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Old 02-02-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Home in TN:)
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As far as I can tell there is no soil/dirt in a "Square Foot Garden" so no weeds.

It's a mix of:
1/3 coarse vermiculite(which I found on-line)
1/3 peat moss
1/3 mixed or natural compost

Here is a site for the vermiculite which you should be able to find locally comes Spring.

Vermiculite 4 cu ft.


Here is my garden plan according to the SFG directions. I will have 3 trellises on the north side to let those veggies climb.
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/lisa_in_east_tn/2-2-09Newgardenplan.jpg (broken link)


This is the official site for Square Foot Gardening. I think it sounds great for a beginner. We'll see.

The Official Site of Square Foot Gardening and Mel Bartholomew, Originator and Author
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
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Thanks for sharing. You are definitely more ambitious than me!

Does that mean that 4 heads of lettuce go in one square foot?
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Lemon Grove, CA USA
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After what you did building your house I don't see you having any problem with something as small as a garden, lol. I've been reading up on this approach myself. Now that I've moved into my first home (after living in apartments most of my life) I want to dedicate the backyard to gardening and the square foot method seems the most efficient and easiest to maintain given the space I have.

I'll probably go with cinder blocks (2-3 high) for the beds then gravel between. It would be easy enough to decorate the cinder block by planting vines in the holes and letting them creep down and cinder blocks are cheap and easy to assemble. I like your layout too... I might have to borrow it.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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I like square foot gardening for certain things... Like a greens garden. It is great to just walk out the door a few paces, and cut fresh greens from living plants, instead of bothering with putting them in the crisper in the fridge.

A few of the main rules I have in my gardens, is to position the plants so I can keep my back straight while I work, avoid kneeling in damp soil, and maintain air circulation between plants.

Your layouts shown above are workable. If they were my plots, I might do several things differently...

First, I would choose a trellis that I can easily fit my hand through from the back side, so I could harvest beans from the north side.

Second, I would plant the pole beans in a row about 4-6 inches south of the trellis.

Third, I would probably put the squash together in one plot, and let them fight it out. Often squash will just continue to take as much space as they can, and will easily overshadow your lettuce. Another thing, is the squash stems are pretty abrasive, and will demolish tender lettuce on a windy day. Squash are also vulnerable to wind, due to the tremendous size of their leaves, so you might put them in the least windy spot.

Fourth, I might put the peppers on the southern most side of one plot, lettuce in the middle, and tomatoes on the north side of a plot. The further north on the continent you go, the less peppers plants will produce, and ensuring they get maximum sun, space and nutrients is important to make the best of the situation.

Fifth, I might leave a small space just south of the tomatoes, right in the center to aid in harvesting. While you might be able to reach two feet into the center of the plot, there will probably be tomato plant branches that get in the way of harvesting. You might not mind the first few weeks of harvest, but by the time it is September, you may not enjoy crawling and stretching for those tomatoes in the inside of the plot. A trellis that you can reach through easily, will be a big help, but probably not a magic bullet.

These are just my opinion. If you are set on this layout, it will still work. There are bound to be potential problems that only local people will be aware, due to climate and local pests.

Good luck, keep it fun and simple.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: friendswood texas
2,489 posts, read 6,038,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debsi View Post
Wow! Did you mostly start from seeds or transplants, mth?

That sounds great. Can I pick up a bag of compost at Home Depot next to the potting soil or do I have to go to a specialty store for that too? I know I could do my own.. but maybe next year.
Most of my plants were transplants like tomatos and peppers. I did plant some bean seeds, carrot seeds and lettuce.

The compost we bought at home depot I believe.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Home in TN:)
18,650 posts, read 22,609,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debsi View Post
Thanks for sharing. You are definitely more ambitious than me!

Does that mean that 4 heads of lettuce go in one square foot?
Yes those numbers are according to the book. Yes 4 lettuce plants in one
1x1 box, 1 tomato plant, 1 pepper plant, 2 cukes etc.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Home in TN:)
18,650 posts, read 22,609,403 times
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Thank you for all the advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FOAD View Post
Your layouts shown above are workable. If they were my plots, I might do several things differently...

First, I would choose a trellis that I can easily fit my hand through from the back side, so I could harvest beans from the north side.

I will have a trellis for each bed that I can reach through.

Second, I would plant the pole beans in a row about 4-6 inches south of the trellis.

I should have room for that. Thank you.


Third, I would probably put the squash together in one plot, and let them fight it out. Often squash will just continue to take as much space as they can, and will easily overshadow your lettuce. Another thing, is the squash stems are pretty abrasive, and will demolish tender lettuce on a windy day. Squash are also vulnerable to wind, due to the tremendous size of their leaves, so you might put them in the least windy spot.

I thought of doing the squash together but I needed the extra box for my north climbing plants and a trellis. I'll see how it goes. I'm sure I will learn and make many changes for the following year.

Fourth, I might put the peppers on the southern most side of one plot, lettuce in the middle, and tomatoes on the north side of a plot. The further north on the continent you go, the less peppers plants will produce, and ensuring they get maximum sun, space and nutrients is important to make the best of the situation.

Good idea. I'll think about it.


Fifth, I might leave a small space just south of the tomatoes, right in the center to aid in harvesting. While you might be able to reach two feet into the center of the plot, there will probably be tomato plant branches that get in the way of harvesting. You might not mind the first few weeks of harvest, but by the time it is September, you may not enjoy crawling and stretching for those tomatoes in the inside of the plot. A trellis that you can reach through easily, will be a big help, but probably not a magic bullet.

I am going to trim the tomato plant to one main stem. I still have more reading and learning about that.

These are just my opinion. If you are set on this layout, it will still work. There are bound to be potential problems that only local people will be aware, due to climate and local pests.

Good luck, keep it fun and simple.
Thanks again.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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Default Square foot gardening

The placement of the plants needs to change year to year (crop rotation). All your have to remember is to keep the taller plants like tomatoes from shading the lower growing plants. The plants that grow vertically can be moved from one side to the other next year. Have fun.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Lisa,

I am psyched! My local nursery sells 4 cubic foot bags of vermiculite for $25. Now where I can buy everyithing I need for my square foot garden!
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:36 PM
Status: "Back to flip flop weather..." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
5,860 posts, read 12,752,623 times
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I read his book this week and I'm a little leery of his planting mix - the problem here is not watering too much, it's trying to keep plants moist enough in our dry climate.

Likewise, I'm putting drip irrigation in, something he isn't really in favor of. In the summer, I'm likely to be off hiking or on a Jeep trail, not sticking around the house every day to water.

The tomatoes and lettuce go up on the deck, next to the house. I use red plastic bins for the lettuce, about 3' long and about 1' wide and hang them off the deck, and I have 3 of them in varying stages of growing at any time. I keep them near the house to keep the rabbits, deer and mice away and in July and August they need shade cloth on them.
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