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Author Topic: Square Foot Gardening  (Read 3230 times)
dpence
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« on: March 26, 2009, 11:39:43 AM »

My wife and I have decided to give square foot gardening a try.  I did a search here and it seems there are quite a few that are doing it.  We have good compost pile, and a reasonable area to get started.  Finding Vermiculite was a little challenging, a lot of places carry perlite which is different.  Any advice for newbies are appreciated.

David
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vermmy35
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 12:34:11 PM »

Woot another one for square foot gardening.  Since me and the wife have limited space that is what we are doing here is a really good link for you <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPrMvItUIuQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPrMvItUIuQ</a>

I really like the garden girl and she has given me some good idea's
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dpence
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 03:47:56 PM »

Cool, Hope to post some pictures of our progress later on.

David
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vermmy35
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 03:54:08 PM »

I will post picks in May, June, and August of my garden and bee's
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 10:12:17 PM »

When my garden is finished it will have 30 raised beds 10 feet long plus some border areas along the fence where single and double rows will be planted.  My vegetable garden space is 100X100 feet.
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vermmy35
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 10:32:54 PM »

When my garden is finished it will have 30 raised beds 10 feet long plus some border areas along the fence where single and double rows will be planted.  My vegetable garden space is 100X100 feet.

show off  evil I don't have that kind of space here and this will be my first year gardening since I was 17
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 05:48:01 AM »

My Dad utilizes square foot techniques in his garden. Here's some pics of his garden:










...JP







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vermmy35
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2009, 07:29:32 AM »

Nice pix JP, I plan on doing a couple raised beds this year.  Since we have very little room in the back yard my wife has given me all the out of the way places for my gardening this year, but it actually works for me. grin
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 08:12:09 AM »

I love raised bed gardening. From traditional veggies to blueberry bushes. I normally use 3 eight foot 2x8's. You cut down one for the 4ft sides.

I live in red clay country and raised beds are a must.
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dpence
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2009, 09:53:26 AM »

We ordered our vermiculite today.  Going to start with 10 beds 4' X 4' X 8".  My wife bought vegetable plants yesterday and I ordered 50 strawberry plants last night.  Takes a lot to get started.  And it turned off cold today, man bummer.  Missouri.....supposed to snow maybe.

David

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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2009, 10:25:26 AM »

I will slowly be reconstructing my beds this year but more for flowers than food.  They all got trashed in 03 when we put the new house in never got around to putting em back.  Raised beds are the way to go here too as it's so cold & wet most of the spring/summer.  We can't even plant corn till June. This year I am working @ the CSA for my veggie/fruit summer share so get the goodies without the heavy backbreaking hand tilling (she has a tractor!  woo hoo!)  I get to put my bees there too!  J
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BjornBee
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2009, 07:37:52 PM »

Can someone explain vermiculite, when (and if) needed, and where to get it?  Thank you.
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vermmy35
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2009, 08:08:40 PM »

Can someone explain vermiculite, when (and if) needed, and where to get it?  Thank you.


here is a web site that might answer your question http://homeharvest.com/soilamendmentsperlitevermiculite.htm

Controversy over health risks

The largest and oldest vermiculite mine in the United States was started in the 1920s, at Libby, Montana, and the vermiculite was sold under the commercial name Zonolite. The Zonolite brand and the mine was acquired by the W.R. Grace Company in 1963. Mining operations at the Libby site stopped in 1990 in response to asbestos contamination. While in operation, the Libby mine may have produced 80% of the world's supply of vermiculite.[4]

The United States government estimates that vermiculite was used in more than 35 million homes but does not recommend its removal. Nevertheless, homes or structures containing vermiculite or vermiculite insulation dating from before the mid 1990s, and especially those known to contain the "Zonolite" brand, may contain asbestos, and therefore may be a health concern.

An article published in the Salt Lake Tribune on December 3, 2006 reported that vermiculite and Zonolite had been found to contain asbestos, which had led to cancers such as those found in asbestos related cases. The article stated that there had been a "cover-up" by W.R. Grace Company and others regarding the health risks associated with vermiculite and that several sites in the Salt Lake Valley had been remediated by the EPA when they were shown to be contaminated with asbestos. W.R. Grace Company has vigorously denied these charges.

