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Layout of first time garden

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Layout of first time garden

Post  paul5150 on 8/11/2015, 3:32 pm

I am excited to start my own garden for the first time. I am a little confused on how I should plant everything so hopefully you guys can help me out. I am in Central Florida and I am doing two raised beds that are 2'x6' with trellis netting along one side. My main question is should I alternate the plants when planting or keep the same types of plants together? For example, along one side should I go tomato, cucumber tomato, cucumber or would it be better to go tomato, tomato, cucumber, cucumber?
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/11/2015, 5:04 pm

Hi Paul, happy hi welcome to the forum!

I don't think it really matters what order you put them in. But I have 2 Delicata squashes and then 2 Sungold tomatoes. My thought was that I didn't want a tomato plant to be shaded out by the squash leaves so I placed the toms on the sunnier side of the row.


I'm sure others will chime in if they know any reason why it should be done in a certain way.
CC

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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/11/2015, 5:28 pm

Either way can work. You may have to worry about shorter plants getting shaded out by taller ones if you plant crops of very different heights or widths. Then again, some plants thrive with a little shade. My peppers do better when shaded by my bush beans or tomato plants, for instance. I wouldn't be surprised if some bush cucumbers reacted similarly, as they can be very water-hungry and water-sensitive.
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/11/2015, 5:45 pm

Welcome from Ohio, John!

I put my tomatoes together and squash together. Carrots next to squash got shaded out and got 1 carrot...Trellised pole beans obviously together. I put my potatoes on either side of the tomatoes, which made for a lot of foliage, but relatively the same height. Some of the Swiss Chard, which was in front of the pole beans got shaded out too, especially near the giant squash.

I will put the carrots, beets, onions, adjacent next year. Trial and error to some extent!
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  sanderson on 8/11/2015, 7:18 pm

Paul,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here  With ANSFG, it isn't that important (a few exceptions) as to what you plant in one square and then the next square.  Tomato plants can spread out further than their square so some folks plant one every other square with little crops in between, such as basil, bok choy, radishes or leaf lettuces.  Just personally, I like to have the cucumbers in the same area so if they get powdery mildew or spider mites, I can treat just that grouping.  You will find you own rhythm through trial and error.  Oh, boy do we have stories of errors! Embarassed And we share them all. Very Happy

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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/12/2015, 8:23 am

Hi Paul.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA.  Glad you're here!

As you've read, there are pluses & minuses to either way.  One thing to think about is confusing bugs.  I try to plant separately to keep bug damage down.  I also try to plant companions that will help protect them.

But I know a lot of folks on here plant in groupings....

The thing to do is experiment and see how it goes.  Keep good notes.  And let us know what happens in YOUR garden!  (Pictures are good, hint, hint.)
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  paul5150 on 8/12/2015, 9:41 am

Thanks for all the help guys it is greatly appreciated! I think I am going to try separating them to see how that goes the first time around. I like the idea for trying to control pests. Whether it works or not I guess I will see lol. Here is a picture of my planned layout: 




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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  trolleydriver on 8/12/2015, 11:35 am

Why not separate them in one box and combine similar plants side by side in the other box? That way you can experiment using both methods to determine if one way is better than the other.
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  sanderson on 8/12/2015, 5:55 pm

Cherry tomatoes and other indeterminate tomatoes can really get bushy. Maybe those should be planted at either ends of the trellises?? Cucumbers can be planted 2 per square. Please share photos of your journey.

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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  BeckieSueDalton on 8/15/2015, 12:55 pm

Hi Paul.  Welcome to the forums.  Smile

I like trolleydriver's idea of doing T-C-T-C in your first box and T-T-C-C in your second box so you can see what works best in your yard.  In my own experience in this, my first year of gardening, I've found that pests and diseases seem to spread faster with my layout - same things as immediate neighbors - so next year I'm going to make a few 2x4 boxes w/ trellis for the sunny side of my house so I can stagger plant the tall things.

Good luck with your garden!
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  brianj555 on 9/9/2017, 10:23 am

My garden layout! ( below). Any suggestions that could improve this arrangement for next year would be appreciated.

