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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Third Year Thoughts... Toplef10Third Year Thoughts... 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.

Third Year Thoughts... I22gcj10Third Year Thoughts... 14dhcg10

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Third Year Thoughts...

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Post  middlemamma 1/3/2012, 9:09 pm

I have been thinking a lot about my SFG this coming Spring as my mailbox fills up with seed catalogs. I have so many seeds from last year I don't even have a long list of seeds to buy. I need to add a little compost to my garden and I will be ready to rock and roll.

After the investments I have made the last two years, this year it will be so nice to not have to spend so much money. And next year I won't have to either. Or the next year. Or, holy cow, the NEXT year even!

Last year I went WAY overboard, more than doubling my garden to 6 four-by-four boxes, 2 three-by-three boxes, an 2 X12 box and a 4 X 12 box. Admittedly I bit off WAY more than I could chew. This year I have a much better idea of what we will eat and what we don't eat and what to plant more of and what I can can plant WAY less of.

The last two years have made me a gardener...people will ask me what I like to do and among the things I list I say something like I love my garden, or I am an avid gardener, or I garden. Funny that technically I really am not a gardener. Not by the average definition anyway. I don't know much about weeding, hoeing, or tilling. I don't know much about soil amendment. All I really know is that I stick the seeds in and 95% of the time it grows. So I don't know how much of a title "gardener" is in my case.

I look ahead in my life and I think of my husband and my future and I always see a garden there. I think of moving when the kids are older to some city loft apartment and living the "walk everywhere you need to go" life and then I nix it as fast as I day dreamed it because, well there would be no room for a garden! When the thought of future grandchildren crosses my mind, there is a garden. When I think about being retired, there is a garden. When I think about summer, there is a garden. When I think of flowers, there is a garden.

How did this happen so fast to me? It truly is something I don't think I could live long without. I am so looking forward to my 3rd year as an SFG owner, and the minimal effort and money this year will bring. It truly was worth all the money and hard work the last two years to be able to sit back and watch things happen from the porch with minimal effort from me.

Honey? Can you bring my my ice tea? The plants are growing, I am gonna sit here and watch.
middlemamma
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Post  RoOsTeR 1/3/2012, 9:30 pm

I loved reading that middlemamma. Very nicely done and thanks for sharing.
I look so forward to being to that point with my garden. I have done lot's of gardening in the past. Some successful. Mostly failure lol. What a constant struggle I would put myself through year after year. Non stop weeding, hoeing, watering, tilling. Blahhhh!
Some things I could grow really well. Some things I couldn't grow to save my life.
Yep, I look forward to being to the point you are now. It inspires me and motivates me hearing how easy your gardening has become! Very Happy

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Post  middlemamma 1/3/2012, 11:36 pm

Thanks Rooster....this is what I am better at. Very Happy
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Post  Chopper 1/4/2012, 12:46 am

middlemamma wrote:
The last two years have made me a gardener...

Yes they have! You have come a long way baby! You are the proof of the ease of this method. Smile And we are all proud of you and proud to know you.
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Post  gwennifer 1/4/2012, 1:40 am

I always enjoy reading your posts middlemamma. You have a beautiful flow to your writing and you are kind and well spoken. Thanks for posting.
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Post  TejasTerry 1/4/2012, 8:24 am

Thanks for posting your third year experience. I needed a little encouragement. This will be my first year gardening, and I was sitting here thinking about all the money I am about to spend. A LOT, as I have to have 2 large cedar trees removed from the yard to make way for sun, then fence in the yard because we have so many deer...plus building the boxes, etc.

But I keep thinking 3 or 4 years down the line, and it will be worth it...not only saving on food bills, but healthier eating and a little exercise and sun exposure for all of us.

Thank you again for your well-written post...

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Post  Lavender Debs 1/4/2012, 10:00 am

This is beautiful MM! I hope you keep this going as a thread so I can revisit it again and again.
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Post  dixie 1/4/2012, 10:15 am

I always enjoy your posts & following your progress. You really do have a gift for writing.
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Post  middlemamma 1/4/2012, 11:42 am

Thanks everyone...it's kinda weird posting as a member again after being admin, kind of unsure footing I guess.

Thanks for the kind words of support. Smile
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Post  Lavender Debs 1/4/2012, 12:42 pm

middlemamma wrote:Thanks everyone...it's kinda weird posting as a member again after being admin, kind of unsure footing I guess.

