Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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new and did it wrong Toplef10new and did it wrong 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.

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Post  Jody 5/3/2011, 11:31 pm

Well it was a lovely birthday surprise to have my boys create a long awaited.. "square foot garden" But they didn't really know what that meant so.. I have 3 boxes of assorted sizes. They are all 2 feet wide and of various lengths. It is not the true growing season here although I have quite a few things planted and doing well right now but I'm thinking that before the fall growing season, we should have a redo of the boxes, making 4 3X3's. They worked so hard but If I can bring this up without hurting feelings..Is it worth it?
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Post  middlemamma 5/3/2011, 11:47 pm

2 foot boxes have great uses!

A lot of folks plant things in 2 X 8, 2 X 10, and 2x whatever boxes.

I would say use what they built you and ask for more in the sizes you want. Smile

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Post  sherryeo 5/3/2011, 11:49 pm

Awww, I can relate to having your loved ones try so hard to please you and not have things turn out quite as expected. I can completely understand your not wanting to hurt their feelings. People here have made different sized boxes for different purposes. I think I would probably just use the ones you have as is. Put your grid in them, only to fit for the two foot wide space instead of 4 foot and however many squares will fit lengthwise for each box. A sfg doesn't have to be 4X4s.

I think it's a real good bet that you, like most of us, will be wanting more boxes soon. You could use that opportunity to say that you love the boxes they gave you so much, you want more boxes and that you've noticed that 4X4 boxes seem to work well for lots of people. Make your next boxes 4X4.

That's just what I would do because I'd be like you and not want to hurt their feelings after they tried so hard to please you! Very Happy
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Post  stripesmom 5/3/2011, 11:51 pm

Jody, I made two 2 ft x 8 ft boxes on purpose. It's fine to have them two feet wide, especially if you can only get to them from one side. I have mine on my patio as borders and I can only access them from one side. If you want 4x4 boxes or 3x3, then that's ok too (you can never have too many boxes, lol), but you'll never get better boxes than the ones made by loving hands.
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Post  kjenkins82 5/4/2011, 12:00 am

If you are planning to grow vining crops, an advantage to having long narrow boxes is more squares to trellis. In a 4 x 4 I never feel like I have enough for all the tomatoes, melons, squash, and cukes. Hopefully your new boxes will work out for you... it's the thought that counts, right? Wink
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Post  elliephant 5/4/2011, 12:07 am

Most of my boxes are 2x8 or 2x10. As has been mentioned, it's great for maximizing your trellis squares! I actually don't have any 4x4 boxes that I plant in 16 squares. My only 4x4 is home to 4 squash plants.
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Post  Jody 5/4/2011, 12:18 am

More boxes!! That might be the answer.. Very Happy
My worry is that the 2 foot side is north so the trellises that I may use would be only on the 2X2 side. But if I had more boxes............hmmm.
Happy to have found the forum. Totally new at this and in a totally different climate than we are used to but very excited to learn!



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Post  Miss M 5/4/2011, 12:57 am

Is it too late to shift the boxes? (Even if they're filled... if they have chicken wire on the bottom, you might be able to rotate them.) It would be a shame to have all those perfect trellising squares and not be able to use them for trellising!

We oriented our bed the same way, with the short side north. Then I discovered how many of the things we wanted to grow would need trellising. So, now I have a trellis at the north end, another at the south end, and one in the middle. Rolling Eyes
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Post  Furbalsmom 5/4/2011, 2:59 am

Jody, what a lovely family you have I love you that they wanted to make something you desire so much.

I hope you can re-orient them so the longer side is North. I don't know about you, but I want to grow so many things that vine, be it cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, tomatoes that I can't seem to get enough North squares on my table tops. Shocked

Of course, if just two of the boxes are the same length, you could place them together and end up with 4 X ?? bed.

What a sweet family and hopefully they will make you many more boxes in the size that works best for you.
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Post  Jody 5/4/2011, 9:04 am

I am seeing that I am planting a lot of things that need trellising. I guess my options are.. building a couple of new boxes, rebuilding the current ones or shifting them to make more north facing squares.

