Square Foot Gardening Forum
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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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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hi from California! Toplef10Hi from California! 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.

Hi from California! I22gcj10Hi from California! 14dhcg10

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Hi from California! Empty Hi from California!

Post  mirandaheights 4/24/2011, 2:58 am

First time doing the SFG and just planted 2 3X3 SFG's. I made my own Mel's Mix and am anxious to see my garden grow! Yeah!
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Post  shannon1 4/24/2011, 3:06 am

Hi from California! 396615 Sounds like you are off to a great start. I am all the way across the country in Fl. SFG is the way to go here there is no doubt. The people here are so nice and helpful I am glad you found the forum.
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Post  mirandaheights 4/24/2011, 3:10 am

Holy cow, you're up late Smile I will post some pics in the next couple of days. I did a mixture of planting seeds and then seedlings (that I bought and brought home). And of course I planted flowers too! Thanks for the welcome, it's my first time posting on a forum. I'm usually just a lurker lol!
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Post  shannon1 4/24/2011, 3:53 am

Yes, I work nights and am on almost every night. I am like you with the mix of seeds and transplants. I like the magic of life springing from little stoney seeds and the insta-garden you get from transplants. Still waiting for my TT (table top) SFG to be finished but just had to plant so I have a few vegies growing in pots. It is already getting hot here. Can't wait to see your pics, alas I can't post any from my work computer and don't have one at home but hope I will be able to post some from my bro's computer soon.
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Post  Old Hippie 4/24/2011, 10:54 am

Miranda, welcome to the forum. Hi from California! 396615 Hi from California! 396615 Thanks for joining us. Please don't just be a lurker. We love having everyone here. Sorry you haven't been properly welcomed by more of the regional hosts but it is a holiday weekend so a lot of people are most likely busy doing family stuff. Thanks for stepping in for us Shannon.

I am up in Canada but way over on the western side in central British Columbia. We are still waiting for all the snow to go so haven't gotten to do much gardening yet. Soon though!

Hopefully you will be really thrilled with your garden. I won't ever go back to row gardening. Post pics of your garden when you can. We love that. And don't be afraid to jump in with questions or comments.

A word of caution......we can get a bit silly now and then and start goofing off. sometimes we end up derailing someone's thread. Hopefully, if this happens to you, you will just laugh with us and join in a bit of teasing, joking or just plain foolishness. Wink

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Post  Furbalsmom 4/24/2011, 3:30 pm

@mirandaheights wrote:First time doing the SFG and just planted 2 3X3 SFG's. I made my own Mel's Mix and am anxious to see my garden grow! Yeah!
Hi from California! 654548 miranda Hi from California! 654548

So glad you joined us. This is a great group of people who are so willing to help when you need it.
It's great that you have your SFG planted and just so you know, a lot of us buy transplants and then seed directly for other types of veggies. 2 - 3X3's is a great start. (you will find SFG is addictive and many, MANY of us add new beds each year)

So, how was your search for MM ingredients? In some areas it is difficult to find vermiculite or enough types of compost. Are your sources for vermiculite listed on our data base VERMICULITE. Use the US FORM button to add merchants, and the US D.B. button to view merchants already reported. If your source for vermiculite is not already listed, would you be kind enough to add the information? It will help other SFGner's in your area.

Looking forward to seeing your photos and having you post your progress.

Again, Welcome miranda
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Post  mirandaheights 4/25/2011, 3:34 am

Making my own MM wasn't too bad (although I saw a youtube video with a man at Lowe's where you can buy Mel's Mix already made- endorsed by Mel himself- and it was cheaper per square foot than making it yourself. I'm trying to find out if there are any Lowe's in my Sacramento area that carry it.) Vermiculite I found at Home Depot in 2cf bags (20.97 each) seemed a little steep but I also don't know any better at this point. And then I used 4 different composts. I found steer manure and supersoil compost at home depot and then garden compost and chicken manure at walmart. But I'm looking into starting to make my own compost in my lil' backyard. (Peat moss I picked up at walmart as well)

Pics are coming, although I'm still not sure exactly how to post them.

Thank you for all of the welcomes! What a nice forum!

