After reviewing the successes and failures of this past spring and summer and considering the over-all success of my whole growing system in Texas, I decided it was time for a change. For years I have used a modified version of the square foot gardening system, but I decided to go all the way and really do it the way Mel Bartholomew suggests. On several weekends this fall, my DH and I have worked to pull up and break down the old, pre-2003 pressure treated wood grow boxes and replace them with 4' x 4' grow boxes constructed of 2"x 8"boards. Where each 4' x 16' grow box used to set 3 - 4' x 4' boxes will go in its place. Currently, three of the 4 completed boxes are sporting chicken wire covers that will provide protection from birds, squirrels and cats. I'm excited.
The tree stump that sat for so long in the corner of one grow box is waiting for our tree man to come with a stump grinder to grind out the stump for us or the grow box will be too shallow for most vegetables. I hope he comes soon as this box and the one behind it(which is only a mound of dirt right now)get the most light through out the day. One box is so shaded by the trees on the other side of the fence that it will have to wait until spring before I can plant in it. I have rolled the chicken wire over that box to keep the cats out of it.
Since I don't have quite enough dirt/compost to fill the boxes, my DH purchased a load of super compost to mix into each box. It's a combination of mushroom compost, composed horse manure, and ground up trees. (I'm not sure why the soil places around here are so intent on adding ground up trees to every compost mix they make, but they are).
They say it's not a "SFG" unless it has square foot designations. I looked at numerous options and decided that the cheapest 48"wide window blind at Walmart was the best option. I carefully screwed each strip down to the wooden frame so it wouldn't blow away. Hopefully, I won't be leaching PBA into my soil.
Things are looking GOOD!