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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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.

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Garden is planted

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elliephant
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Post  clfraser 3/28/2011, 10:54 pm

So I may be a little behind the game but I got everything planted today. It was a lot of fun. According to website http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/earthkind/ekgarden14.html (thank you to who recommended that, I planted several things and I am within the window for most everything.)

I have tomatoes (cherry, celebrity, yellow pear), Cucumber (straight 8 and pickling variety), Okra, Orange pepper, Green Pepper, Jalepeno, Bush Beans (Italian style and snap), Carrots (may be too late? I did a couple varieties because my daughter insisted we plant them she loves carrots), Onion (Texas Sweet and Super Sweet), Peas (Sugar Snap and another variety), Japanese Eggplant, Radishes, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Asparagus, 1 square of lettuce just because I wanted to try it but I know I am quite behind on the lettuce, some Cilantro, Banana Pepper, and some melon (how does melon do in square foot gardening?)

I think I probably bit off way more than I can chew since this is my first attempt at this, but my husband wanted to build everything at once and I wanted to fill all that was built. I only have a few squares of each thing but I have no clue what I am doing.

What should I be watching for, what is the next step? What problems are usual? How often should I water? Oh the questions. I am so worried nothing is going to grow at all and I just wasted all this money making Mel's Mix. Any advice much appreciated. What should I be tracking for future reference?

I am loving this and have become totally obsessed with trying my hand at gardening.
clfraser
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Post  boffer 3/28/2011, 11:03 pm

Good for you! Best advice: relax! Something is going to grow! You'll only have one first year of gardening...think of it as a first date...it's all new, it's all exciting, and it'll be over before you're ready. Keep the top of the MM moist, other than that, all you can do for now is wait .
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Post  elliephant 3/29/2011, 11:15 am

Water very gently (like mist setting on a sprayer) at least once a day while you are waiting for seeds to sprout. Once things are up you don't have to be as gentle and can probably go every other day right now. One thing I found important last year (in other words, messed up on!) was to keep all of the surface area watered. Don't try just watering right by the plant. In our climate the MM can get bone dry and then it is very difficult to rehydrate. Last year I had a bed of peppers where I was just ladling out water right by each plant and the MM around the edges got dried out and started repelling water. It's the peat moss that does it.

Really now that you've got everything built and planted, the hard work is behind you.

Celebrity is a determinate variety and Yellow Pear is indeterminate. I don't know about "Cherry" but I'm guessing maybe "Husky Cherry Red" as I've seen that in the stores around here a lot. Is it this one from Bonnie?

One of the best things you can do right now is learn the difference between indeterminate and determinate and how to prune "suckers" off the indeterminate ones.
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Post  madamsolanum 3/29/2011, 11:32 am

I see you're in Richmond. Just down the road from me (Sugar Land). Always nice to see another newbie SFG! This is also my first year with SFG. I am also quite excited!!

So far, the only thing I've been thoroughly reprimanded on by Boffer, et al, is that I used a modification of Mel's mix--which apparently disqualifies me from being a "true" SF gardener. But that's okay, cause I just got through eating four zucchini's out of my SFG and they are producing like gangbusters. I used 1/2 Miracle Grow garden soil and 1/2 composted hummus as my substrate, instead of the traditional Mel's mix. Next year, I will probably add Mel's Mix to the current mixture, just to see if I really notice a big difference.

I am growing zucchini, yellow straightneck squash, okra (wayyyy too early--learned that the hard way--they are very stunted and starting to flower), sugar snap peas, Rutgers, Hybrid Better Boy, and Brandywine heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, and a bunch of marigolds (for natural pest resistance). I also have a traditional in-ground herb garden with tarragon, creeping lemon thyme, basil, thai basil, oregano, dill, and rosemary. The rosemary, oregano, thyme, thai basil, and tarragon all survived those horrible two freezes we had in Jan/early Feb this year! I was amazed.

I water 1 to 1.5 inches twice weekly, and so far haven't noticed any problems with plants not getting enough water. Do you really have to water daily with Mel's Mix??? That seems excessive!

