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One more newbie advice topic....

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One more newbie advice topic....

Post  VintageHippie on 2/20/2012, 9:22 pm

As I said in an other post, hubby and I are new to SFG and are making a 5 year longitudinal plan for our garden. We're almost ready to build boxes and will (out of individual necessity) be enclosing it this year in a "dog kennel" type enclosure. We're considering a "single foot" around some of the "walls" as our bean, cukes, squash areas. Then, we're looking at boxes that are rectangular 2 ft by 6 ft that can be "moved" as we experiment with placement and evolve. Much of this year will be spent in trying to divest ourselves of our "row" mentality and learning which heirlooms we like best and want to continue, so this placement is VERY experimental.

However, it seems most people like the 4X4 square method. Do any of you have thoughts on style or square vs rectangle or should I just try this and see how it goes?

Thanks for all thoughts.


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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

Post  martha on 2/20/2012, 9:27 pm

Just make sure that you can reach the back of your squares. As long as you can reach all your plants, it doesn't matter. I have had 4X8 boxes that I have enjoyed. Last year for the first time, I had 4X12's and I don't like them. They look good, but believe it or not, I got annoyed at having to walk that far to get to the other side. If I had built 2X12's, it wouldn't have been a problem.

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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

Post  martha on 2/20/2012, 9:27 pm

By the way, forgive me, Embarassed.


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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

Post  elliephant on 2/21/2012, 7:35 am

I only have one 4x4. The rest are 2x8s or 2x10s. The reason is that I like to grow a lot of trellised veggies (tomatoes/peas/cucumbers/certain squash) and also because most of my boxes are up against the fence in order to not take away too much of our small backyard from the kids.

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Thoughts appreciated....

Post  VintageHippie on 2/21/2012, 10:57 am

I have 3 acres to utilize, which is wonderful. However, I am still experimenting, so I want to have things I can alter if needed. Plus, I wanted several trellised things, as well. I can also see not wanting one overly long. I'm glad to know there are people who like the 2 ft wide boxes, too. Seems that everyone I've "talked" to likes the 4X4s. I will be the first gardener in my area to use SFG, though many use containers which is somewhat similar. Thanks for chiming in. I really appreciate it.

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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2012, 11:29 am

A consideration in the narrower boxes is they may require watering more often with less soil space drying out more quickly than bigger boxes.

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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

Post  jpatti on 2/21/2012, 11:52 am

I have a 4 by 24 raised bed with a trellis along one of the 24 ends for vertical growing.

If doing again, I would do a 3 by 24, reason being, I can't really reach into the middle of the bed once I have stuff on the trellis.

I used to have eight 4 by 4s and this problem doesn't really crop up with a 4 by 4 because there's 3 sides to reach in from even if there's a trellis.

So my advice is if you go long, go a bit narrower.

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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

Post  boffer on 2/21/2012, 4:05 pm

Welcome to the forum, Vintage Hippie. Last year we had a forum member from Canada who went by Old Hippie!

It wasn't until boxes 13 and 14 that I finally made 4x4 boxes. All my boxes to date had been oddball sizes based on the used materials I had on hand. If I was starting from scratch and buying materials, I would make nearly all of them 4x4 because the uniformity makes them more versatile. It makes it easier and more efficient to use plastic for extending seasons, or shade cloth, or bug netting. I'm at the point where I think of the number of boxes, rather than squares for some veggies. For instance, I grow one box of carrots, three boxes of broccoli, and 1½ boxes of onions.

The exception would be 1x4 boxes for trellised plants. If a trellis is on a 4x4 box already, I can set the 1x4 along side the box and use the trellis from both sides. Or I can set up trellises independently of boxes wherever I want them, and then pick up and move the 1x4s to the trellis.

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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

Post  Goosegirl on 2/22/2012, 8:38 am

Except for one 1x1 box, all of mine are 4x3 or 4x6 due to the materials I scrounged. If I had it to do over again I would make the 4x6's only 3x6, because I am vertically challenged! On my eastern-most 4x6 I have 2 sides trellised, the north and the east side, in an L shape. At under 5' tall, it was very difficult to reach across the 4' span to the stuff in the middle!

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Re: One more newbie advice topic....

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