(Corrected)


Last edited by brianj555 on 9/9/2017, 10:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I had south where it should have said west. I fixed it.)
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/9/2017, 10:30 am

Okay color me confused. But is south on the left side of the bed and not at the top? and the top of the graph is really West?


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 9/9/2017, 10:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  brianj555 on 9/9/2017, 10:32 am

CapeCoddess wrote:Okay color me confused. But is south on the left side of the bed and not at the top?
Oops.  A mistake on my artwork Embarassed where it says south should have said west.  I corrected and replaced it.  Thanks for noticing!
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/9/2017, 10:44 am

Looks good to me. The leafy greens will be planted first in the spring and have time to grow. Then the hot weather veggies will grow up and shade them for the hot summer. I like it.

Not sure about the corn tomato mix but others can chime in on that.
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  brianj555 on 9/9/2017, 11:05 am

brianj555 wrote:My garden layout! ( below). Any suggestions that could improve this arrangement for next year would be appreciated.

(Corrected)
Surrounding structures. I'm standing on the east side.

Pic taken at 10 am (us central)
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  brianj555 on 9/9/2017, 11:11 am

CapeCoddess wrote:Looks good to me. The leafy greens will be planted first in the spring and have time to grow. Then the hot weather veggies will grow up and shade them for the hot summer. I like it.

Not sure about the corn tomato mix but others can chime in on that.

Yes.  I am very much with you on the Corn thing.  If you will notice in the pic above, showing the surrounding structures, I have another box on the south side.  My plan is to move the corn, next year, into the west side of the south box, getting them away from the tomatoes, cukes, and what will be other climbing vining plants.  I will be running Mel's trellis design across the north box several times to support those climbing vine plants. (Tom, cukes, pole beans, sugar snap peas , ect)
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/9/2017, 4:07 pm

I think that reaching through the corn to tend and harvest those middle tomatoes is going to be awkward; I think your plan to have them in the other box instead is a good idea.

I've tried the carrot arrangement you have shown. It didn't work for me with summer/fall-sown carrots because the tomatoes created too much shade -- but it might work with spring-sown carrots.
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/9/2017, 4:32 pm

Correct Beetles...my spring sown carrots behind my tomatoes are the best I've ever had.
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Tentative Spring 2018 Garden Layout

Post  brianj555 on 10/2/2017, 3:49 pm

I am hoping to get some input, thoughts, opinions and suggestions about this projected garden layout from those of you with more experience than me.  I understand there are pros and cons of planting crops together and separating them. I have put all of my tomatoes together so I can trellis them.  I will be making four 6' trellises spanning the width of my north bed. They will run between rows 2 & 3, 4 & 5, 6 & 7 and 8 & 9.  I don't know if this trellis layout will work either.  For wxample, there will be 8 indeterminate plants running up one 4' x 6' trellis.  I can make them strong enough to hold them, but I'm wondering if they will be too crowded that way???



Should I change my plans to separate crops in your opinion?
Do you think the trellis system will work that way?
Are the crops set up right considering geography and direct sun or shade needs?  
I appreciate you taking a look at it for me.
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  sanderson on 10/2/2017, 4:28 pm

Brian, I would allow 2 squares for each indeterminate tomato, and limit each plant to the mother stem and one or 2 secondary sucker stems. Also, stagger the plants like one color on a checkerboard.

What say others?

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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 10/2/2017, 4:59 pm

I agree with Sanderson on 2 sq/indeterminate tomato, so that each 'square' of trellis is only getting one tomato, not two (and each row is getting 4, not Cool. And on the mother stem plus 1 (or 2) secondary. I do think they will be too crowded otherwise.

I'd keep the cucumbers next to each other, and the corn as a block. People on the forum have noticed that peppers seem to like having each other as neighbors, so there's something to be said for keeping those together, too. You could have the onions, scallions, carrots, lettuce, radish mixed up, but there are pros and cons. It's easier to water and harvest and do other plant specific tasks when one sort of plant is all in a block, but alternating reduces the attractiveness to pests and balances out the demand any one sort of plant has for a particular nutrient. (Apologies if I've mis-guessed any of the pics - I can't quite make out the text.)
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  brianj555 on 10/2/2017, 5:57 pm

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:I agree with Sanderson on 2 sq/indeterminate tomato, so that each 'square' of trellis is only getting one tomato, not two (and each row is getting 4, not Cool. And on the mother stem plus 1 (or 2) secondary. I do think they will be too crowded otherwise.

