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Plans, plans, plans!

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Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/15/2012, 4:57 pm

Hey folks, new guy here again. I'm still reading ANSFG; I've made it into chapter 6. I've also read a lot on the forums, and I know there are some experts here. I hope y'all don't mind giving me some tips along the way.

A week ago, I had a plan for a raised bed garden using landscaping timbers and a whole lot of bags of soil from Lowe's. In the last week, I learned about SFG, and my plans have changed completely... a couple of times!

So, here's what I've got so far, I'm posting this because I want tips and feedback. Please feel free to say what you think.

I've got this unused, south facing patio that gets a lot of constant and direct sun from late morning through early afternoon. It also gets indirect sun in the early morning and late afternoon because of trees to the east and the west.

Now, I want to learn to garden to offset some grocery costs by growing my own herbs and vegetables. However, if it turns out that I am really lousy at gardening, or I don't have as much time for it as I thought, I don't want to have dedicated half the yard to such a failure. That leaves me with the idea of a few tabletop gardens on that south facing patio.



I had it mapped out on some graph paper, but I figured I'd draw it out on the patio with sidewalk chalk just to make sure they would fit the way that I wanted. They didn't, so I made a couple of the boxes smaller. (I also screwed up my measurement in blue, so the green is the actual size. Embarassed )

Here's the graph paper version:



Where the giant bush is in the photo, I plan to have a box on the ground just for sunflowers. My four year old son is excited, as those are his, "favorite flowers EVAR!!" The circle in the corner is Barry the Rain Barrel. He's hiding behind the wall in the photo, but he'll be moved to the patio when we get the boxes built.

I have a list of what we'd like to grow in this garden, but I'm going to post a pic of that later, once I figure out how to make the cool SFG layouts like other people have posted.

What do you think of my plan?
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  camprn on 2/15/2012, 4:59 pm

Brilliant!!!!! What a Face love the chalk! Ok so...
Do you have any questions about the NEED for the 5 composts to make Mel's Mix? Do you understand the fundamental principal of SFG that you will be using no DIRT of SOIL? Do you have easy access to water for your garden beds?

Suggestions: what vegetables does the family like to eat? What do they want to try? Do you want to preserve some of the harvest? Wink

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Planting Plan

Post  B00kemdano on 2/15/2012, 5:26 pm

Here's a pic of my planting plan.



This includes everything that we currently buy at the grocery store. I have four squares of summer squash because the thingy didn't have zucchini, so two of those will be zucchini. When I cook, I put onions and garlic in just about everything, so tons of that is a-ok!

Our water source will be the rain barrel in the corner, and there's a hose around back that we'll use for back-up, though I plan to put in a second rain barrel.

I've got compost in my yard that's ready to go, I have a church friend bringing me some horse manure that may or may not be composted, I'll just have to wait and see! I know where to get other composted manures at a local feed and seed, as well as vermiculite, and Lowe's has the big bales of peat. I think I'm all set on the MM, I just need to go get the components.
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/15/2012, 5:31 pm

Oh, and all these tables will be 2' high so my four year old and two year old can help / watch everything grow. (hopefully! )
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  plantoid on 2/15/2012, 6:18 pm

That grid under the window.. what is it? Air con exhaust ?... if so it might get a wee bit too warm next to there when the air con is on full blast in high summer , it certainly was too hot on my father in laws unit
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/15/2012, 6:21 pm

Yes, that's an AC unit. The coil is on the right 2/3 of it, though, so it kind of blows away from where the tables will be. I was trying to stay away from it, which is why the table against the house is shorter than I had originally planned.

Do you think the right table is too close? The end of it will be about 32 inches from the house.
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  plantoid on 2/15/2012, 6:40 pm

If the air is hot and still ( no breeze ) you will develop quite a hot area around the whole exhaust area .

Eric's air con was a bit self defeating for it blew the air up but on hot days the ground just added to the heat going into the aircon so it got even hotter.

It was uncomfortable to sit and sip brandy sours within 8 feet of his so on that one you need to think how your beds are going to be set up and will they make an air dead spot that will heat up from the air con and sun . I'm guessing that it will heat up . Could you put that bed on heavyduty braked castors so if you do find it getting too hot you can wheel it to one side with the minimum of fuss?

I have three five foot high four drawer filing cabinets , three large transport crates and a 12 inch bladed heavy duty contractors saw bench all on 2 x 2 right angle steel frames which are mounted on four inch wheeled lockable full swivelling castors so I can empty my garage in a few minutes . The cabinets weigh in at over 300 pounds each as they hold most of my engineers tools.the castors are rated at 500 pounds each ( got them off the " UK eBay " )
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/15/2012, 7:25 pm

Hi B00kemdano,
I'd move the squash and zucchini to the North end of the bed and add trellising for them. I'm not sure what some of the other plants are, but try to avoid placing taller plants where they'll shade others.
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/16/2012, 8:59 am

I'm so new at gardening, that I don't know what plants need to climb. Wink I figured I'd do some last minute moving them around once I bought the plants and seeds.

