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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:43 am
Posts: 280
Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania
A SFG rookie’s assessment so far:
• People that say that you cannot grow vegetables in 100% compost have never tried it.
• Mel’s suggested plant spacing is too congested. A plant’s roots will usually extend in all directions as far as the foliage. If a plant’s foliage is competing for space, then the roots from both plants are competing for the same nutrients. Also nobody told the plants, they were supposed to stay inside the box.
• Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli; were planted one plant per square. Harvest was ½ size compared to my conventional garden. Also with abundant rain every cabbage split, I had this problem before but not to this extent and not with heads this small.
• Cucumbers did fantastic with conventional spacing exceeding 10# per plant.
• Zucchini is doing even better; I have picked about 35# per plant.
• Potatoes did very well exceeding 1.5# per plant at one plant per square.
• Eggplant did well at 1.5# per plant planted one plant per square.
• Bell Peppers did ok with less than 1# per plant, at one plant per square.
• Tomatoes have patches of beautiful fruits scattered thought the vines. The Supersteak seems to be more sensitive to the night temperature and we have had some chilly spels off and on thought the summer. Spacing was at five squares per plant.
• Cantaloupe is too early to tell but some nice fruits on the vines. I cannot remember the spacing; I will check when the vines die back.
• Salad greens did only average.
• Weeds were virtually nonexistent. I pulled less than a coffee can full all year, previously it would have been several 5 Gal. buckets.
• My biggest contribution to the garden this year was installing an irrigation system.
Will I continue with the SFG next year? You betcha…

John

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:18 pm
Posts: 344
Location: PA
That's great. Thanks for posting.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:32 am 
Since my gardens since moving to VA have always been made up of 100% compost, I couldn't agree with you more about that point. Well-made compost is loose & airy, yet holds moisture & is full of natural nutrients. What more could a plant ask for?

As far as Mel Bartholemew's "square gardening" system, I have to say that I still believe it's nothing more than an architectural/structural offshoot of the old "French Intensive" gardening system, which is what I use. And yes it's true that I think old Mel does sometimes take things to extremes without taking into consideration the habits of certain plants. But, what I can say - Mel's famous & I'm not - lol. :)

I am surprised about your Broccoli output, as I've always had excellent production with close-spaced Broccoli - even with lettuce interplanted between/underneath them. Nice big heads & lots of sideshoots afterwards. Same goes for Brussels Sprouts (except for the sideshoots, of course). Haven't been brave enough to try Cauliflower here in VA.

And I'm really surprised about your salad greens. I've been hard put to keep up with them, but then I don't go in big for the heading types - tend to keep to loose-leafs, mesclun mixes, & Asian greens that can also be used in stirfries.

But I definitely agree with you about the lack of weeds!! I'm willing to put up with any drawbacks of SQF or French Intensive gardening just for the delight of having to spend so little time weeding!! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pm
Posts: 1630
Location: PNW
Thanks for sharing your assessment. I always like hearing what results people get with their garden trials.


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 Post subject: I agree, John
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:23 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Russellville, AL.
This is my first year with the sfg method as well....I absolutely love it! This is the only way that I will garden from now on.


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