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Square Foot Gardeners-Please join me!

post #1 of 386
Thread Starter 
I just finished reading the thread from last year and it was great! I would love to have one going this year.

This is my first year doing a Square Foot Garden. I am very excited! We are planning on planting two 4x4 boxes this year. I will be ordering seeds sometime in the next few days, as soon as we finalize our picks.

What are you all doing this year?
post #2 of 386
ME ME! I just read the book and went into the yard and planned our EIGHT (yes, I know he said to start small!) beds. Then I sat down on the couch with copies of the planning sheets and realized that we're going to have a FARM if we plant all 8 beds (which we probably will....DH and I both love having a garden).

My mission for the week: get the fragile plants started inside and start assembling the boxes in the yard so they can be ready when the seeds are. I really like his idea of getting waste lumber from homesites, so DH and I might scrounge some this weekend. I'm really bad about starting seeds and never getting them outdoors, but with the SFG technique, that shouldn't be a problem, right?

This year we're planning:
Tomatoes (big boys, plums, jellybeans, and yellow)
Jalepenos (and LOTS of them!!!)
Sweet peppers
Bush beans (and LOTS of them, too!)
Basil (purple and lettuce leaf)
Oregano
Rosemary
Cilantro
Birdhouse gourds (the kids want these )
Lettuce (this is a new one for me, so we'll see...)
Salad cucumbers
okra (DH wants to pickle it :P)
Pickling cucumbers ()
Carrots (DS1's request)
Zucchini
Pumpkins (again, the kid's request)
STRAWBERRIES (you can never have enough, right?! I'm so excited about them!!)

In addition, we're going to put a fence around the outside of the garden (more decorative than anything else) and I'd like to vine some blackberries and raspberries over it.

DH and I love to can and give homemade jellies and such for Christmas. I'm hoping this year we'll have enough of a tomato yield to make his barbecue sauce with produce from the garden rather than store bought ketchup .
post #3 of 386
I'm in! I'm only doing a 4'x8'. Still working on building the beds and I've got a few plants started indoors.
post #4 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
I'm hoping this year we'll have enough of a tomato yield to make his barbecue sauce with produce from the garden rather than store bought ketchup .

That's it! Dh is gonna groan when I tell him this but now I need more boxes for more tomatoes! I never thought of making my own ketchup!!!!!!!!!!!! We use gallons every year here!

I'm in, 5 4x6 feet boxes to plan and plant (well, half of one is perennial herbs), plus the old 10x2 ft row by the house and a roughly 3 by 3 ft corner that I used for compost last year and am ready to plant with something edible...
post #5 of 386
Question: The book only shows the trellis on the outside edge of the box, but is there a reason that you can't put the trellis on the midline of the box and have plants vined on both sides of it? I'm thinking this is what we're going to do for the majority of our vines, since all of our boxes will be accessible from all sides, unless someone can tell me a reason I shouldn't do it?
post #6 of 386
The reason not to do that is that one side would get too much shade eventually as the plants grow. (which is annoying!) Also your vining plants will be 2 feet in the bed and that (even though it doesn't sound like it) is enough to make the task tedious. I tried it with pole beans last year and I hated picking because of the reaching over other plants.
You could build a 1 foot by however many feet long bed just for vining plants?

I really hope to get my official SFG boxes going this year, instead of just SF'ing our existing beds.
post #7 of 386
I'm thinking I'll try sf gardening this year, too.
I want to do 4 boxes in a circle...so each would be triangular ( kinda) Does anybody see a potential problem with this?
post #8 of 386
I am so excited to see others doing this. I read the book last month and we will be planting 2 4x4 boxes (my first ever attempts at gardening). I have the peat moss, but need to find the vermiculite and 3 more organic composts. Lowe's and Home Depot only has 2 between them. I have bought the seeds from Seeds for Change. Right now I am concentrating on getting the beds together.
post #9 of 386
Last year we did one garden box... i didn't take care of it as well as i should have but still got a ton of tomatoes and edemame with sunflowers in the middle spots. This year we are going for one more and doing some brocolli and lettuce. I've got herbs and peppers in whiskey barrels which works out rather well.
post #10 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by creektownmama View Post
I'm thinking I'll try sf gardening this year, too.
I want to do 4 boxes in a circle...so each would be triangular ( kinda) Does anybody see a potential problem with this?
I think this sounds really pretty....the only issue I could see is that you'd have to be careful about putting trellises or supports on the north side of the garden only so that you don't get shade where you don't want it. You probably wouldn't want to have trellises at the wide back of each box (though it would look nice in theory) because you'd get shade from the trellises over too much of your garden, not good for most veggies.

I have boxes but they aren't aligned perfectly to the points of the compass because of the layout of my home and yard. I had trellises only in the bed by my house last year, but want to put them in the back of the boxes. This would run slanting northeast, rather than on a true north line. I'm wondering about the shade issue with this, if this makes any sense...I guess I'll find out!
post #11 of 386

We're In!!!

