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High Yield Gardening: square foot gardening

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Forum: High Yield GardeningReplies: 14, Views: 210
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stenciler
Crown Point, IN

July 4, 2010
8:25 AM

Post #7942420

Does one have to remove grass before plopping down the framework and filling the frame w/Mel's mix before planting? Can't seem to find the answer in his book or online. Thanks!!!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 4, 2010
8:46 AM

Post #7942455

Everything I've read says you can just mow the grass, put newspaper and cardboard down, add soil and grow!

I tried that!

If you have Burmuda grass, it will grow right through the layers. You will need to remove Burmuda grass first.

Someone asked the question on our local gardening tv show as to how to remove Burmuda grass. The answer was "MOVE!"

I HATE GRASS!
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 4, 2010
10:20 AM

Post #7942624

LOL!

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 4, 2010
10:23 AM

Post #7942632

I keep trying to convince the husband to convert our entire back yard to garden space. So far, he's not buying since he's the one to do all the manual labor! LOL

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 4, 2010
10:29 AM

Post #7942649

stephanie - no, no, no! You have to make it HIS idea, girlfriend! Go out there and start digging, he'll feel guilty or sorry for you and take over. Just let him think he's "helping"
stenciler
Crown Point, IN

July 4, 2010
3:52 PM

Post #7943232

Thank you all so much. Now I can start the fall garden!
Quyen
Orange, CA
(Zone 10b)

July 4, 2010
6:22 PM

Post #7943535

For what it's worth, Mel's Mix didn't give me good results. And I followed the instructions/formula to the letter. Beans and corn were so-so. Peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes did not grow well.

This past spring I tried a lasagna garden and it's doing quite well. Material-wise, the lasagna method was a lot cheaper than making Mel's Mix.

I do use the SFG plant-spacing guidelines, though.

Here's a picture of one section of my plot taken last week. The "lasagna layers" were set down on 4/30. I planted the corn and beans on May 8. As you can see, they are very closely spaced. Everything is growing strong.

Thumbnail by Quyen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 5, 2010
10:04 AM

Post #7944884

Stef: It would help to garden the back yard, so whoever has to mow grass, would not ha ve to anymore. I live in the forest, lots of pine trees, & have sandy soil. I don't have much grass, so I'm planting some seeds. We ha ven't had to mow & are happy about it. So I am limiting my grass yard. Maybe just a small part of our Acre that we have. But I am having a hard time with the sandy yard. Lots of sand comes into the house. I have mixed feelings about this grass thing. It would be easy just to ha ve someone come & mow for $25 but we have no neighbors. I wonder how much would a lawn service charge.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 5, 2010
11:10 AM

Post #7945027

behillman - Goats would mow your grass for free ^_^
prettymess
San Jose, CA

July 5, 2010
11:39 AM

Post #7945105

I wanted to make a lasagna bed but I got lazy. And the dog kept eating it. So i built a raised bed and filled the bottom with tons of compost stuff that wasn't really rotted yet, and then a bunch of the bagged compost and topsoil I bought at OSH. It worked out fine and my tomatoes are growing like crazy. I also got a volunteer avocado plant out of the deal (i know those shouldn't go in the compost but I can't stand to throw the pits in the trash! I am hoping some of the mango pits I put in there will sprout soon. haha. I am probably the least methodical gardener ever... I just put stuff in the dirt and hope it grows!
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 5, 2010
11:45 AM

Post #7945122

I always throw my peach pits out in the flower bed. I cannot throw away a seed either in the trash. Now I have peach trees growing everywhere. P.S. Whoever invented the trash compactor ought to be jailed. I hate those compactors. I love the dishwashers..
prettymess
San Jose, CA

July 5, 2010
11:50 AM

Post #7945138

mmmm peach trees!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 5, 2010
12:32 PM

Post #7945239

I don't think avocados, mango and peach trees will come "true" from seed-pits. I put mine in the trash 'cause they annoy the heck out of me when we are turning out the compost.

prettymess - the way you built your raised beds was "perfect" which is why your tomatoes are doing so well ^_^
prettymess
San Jose, CA

July 5, 2010
1:05 PM

Post #7945297

I don't expect the avocado to turn out fruit, i know you need two, a male and a female, also I am not sure if its an organic one from a local tree or if its a store bought one! It could be anything! But I have heard they make nice little plants, and I like plants.

awww thanks Honeybee! I'm glad I lazied my way into perfection!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 26, 2011
10:52 AM

Post #8521745

I like to chop grass away with a mattock and shovel when i make a raised bed. I can lay the pieces of "sod" down where there are holes in the lawn, or upside-down on the compost heap.

Then i can hack up the clay underneath the bed, and mix some amendments into it. That seems to me like a fairly easy way to get an extra 4-10" of almost-soil under a raised bed.

It also lets me shape or slope the dense "floor" of the bed in a direction that will drain downhill towards my trench. The transition from amended soil to hard clay is so abrupt that I think it will be years before the under-layer softens significantly enough to drain better than concrete.

So the layer that I hack up and amend becomes a 'wick' under the raised-bed-soil-proper. Aggressive, hungry roots may penetrate it, but even if they don't, they should keep the 'real soil" above it less waterlogged and better aerated.

Amd organics and fertilizer that leach out of the "real soil" may be captured by the "hacked-up-dirt-layer" and gradually enrich it, attract worms, and turn it into something that even fussy roots can get some good out of.

I like my "raised beds" to also be "sunken beds", so I make sure that there is a drainage path below the "hacked-up-layer".

Maybe, after several years, I should deepen the drainage path further to allow for busy worms turning even more clay into "real soil".

One place where I lucked out has become my model for "best practice" if I have the time and energy for future new beds. I dug a depressed walkway under a new RB, and then dug a small drainage trench under that. The walkway is low enough that I don't stoop far when planting or weeding. And the trench goes down another 6-8". (And it follows a slope diagonally, so the trench will drain dry.)

So now the raised bed is raised really high, relative to the bottom of the trench. I expect that bed to develop really deep, well-aerated soil, as more clay leachs out (elluviates) and worms and roots get down into all the aerated layers.

But that all depended on a favorable slope below the bed.
And the beds have to go in relatively sunny spots.
So I can't always be lucky.

Corey

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Other High Yield Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

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Square Foot Gardening (SFG) construction pics 1_Lucky_Texan 55 May 20, 2013 7:02 AM


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