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What would you do?

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What would you do?

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 3:54 pm

Goals:

  1. Wide variety, no fruit or veggie disliked by me, my husband on the other hand thinks that peas and corn are the only types, lol, thank goodness he is the only kid I have to worry about.
  2. Harvest as much as possible, for eating and storing.

Weather conditions:

  • Pacific Northwest - Hardiness Zone 7B
  • At this time of year these boxes get about 16 hours of sun (6a-10p).

Garden Design:



Other Information:

The boxes are lined with landscaping fabric, have half-inch drain holes drilled in the bottoms, and are filled with about a foot of better than average potting soil.  They were constructed with cedar 1 x 6 fencing board, cedar 4 x 4 corner supports, 3-in deck screws, and plywood for the bottom of 2 of them, the mid size box has our old cedar fence gate on the bottom.  Each frame is about 2-in off of the ground and the bottoms all have cedar 4 x 4's holding them up, except the gate (it is about 4-in thick).  Each box currently has sisal marking off the squares and half-inch soaker hoses running down the center of each square.  Unfortunately, they were built, filled and currently planted in, before I understood this method of gardening (and still learning); I did however, manage to get the square foot part down, lol.  So, I imagine that the first order of business will be to top fill the boxes with Mel's Mix (there is plenty of room to do this without removing any of the current soil), as my dear neighbor Boffer pointed out.  Smile


What would you plant and where would you put it?

  1. Spring?
  2. Summer?
  3. Fall?


Love to hear your ideas!!   I am a bit overwhelmed right now, lol.
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Re: What would you do?

Post  nurzemjd on 6/19/2013, 6:17 pm

Hmmmm, too many questions; I suppose.
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Re: What would you do?

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/19/2013, 6:33 pm

I think your questions just too big as well as specific to your personal tastes and area.  They would best be answered in the ANSFG book, and by making a list of what you and your family like to eat.  That way you will know what to plant when, and where to plant it.

You don't have to plant all of it if it seems overwhelming. A plant or here, a few seeds there. It not a mad rush, unless you want it to be. I like my garden to be more of a meditation than a chore.

Have fun planning and enjoying your garden! Very Happy

CC
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Re: What would you do?

Post  Lillyz on 6/20/2013, 1:41 am

I agree with CC, I plant what I like to eat. No use planting, tending stuff that Im not going to eat or give away. I planted just one square with spinach but I think Im going to do 5 squares this fall. I was able to cut the outer leaves for salads, but it bolted this week. Tomatoes are starting to come in, but not as fast as I would like Smile. This is my first year with the new SFG method and I LOVE it. Next on my agenda is going to buy some more compost, buying cause mine isnt ready yet and because we are heading into the hottest part of summer and I want to use it as mulch. Also, going to order some garlic..
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Re: What would you do?

Post  LittleGardener on 6/20/2013, 6:46 am

@nurzemjd wrote:
Wide variety, no fruit or veggie disliked by me,
my husband otoh thinks peas and corn are the only types, lol, thank goodness he is the only kid I have to worry about.
What would you plant? Love to hear your ideas!!
Hi again Smile
Starting your hubby off on Heirloom (non-gmo) corn & peas is great! Next, plant what you will enjoy... & he too will try tasting, & prolly like too. Nutritionally you can focus on the mustard/Brassica-veggies for greatest benefit, you know foods like Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, radishes, & Spinach. Add some garlic too.
Speaking of phytochemicals, while tomatos are also eaten for its Lycopene - actually red seedless watermelon has 40% more of it, more bio-available in its raw, unprocessed state.
Sharing this one example because most people comparison-shop for their clothes, cars, & house much more carefully, than they do the foods they eat, or grow expecting to nourish... them.
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Re: What would you do?

Post  boffer on 6/20/2013, 9:59 am

@nurzemjd wrote:...Goals:

  1. Harvest as much as possible, for eating and storing.

...What would you plant and where would you put it?

  1. Spring?
  2. Summer?
  3. Fall?


You recognize that we have three planting seasons.  Their growing times overlap, so we have to dedicate X amount of space to cool crops (spring and fall) and Y amount of space for warm crops (summer).