Thanks for the kind words of support.


What goes around comes around.....you are getting back what you gave (in case you didn't know this, you gave encouragement and acceptance) swim in it...and keep writing!
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Post  CindiLou 1/4/2012, 1:11 pm

I understand how you feel, MM. While not a new gardener, I enjoy it more now. This is also my third year, as a sfg gardener. I feel that the way I do it now actually ALLOWS me to enjoy gardening where before it was work.

I got to feel how my grandsons took to gardening last year. Alex was 5 yrs old and a big boy "I can help, NaNa!" So he was doing the watering (where over watering didnt hurt rofl..). And to watch the 2yr old stand there like a little birdy with mouth open while NaNa was picking strawberries! I learned to pick when he was NOT here lol. The grandchildren that dont live close like to come and see what is growing and do something, even a little bit. So they can say "my garden".

My children all grew up with gardening. But since sfg they are much more likely to help! They even brag to friends about Mom's garden. Now that I have started growing more greens for salads they start raiding my garden earlier! Instead of starting with tomatoes/cucumbers they head for the early beds lol...

They have encouraged me to expand the garden more this year. Two more 4x6 beds. So THEY can have fresh veggies for their houses instead of just at Mom's. Two of my girls live within blocks of me. They are the backbone of my helpers. With living in apartments, they love the access to a garden area.

Now that they actually like to help (even making mix!) they are more than willing to put in their share of time. It is such a different feeling for me than when I had to assign areas for weeding, ect, to be done each day. I wish I had known about sfg before so that I could have missed out on the fights as they grew up!

It is such a great feeling to know that all my family know how to raise healthy vegetables. And to appreciate the work and dedication that goes into the process, whether it is sfg or a farm.

The confidence the grandkids now show in the garden, from 18 down to 2, makes me proud that I was able to show them how veggies should taste.
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Post  quiltbea 1/4/2012, 1:14 pm

MM......Loved your bit of history. Well put.

Keep up with the encouragement. There are many new gardeners on board in the last year so they'll be happy to hear that, I'm sure.

Like you, the hardest part is done for me. Now its plant and watch and try an experiment here and there with a new variety or extending my fall harvest. This summer, I intend to sit back with my iced tea and enjoy the fluttering butterflies, dragonflies and busy bees.

Edited to add: This dragonfly is at least 6" long and a lovely blue. Beautiful.

Third Year Thoughts... Dragon11


Last edited by quiltbea on 1/4/2012, 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add dimensions of dragonfly.)
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Post  middlemamma 1/5/2012, 4:33 pm

I was also thinking about how crazy I was with charts and planning the last 2 springs. It is nice to have a break from that intense feeling that everything must go in just right. This year I think I will go out to the garden with my box of seeds and plant a little here and there each day, until the squares are all filled. Seriously, the laid-backness of this Spring is welcome here.

I have to decide what to get anal about next. I guess I need a NEW hobby, cause this one isn't going to take much time this year.
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Post  plantoid 1/5/2012, 4:54 pm

Nice one Middlemamma , it's good when a well thought out & executed plan come together and you reap the rewards.

Alison has been bending my ear ever so slightly ! rofl , about me buying bales of straw to mix in with the neat manures, more compost bins and bringing several trailer loads of fresh sweet smelling Wink animal manures in to the back yard then doing a mixing session and putting it in the compost bins .
I have not let on yet about the vermiculite or the peat/ composted coconut fibre etc. lol!

She has just read your post .. Wheeeey.. I'm safe , she now understands what we ANSFG are going through and the likley end result if we don't cut corners.
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Post  herblover 1/6/2012, 3:51 pm

Well said! i will be sfg'ing for year 4 but plan on expanding my garden this year as well as continuing the cooperative garden with a friend.
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Post  Inca Heat 7/4/2012, 1:39 am

Where did MiddleMama disappear to?
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Post  camprn 7/4/2012, 6:31 am

Inca Heat wrote:Where did MiddleMama disappear to?
She stepped down from her administrator position last December.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  Inca Heat 7/4/2012, 2:21 pm

camprn wrote:
Inca Heat wrote:Where did MiddleMama disappear to?
She stepped down from her administrator position last December.

Thats too bad, but then she dropped from any more posting, hope its all good.
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