Thanks for the tips! Keep 'em comin!
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/16/2012, 10:40 am

I've been reading a little about strawberries this morning. Are they really invasive? What about herbs? Should I be concerned about them trying to take over adjacent squares?
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  JK on 2/16/2012, 11:00 am

I do not speak from experience but everything I have read both on the forum and elsewhere says Mint and horseradish are extremely invasive. Not sure what all you plan on growing. I hope to plant some mint this year but I am taking all the warnings to heart and keeping it away from my boxes and keeping it in a pot.

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A few comments

Post  CharlesB on 2/16/2012, 11:13 am

I'm sure you'll be moving things around a lot before you get to spring but a few considerations.

The carrot and celery in box three can come up to the front (front as in the southern most position). Your broccoli will take all their sun. (Unless you are in a very hot climate and that was the plan)

Might want to throw a few companion plants in there like Borage and Marigold. Bring in beneficial insects. Won't need a lot the first year, maybe just give a square to each one.

It's always a big experiment, which is the fun part of it. So you'll see in short order what is working and what isn't then your next plan get's adjusted.

I knew a month after planting my first SFG about 10 things I wasn't going to grow any more and a few surprises I was ALWAYS going to grow :-).
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/16/2012, 11:58 am

More tips! I love it. Very Happy

Here's my revised map. I put the strawberries in their own single square, as well as added another one for mint - they didn't have a mint icon, so I just used strawberry again.

I also added a couple more herbs in #4, but I might leave one of them out and just put in some flowers, since we don't actually use dill.

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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  walshevak on 2/16/2012, 2:47 pm

Danger, danger Will Robinson. Plant the mint in it's own freestanding pot. Mint is highly invasive. Will take over everything. Use that square for more strawberries.

Kay

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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  camprn on 2/16/2012, 5:54 pm

@walshevak wrote:Danger, danger Will Robinson. Plant the mint in it's own freestanding pot. Mint is highly invasive. Will take over everything. Use that square for more strawberries.

Kay
+1

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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  TN_GARDENER on 2/17/2012, 10:54 am

@camprn wrote:
@walshevak wrote:Danger, danger Will Robinson. Plant the mint in it's own freestanding pot. Mint is highly invasive. Will take over everything. Use that square for more strawberries.

Kay
+1

+2

In fact I was going to suggest that if you lived within a few miles of one another, all you had to do was just let the mint spread and you'd have mint in no time. Very Happy

Mint = separate container

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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  quiltbea on 2/17/2012, 10:59 am

Plant your mint in a pot to keep it controlled.
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/17/2012, 11:35 am

@TN_GARDENER wrote: ...snip.....In fact I was going to suggest that if you lived within a few miles of one another, all you had to do was just let the mint spread and you'd have mint in no time. Very Happy

Mint = separate container

That's how I got my bed of mint.
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  ksbmom on 2/17/2012, 11:55 am

I had mint in a pot next to my SFG before I transplanted it to the front yard. Today when I went out to the SFG, I noticed MINT growing right next to the box where the pot had been. Should I yank it out? My SFG is lined with plastic.....
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  TN_GARDENER on 2/17/2012, 12:10 pm

@ksbmom wrote:I had mint in a pot next to my SFG before I transplanted it to the front yard. Today when I went out to the SFG, I noticed MINT growing right next to the box where the pot had been. Should I yank it out? My SFG is lined with plastic.....

I would. As you can see, mint can be quit invasive. It somehow got from your pot to the ground near your garden (that ought to tell you something).

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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/17/2012, 2:35 pm

Very Happy

Got it! Plant mint in its own vault. Check!
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 2/17/2012, 2:39 pm

I have the same invasive thing going on with Oregano... It now is in the corner of my herb garden. That contains it on two sides anyway.
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/17/2012, 5:06 pm

Picked up some lumber today, and built my boxes. I still have to put legs on them, put some 2x4 braces in the middles, then landscape and hardware fabrics on the bottom.

I also stopped by the neighborhood nursery and they were somewhat familiar with SFG. They are sold out of vermiculite, but they'll have some on the Wednesday truck... I don't know if I can wait that long Very Happy . On the up side, they have a variety of composts that they say are top quality, vegan rated organic composts. Turkey manure, worm castings, mushroom compost, and a few other odd ones that I can't remember. Razz Plus, they're right down the street, so I don't have to drive all the way across town. AND, it's a locally owned, one of a kind place, and I'd rather support those than the big box stores!
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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  camprn on 2/17/2012, 5:41 pm

FABULOUS!!! What a Face

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Re: Plans, plans, plans!

Post  B00kemdano on 2/17/2012, 6:57 pm

Progress! I (and my helpers) have more work to finish the boxes, but there's the first one. It's a couple inches higher than I originally planned, but they will still be able to see what's happening in the TT SFG. Razz

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