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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Biting off too much? Toplef10Biting off too much? 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.

Biting off too much? I22gcj10Biting off too much? 14dhcg10

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Biting off too much?

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WardinWake
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Biting off too much? Empty Biting off too much?

Post  bjwinterton 3/21/2010, 1:42 pm

Okay, 15 boxes made. 2 filled with Mel's Mix. Please tell me this is going to work!
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Post  martha 3/21/2010, 2:43 pm

Biting off too much? Icon_lol (I love
emoticons!)


Well, I went from a very small garden to 8 boxes
last year, and would have been happy to have more. This year, I am
building more! I think you will be okay. Mel says start small, but
nobody is right all the time!

What are you going to grow?
martha
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Post  bjwinterton 3/21/2010, 3:00 pm

I've not gardened in the South in a long time. I remember batteling the heat and bugs Biting off too much? Icon_sad , it was a lot of work. I am just beginning to reseach what grows best in my area (Panama City FL). I want the basics, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, corn, peas, beans. From there, I don't know.
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Post  camprn 3/21/2010, 3:09 pm

It is going to work! sunny
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Post  choksaw 3/21/2010, 3:12 pm

I feel your pain this is only my 2nd season gardening in florida and my first season with SFG i grew up in NJ you throw seeds on the gorund and they grow not much care was needed aside from weeding. the 1 think i can seay is that google is your best friend when trying to find things out i just type in exactly what im looking for and usualy find something that helps out ive got a plethera of websites for gardening so if i can be of any help in a certain area hit me up im sure ive got a page saved somewhere lol Biting off too much? Icon_biggrin
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Post  graficow 3/21/2010, 4:19 pm

Why dont you just buy Mel's book and that will answer just about any question you might have.

(Square Foot Gardening for many years and lovin it)
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Post  LaFee 3/21/2010, 4:53 pm

For y'all in Florida -- remember how many vegetables are grown in central Florida! Tomatoes, squash, corn in Zellwood, potatoes up by Hastings, green peppers, zucchini, lettuce....it ALL grows in Florida! And remember, too -- that the farmers are using amended soil, too. Many, many of the tomato cultivars that are big winners in home gardens were developed just south of Tampa -- Big Boy, Better Boy, Blue Eyes...all are Florida born and bred, so you CAN do it!

I'm a lousy gardener; always have been -- but always managed tomatoes in the years I wasn't so busy I'd forget to water them. (I don't work as much here, so I have a little more time now...so I'm optimistic!)

The key for northern gardeners is to back off the light requirements -- if it grew in full sun up north, try shading it a little in Fla -- the sun is so much more intense, it'll burn anything that's sensitive. And water, water, water.

Just for fun, twist the top off a fresh pineapple and plant it. In about 2 years (that's just how long it takes 'em to grow), it'll send out a shoot and grow you a little bitty pineapple. Avocado and mango pits jump out of the ground in Florida (keep 'em wet for a few weeks, then stand back.)

When you get used to the weather, it will be a bigger issue getting stuff to STOP growing!

(I was in South Hillsborough for most of my adult life, so I know where you're coming from!)
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Post  bjwinterton 3/22/2010, 1:52 am

Hey, I love the encouragement, insight and advice. I can't wait to hear how all of our gardens are growing.
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Post  WardinWake 3/22/2010, 7:16 am

bjwinterton wrote:Hey, I love the encouragement, insight and advice. I can't wait to hear how all of our gardens are growing.

I gardened in Baker County, Fl and the heat and humidity was intense. The garden loved it. And that was the old fashioned row garden in well...sandy soil. Mostly Baker County Sand to be exact. If you keep your garden Mel's way you will grow, grow, grow. And not near as much hoe, hoe, hoeing.

God Bless, and have fun. Ward.
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Post  Jeff Buffington 3/22/2010, 9:04 pm

bjwinterton wrote:Okay, 15 boxes made. 2 filled with Mel's Mix. Please tell me this is going to work!

I certainly hope so! I've spent a small fortune on Vermiculite (both medium and coarse grades) as well as the peat moss and compost... trying to get something worthy of growing in!