Maxing your harvest will require some compromise.  Corn is a poor return on your investment: one square of corn is one meal for one person at my house.  Tomatoes, on the other hand, will provide many pounds of fruit from one square.  (Of course, keeping hubby happy is a priority too!  Decisions, decisions!)

I have three lists I use for planting planning.

Veggies I can count on to produce in the volume I want for storage:
broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sunchokes, and green beans

Veggies that I've gotten large harvests from at least one year, but can't count on yet. I'm experimenting with them:
corn, tomatoes, beets, potatoes, peppers, and squash

Veggies I enjoy fresh, for variety, or novelty:
bok choy, various greens, tomatillos, kolhrabi, turnips, cucumbers, garlic, peas, radishes

Nice to know (or maybe not!):  You're not going to figure all this out in one year, so relax, experiment, have fun, and plan on making gardening a lifetime learning experience.
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Re: What would you do?

Post  gwennifer on 6/20/2013, 10:40 am

Hi nurzemjd!  I saw this last night and was going to respond much like boffer just did.  First, it is overwhelming trying to figure out how to make the most of each square.  It can be paralyzing, actually.  It's important to just dive in and realize you're going to make some mistakes and could have done some things differently for better results.  Don't let that happen!  You need to learn as you grow.

Second, even if you do plant things properly according to space and sun and seasonal requirements, realize that you cannot control the weather and you'll have limited control over the critters.  Things will not always go as planned.

Now, recognizing the seasons is an important step.  Like boffer said, they overlap!  Don't think you'll be able to get three crops from each square.  For instance, things like garlic and onion sets can go in in the winter after you've pulled fall crops or long season summer crops.  But they won't be harvested until the next summer.  So you won't get a spring crop from any squares containing those, and can likely count out most of the summer crops as well.  Make a list of the things you want to be able to grow, and figure out how to sort them into spring/fall crops and summer crops.  Be okay with some squares being empty sometimes.

I think your giant bed would make an excellent corn patch!  And for storage I believe beans and tomatoes are the ones I see on here being canned the most.  Beans and sugar pod peas are prolific.  Potatoes are great for a good yield and can also be stored for quite some time.  Squash can be stored as-is, no canning needed.  They are long season, so I'm trying starts from the nursery this year and seeing how they do.

Good luck and happy gardening!
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Plan now for fall/winter crops

Post  Cheryl5 on 7/3/2013, 12:12 am

I'm coming to this discussion late (just joined today!), so you probably have your summer garden all planted.  I would encourage you, though, to figure out where you can put fall/winter crops.
Do you have any squares you didn't plant yet?  Carrots might be a good thing to put in.  Or you could do several squares of Brussels sprouts.
Is there any part of your garden where you could rig up a cold frame or some other cover?  I like broccoli in a cold frame during the winter better than in my summer garden because it doesn't get caterpillars on it!
Use at least some squares to plant kale.  Start it mid-July, and you'll still be harvesting next spring.
I hope that helps!
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Re: What would you do?

Post  Nicola on 7/4/2013, 9:28 am

@Cheryl5 wrote:I'm coming to this discussion late (just joined today!), so you probably have your summer garden all planted.  I would encourage you, though, to figure out where you can put fall/winter crops.
Do you have any squares you didn't plant yet?  Carrots might be a good thing to put in.  Or you could do several squares of Brussels sprouts.
Is there any part of your garden where you could rig up a cold frame or some other cover?  I like broccoli in a cold frame during the winter better than in my summer garden because it doesn't get caterpillars on it!
Use at least some squares to plant kale.  Start it mid-July, and you'll still be harvesting next spring.
I hope that helps!
Cheryl5, welcome  to the   forum!
You kinda snuck in here with some good advice for nurzemjd!

(Btw, nurzemjd I'm not sure I actually said it before: glad you\'re here to you, too.)
I still need to figure out how to make a cold frame with the scraps I do have around here. Kale in winter is great, and I'd like to try growing broccoli& Brussels sprouts, as well.
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