And Koanga Gardens bookshop online has Linda Woodrow's books at the best price I have seen . www.fishpond.co.nz has the square foot gardening book for $30 and (I think) $3 postage.
Oh dear! Wish you hadn't told me that, Kat, I sent away for the Sq.Ft. book with an order form that came with a magazine (Growing Today, I think.) Never mind, am enjoying mapping out my footage.
Really, with the hay bales as raised beds was first a matter of economics. It was the absolute cheapest way to get raised beds in this year. If we'd used macrocarpa planks (6x2), the cost of the bed went from $30 to over $100, because it need the height of the bale to really help my back at all (I have scoliosis that makes my back spasm at the slightest provocation). Plus, the bale being nice and wide is nice to sit on while gardening. When the bales go (I am hoping they will last 2 seasons), I am going to use flitch wood to build raised beds to the height I need and put a ledge round the edges, for sitting on. It's all one big experiment here, all the time!
What's flitch wood, Andrea?
We used untreated timber for our surrounds, they have worked well, am hoping they last until we sell the place next year as don't want to have to replace them at this stage! [:0]
Flitch wood, as I have been told, is the outside of the tree with bark that's taken off before the inner wood is used for timber. It's roughly in plank shape, and it's about the same dimension of the macrocarpa boards we priced, but at a fraction of the price, but it usually gets used for firewood.
I see this forum is over 10 years old, so might not be of interest any more, but yes I am currently in my first year of trying SFG, and I think it is great. I have now built two raised beds, both 4 x 8 squares, and I can't believe how productive it is. I have followed Mel's (?) book fairly religiously except I couldn't source vermiculite, so used pumice instead. Anybody still interested in this before I witter on any further?
I did it with timber boards about five years ago on lawn. Long beds, but only four squares wide. It was very productive. The following year though a lot of grass had grown up through the beds, and it was so difficult to manage it. Now I still sew seeds with the square foot gardening spacing, and single seed method, but am growing in black plastic crates instead, which are about 2.5square feet each, lined up 2 by 8 to create a bed. They are laid out on cardboard. The grass still grows through in places, especially couch or twitch or something, but I can lift the crates out and overturn them to weed more easily, and replace cardboard. They are really heavy if full of soil/poo, so I have started filling them with old hay from the rabbit hutches instead, then a sprinkling of soil on top. Thick bark on cardboard between beds suppresses grass and weeds a bit. Newspaper is useless.
Interesting that the grass came through. Although I thought it would be unnecessary, I lined the bottom and sides of the box with weed mat following the instructions in the book - so perhaps that was a good idea. We'll see. How deep were your beds? - mine are about 50cm high, and I really didn't think grass would come up through that.
Good idea using the crates.
By the way, I replied to your message before Nora, but it hasn't come up on the page, so not sure if I am doing something wrong. Perhaps this time.
I also use plastic crates or old water troughs as the garden in the ground was too near trees and the roots loved the fertile soil of the garden. but I never thought of usung the square foot method in the crates. Will reread about and maybe try it again.
The wooden beds were 15cm deep, 30cm for potatoes and carrots. The plastic crates are more like 25cm deep. Some grass comes up between the crates too where the cardboard has thinned and light gets through to encourage it. Those white grass roots are very invasive, but hoping to put them off with more layers of cardboard each time I plant more seeds. Hoping to rid out property of blackberry and hemlock too, so really dreaming now.
Yes I like the plastic tray idea also. Especially for the transportation factor.
Something else I have found (for free) & is easily moved, is the stainless steel inside bowl, of washing machines.
They can be moved about with a sack barrow and is especially good if you propagate your plants early in the growing season and they are put under trees (like us) under the shelter of Pittasporum trees (sorry about spelling. 'Spell Check' didn't even know how to spell it either!) ......until there is less likelihood of frosts.
These washing machine inners, are generally made of light weight stainless steel and is slotted so can't be over watered.
I tried raised beds but it proved too dry here for them. I use mussel floats cut in half lengthways in my tunnel house and that worked well and they are reasonably easy to move around if you have to.
The thing about square foot gardening is that it teaches you to be more organised instead of planting on a whim! The most common mistakes I notice amongst beginning gardeners is planting too close and failing to maintain a routine of regular planting . When planting out, always use two trowel lengths as your distance between plants. OK, some things can go closer if you are short of space.
Another good thing to do is to plant according to the moon phase. Gravitational pull influences moisture in the soil and moisture will be strongest between new and the full moon, so plants have a better chance of growing well. Again, moon planting encourages you to be organised as there is a time to sow and a time to reap!