Since we are using the summer to experiment and learn, maybe we can see what will work the best during this time. Maybe they boys will even notice themselves what will work the best. I bought Mel's book and I'll leave it around for everyone to pick up and browse through.

Wow.. I'm going to be a farmer! Very Happy
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 5/4/2011, 9:10 am

Jody wrote:Since we are using the summer to experiment and learn, maybe we can see what will work the best during this time. Maybe they boys will even notice themselves what will work the best. I bought Mel's book and I'll leave it around for everyone to pick up and browse through.

You just hit the nail on the head here. Use summer to experiment with things. You can also grow Swiss Chard and maybe some Bush Beans during the summer. Some lettuces, like Simpson's Elite, may do well in the shade of some of your taller plants as long as they get a little sunshine. Again, experiment. It's the best way to get the learning experience going without putting undo pressure on yourself to grow perfect veggies right out of the chute.

Welcome aboard. I would also use the summer to ask tons of questions and read up on what you want to learn. Whether it be composting, garden planning, or just how to grow certain veggies, we love to help anyone here. Post some pictures, and you'll be greatful you spent this summer "learning" when fall comes.

And, like the others have said, 2 foot boxes are great for vertical plantings. Just make sure you get the proper Mel's Mix in the gardens...assuming you wish to stick with "square foot gardening" in it's totality.

Hope to see more of you!
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Post  jerzyjen 5/4/2011, 10:05 am

Personal opinion, I prefer 2' wide boxes. I started with 4 x 6 and I didn't really like reaching into the middle rows as much (especially since I had to reach over bunny fencing). I redid all my boxes this year, I have (2) 2 x 6 table tops, (3) 2 x 8 ground boxes, and (2) 2 x 2 square boxes for strawberries.

Good luck!
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Post  elliephant 5/4/2011, 11:20 am

You might even want to try putting a trellis on the long side regardless of orientation...you're in Florida. Here in Texas I have trellises where I want them regardless, and the plants don't mind the shade!
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Post  quiltbea 5/4/2011, 12:43 pm

How wonderful the kids wanted to please you with boxes.
Just give a big hug and thank them and make use of them.
You may have to water them more often because smaller boxes evaporate more quickly, but they are very useful.

Then make a few more a bit longer.

Enjoy.
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Post  Jody 5/4/2011, 3:32 pm

Thanks everyone. Just picked a couple of tomatoes and cut some lettuce. Looks like salad for dinner tonight.. very fun Very Happy
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Post  Miss M 5/4/2011, 5:25 pm

Elliephant's got a point... since you're in FL, having a trellis running north-south probably wouldn't be as big a problem as it would be elsewhere. If you have a side that is closer to a fence or something, put your trellis on that side, so the rest of the garden can be sure to get as much sun as possible. Very Happy
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Post  Unmutual 5/5/2011, 5:40 am

If these are your first boxes, then 2' is fine. This will be the 2nd season I use my 2'x4' boxes and couldn't be happier with them, especially since most of the veggies I like are tall ones(tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, corn, beans, cucumbers, snow peas). Having them shade out only one row of boxes is a plus.
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Post  shannon1 5/7/2011, 5:13 am

I can't realy add anything to all the good advice you have been given just wanted to say new and did it wrong 396615 to the forum and hope you have fun and a great harvest.
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Post  Cincinnati 7/17/2011, 10:11 am

I realize you have probably planted the boxes by now. You could still rearrange the boxes for fall.

Have you considered laying two 2-ft boxes side by side and have a 4FT wide box. Use your imagination on the layout if you have a 4, 6, and 8 ft long box, next to the 8FT, lay a 6FT. The 8ft box would protrude 2 ft. Lay the 4 ft box perpendicular for an "L" layout.

Or move the two ft wide boxes to the front of your house and use them as flower gardens. I'm considering using 2FT boxes in front of my hedge row, planted with landscaping plants.
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Post  Kelejan 7/17/2011, 4:20 pm

I have three 4x4s but my next boxes are going to be three feet wide by however long I need. Reaching up to 24 inches in a four footer is a bit too much for me so I think a maximan of 18 inches will be just fine for me.

Two feet wide is great for boundaries where you can only access one side. Makes best use of space.
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