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Groups or scattered

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Groups or scattered

Post  ETNRedClay on 4/27/2014, 9:37 pm

I know a lot of people scatter their plants through out the bed, onions here, onions there, and although it beautiful that way and has benefits like hiding from pests, I'm one who is WAY too OCD for that and have enough beds that they are mostly sorted by TYPE that I rotated from last year.  Yeah, I know, very row-gardener-ish, but it's still ANSFG enough with MM and grids! 

Most beds below are 4x8-ish:
1) Alliums - onions, shallots, garlic, leeks
2) Beans - bush, pole
3) Peppers - sweet, hot, basils
4) Roots & Bulbs - carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, beets, Kohlrabi
5) Salad Greens #1 -- lettuce, romaine, mesculan, arugula, spinach, spring peas
6) Salad Greens #2 in elevated concrete mixing tubs -- succession planting more lettuce & toy lettuce, more kinds of spinach, toy Romaine, Toy Choi, microgreens, corn salad, parsley, etc.
7) Irish Potatoes -- Yukon Gold & Red Norlands with more lettuce hiding on the north side
Cool Goard Family in deck containers -- summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins, cukes, melons, planted with radishes and fast-growing turnips
9-10) Misc. 1 & 2 -- kale, collards, Chinese cabbage, one Roma tom, chard, okra, more shallots, artichoke, one eggplant (to trap flea beetles), and broccoli.

Scattered throughout are planted pansies, marigolds, borage, annual herbs, and salvia.

SO the question is: for those who plant in groups, do you fertilize differently for different plant families?  So far, I'm just using my 9-blend compost for every bed.  I'm assuming it will be better for some plants than others and I'm prepared to give a bed help as needed...  if it's needed...

Thoughts?

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/27/2014, 10:14 pm

I fertilize differently for leaf crops (more nitrogen) and fruiting crops (too much nitrogen can lead to blossom end rot and delay fruit set).

Also, a crop like onions, from what I've read (first year growing them) is supposed to not be watered for a while once the bulbs are matured, as part of the process preparatory to picking and drying them. So if I want dry soil around my onions, that dry soil may be bad for my other plants.

If my onions were mixed in with my other veggies as companion plants, to repel certain bugs, like some people do it, I'd be facing a different situation and I'm not sure what I'd do. Probably do things that favored the other crop rather than the onions.

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/27/2014, 11:21 pm

Growing beds in our Back garden

4x8 broccoli meant for just broccoli.....but.... transplanted some celery seedlings in squares that lost a seedling of broccoli ( this bed will also be for fall broccoli)

4x10 meant for just cauliflower & cabbage....but.... transplanted with bok choi & onions when a square was lost of cauliflower (this bed will also be for fall cauliflower & cabbage)

3 3x5 beds of potatoes (for fall in these beds we will have beets, carrots, turnips) 

along our back fence was meant for 6 top hats of carrots with onions & leeks in between the top hats....but had a few left over potato seeds so we stuck some in this area as well (for fall it will have leeks, onions and carrots again)

in our side of the house SFG

we transformed our old 1x6 SFG bed to a larger herb garden and are now working on filling it

we also have 2 4x4 beds that I think of as salad beds with.....first bed has lettuce, spinach, radishes and the second bed has onions, sugar snap peas, celery and carrots......when the weather warms the first bed will be turned into a three sisters garden with squash, corn and beans......the second bed will continue to grow what it has it in now but we will add some spinach, lettuce in the middle of the bed for shade and also add tomato peppers to it so it will continue to be our salad bed....

Our front yard growing area

we added 4 new fruit trees last year and have all kinds of things growing in ground among the flowers, shrubs and trees we have strawberries, garlic, artichokes, leeks, onions, kale, cabbage, bok choi.....we also have flowers, herbs, carrot and lettuce in a 4 tier SFG bed and pots with mints and herbs in them....and plan on planting a lot more for this summer......

