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I have no idea what I'm doing :D

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I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Kida on 1/13/2013, 10:26 pm

I've been trying to figure out what I want to plant and how to do it, but I've never had a successful garden before in my life, so everything is all in theory for me. Hard to apply to real life lol.

Anyway, here is my plan. I have two 4x4 beds with a huge archway of a trellis between them (really it's a cattle panel that's been prettied up around the egdes) I live in zone 8a if it helps.

broccoli Like a Star @ heaven celery Like a Star @ heaven peanuts Like a Star @ heaven pumpkin
tomato Like a Star @ heaven tomato Like a Star @ heaven green onions Like a Star @ heaven watermelon
carrots Like a Star @ heaven garlic Like a Star @ heaven spinach Like a Star @ heaven cantaloupe
tomato Like a Star @ heaven tomato Like a Star @ heaven lettuce Like a Star @ heaven pole bean

The second bed is mirror image of the first, substituting bell peppers for broccoli (only two people in our family of 6 eat it, but there is still hope for my boys). When the time comes, I'll replace the spinach and lettuce with onions, most likely texas grano.

I *just* read on the forums that I shouldn't have one tomato plant per square; that they need more space. I was hoping they would shade my spinach and lettuces to keep them hanging around a bit longer. Also, not all of the tomatoes are the same kinds. I'll have snow white, brandywine, amish paste, and one for sauces that I haven't decided on yet. Do I need to cut out some of my tomatoes so they have more room? I could grow two varieties in one bed and two in the other and just not have as many but I'm not sure if it's necessary. My family does a ton of canning, mostly tomatoes in various forms and I'd like to have enough to use my own and not buy any for the canning party this year hehe.

Any input is greatly appreciated. If I don't respond, I'll be back eventually. My mom and all three of my babies are under the weather at the moment.
Thanks!
P.S.- the stars are just to help break up the words, they seemed to run together and no amount of spaceing helped
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  donnainzone5 on 1/13/2013, 11:01 pm

Welcome aboard!

You'll want to plant your tallest crops on the north side of your raised beds. Melons can indeed be grown (trellised) on Mel's Tomato Towers, although some larger ones may need to be supported by... old pantyhose!

If you've not already done so, please read all New Square Foot Gardening.

We're all here to help you have a successful SFG!
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Lindacol on 1/14/2013, 12:08 am

welcome
I plant my tomatoes one to a square along one side of my bed. Make sure they are indeterminates, they are trellised and you keep them pruned and it works fine. My trellis (a piece of cattle panel) is along the west side and is about 5 ft long on the 8 ft side of my 4 x 8 bed.It works here in so CA zone 9b and provides some late afternoon shade.
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  walshevak on 1/14/2013, 7:53 am

Look behind the tomatos and you will see the trellis grid. I planted 1 per square on the north side. Tulle was draped on top to prevent birds from pecking the ripening tomatos and left open on the back to allow access.





in front of tomatos were basil, eggplant, edemame, and onions in a far corner
tomatos replaced a very early spring crop of sugar peas with lettuces and spinach in front.

another bed had an early crop of sugar snaps on a north trellis replaced by 2 cukes and 2 squares of pole beans.

Here is a cattle panel braced between 2 beds on the left was a bed of garlic and on the right was my melon bed. Right is the west side.
Since the garlic couldn't be harvested until mid summer, I planted a tomato in each of two buckets and set them at the base of the bed under the arch. Then I planted melons in the right bed. As you can see, tomatos and melons were starting to meet in the middle of the arch.



This is the other side of the melon bed planted with sugar baby watermelons and cantaloupes. Not wanting 1/2 of a perfectly good cattle panel trellis space to go to waste, I put 4 buckets of tomatos on the west side.



The bucket under the melon bed had armenian cukes in it. They also climbed the cattle panel and joined the melons on the edge.

Kay, also in zone 8A

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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  cheyannarach on 1/14/2013, 10:56 am

Kay, I always love looking at your pictures! Soo awesome!

I would say to keep the tomatoes one per square but to trellis them, and just let your melons flow out the side of the box. I also did one per square and kept the suckers under control (for the most part Wink ) and I had some 8 foot tall plants and lots of tomatoes before the deer ate them!
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing

Post  GloriaG on 1/14/2013, 1:17 pm

Hi kida,

Welcome to the forum. I live about an hour north-east of you near the top end of DFW airport.