This will be our second year doing SFG!!!! Last year we had such a bounty that we were giving away stuff! I am hoping to learn to can so I can put up the extra for winter! We have also begun our travels of eating locally. (Except for the red beets my mom brought from OH that came from who knows where!)

Right now we are investigating what to grow in GA. Last year we were in OH so we have a much longer season down here! My husband is talking about doing the "greenhouse" like cover and starting a little early. He has the itch big time to see growth!!!

Can't wait to see all we get from our "little" gardens!!! My neighbos will be amazed! They just don't see how it is going to work!! hee-hee!
post #12 of 386
i'm doing two 4x4 beds, and a pumpkin patch where i currently have a dirt/weed patch. i'm also going to compost.

here's what i'm planting. (this is so fun because i can plant a zillion different things in not so much space!)
leaf lettuce
radishes
spinach
bell peppers (buying plants, too scared to start from seed for some reason)
jalapeno
zucchini
peas
chives
beets
green beans
dill
squash
chard
mint - although i've since found out i should put that in a pot so it doesn't take over
basil
cilantro
tomatoes - buying plants, i'm a'scared.
sage
i think i will do a potted rosemary also (potted so i can bring it inside in the winter!)

i love to just play with my seed packets! i want to do as much direct sowing as possible, because we don't have a good space to start seeds, but i will need to start some. that's my next project, getting that set up and figuring out what to start when.

eta: i ordered from peaceful valley farm supply. i think it was groworganic.com. they had great prices, discounts depending on how many packets you order, cheap and fast shipping. just throwing that out there for anyone who still has an order to place! they have their own seeds and carry seeds from a few other companies as well.
post #13 of 386
I bought plants last year, and to save you some grumpyness I will share my experience. The tomatoes & peppers that I bought that were in greenhouses at a local community garden & some from a local nursery did fine. None of the one's from the big box guys did well. It has irked me bigtime as the plants were a good size, ect.... Well, last month I saw why they didn't do well. They (the plants) were unprotected outside starting in January, so by April when I bought them (and you know I had to of bought every plant that had been on the rack forever) they must have been frost damaged. :
This year I got a seed starting setup as my holiday gift and I'm going crazy with starts. The tomatoes have not been that hard! surprisingly, I thought it would be *much* harder!
I filled in the gaps (and that was quite a few) on two carrot squares yesterday. Completely forgeting that I was supposed to just start a new square. next time.
post #14 of 386
We're doing our first ever SFG; just a 4X4, mostly for DD (2). We're lucky enough to have 2 farmers markets and an organic farm nearby, but I want DD to have the experience of growing our own food. Also hoping it will spark her interest in actually eating veggies, too.

Today I called around looking for vermiculite, but have only been able to find it in the small, 4 quart bags so far. Anyone else had a hard time finding the big, 4 cubic feet bags recommended in the book?

Also, what kind of protection do you have planned for your SFG? Anyone make Mel's chicken wire cage to keep out the birds and bunnies? I saw this Pop Up Net but it fits 3X3 beds. :
post #15 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
Question: The book only shows the trellis on the outside edge of the box, but is there a reason that you can't put the trellis on the midline of the box and have plants vined on both sides of it? I'm thinking this is what we're going to do for the majority of our vines, since all of our boxes will be accessible from all sides, unless someone can tell me a reason I shouldn't do it?

If you did plant it in the midde couldn't you plant shade loving plants in the shady part? ex. lettuce
post #16 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbaby View Post
Also hoping it will spark her interest in actually eating veggies, too.
the only tomatoes my kids ever ate were when we had a garden two years ago, so it worked for me....although now they're ruined for store-bought tomatoes!
post #17 of 386

I just finished reading the book too!

We're starting one this year. Only one 4x4 box, still trying to figure out what we're going to grow in it.

I think we'll plant some zuchini in the back flower bed that never has flowers in it as well.


We hang out tomato plants upside down and have had good success with that - so we won't need to utilize space in the sfg for tomatos.
post #18 of 386
We started 2 years ago with 2 4x4 boxes. Last year we had 4 4x4 boxes. This year we are going to have 8, I think! We are planning pumpkins, tomatoes (all sorts), peppers (hot and sweet), zucchini, cucumbers, melons, sugar snap peas, pole beans, sunflowers, broccoli, lettuces, radishes, carrots, potatoes, herbs (mint, dill, basil, etc.)

We grew most of these with success last year, with a little "help" from the puppy rearranging things, eating what he wanted, and thinking the baby melons were balls. We are also planning a garden fence this year!
post #19 of 386
I'll be doing kind of a modified SFG this year...something between SFG and Grow Biointensive. I'm planning to have 7 squares (3 4x8's and 1 4x4), plus my preschooler's sunflower house, which will grow sunflowers and runner beans. And my herbs are tucked in around the yard, so this will just include veggies.
post #20 of 386
Thread Starter 
Oh, wow! I was afraid no one would reply. I am so glad to see so many here!

So, the boxes my dh brought home aren't 4x4, they are 3.5x3. We are going to use all 4 and instead of having 32 squares to plant I will have 36. I am ordering seeds tomorrow! :
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