I like having beds that are meant for just one type of crop because we like to harvest a large amount of veggies at the same time so we can store it for winter use......and I like being able to put in a few things here and there when something is lost due to pesky critters......one of the awesome benefits of SFG  Very Happy 

so to answer your question  rofl *for those who plant in groups, do you fertilize differently for different plant families?*  yes  Very Happy when needed

happy gardening
rose

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  walshevak on 4/28/2014, 3:54 am

Because I have my beds wrapped up in tulle for both bug and flying seed control, I tend to group the beds according to whether they need bees for pollination.  I can open up the tulle to allow for pollination and still protect my non blooming plants.

I did use a bloom booster on broccoli when I was trying to force the bloom ahead of hot weather.  1/2 strength carefully poured at the base of each plant.

Kay

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  camprn on 4/28/2014, 6:30 am

Groups, for similar reasons that Marc expressed.

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  boffer on 4/28/2014, 8:59 am

SO the question is: for those who plant in groups, do you fertilize differently for different plant families?

There are pros and cons to both methods. I don't fertilize when I group plant.

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/28/2014, 9:53 am

My first year I grouped like with like. Have a touch of the OCD as well. As I am trying to lay out my garden this year using what I learned last year, I really wanted to incorporate a lot of companion planting. Sounded simple enough. ......  Not so much for me I guess. When I got out the charts, started looking at crop rotation, pest control for brassica, pollination, vertical crops and shading, and the locations and sizes of the gardens I have, not to mention my strawberry bed is in one of my beds and apparently a lot of plants don't like strawberries. Argh!   Evil or Very Mad  thinking  Evil or Very Mad  I ended up with a terrible headache. I'm still trying to mix things up a bit, but I can't figure out how to create those beautiful gardens you see with a flower here and a veggie there. For me it's been like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the cover of the box.  silly me  I'm not giving up on it. Will just have to be practical about it. I don't use fertilizers, just top or side dress with compost and alfalfa pellets. Seems to work for all the plants.

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  sanderson on 4/28/2014, 11:56 am

@lyndeeloo wrote: I'm still trying to mix things up a bit, but I can't figure out how to create those beautiful gardens you see with a flower here and a veggie there. For me it's been like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the cover of the box.  silly me 

Ditto. I'd love to have a "pretty" garden. Still working on it.

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  camprn on 4/28/2014, 12:57 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@lyndeeloo wrote: I'm still trying to mix things up a bit, but I can't figure out how to create those beautiful gardens you see with a flower here and a veggie there. For me it's been like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the cover of the box.  silly me 

Ditto.  I'd love to have a "pretty" garden.  Still working on it.
Typically when they shoot photos for catalogs and the like, all those plants are in pots and just get moved around.

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/28/2014, 1:50 pm

Thanks sanderson and camprn. I feel much better about my garden

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Groups or scattered

Post  GloriaG on 4/28/2014, 2:09 pm

Recently, I have been using groups. 

In the beginning I planted each square with a different plant. But since I garden year-round, as the first set of plants finished, I was always getting in trouble with squares opening-up behind tall plants or conversely, tall plants I needed to put in that would wind up in front of short plants.

Too much work for me to figure out a rotation that would keep short plants always in front so I went with grouping.   I also found that it was easier to plant several squares together rather than have to reach behind a mature plant to put in a seedling.

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Re: Groups or scattered

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/28/2014, 3:32 pm

I group the leafies so I can cover them to keep the dreaded cabbage caterpillar off.  I also find that it's easier to sprinkle DE for slugs this way.  Since most of them are 3 season crops, I sometimes use a bit of urine and/or compost tea on them if it looks like they need it later in the season.

Everything else gets scattered, more or less. 

I was very glad to have my tomatoes grouped by type but scattered in different boxes last year.  When the cherries got the early blight, none of the others did.  When the heirlooms started turning a bit yellow, none of the others did.  These needed baby aspirin but not those, that group needed compost tea but not this, etc.

Other than that, I pretty much plops em where I can find space.  Even though I've made up a plan ahead of time, the final layout never really turns out much like the original plan.   Laughing

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