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Old 02-10-2008, 12:26 PM   #1
Master Chef
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,296
SFG (Square Foot Gardening)?

Ok, this is what I am considering for me and DH. I have only started to garden this past year and had mixed results. What do you seasoned gardners think about this and what other alternatives do I have? Since there is only two of us, I don't want to get to carried away. I'm thinking tomatos, squash, peppers, I would love to grow garlic, but think that is out of my reach at this point. Has anyone used this system? Do you fill it with different kinds of dirt depending on what you want to grow? I am by no means an expert, so I could use all the help I can get!


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Old 02-10-2008, 12:48 PM   #2
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Location: Northern New Mexico
Posts: 4,563
no experience with sfg, but from what i have read, it's a great idea. I would have reservations on growing squash that way, where would the plant grow to? I think sfg would be better for better controlled veggies,( ones that do not stray). Peppers would be excellent, tomatoes may spread too much?? In my experience, garlic is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. BUT you plant it in October/November and harvest in July, in the midwest.

Keep reading about sfg and ask more questions

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
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Funny you should bring up Mel & his square-foot-gardening system. My brother worked for his son Jeff years ago in the landscaping business.

Actually, "square-foot-gardening" is nothing more than a hybrid of using raised beds & what was originally called "French Intensive Gardening" techniques.

I garden in a similar fashion for certain vegetables, but don't use wooden sides for my raised beds. I just heap up the soil & compost in whatever size/configuration I want. Any/all vegetables can be grown in raised beds, & all the "French Intensive" system means is that you grow your veggies closer together to shade out the weeds. Thinnings of appropriate vegetables are used as they become large enough to be usable, thus granting more space for what's left.

For instance, I grow all my peppers in wide row/raised beds - much closer together than traditional gardening books or seed packets advise. Not only do the plants support each other (thus requiring no staking), but the beds remain virtually weed-free, & the soil retains moisture.

As far as what you should grow? In order of importance for new gardeners:
1) Grow what you know you like to eat. There's no point in growing squash if you hate it, regardless of how easy it might be.
2) Grow things that definitely taste 100% better when home-grown vs. store-bought.
3) Make it fun!! Each year I always try at least one or two new vegetables or new varieties of old favorites.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:39 PM   #4
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Location: Steelers Country
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Well, I just love the idea of the SFG. Thanks for sharing, Sattie. DH and I are turning over a much more ambitious section of the yard this year for maximum garden potential. We just looked over that site and decided to make a purchase!

The pyramid design kits look fantastic for the corners of our compact city garden. I am going to get just one this year and use it for my herbs and smaller veggies like lettuce. If it works out well, I can see us ordering many more for larger vegetables, too. I;ll be sure to take plenty of photos this season to keep everyone posted!

Worse case, it doesn't work out, but we made a contribution to a good cause. Check it out (from SFG website):

The nice thing to know is that
ALL proceeds go toward our humanitarian projects around the world. Other good companies
may donate 5-10% of their profits , but we donate 100% of our net income . That's because we
are a Non-Profit Foundation dedicated to bringing to everyone a better way to live and become
more self sufficient. So you should know that your money is being well-spent. We also can keep
prices at rock bottom because many of us volunteer much of our time and since we are a Non-
Profit Foundation, that's lower prices to you and more monies for good works.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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Location: Texas
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Yea, I would love to try this out... but looking at it, it seems all I need to do is go the HD and buy a few..... hmmm... I'm thinking I should ask the neighbor behind me to build one for me. He is always building stuff!

Yea, I would only grow the stuff I would know I would want to eat. I'm thinking specifically butternut and or zucchini squash. Tomato, oooohhh... green onions would be great and some herbs... basil, parsley, thyme, oregano. My rosemary bush made it through the winter, so I'm good there! Ok, Jill.. I've got to catch up!
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