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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Challenges From the Start Toplef10Challenges From the Start 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.

Challenges From the Start I22gcj10Challenges From the Start 14dhcg10

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Challenges From the Start

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BackyardBirdGardner
Icemaiden
middlemamma
mcddeb
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Post  mcddeb 4/3/2011, 3:57 pm

Hi all, just restarting with SFQ after a 23 year hiatus! The hubs thinks it's a great idea but didn't read the updated book. He's built me 3 planter boxes but instead of being 4 x 4 or 3 x 3 they are 39"x79"(inside dimensions) so roughly 3 x 6.5 so I have to use the formulas in the book to determine how much peat moss/vermiculite/compost to mix up. Oh and he built them 14" deep but for a couple of different reasons, one to keep the dogs and other uninvited varmints out and we do have one area that tends to puddle with heavy rains. Yikes, once we have this figured out we will be okay. I figure I'll either put the space hogs along the side that will have a few more inches or plant 1/2 squares in the front.

Just going to be a little more expensive with the extra depth. At least the wood was free! Photos to come...
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Post  middlemamma 4/3/2011, 4:12 pm

Don't fill up all 14 inches with precious MM!!!!

Use something as a filler at the bottom. I have heard of some folks using sand, others using rice hulls, numerous things that were cheaper, and/or free.

If you wanna do carrots or potatoes save a part of your bed to do the deep Mel's Mix...but where you don't need it don't do it.

Challenges From the Start 396615 to the forum!
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Post  Icemaiden 4/3/2011, 4:17 pm

Welcome back!

You can calculate the volumes using the calculator here
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t5088-mel-s-mix-calculator
(in the first post).

what will you use as grids? You could probably just put the grid on evenly to make 3x6 boxes and just average out the extra distance that way - if you use timber strips then they take up a bit of space too so you would end up with each square very close to footxfoot I think. I mean, 36inches needs two strips so getting pretty close to needing 39inches?
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Post  mcddeb 4/3/2011, 8:50 pm

Very true Ice Maiden. So I should be just fine on the width and might just have a little odd off the length. Hadn't thought about the space the grid would take. I was thinking this year of just doing twine and eye hooks since I have the expense of mixing up the MM.

Middlemama - good idea, I had thought about putting gravel or something for drainage. Will have to look into sand.

Thanks!
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/3/2011, 9:30 pm

mcddeb wrote:Very true Ice Maiden. So I should be just fine on the width and might just have a little odd off the length. Hadn't thought about the space the grid would take. I was thinking this year of just doing twine and eye hooks since I have the expense of mixing up the MM.

Middlemama - good idea, I had thought about putting gravel or something for drainage. Will have to look into sand.

Thanks!

You won't be sorry with extra drainage if you have puddle problems. That's the joy of raised beds. Well, that and the fact you can put the perfect blend of soil right on top...never having to till up your existing mud/dirt.

I would definitely recommend that calculater you have linked for you. It will help with odd dimensions like 6 1/2 feet. You can likely make up for it with the grid system and some eyeballing, but calculating the volume for a material list of how much to buy is a golden savings. MM is the priciest part of the SFG system. Don't do more than you have to to follow the system.....you'd hurt Mel's feelings. He's so resourceful, he'd never recommend filling all 14" if you weren't planning to use it all.

Welcome to the forum and welcome back to SFG!!
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Post  Furbalsmom 4/3/2011, 11:36 pm

Just a thought about using a filler, it would be a good idea to put weedblock between your filler and your Mel's Mix, that way if you need to remove the Mel's Mix for any reason (say maybe you decide you need to move the bed) your precious mix won't have sifted down into the filler.
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Post  walshevak 4/4/2011, 6:43 am

Furbalsmom wrote:Just a thought about using a filler, it would be a good idea to put weedblock between your filler and your Mel's Mix, that way if you need to remove the Mel's Mix for any reason (say maybe you decide you need to move the bed) your precious mix won't have sifted down into the filler.


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Post  dizzygardener 4/4/2011, 10:21 am

Furbalsmom wrote:Just a thought about using a filler, it would be a good idea to put weedblock between your filler and your Mel's Mix, that way if you need to remove the Mel's Mix for any reason (say maybe you decide you need to move the bed) your precious mix won't have sifted down into the filler.

Amen to this! +1

I definitely agree on adding a filler. Gravel sounds like an excellent idea especially if you can find a truck load for cheap.

As everyone else said, don't worry about the off size of your box. Half boxes and quarter boxes will take care of that.

Good to see you posting in the middle south forums. Very Happy
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Post  FarmerValerie 4/4/2011, 10:26 am

Challenges From the Start 396615 please let us know how we can help, and we also just absoultey love pictures.
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