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My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

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My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  marasella on 4/19/2014, 12:38 am

I made my boxers 12" deep using Mel's Mix.  So I am wondering if I still need to allow 2 squares per certain plants, like summer squash, or can I plant one per deep 12" square? 
I don't know if the 2 squares allowance is for the roots, which would seem to be OK in one square if the boxes are deep like mine, or if it is about leaving room for the vine growth.  Thanks for any advice to this new SFGer on this perplexing matter.
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  brainchasm on 4/19/2014, 1:25 am

It's for the vine growth/green portion of a given plant.  Some things have big leaves and sprawl.

That being said, you can do nice big carrots and even potatoes now in your beds!

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Growing on trellis

Post  marasella on 4/19/2014, 2:10 am

@brainchasm wrote:It's for the vine growth/green portion of a given plant.  Some things have big leaves and sprawl.

That being said, you can do nice big carrots and even potatoes now in your beds!
Thanks for the quick response.  To be clear, I planned to grow the zucchini and summer squash on a trellis and my intent was to keep them to a single stem so I wasn't concerned with sprawl.  Also - I have read and re-read the entire book (2006 version) and have seen no mention of this although he did mention that 12" beds were not necessary in one chapter.  Could you please give me some reference for your answer?  I thank you again.
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  brainchasm on 4/19/2014, 2:46 am

Most zucchini are big, bushy, broadleafed cucurbits.  I'm not sure how well it could be trained up a trellis, but each variant is different I suppose.  They are known for getting big, and being prolific (wanna lose neighbors?  grow zucchini...and keep trying to give it away).



See?  Big!  That zucchini at the center is ripe and ready to be picked.  Yeesh, big plant!
As far as 12" beds, all of mine have been 12" deep of MM with 4" of sand below since the beginning.  I felt like I needed more water-retaining soil mass because of my extremely arid environment. Smile

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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  sanderson on 4/19/2014, 3:27 am

I grew summer squashes vertically last year. This year I have two in their own 10" pots and one in a corner square. They can fall over and do their thing, and I don't have to keep after them, tying them as they grow. I forgot how painful it was maneuvering the plants and getting stuck with their spines. If I grew them vertically again, I think I would allow 1 1/2 feet between and as they got taller and I removed lower stems, plant something small in the partial squares, like radishes or small lettuce. Summer squash roots only need one square, but the leaves can use more air space.
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  llama momma on 4/19/2014, 6:36 am

marasella  this is crookneck yellow squash in the corner of a 4 by 8 bed.  As it grew I kept pushing it slightly to train it over the side.  It somewhat obeyed but it's still a big wide plant as you can see.
I think it ended up owning at least 2- 1/2squares of space if not more.


Last edited by llama momma on 4/19/2014, 6:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : more info)
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  walshevak on 4/19/2014, 7:26 am

Planting in the middle of two outside edge or corner squares of my tabletops and encouraging the plant to grow over the edge seems to be the best for the rest of the plants in the bed.  Peppers or other tall plants seem to do well in the middle squares with the squash on the outside.

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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/19/2014, 8:43 am

Hi Marasella.   welcome 


I live in the SE and am pushing to see how much I can crowd into my boxes (i.e.  one watermelon per square).  I'll be taking pix as it goes and will post with notes on what's taking over where.
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  yolos on 4/19/2014, 10:40 am

It depends what variety of summer squash you are growing.  Yellow crookneck or straight neck squash will not really grow up a trellis.  They can be staked to keep them upright but they still have huge leaves.  Other types of summer squash are vines and can be trained up a trellis.  What exact variety of squash are you growing.

Yes the spacing is not for the root system but for the size of the plant on top of the ground.
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What does Mel say?

Post  marasella on 4/19/2014, 7:00 pm

Thanks to all for your responses.  Lots of good info there.  However, I still would like to know what Mel's opinion is on this quandary of mine. If Mel says 1 plant in 2 squares of a 6" box then what does Mel say about 1 plant in 1 square of a 12" box?  Can't find anything in the 2006 book which addresses this.  Does anyone know if it is mentioned in another edition of Mel's books?  Is there anyway to ask MEL directly?  Does he answer eMail?  Does anyone have access to him or his eMail address?  Thanks to anyone who can help me ask MEL this question and get MEL'S answer.
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/19/2014, 7:04 pm

if you can't get an answer from from Mel directly, just go ahead and do it. It will be like a fun experiment. What have you got to lose?
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  llama momma on 4/19/2014, 7:12 pm

Doesn't matter on the depth, the width of the plant will be huge either way!  Smile 

Mel has a blog but I just checked and it hasn't been updated for months.  If you want to take a look at it:

http://www.melbartholomew.com/got-a-question/

You could also look up at the green task bar above and maybe find a way to email them at the website/foundation.
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  recoush on 4/19/2014, 7:35 pm

http://inchsurvival.com/site/2013/04/square-foot-gardening-chart/#

does this help, 
their are many square foot gardening charts one above one choice for 1 square is eggplant  Very Happy
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Re: My box is 12" deep so can I ...?

Post  sanderson on 4/19/2014, 8:51 pm

Marasella,  Here are 3 photos of zucchini and yellow straight-neck squash from last year.  It was an experiment and I learned that it works.  Each had one corner square and were trained vertically.  In the last photo you can see that the leaf stalks spread out past the allotted single square.  Thank goodness they were in corner squares.   The beds are 7" high with 6" of beginner's poor quality Mel's Mix,





Gardening is an experience. If you have 6" of quality MM and grids, you can try to push the envelope in the name of experimenting. The book is written for success at gardening. But, no where does it say you can't walk on the wild side. If you don't try something unusual, you won't know if you can do it. Have fun.

This Forum gives folks an opportunity to talk about their successes, and their failures. Newbies and experienced folks alike.
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