I looked at your list and there are a couple of things you should be aware of. First - you have a mixture of both COOL weather and WARM weather crops. They don't grow at the same time of year here. Cool weather crops go in starting NOW! Warm weather crops won't go in for a few months. We have the advantage of being able to garden all year round in our area.

COOL WEATHER CROPS: Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, kale, onions, leeks, garlic, kohlrabi, pak choi, cilantro, collard greens, peas, etc.

WARM (summer) WEATHER CROPS: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, cantaloupes, summer squash, beans, corn, etc.

So - you can get more than one CROP from each square in your garden. First you plant the Cool weather crops then when they die out, plant the same square with your Warm weather crops, than in fall plant cool weather crops again.

Second - you want the vineing crops to wind up next to your panels unless you plan to add some other supports later. Ie. your tomatoes, melons and pole beans.

From your list the warm weather crops are: Pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupes and pole beans all of which vine. Tomatoes vine or semi-vine depending on variety you grow. Peanuts are bushy and should probably be near an outside corner of your box.

Cool weather crops are: Broccoli, spinach, garlic, onions and carrots. Broccoli and spinach are fairly quick to mature and free-up a square. Garlic, onions and carrots take longer.

Right now you need to plant: Onion sets and spinach seeds
February you need to plant: Broccoli transplants, carrot seeds, lettuce seed
March you plant: Pole been seeds, tomato transplants (you'll need to protect them)
Last week of March: plant peanuts - (it takes up to 130 days for peanuts to mature)
April you plant: watermelon and cantaloupe seeds, pumpkin seeds

Celery is a large bushy plant and must be started inside 8-10 weeks before it's ready to go outside. I plant it in both spring and fall, so you might want to start it inside and plan to plant it later. Once established outside, it can grow several seasons for you if you cut outside stalks when you need them and leave the central roots in the ground. If you cut all the stalks, it will still regenerate from the roots if you leave about 1.5" of stalk in the garden.

Everyone on the forum runs their garden a little differently, so you should get a lot of good ideas here.

If it were me, I would plant the onions, carrots and garlic around the OUTSIDE edge of your garden away from the cattle panels - that will free up space a little later. I would plant the spinach near the panels so that you can replace it with the vineing crops as soon as it dies back. This year I would purchase broccoli transplants rather than trying to start them yourself, because you're a little late starting them inside from seed.

Hope this helps.
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Kida on 1/14/2013, 4:01 pm

Thank you everyone! I was going off of a farmer's almanac site that said when to plant things for my zone and it said to plant spinach in mid february, broccoli at the very end of Jan, and virtually everything else at the end of March to beginning of April. According to it I was planning on starting my broccoli inside the week of January 31st or in the ground the week of March 7th.
How do I find out the correct info, I'm so confused No
And I own the book, but so far haven't had the time to do more than skim it. Hopefully everything will settle down soon and I can stop wiping butts and noses and go back to preparing for this spring hehe
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  plantoid on 1/14/2013, 4:13 pm

Kida ,
Making time for the book ...... A very very effective thing to do is :-
Try 15 min read a day all in one or better still :-

3 x 5 min sessions that take place during the day or into night right up to bed time.
or 2x 7.5 sessions
or
7 x 2 + 1 min

That way you not only get the book under your belt , it gives your brain time to assimilate it subconsciously so you remember it and know what it means .
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Kida on 1/14/2013, 4:42 pm

If I could squeeze two minutes at a time throughout the day it would be heaven.
In addition to the rabbits', chickens', and goats' daily requirements that stop for no one; my mom is in the hospital, my two year old is sick, and my twins are both teething and also sick. And my husband seems to have caught whatever it is everyone else has and has taken up residence in our bathroom and I'm thanking the gods for my immune system. And because I'm already on a roll, my grandparents, who usually lend a hand when things get out of control, both have the flu. Sorry for the rant. I'm just in over my head a bit and trying to distract myself with the gardens
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  camprn on 1/14/2013, 4:48 pm

@Kida wrote:If I could squeeze two minutes at a time throughout the day it would be heaven.
In addition to the rabbits', chickens', and goats' daily requirements that stop for no one; my mom is in the hospital, my two year old is sick, and my twins are both teething and also sick. And my husband seems to have caught whatever it is everyone else has and has taken up residence in our bathroom and I'm thanking the gods for my immune system. And because I'm already on a roll, my grandparents, who usually lend a hand when things get out of control, both have the flu. Sorry for the rant. I'm just in over my head a bit and trying to distract myself with the gardens
Take care of the things that need immediate attention and don't fret about the garden, you have some time.