Finally, my growing medium looks similar to that which the seedlings are growing in. It seems to be a good blend. Granted, I have a mixture of medium AND coarse grade vermiculite in there... but the mix really seems to look "right" now. I have some pix that I'll post in a bit.

I picked up some onions as well as a few different things to grow... plus a few more seeds. Very Happy
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Post  bjwinterton 3/23/2010, 12:18 pm

To Jeff Buffington:

I can't wait to see the posted pictures. I too have spent a fortune as well. Last year I shared 80 -20% of my tomatoes with racoons. (Racoons getting the 80%). So, now I've got to 'critter' proof the boxes. More expense, but I am hoping it will be well worth it. Vegie prices are suppose to go up next fall because of the cold, cold, winter we've had. It will be nice to just rely on my garden year after year.

get thos picture up!
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Post  martha 3/23/2010, 12:51 pm

The first year's expense on the ingredients for Mel's Mix is a little ouchy. This year, my second, will be again because I will be adding boxes. But then the years after will be so inexpensive!
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Post  choksaw 3/23/2010, 2:37 pm

yeah i added up my whole project cost for my 2 box's including lumber hardware and mix and came in around the $250 mark give or take but i did the math wrong and have 2 xtra bags of vermiculite that i ordered so if i decide to go bigger next season at least i wont have to hunt for it lol i think all in all the compnents for the mix were the most costly but if it never has to be replaced the cost can be justified easily and since gardening is a hobby some of the expense can be a tax write off as well (save those receips)
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Post  bonnie0128 3/23/2010, 3:14 pm

choksaw wrote:since gardening is a hobby some of the expense can be a tax write off as well (save those receips)

Are you serious! I didn't know that! What category does it fall into so I can bug my accountant about it?



And to the OP - I am GREEN with envy of your many boxes. Biting off too much? Alien I only have 2 and can't afford to add more this year. Thankfully my aunt has granted me some space in her "old style" garden for the things I want but can't fit.
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Post  Wyldflower 3/23/2010, 4:12 pm

I think this is the relevant part of the Federal Tax Code:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Revenue_Code_section_183

One of the key elements is that the INTENT is to make a profit, but you end up losing money (Thus the term "hobby farm").

I don't think this will apply to someone like me, who will be gardening for fun and to provide food for my own use (not for sale).

If anyone has any other thoughts on this, please let us know!
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Post  choksaw 3/24/2010, 12:33 am

its a very grey area ( i play alot in those when i do my taxs lol) but befor anyone goes off half cocked with the idea i would deffinatly suggest finding out more info on the topic such as wyld has suggested
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Post  bjwinterton 3/24/2010, 9:35 am

Okay, lots of good information here. Thanks for the tax info. I'll check it out. Did anyone else notice the vermicuite went up in price. I paid $18.00 for my first three bags, and $22.00 for my second three bags. Ouch! On another topic, how long does Mel's mix last? Do we just add a little it every year or do we need to add a substancial amount each new planting season? Does it ever need to just be completely 'overhauled?'

Mid 70's today, time to be in the garden.
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Post  kimbies 3/24/2010, 10:25 am

Wyldflower wrote:I think this is the relevant part of the Federal Tax Code:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Revenue_Code_section_183

One of the key elements is that the INTENT is to make a profit, but you end up losing money (Thus the term "hobby farm").

I don't think this will apply to someone like me, who will be gardening for fun and to provide food for my own use (not for sale).

If anyone has any other thoughts on this, please let us know!

Uh..no. You can only write off "hobbies" if you do have income from that hobby, and only up to the amount of the income. (It cost me $200 to bulid my boxes and I sold $25 worth of zucchini - you can only write off $25 of expense to offset the income. You can't use it to offset income from your regular job.) Hobby losses are a red flag to the IRS... especially in down economies like this one. Be careful.
http://www.irs.gov/irs/article/0,,id=186056,00.html


p.s. I don't know of anyone who can actually sell zucchini, we usually have to pay folks to take it off our hands.
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