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Post  Feistywidget on 11/9/2011, 7:11 pm

I just checked out a copy of the New SFG book today.

I'm wondering besides the standard 4 x 4 boxes, can you build bigger boxes?

The reason I ask is because with making batches of Mel's Mix, it says this.....

Multiply the widths of your box, and divide it by 2 to figure out how much volume your six-inch deep box will hold. Then it lists this:

(4 x 4)/2=8 cubic feet
(four x eight)/2=16 cubic feet
(4 x 12)/2=24 cubic feet
(4 x 16)/2=32 cubic feet

Just to clarify THIS IS NOT ABOUT how much of a quantity of a mix to make, nor what size/quantity to buy with the ingredients for Mel's Mix.

I know this is a formula to calculate how many quantities of each of the ingredients you'll need to get (with the size).

However with the 4 x 8, 4 x 12, and 4 x 16, can you make SFG boxes of these sizes besides the standard 4 x 4 boxes? If so, how?

It doesn't give instructions on how to construct a bigger size box besides the standard 4 x 4; what size with the pieces of lumber would you need for the bigger size boxes?

If you're not able to construct boxes in the sizes given above, is it still possible to construct bigger SFG boxes besides the standard SFG boxes? If so, what sizes?

Also this doesn't really have anything to do with building the bigger boxes, but it lists other smaller SFG boxes besides the 4 x 4. Specifically listed in the book for the smaller SFG boxes are 3 x 3, 2 x4, and 1 x 1. Main question I have about these, is do you still need to divide them up into grids like you do with the 4 x 4 boxes?

Mel says himself that he's adamant about placing the wooden grids in place to divide the boxes up in squares; he insists on doing it. According to him, 'it's not an SFG box' if they're not there. I'm just quoting what he wrote in the book about it, that's why it's here, and why I'm asking about it.
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Post  camprn on 11/9/2011, 7:35 pm

Congrats on getting a hold of the BOOK! Wink Wink
I really like my 4x6 size boxes for the SFG. The construction is the same except for using longer boards. I went to the big orange box store and found an 8' board and had them cut it in half giving me 2 four foot boards. I then found 2 six foot boards and constructed the box as described by the book. I used to have longer garden beds but I got tired of walking so far around to get to the other side.

I think Mel also states in his that he likes the wooden grid because it makes the garden pretty, whixh it indeed does. I decided against rigid grid because sometimes I like to plant something right on the grid line, so I use a cotton twine to create my grid. What a Face

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Post  southern gardener on 11/9/2011, 7:42 pm

I think the main idea is not over 4 feet wide so you can reach in without stepping on the soil. If you can only reach in from one side, probably no wider than 2 feet. My boxes are 2x8. I have a 25 foot long bed too, that's only 1 foot wide with a climbing trellis. We grow all our "climbing" stuff in that long box, and it works great! cheers
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Post  gobreeze on 11/9/2011, 9:40 pm

The simplicity of the 4x4 allows for easy planning and maintenance. Also keep in mind that if a fungus or blight or nematode invades a bed it is easy to mitigate. If you have a 16 x 4 bed and a problem arises it could effect the entire bed. A 4x4 bed would help isolate the problem.

My first raised garden was 5x10 for tomatoes. I couldn't reach the middle plants with stepping in to the beds and damaging the roots. One plant came from home depot with early blight and it spread quickly to the others. Bummer. Once the fungus is in the soil it's hard to get rid of. Ditching a 4x4 bed and starting over is easier and cheaper than ditching a larger bed.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/9/2011, 9:42 pm

@southern gardener wrote:I think the main idea is not over 4 feet wide so you can reach in without stepping on the soil.

This.

I have a 2x8 and a 4x12. I didn't want to lose the space by making 3 separate 4x4's with 3 foot aisles in between. That takes up almost twice the space; therefore, killing the space saving concept of SFG imo. Mel says in the book not to go over 4 foot wide so you can avoid stepping in the MM. That's the main rule when building boxes. Save the space if you have the uninterrupted flat stretch of land....Mel would likely be proud of maxxing the space you have.

Imagine my SFG if I lived in western Kansas! 2 x oo..........(that's an infinity sign)
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Post  gobreeze on 11/9/2011, 9:58 pm

I grid mine with wire, not wood. The grid keeps you honest about how many to plant per square with out drifting or creeping. It helps.
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Post  boffer on 11/9/2011, 10:13 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Imagine my SFG if I lived in western Kansas! 2 x oo..........(that's an infinity sign)

You mean this ∞ infinity sign?
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Post  littlejo on 11/10/2011, 12:06 am

My first beds are 4x8. 3 4x8x6inches,.had 1 4ft. board cut in half(first cut per board was free) My hubby put them together. I used nylon twine for the grid(nailed down) I only left 2 ft. between the beds, mistake. Overnight, the sw. potatoes would vine their way to the next bed, I don't think they ever slept Laughing
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/10/2011, 9:25 am

@boffer wrote:
@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Imagine my SFG if I lived in western Kansas! 2 x oo..........(that's an infinity sign)

You mean this ∞ infinity sign?

Yes, of course....lol.
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Post  Feistywidget on 11/11/2011, 6:49 pm

Well based on what everybody has told me it seems to make bigger SFG boxes, you can make them as long as you want (length).

However you shouldn't make them too wide or it will be hard to stretch to reach the plants in the boxes. Does that about sum it up?
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Post  southern gardener on 11/11/2011, 7:43 pm

yup! no wider than 4' across if you have access from both sides, or 2' across if you only have access from one side.
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