I really should read the book. I need to go check it out at the library. I've done my research online, but haven't read the book. It will probably answer all my questions and more.

Anyway, please post lots of pictures!!

Madam Solanum
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Post  elliephant 3/29/2011, 12:46 pm

I just recommended misting daily while waiting for seedlings to come up. I do water daily in the heat of summer, however.
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Post  clfraser 3/30/2011, 8:16 am

I have one Husky Red cherry tomato the Bonnie. Also a Bonnie Patio cherry tomato. I wanted to compare the two and see how they grow. A one to one comparison is probably not the best comparison, but we shall see. One tomato plant per square right?

I am misting everyday, and I agree elliephant that the edges seem to be drying out. All around my box the Mel's Mix is bone dry. The rest of the box stays very moist it is strange. My cucumber, tomato, eggplant, and peppers are plants and my tomato plants are blooming so I am going a little easier on the water there. We were supposed to get rain this afternoon, but no rain yet. I have been hesitant to water today but I ended up just wetting the surface.

Good to meet someone so close. I planted my okra seeds today so hopefully I will have good results. I will be interested to hear how your garden turns out since you are so close.
clfraser
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/30/2011, 8:27 am

clfraser, we too have Texas Sweet and Texas Super Sweet, let's compare progress and harvest from time to time. I'm in NE TX, it would be fun to see how our onions do.

I too have noticed the edges of the boxes getting dry, so lately I water the plant and once around the edge of the square on those I hand water. The others I'm using a hose right now, I put my back out last year and lost 4 months of gardening to pain, so I'm not doing anything to risk that again.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/30/2011, 9:10 am

What should I be watching for, what is the next step? What problems are usual? How often should I water? Oh the questions. I am so worried nothing is going to grow at all and I just wasted all this money making Mel's Mix. Any advice much appreciated. What should I be tracking for future reference?

The others are right....you just wait.

I can't remember where in the book, but Mel also states that you almost can't overwater the MM. Maybe one of you can look it up; mine is lent out. But, if you have the mix correct, it drains so well that watering isn't a problem. It will literally change from a dark brown (almost black) to a lighter brown (the color of the peat moss when it came out of the bag) when it's too dry. Don't let it get that light brown again. That's your primary job now.

Rule of thumb for my part of the country? I water about every other to every third day this time of year. Once the sun comes out for real and the temps warm up, I start watering more frequently. In the peak of summertime, I am often watering twice a day. My watering job is to keep the soil moist...not to drench the stuff. But, if you make an error, make it on the side of watering too much. Once it dries out, it can be difficult to get moist again....and when it's 95F outside, it can be detrimental to all your preparation and work.

But, again, the BIG work is over now. Have a glass of whatever and watch with anticipation as your garden grows. (Don't worry about weeds, either. If you prepared your bed right, you will see one pop up and you will get it immediately. If you're like the rest of us, that weed will have sprouted about a day ago because we are constantly peeking into the garden....obsessively.)

That just means you're right on track. If your neighbors don't suddenly think you've gone nuts, you aren't SFG'ing right...lol.
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Post  sarah in the garden 3/30/2011, 1:13 pm

[quote="BackyardBirdGardner"]


If you're like the rest of us, that weed will have sprouted about a day ago because we are constantly peeking into the garden....obsessively.)

That just means you're right on track. If your neighbors don't suddenly think you've gone nuts, you aren't SFG'ing right...lol.


So true! This is my first garden ever, and I go outside several times a day to see how much has grown and if anything new has come up. I am constantly dragging my husband and sister out there to check the progress, and they are impressed. The few weeds I've had were taken care of immediately. It's been raining all morning, and it's killing me! I am tempted to get the boots and umbrella.....
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Post  clfraser 4/1/2011, 8:52 pm

I am checking it multiple times a day. I worry about it almost as much as I do my 4 month old baby. Someone joked I have a baby book for my I have found watering once a day has been keeping the Mix moist.

Farmer Valerie, my onions are starting to perk up, so I am hoping they will be successful. Definitely would be interested in comparing them to see how they do.

My tomatoes are blooming well so I hope everything keeps going well.
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