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New Raised Beds: Branching out big time/Need to learn sooo much

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New Raised Beds: Branching out big time/Need to learn sooo much

Post  SherryM on 5/8/2012, 2:40 pm

I have a new garden design which allows me to garden more than just tomatoes and herbs. I need all the advice I can get!

I have three large trapezoid raised beds situated around a center pentagon with one layer and another layer which is also a pentagon centered in it. I also have one bed off to the side with 3 raspberry plants and a plan to dig into the ground around the back corner(not in a bed) for zucchini, cucumber (trellised) and patty pan squash.

I am using the square foot method but an confused by some conflicting information about how much to plant initially. I think that this is because in some cases in early May I will be starting with seed and thinning and in other cases starting with tiny plants. So would like some clarification of how much in each square...some I got from the book mentioned on this site. I also am unsure of yields.

Each word below represents a square foot and the juxtaposition of words is the rough layout.(didn't see how to upload spreadsheet with colors). I would like to know if anything shouldn't go where it is going and other comments. My house is on a hill and the deck overlooks the garden from above so dispersing the plants and creating a pattern will be nice.

Other details of interest:We are a family of 4. We like variety more than eating the same things. The arbor I own will have Jack Be mini Pumpkins, a flowering vine and maybe a grape one. (I live in NJ.)

See below 3 trapezoid raised beds-2 feet high, 1 central pentagon: two tiered, Back Corner in ground planting area and container ideas

Bed 1
Peas Beets
Beets Beets
Spinach Spinach Flower Beets/Spinach Spinach
Kale Spinach Chard Spinach Kale
Asparagus Kale Kale Kale Asparagus
Asparus Chard Kale Chard Asparagus

Bed 2
Pepper Eggplant* Pepper
Eggplant* Eggplant* Eggplant*
Basil Eggplant* Basil
Basil Pepper Tomato Pepper Basil
Basil* Thai Tomato Tomato Tomato Basil
Tomato Tomato Tomato Tomato Tomato

Bed 3
Bok Choi/Swiss Chard* Lettuce* Bok Choi Kale Bok Choi/Swiss Chard Lettuce* Edamame
Onion Arugala* Garlic Arugala* Onion Arugala* Onion
Arugula Lettuce Onion Lettuce* Scallions Lettuce* Arugala

In ground in back corner with some trellis:

Back Corner in ground some with trellis

Zucchini Cucumber Cucumber Patty Pan Squash*
Zucchini Patti Pan Squash

Pentagon Center: two tiers

Want to get a Meyer Lemon tree for center of pentagon...dwarf if possible

other: large bucket with dirt for shallots and another for potatoes and mint
Would like to try getting large bucket and attaching to chain link for zucchini to fall out of...will this work... nice effect to cover chain link in burlap and hand large pales with cascading plants...other edible plants this might work with?

Thanks for any comments! So happy to grow my knowledge and the plants!


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First Time Posting...really hope some of the 64 who viewed will please advise! Thanks.

Post  SherryM on 5/10/2012, 12:17 am

Thoughts on my plan are much appreciated! Thanks.

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Re: New Raised Beds: Branching out big time/Need to learn sooo much

Post  Turan on 5/10/2012, 12:51 am

So the asparagus are going into the opposite points of their trapezoids, right? Those will be good places to leave them alone, I assume then.
I hope you post a pic from your deck showing it planted. This is gonna look cool Cool

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Re: New Raised Beds: Branching out big time/Need to learn sooo much

Post  littlejo on 5/10/2012, 2:43 am

Looks like you are on the way to a big garden. I see that you have 5 eggplants. Do you'all eat a lot of this? I had 1 plant last yr. and still have some in the freezer.

If I can figure out the shape of a trapazoid? What are the lengths of the sides?

How big is the pentagon? Sides are equal, right?

Zucchini will grow wherever you put it, but will take over if you let it. You can train/tie to a stake and make it climb and you can trim leaves that are in the way of other plants.

I don't see any carrots or radishes. Green beans?

Looks good to me.


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Re: New Raised Beds: Branching out big time/Need to learn sooo much

Post  quiltbea on 5/10/2012, 10:41 am

Sherry, welcome. I'm ashamed to say that I'm too confused by your design to know what to say other than asparagus is a perennial and wherever you put them, they will be there for the next 15-20 years and get quite large.

A picture or two would certainly help.

Put your tall vining plants on the north side where you can put a trellis or two.

The numbers you can grow in a square foot are clearly defined in Mel's books. If you don't have one, then roughly: If your seed packet states to thin to 1 every 10"-12", then one per square (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts). If 8" apart I put in two diagonally. For 6" apart you can put 4 in a square. With 4" apart stick in 9 and with 2"-3" apart sow 16 seeds equally distant per square. It all depends on the final thinning.

If you are sowing leaf lettuce and some greens, that you can cut back again and again and it will regrow. I transplant 4 in a square and when they start crowding each other, I just cut one or two down to an inch above the soil line. In a couple weeks it'll start growing back quite nicely and you can cut down the other two before that happens.

You can tuck a lettuce plant or spinach under the leaves of a taller single plant like broccoli or cauliflower and the shade of that plant will keep it from bolting too early. They'll be harvested before the taller plant needs the space.

You can sow radishes between any plants and get some nice fruits in a little over a month. They, too, like the shade from a taller plant.

It looks like you'll have some good, fresh food when you are done. Good luck.

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Re: New Raised Beds: Branching out big time/Need to learn sooo much

Post  cheyannarach on 5/10/2012, 11:18 am

Wow your garden sounds awesome, I would love to see pictures!!!!!

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Re: New Raised Beds: Branching out big time/Need to learn sooo much

Post  SherryM on 5/18/2012, 9:21 am

Thanks to you all for your thoughts. I would like to take a picture and upload it, but don't see how to do it. I tried to copy in my excel/color highlighted spreadsheet that has a visual, but it didn't copy and paste well. I did see a good online software to use for this, but it had a fee. Another site offered a plotting method, but didn't have the variety of veggies. Please advise.

Thanks for the eggplant heads up. I didn't realize extent of the yield. I will plant 2 instead (one the regular shape and the other the asian long variety). Going out to plant some more now!


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