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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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Pennsylvania Newbee Toplef10Pennsylvania Newbee 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.

Pennsylvania Newbee I22gcj10Pennsylvania Newbee 14dhcg10

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Post  Jim0753 9/3/2011, 8:11 pm

I was debating if I should start growing vegetables again, then I found Mel's book in Barnes & Knoble, and that actually made my mind up for me. I grew vegetables in containers when I lived in the city, and did pretty good, but the soil where I live now is rocky, and not the best soil to grow things in. I love the idea of the Square Foot Gardening idea, and can't wait to get started. I have quite a bit of work ahead of me, being the area I get the 6 to 8 hours of sun needed to grow vegetables is sloped, and needs to be leveled. Luckily, I have a friend who has an excavater, some large boulders, and fill laying around, so that expense is almost nothing. After that it's building the fence to keep the critters out. building the raised beds, mixing Mel's mix, and I'll be ready to go. I'll be ready for spring, so you guys be ready to answer all the questions I'm sure I'll have from now till then.



Thanking you guys in advance..............Jim
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Post  sfg4uKim 9/3/2011, 8:13 pm

glad you\'re here Jim

I'm glad you found the Forum.

Kim

____________________________

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Post  braim5 9/3/2011, 8:14 pm

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Post  boffer 9/3/2011, 8:24 pm

Hi, and welcome to the forum. Hopefully your buddy will let you play with his excavator for a little while, eh?

You're right, you do have some work ahead of you. But you might find that the hardest part is finding your five types of compost. It's not too soon to start looking and get some stockpiled. Maybe get the last of the grass clippings and fall leaves in a pile to get a head start.

Have fun playing in the dirt and happy gardening.
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Post  sherryeo 9/3/2011, 8:55 pm

Welcome to the forum, Jim! I'm so glad you've joined us! I hope you love the forum as much as I do - there are so many great people here who are always willing to help.


Boffer is so right about finding the 5 kinds of compost being the hardest part - if you have to rely on purchased compost instead of your own homemade compost. It would be great if you could get started on your own compost.


I would have to say that getting the Mel's Mix right is the most important part of sfgardening. If you skimp on compost or mess up on the proportions of the ingredients, it really can affect your whole gardening experience negatively. I would strongly advise reading the post called "How Strong in Your Backbone" about just that topic. I wish it had been available when I first started! https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone

I hope to see you around the forum!
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Post  Jim0753 9/4/2011, 7:31 pm

Thank you all for the welcome.
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Post  floyd1440 9/4/2011, 7:41 pm

Jim

I started this year as well in Pa. One of the problems I have is the deer so I had to build a fence, which was the most expensive part, but there is no sense in planting vegetables to feed the animals.

Next is Mels mix, which I will put in my boxes this fall as I have everthing in the shed but compost. But this forum is VERY friendly and helpful with any question you may have. Very Happy
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Post  Rusty 9/13/2011, 12:24 pm

Just completing my first year of SFG and found this forum. I was using Mels old book which was given to me by a neighbor. I read it and liked what I read although it was using the old system. I planted the 9sq ft gardens directly in the ground using mels old mix and had mixed results but my harvest was better than my old straight line garden in which everything died due to the summer drought. I bought his new book when I thought i had lost the old one and have started a late season 16 square garden as a test and weather willing to show off to my family who scoff at me and my crazy notions. My biggest issue has been of course vermiculite and locations to buy it at a reasonable price. I found a location that sells it for $70 for a 4 cu ft bag but I'm looking for better without having to drive 70 miles to get it.
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Post  Lindacol 9/13/2011, 1:55 pm

Rusty wrote:Just completing my first year of SFG and found this forum. I was using Mels old book which was given to me by a neighbor. I read it and liked what I read although it was using the old system. I planted the 9sq ft gardens directly in the ground using mels old mix and had mixed results but my harvest was better than my old straight line garden in which everything died due to the summer drought. I bought his new book when I thought i had lost the old one and have started a late season 16 square garden as a test and weather willing to show off to my family who scoff at me and my crazy notions. My biggest issue has been of course vermiculite and locations to buy it at a reasonable price. I found a location that sells it for $70 for a 4 cu ft bag but I'm looking for better without having to drive 70 miles to get it.



I don't know how close this it to you but Uline has a PA locations and there is no shipping if you pick up at there locations. You have to call the order in and you do have to get a min of 2 bags but they are $31 for a 4 cf bag.



http://www.uline.com/Corporate/About_Locations.aspx?dup=2
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Post  floyd1440 9/13/2011, 7:26 pm

I went to Agway and they got some in 4 cu ft bags but it was medium not couse grade. They said they MAY have some next year but he could not be sure. I am in western PA and am having the same problem but someone posted this link

http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/vermiculite-4-cubic-foot-bag/soil-growing-medium?utm_source=MSN&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=4502405230&utm_content=292342645&utm_campaign=Greenhouse_Supplies

but the shipping is almost as much.......
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Post  boffer 9/13/2011, 7:50 pm

Rusty wrote:Just completing my first year of SFG and found this forum. I was using Mels old book which was given to me by a neighbor. I read it and liked what I read although it was using the old system. I planted the 9sq ft gardens directly in the ground using mels old mix and had mixed results but my harvest was better than my old straight line garden in which everything died due to the summer drought. I bought his new book when I thought i had lost the old one and have started a late season 16 square garden as a test and weather willing to show off to my family who scoff at me and my crazy notions. My biggest issue has been of course vermiculite and locations to buy it at a reasonable price. I found a location that sells it for $70 for a 4 cu ft bag but I'm looking for better without having to drive 70 miles to get it.


Hi, and welcome to the forum. Even Mel describes his original method as an antique. The new method is certainly worth the effort to get started.

Have you checked the vermiculite database?

I've purchased coarse from Uline at $10 per cf including shipping. Locally, I can buy it for $7 cf but I have to drive quite a ways.

Generally, vermiculite tends to be cheaper in your neck of the woods; I would continue shopping if I were you.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 9/13/2011, 9:41 pm

Welcome aboard, and yes we'll be here to answer your questions! Hope to see more of you in the coming months.
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Post  Chopper 9/14/2011, 5:24 pm

boffer wrote:
I've purchased coarse from Uline at $10 per cf including shipping. Locally, I can buy it for $7 cf but I have to drive quite a ways.

Generally, vermiculite tends to be cheaper in your neck of the woods; I would continue shopping if I were you.

I went to Uline web page and when all was said and done it was $10 c/f. Slightly more - pennies. (Uline Website)

However, you have to buy 8 c/f minimum. Which is fine as long as you use that much. Good to know. Locally it is a crap shoot. Good to know Uline is there.
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