The vermiculite deposit at the Libby, Montana mine, was (and is) heavily contaminated with asbestos. Numerous people were knowingly[5] exposed to the harmful dust of vermiculite that contained asbestos. Unfortunately, the mine had been operating since the 1920s, and environmental and industrial controls were virtually non-existent until the mine was purchased by the W.R. Grace Company in 1963. Yet, knowing the human health risks, the mining company still continued to operate there until 1990. Consequently, many of the former miners and residents of Libby have been affected and continue to suffer health problems. Over 200 people in the town have died from asbestos-related disease due to contamination from vermiculite mining from nearby Zonolite Mountain, where soil samples were found to be loaded with fibrous tremolite (known to be a very toxic form of asbestos), and countless others there who insulated their homes with Zonolite have succumbed to asbestos-related diseases, most of whom never were employed in environments where asbestos was an issue.[6]

After a 1999 Seattle Post-Intelligencer story claimed that asbestos-related disease was common in the town, the EPA, in response to political pressure, made cleanup of the site a priority and called Libby the worst case of community-wide exposure to a toxic substance in U.S. history.[7][8] The EPA has spent $120 million in Superfund money on cleanup.[8] In October 2006, W. R. Grace Company tried to appeal the fines levied on them from the EPA, but the Supreme Court rejected the appeal.[9] The United States government is also pursuing criminal charges against several former executives and managers of the mine for allegedly disregarding and covering up health risks to employees.[9] They are also accused of obstructing the government's cleanup efforts and wire fraud. To date, according to the indictment, approximately 1,200 residents of the Libby area have been identified as suffering from some kind of asbestos-related abnormality.[10] Jury selection is expected to be completed in February 2009.[11] [1
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 08:21:36 PM by vermmy35 » Logged

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BjornBee
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2009, 08:13:32 PM »

Can someone explain vermiculite, when (and if) needed, and where to get it?  Thank you.


here is a web site that might answer your question http://homeharvest.com/soilamendmentsperlitevermiculite.htm


Thank you Vermmy. Interesting read. It sounds like it could help my soil. Do you know if that is something readily available at garden or hardware stores?
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vermmy35
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2009, 08:23:04 PM »

Can someone explain vermiculite, when (and if) needed, and where to get it?  Thank you.


here is a web site that might answer your question http://homeharvest.com/soilamendmentsperlitevermiculite.htm


Thank you Vermmy. Interesting read. It sounds like it could help my soil. Do you know if that is something readily available at garden or hardware stores?


I have seen it at our local feed and seed store so if you have a grain elevator you should be able to pick it up there
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poka-bee
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2009, 08:53:52 PM »

You can find it at almost all garden centers in any store, nurserys & feedstores.  It is surprisingly light!  J
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dpence
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2009, 08:55:53 PM »

Bjorne, also check your local Nursery.  We orders ours from that source.  Comes in 4 cubic foot packages, runs about 18 bucks. 

David
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2009, 10:40:10 PM »

Can someone explain vermiculite, when (and if) needed, and where to get it?  Thank you.

It's a mineral mined out of the ground, it's extremely light weight, and inert.  You use it to improve drainage and make the soil mixture light weight.  Perlite would serve the exact same purpose.  Sand can be used to improve drainage, but is heavy - it still works though and is a lot cheaper.  I just bought a 2.8 cubic ft bag of vermiculite at a local nursery - $17.  There used to be an issue with vermiculite containing asbestos, but that's SUPPOSED to be resolved.
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Natalie
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2009, 12:45:47 AM »

I do the square foot gardening and also used raised beds.
I have 18 raised beds this year of various sizes and the square foot gardening works very well for me.
We brought in 18 yards of a loam/compost soil mix from a local supplier.
Right now we are in the process of digging and prepping a 50 feet trench for asparagus and then I have to see about prepping a space for the potatoes.
The square foot method has definitely allowed me to plant more than I would have if I followed the standard planting method and I had some good harvests.
If you are trying to make the most of your space I am a big fan of trellising vegetables.
Vertical space frees up alot of room in the garden, you can grow beans, various squash and cucumbers on a trellis and its suppose to make the squash and cucumbers grow straighter.
You can stick a trellis anywhere or make a trellis out of almost anything.
Another idea is alot of people are incorporating their vegetables into their regular flower beds, sticking stuff here and there within the flowers.
Runner beans look pretty and you can grow them up house, pole, lightpost etc. its an edible ornamental in that sense.
I made a couple of teepees out of several bamboo poles tied together at the top and then planted runner beans and morning glories at the base of the poles and they ran up the poles and over, they looked very pretty when they flowered and I planted those big purple cabbage at the base of them in a circle all around, in the biggest teepee I put some extra slates I had laying around on the inside like floor and my kids played in there, it was like a big flowering tent/teepee.
You can do that with ornamental vegetables and still be able to harvest them.
Companion planting is another good idea, certain types of plants help keep bugs away from others, add nutrients to the soil that another type of vegetable needs.
You can google companion planting and get a list of plants that get along and some that you should never plant together( some will surprise you), I like the 3 sisters garden myself, it makes the most of space and looks pretty at the same time.
 
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