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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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SFG on concrete pad Toplef10SFG on concrete pad 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.

SFG on concrete pad I22gcj10SFG on concrete pad 14dhcg10

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SFG on concrete pad

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Odd Duck
ander217
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rumleyp
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Post  rumleyp 1/9/2011, 12:58 pm

We have just bought a house with a great wire-enclosed structure (12x16) that would be perfect for keeping critters out of the garden. But it's on a concrete pad? Can I work this out somehow for drainage? And should the soil be deeper? I'm new to this, so suggestions are very welcome.

Also, would it be good to add a bit of topsoil to the mix for growing corn? Perhaps it would help keep the plants from falling over??
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Post  Furbalsmom 1/9/2011, 2:12 pm

Rumelyp, glad you\'re here to our group.

Thanks for joining us. We look forward to your questions and if you have information regarding someone else's post, please feel free to chime in.

If you are using Mel's Mix, it is not recommended to add topsoil. Topsoil will add weedseeds What a Face and one of the most marvelous things about Mel's Mix is the lack of need to weed. cheers

We have several forum members who grow their corn in Mel's Mix and add a support, sometimes as simple as four posts around the perimeter of the bed and then add twine, string, something to keep the corn corraled. Another method listed in Mel's ALL NEW SQUAREFOOT GARDENING is to use the same four posts, and place nylon trellis netting horizontally, attached to the four posts. This way the corn can grow up into the holes of the trellis netting.

As to placing your SFG on a concrete pad, there are several members that already do this. Some recommendations are to place a plywood bottom on your box and raise the bed slightly by placing bricks, cinderblocks, rocks or something like that, under each corner and perhaps one in the middle under your plywood bottom.

Hope some forum members who have done this will chime in and let Rumleyp know how this worked out for them.

Again, glad you\'re here



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Post  GardenZen 1/9/2011, 2:13 pm

Hello rumleyp and glad you\'re here to the forum!

The easiest solution is a table top garden. (I'm in the process of doing this). There are photos in the New SFG book and you can find some good posts and pics here.

Try searching the forum using "table top" and also "TT" for some ideas and photos.

EDIT:
Oops I see furbalsmom was typing at the same time....what she said Wink
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Post  LaFee 1/9/2011, 4:54 pm

My corn didn't fall over in my 6" deep box with Mel's Mix. Full disclosure - my SFG is in a very protected corner where the wind really can't get at it...but they stood straight and tall until the time came to pull them.

(Lost my entire harvest to smut, but that's not the fault of the SFG method!)
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Post  ander217 1/9/2011, 6:08 pm

Welcome to the forum, Rumleyp.

This year I grew my corn in a raised bed because I was growing Hickory King field corn which can grow to 12' tall, and I didn't want to have to support it. Some on the forum reported good luck growing shorter corn - the 4-6' varieties of sweet corn - without any support at all in their SFGs. Usually, earlier varieties are shorter than late varieties.

You can use the new search feature for corn and find the old threads.

Keep us posted on your progress, and remember that we love to see photos.

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SFG on concrete pad Empty Thanks for all your help!

Post  rumleyp 1/9/2011, 6:40 pm

I appreciate all your help. I've found all sorts of new things on this journey...and I'm looking forward to a great garden.
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Post  Odd Duck 1/9/2011, 6:42 pm

rumleyp wrote:We have just bought a house with a great wire-enclosed structure (12x16) that would be perfect for keeping critters out of the garden. But it's on a concrete pad?

Just FYI - if this was a dog kennel, you should make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the concrete pad if it's been in use within the last year or so. If it's been longer than that, your risk is probably minimal. To be on the safe side, scrub it with dilute bleach - 1/4 cup per gallon of water. If it wasn't housing meat eaters like dogs, you're probably OK.

If you go with the TT beds, it won't matter, no need for disinfection.
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Post  Chopper 1/9/2011, 10:44 pm

Odd Duck wrote:
rumleyp wrote:We have just bought a house with a great wire-enclosed structure (12x16) that would be perfect for keeping critters out of the garden. But it's on a concrete pad?

Just FYI - if this was a dog kennel, you should make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the concrete pad if it's been in use within the last year or so. If it's been longer than that, your risk is probably minimal. To be on the safe side, scrub it with dilute bleach - 1/4 cup per gallon of water. If it wasn't housing meat eaters like dogs, you're probably OK.

If you go with the TT beds, it won't matter, no need for disinfection.

One caveat. If there is much ammonia from dog pee adding bleach can create a poisonous gas and I only mention it because a friend almost died that way cleaning a patio that was outdoors and well ventilated. If the pee is old it likely will not matter.
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Post  walshevak 1/10/2011, 8:53 am

Chopper wrote:
Odd Duck wrote:
rumleyp wrote:We have just bought a house with a great wire-enclosed structure (12x16) that would be perfect for keeping critters out of the garden. But it's on a concrete pad?

Just FYI - if this was a dog kennel, you should make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the concrete pad if it's been in use within the last year or so. If it's been longer than that, your risk is probably minimal. To be on the safe side, scrub it with dilute bleach - 1/4 cup per gallon of water. If it wasn't housing meat eaters like dogs, you're probably OK.

If you go with the TT beds, it won't matter, no need for disinfection.

One caveat. If there is much ammonia from dog pee adding bleach can create a poisonous gas and I only mention it because a friend almost died that way cleaning a patio that was outdoors and well ventilated. If the pee is old it likely will not matter.
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Post  walshevak 1/10/2011, 8:54 am

hit the button too soon.

anyway, rent a power sprayer and stand back. bleach, ammonia, and anything else should be GONE
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Post  kimbertangleknot 1/13/2011, 3:16 pm

I would think that you can use many a thing to use on a concrete area for SFG. I have two beds that I bought that are heavy duty 12" deep self watering things, with the option to buy casters so they are moveable. The table top would be nice too, I would also think that if you could get your hands on some pallets you could use those as a nice "base" to start, and build UP from those. You'd need something like a mesh wire to be able to keep the dirt and stuff in, and let water drain out.

You might even be able to build a cinder block type SFG on it, but it wouldn't be moveable, but that's not really a bad thing!
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Post  choksaw 1/14/2011, 9:51 pm

hello and welcome to forums i too built my beds on top of a concrete slab in the yard but to assist in drainage befor i added the mix i took a few scrap pieces of lathe that i used to make the grid and shimmed the 4 corners of the raised bed in order to create a gap at the base so that water had somewhere to go
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