I'd keep the cucumbers next to each other, and the corn as a block. People on the forum have noticed that peppers seem to like having each other as neighbors, so there's something to be said for keeping those together, too. You could have the onions, scallions, carrots, lettuce, radish mixed up, but there are pros and cons. It's easier to water and harvest and do other plant specific tasks when one sort of plant is all in a block, but alternating reduces the attractiveness to pests and balances out the demand any one sort of plant has for a particular nutrient. (Apologies if I've mis-guessed any of the pics - I can't quite make out the text.)
Thanks to both of you for responding. You hit everything on the head , except the radishes are turnips.  
I'm a little bummed out about the tomatoes needing 2 squares though. It was already difficult for me to cut it down to 30.  There are so many varieties I would like to test out.   With the exception  of like two varieties , research tells me they have all proven to grow well in my climate/zone. (Meaning the ones I have selected) I was hoping you could read those.
Have both of you had bad experiences planting one per square? (Disease critters ect?)  You both mentioned leaving a couple secondary vines.  Would it reduce yields by not keeping secondaries and just keeping the main stem?
I don't want to overcrowd them to the point that they become diseased or unhealthy, but I do want to get as many as I can in there.
Maybe I could plant bush green beans and move those to the south bed, remove one row of corn, and  plant the herbs only in intersections.  That would free up 4 more squares for tomatoes.  I guess I could put the shorter varieties where the green beans are now and stake them, so I wouldn't have to build a fifth trellis.
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  brianj555 on 10/2/2017, 7:31 pm


Above is a list of the tomatoes I am planning on planting.  The number beside them is how many plants of each I was wanting to grow assuming 30 squares would house 30 plants.  I'm trying to get that number down to more like 24 plants. Do you guys see any in there that might not do well in my climate or might be much more difficult for a beginning Gardner to grow.
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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  sanderson on 10/3/2017, 4:20 am

Amish Paste and San Marzano are paste tomatoes and both are determinate, that is, massive and bushy.  So are Sweet 100, Sun Gold, Black Cherry and Yellow Pear, though they are small cherry types.

This is just my suggestion for your first go around.  Limit the number in the bed to 11 tall indeterminate tomatoes, one each of those varieties.  Skip the Sweet 100 and Yellow Pear.  The Sun Gold is a fun, sweet and easy to grow cherry.  Allow 4 squares each for one each of Amish Paste, San Marzano, Sun Gold and Black Cherry.  Plant those in the 4 squares of each corner.

Corn is usually a summer crop.  Can you grow corn in the "winter" there?  Some plants simply need the sunshine hours in summer.

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Re: Layout of first time garden

Post  brianj555 on 10/3/2017, 7:22 am

sanderson wrote:Amish Paste and San Marzano are paste tomatoes and both are determinate, that is, massive and bushy.  So are Sweet 100, Sun Gold, Black Cherry and Yellow Pear, though they are small cherry types.

This is just my suggestion for your first go around.  Limit the number in the bed to 11 tall indeterminate tomatoes, one each of those varieties.  Skip the Sweet 100 and Yellow Pear.  The Sun Gold is a fun, sweet and easy to grow cherry.  Allow 4 squares each for one each of Amish Paste, San Marzano, Sun Gold and Black Cherry.  Plant those in the 4 squares of each corner.

Corn is usually a summer crop.  Can you grow corn in the "winter" there?  Some plants simply need the sunshine hours in summer.
Wow.  That is great information !  Thank you ! I had no idea those were determinate varieties.  I guess I overlooked that.
Oops.  I should have clarified. I'm not planting this set up until March.
We don't get much of a winter here, but it can frost between late November and Early March. November and March frosts are very rare, but they do happen.  We have lots of moisture in the air. I'm about 5 miles from the gulf.
So back to the drawing board. But that's fine. That's why I'm planning now.  I have to do something while I wait for those dang tomatoes that are on the vine to break.  It seems like it's taking forever.
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