Miranda
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Post  shannon1 4/25/2011, 3:39 am

Hi there, What did your peat moss look like? Mine was labled compressed peat moss but it looked like powdery compost with a few twigs in it.
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Post  mirandaheights 4/25/2011, 3:42 am

It looked like mulch to me. But mine wasn't powdery. Have you heard anything about the premade MM sold at Lowe's?
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Post  shannon1 4/25/2011, 3:46 am

No, we don't have one here but that sure would have saved me a bunch of work. I thought the peat should have looked more like yours now I :scratch: . What's done is done I will just have to see how my garden does. The pots with the mix are doing great, so....
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Post  mirandaheights 4/25/2011, 3:53 am

I think we are all doing the very best we can. I know we're supposed to use at least 5 different composts but I only used 4. You know? And I'm sure that it will be fine. But whew! That was some good hard work mixing all the ingredients together. (In the book, when Mel talks about mixing the MM he prefaces it with "...this is where it gets fun" LOL My children got a kick out of that as we were lifting and rolling the tarp with everything in it. They were my hard workers that day. But I'm sure the hard work will pay off.
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Post  shannon1 4/25/2011, 4:03 am

How nice to have help. No fun to be sure but I think it is the hardest part of the SFG method. I mixed mine in small batches in large trash bags rolling it around. Good thing I just have a small box. I am not sure it will be enough now that I have pinched some for the pots so I bought more vermiculite and compost just incase.
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Hi from California! Empty Re:Hi from California

Post  tabletopper 4/25/2011, 7:59 am

Hi there.....from Southern California.......I am about 10 miles from the border near San Diego Bay...and love SF gardening....lucky me I get to garden all year around...
I really had trouble with the peat moss not being fluffed up.....I had a dear friend help me and didnt know about the importance of this....and not exactly the 5 different composts.....the plants just sat there ...trying to talk to me about the problem...
I gardened this way according to Mel's original book with adobe soil.....(before 1991) I would recommend getting a bag or two of Mel's mix to start with ....its great.....Keep in touch......Ruth
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Post  donnainzone5 4/25/2011, 12:28 pm

Here's another reply from California!

I usually purchase vermiculite--the super-coarse #4 grade--from U-Line.

To break up dry peat moss in hard clods, stomp on it! It's much easier than spraining one's hands.
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Post  Furbalsmom 4/25/2011, 12:51 pm

Hope you are able to find the premade Mel's Mix, especially if it is less expensive per sq ft than home mixed MM.

Unfortunately, it is not available in my area.
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Post  mirandaheights 4/25/2011, 3:42 pm

donnainzone10 what is U-line? When I google it, it's a shipping supplies company. I'm wondering if the company you used for vermiculite is near the Sacramento area. And how did you upload your picture?
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Hi from California! Empty Uline

Post  barmstr 4/25/2011, 4:42 pm

This is a shipping supply, box and package co. They carry vermiculite. Great people to order from
Bruce
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Post  boffer 4/25/2011, 5:30 pm

@mirandaheights wrote:donnainzone10 what is U-line? When I google it, it's a shipping supplies company. I'm wondering if the company you used for vermiculite is near the Sacramento area. And how did you upload your picture?

It is. Go to their website at uline.com and search for 'vermiculite'. (I prefer the coarse to the extra course)

Look here for picture uploading instructions.
Hi from California! 76710
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Post  mirandaheights 4/25/2011, 6:12 pm

Thank you so much!
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Post  vinny09 4/25/2011, 11:24 pm

Hi Miranda, I found MM at Lowe's Vacaville last year. Didn't see it this year, but it was pretty pricey at $12 for a 2cuft bag, so about $54 to fill a 4x4 (The math says 8cuft, but I find that 9cuft is what will really fit after it compresses). Anyway, I got my vermiculite from Eisley's Nursery? in Auburn last year for about $25 for 3cuft. I think that's where I got it. My wife was working out in that area and went to some nurseries and came back with 4 bags. If you're looking for a reason to be in the Napa area for wine tasting, I think there are a couple listed in the database for cheap. I target around $37ish/4x4 and break down my pricing for a 4x4 like this: verm: $25/3 cuft, peat: $3/3 cuft (based on a 2.2 compressed for about $10); $9/3 cuft compost (avg about $3/cuft of various compost). This could be even less if you find verm cheaper and make your own compost. Good luck with your SFG!
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Hi from California! Empty pic of week 1 of my SFG

Post  mirandaheights 4/26/2011, 1:37 am

I'm attempting to upload a pic for the first time.
Hi from California! Dscn2213
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Hi from California! Empty Thank you boffer!

Post  mirandaheights 4/26/2011, 1:39 am

Boffer, it worked! Thank you for the step by step. So that was the pic I took today of my lil' 3X3's. I'll post in the gallery as well. Thank you for all stats on MM everyone!
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Post  shannon1 4/26/2011, 2:26 am

They look great MH!!!!!! Hi from California! 418730
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