.
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Post  ander217 10/24/2010, 6:47 am

Megan wrote:I love flowers, Josh! And now that my evil HOA has weighed in about my yard, the front yard will be mostly flowers. I am still going to sneak some veggies in where I can, of course. Smile (I have plenty of herbs going in the side beds already, but those, too, of course.)

I have some simple fall mums and pansies planted now (quick fix) but I'd like to do something more elaborate next year. (I am sorely tempted to plant a bajillion sunflowers and say "but... they ARE flowers, after all!!")

Do you think you could get away with growing the more colorful veggie varieties arranged as landscaping plants? Burgundy okra, Bright Lights chard, some varieties of kale, scarlet runner beans, etc. are all beautiful enough to pass as landscaping plants, yet you get a bonus of edible harvests from them as well as beauty for the soul. If you cleverly intersperse them among flowering annuals they may never even notice that there are edibles growing there. Make an edging of strawberries for white spring flowers and red autumn leaves, and you can even tuck in a dwarf fruit tree.

Google for edible landscaping to get plans and more ideas.

Will your HOA allow you to use SFG boxes if they contain ornamentals?
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Post  Megan 10/24/2010, 7:50 am

Good ideas all, Ander. Honestly, I don't know. We have requested the HOA guidelines and they have yet to cough them up. I may have to send them a certified letter, same as they did to me.

I had planned on sneaking in some things, yes. Strawberries for sure, lettuce, bright lites chard, radishes, onions and garlic anyway. I am not an okra person. I would love to grow some tomatillos and broccoli raab again, not sure if I can get away with those, though. I am certainly going to put in a bunch of milkweed from the seeds Nancy sent me.
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Post  boffer 10/24/2010, 8:05 am

Josh wrote:... I will dig up the perennials in the spring and make SFGs to plant them in...

I'm sure the flowers will love it, but won't grids and Mel's Mix be overkill?
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Post  Megan 10/24/2010, 8:11 am

boffer wrote:
Josh wrote:... I will dig up the perennials in the spring and make SFGs to plant them in...

I'm sure the flowers will love it, but won't grids and Mel's Mix be overkill?

I don't see why it would be. Flowers in SFGs are in our banner and on the front page of the main SFG site. jocolor
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Post  boffer 10/24/2010, 8:39 am

I agree that there are advantages to mixing flowers in among veggies in a sfg.

I am not a flower gardener so I don't know: for a dedicated flower bed, is a grid really beneficial for getting proper flower spacing? Do flowers really need the quality soil that Mel's Mix provides?
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Post  camprn 10/24/2010, 8:50 am

boffer wrote:I agree that there are advantages to mixing flowers in among veggies in a sfg.

I am not a flower gardener so I don't know: for a dedicated flower bed, is a grid really beneficial for getting proper flower spacing? Do flowers really need the quality soil that Mel's Mix provides?
Hi Boff!, Well, when I worked for a gardener and we built english style flower gardens, with double digging and all that. The soil amendments that were used in mixing the soil for the new bed were all the same ingredients as in MM, with the addition of dried blood, and bone meal and some other stuff on occasion. Bed and soil prep, along with proper spacing will give great results to a perennial flower bed. This process will provide soil that will not require working for many years. Another must, top dress with compost and mulch annually and the flower beds will show beautifully for about 5-6 years on average. Just my $0.02. What a Face
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Post  Josh 10/24/2010, 3:01 pm

[quote="Megan"]
boffer wrote:
Josh wrote:... I will dig up the perennials in the spring and make SFGs to plant them in...

I'm sure the flowers will love it, but won't grids and Mel's Mix be overkill?

I dont know why it would be,all plants need a certain amount of space in any garden SFG or traditional, just as vegetables need a grid to mark where and how many to plant,so will flowers.

We grew all kinds of flowers in one of the SFGs this year,bulbs,annuals,perennials and we planted using a grid marking the area the plant needed to grow,just like vegetables. Without the grid...it wouldn't be a square foot garden....Mel said so Very Happy
Also the flowers grew the best they have ever grown in Mel's mix!
Take a look at the pictures of this years SFG flowers,you will see the grids in most of the pictures.
SFG flowers

I'm out to prove SFG is for the flower lovers too!

We have a perennial flower that has grown in one of the SFGs for 4 years now and it looks great every year.
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Post  Megan 10/24/2010, 3:06 pm

I can't wait to see your flower garden, Josh. Will you share your plan with us ahead of time, or do we get to be surprised? Smile
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Post  Josh 10/24/2010, 8:43 pm

I'll post it as i go,that way if anyone has any tips or advice for me you can let me know. My mom said she will try to make me a list of all the perennials thats already planted. Making butterfly and hummingbird SFGs is a great idea too!
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Post  middlemamma 10/25/2010, 2:33 am

Josh! I am so excited! I am going to venture into flowers next spring Smile

I grew some black eyed susans in the middle of my strawberry bed this year...that was totally cool. And I am going to make a "fence" around my garden with sunflowers next spring. I LOVE sunflowers...they just make me smile.

Megan...any title company should have a coppy of the CC&R's for your HOA on file..they may charge you for a copy but they could have it for you in about 10 minutes.

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Post  Furbalsmom 10/25/2010, 10:39 am

Josh, your photobucket showed pictures of hummingbird banding. Is that something your whole family participates in? We have two varieties of hummingbirds here on the Oregon Coast. The Annas stay around all winter. The Roufus are still around, but I expect them to leave soon and come back in fairly early spring.

Don't know what is best for a hummingbird garden, but they love my fuschias, geraniums, nastursiums, petunias, and vincas. Some of my flowers are tender perennials and may not make it out in the garden or on the protected deck over the winter. but I take cuttings and start new plants in the house. I start seeds for the annuals in late winter, early spring.

Jennie, Middlemamma, be careful where you use sunflowers as a fence, you don't want to shade your SFG and some varieties are HUGE.
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Post  donnainzone5 10/25/2010, 11:56 am

Josh,

I am SO impressed with your flower pictures! What a great cottage garden look!

If only I had space for one or two more beds in a fairly sunny spot....

How deep is your Mel's Mix for the glads and dahlias?
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