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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  plantoid on 1/14/2013, 5:01 pm

Do indeed take care of yourself ..no missing meals or going thirsty etc.
Make it a rule to have a 20 minute session once a day all for yourself with your feet up .

My lass looked after me almost 24/7 & tried to carry on running the small mammal farm ofv several thousand small creatures plus a couple of thousand sales a week for the first 19 months when I first became disabled , it left her worse off than me for she didn't make time for herself at all .

Eventually the stress of the suituation took its toll and Alison had a nervous break down which slapped her down hard for 4 years or so.
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  llama momma on 1/14/2013, 5:29 pm

By the way Kida, I love the title you gave to this thread cuz
I relate to it very well!
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  GWN on 1/14/2013, 5:44 pm

Welcome Kida, and I have to ditto camprn's words
Take care of the things that need immediate attention and don't fret about the garden, you have some time.
I am so keen to get into the garden, I am creating more and more worm farms.... just go give myself something to do right now.

and remember "this too shall pass"
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Triciasgarden on 1/15/2013, 1:38 am

Welcome to the forum and my goodness, can things get any busier and exhausting! I hope your immune system doesn't fail you, lol! You probably don't have a chance to do much of anything right now but hopefully things will settle down a bit! You do need to take a little time, even if it is two extra minutes in a tub or shower! Hope things get better real soon for all your family and you can take a breather!
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Triciasgarden on 1/15/2013, 1:41 am

@plantoid wrote:Do indeed take care of yourself ..no missing meals or going thirsty etc.
Make it a rule to have a 20 minute session once a day all for yourself with your feet up .

My lass looked after me almost 24/7 & tried to carry on running the small mammal farm ofv several thousand small creatures plus a couple of thousand sales a week for the first 19 months when I first became disabled , it left her worse off than me for she didn't make time for herself at all .

Eventually the stress of the suituation took its toll and Alison had a nervous break down which slapped her down hard for 4 years or so.

Wow Plantoid, you guys have sure been through the ringer for quite awhile! I never knew nervous breakdowns hit so hard and long! You guys are sure tough, even though it doesn't feel like it!
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Lemonie on 1/15/2013, 12:55 pm

Welcome to your "SFG Family"! The most exciting part of all of this, is you have picked what many would call the easiest gardening method out there! cheers Plus, there are many little "big kid" tasks that your 2yr old might just be so happy to be "mommy's little gardener" and do for you. I have already started my 2yr old w/ carrying scraps and dumping in the compost pile, shredding paper to put on top, making toilet paper rolls into seed starting containers, and misting the seedlings. She also enjoys feeding the worms in the worm bin and helping sort seed packets and even count seeds. I have occasionally been known to make our daily reading times into "mommy's pick" and will read through a gardening book, magazine or other interest with her. Many times she'll sit there and point out things in the pictures and sometimes she'll grab one of her books to look at while I read aloud from mine. I hope that your crew is on the mend and feeling better very soon so that you can get some "me time". bottoms up
BIG hug
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  Kelejan on 1/15/2013, 2:29 pm

Kida you certainly have your hands full with all that is going on with your family. As others have said, look after yourself as much as you can, and I hope everyone gets better soon. Then you will be able to enjoy your SFGing more.

Lemonie I just love the way you are teaching your little one. I am sure that it will stay with her the rest of her life.
I well remember back when I was four years old, my dad giving me a potato to plant, watering it and watching it grow, then some time later digging it up and providing enough potatoes for the family Sunday dinner.
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  thegreatcob on 1/16/2013, 12:26 pm

you need go back basics in reference to the original post about plan.
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing :D

Post  camprn on 1/16/2013, 12:49 pm

@thegreatcob wrote:you need go back basics in reference to the original post about plan.
+1, Thanks for the reminder Cob! Let's all of us try to keep discussion focused in the threads.

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