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Poor planning?

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Poor planning?

Post  StrongAsMeat on 6/30/2016, 9:16 am

Hi gang, I'm quite happy with my foray into SFG or any gardening, however I think I didn't put enough thought into planning. 

I've built my beds in a 100% sunny area, and recently put up a chicken wire fence complete with gate which I'm proud of, but now my big growers are growing way faster than I expected. (Not a problem I thought I would have). I've read to put tomato supports upside down around zukes, which I did, and I put stakes in my squash and cuke plants, but these will not cut it by a long shot. As you can see from my plan charts, I tried to keep my tall plants on the north side (top of pics) such as my beans and peas, cukes and squash, but my peas aren't all coming in very good. Cherry tomatoes are very slow too, and my peppers are hidden under the zuke plant leafs. I put my fence up, but now i'm not sure where to put trellis, how to put it up, or what type to put. The search option brings up tons of trellises, but it's overwhelming. I bought a 6'x12' green nylon netting from HD but it's still in the bag.

Any advice from you pros?






Cucumbers, squash and zucchini, with lettuce, chard and tomatoes



Zucchini in cages, with little pepper hiding in the corner


Peas on top three squares, cherry tomatoes on the right


Beans on top 3 squares, tomato plant in center left square and spinach below


Overall area

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  trolleydriver on 6/30/2016, 10:07 am

Looking good SAM even if you did not consider the size of some of the veggies. I like your fence and gate.   Very Happy

Like yours, my peas have not done well this year due mainly to poor germination and rabbit damage. My cherry tomatoes in the SFG beds are also lagging but my other tomatoes are doing well. Those other tomatoes are grown in old style SFG beds (i.e., amended soil not MM).  

So far I have kept most of the big things (e.g., zucchini, acorn squash) out of my SFG beds and grow them in another location in regular soil. Actually I am not growing zucchini this year.  If I put them in an SFG bed I would not plant anything else with them because they get huge. At the SFG trellises I have cucumber, honeydew melon (not doing well) and cherry tomato plants.  

As for trellises, I follow Mel's instructions in the ANSFG book. I put the trellises on the north side. They are made out of EMT conduit with reinforcing rods in the ground to hold them up. I bought my nylon netting at Walmart Canada last year but they were out of stock this year even online. Some SFGers on the forum use more substantial trellises (e.g., cattle panels).

Good luck with the remainder of the growing season.

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/1/2016, 10:55 am

I think it looks good, SAM!  Honestly, the first year SFGing, everybody learns a lot!  Take tons of notes, and make notes for next year of what NOT to do!  And what to do, obviously.  Every growing year is also different, so know that you will never completely nail it!  

All in all, looks like you will be eating well, even if it isn't what you thought it would be! sunny

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/1/2016, 12:51 pm

You're doing great! You can always cut those squash leaves back to keep them in their designated area. As long as you leave a few they will grow just fine.

The trellis s that Mel has in the ANSFG book have always been my fave.

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  countrynaturals on 7/1/2016, 2:13 pm

I'm also suffering from poor planning. I've made so many mistakes this year I could write a "how-not-to" book.  Mad My biggest issue is the weather. Nothing's dying, but nothing's producing in this heat, either. My next plan will include bush varieties to grow inside during the triple-digit months. geek

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  sanderson on 7/2/2016, 8:12 pm

SAM,  It's taken me a bit to reply to this.  If you don't make mistakes, you can't learn.  Very Happy  For example, you are learning just how bossy summer squash can be, crowding out other plants. Wink

My advice is to enlarge the fencing next year so you can walk all the way around each bed and cover the grass in the isles with weed fabric/cardboard and wood chips to keep the grass seeds from invading the beds.  Then you can install the Mel's trellises on the sides with climbing peas, beans, cucumbers, and melons.  Next year plant the summer squashes in their own 2' x 2' boxes or at least in corner squares so they can fall over the edge of the box.

If you think you would like to expand next year, start saving your pocket change.  If you limit the north-south sides to 4' you can make Mel's trellis per the book.  Maybe install a cute picket fence with gate around the garden to make your wife happy (I think I remember you saying she wasn't impressed with the gate ??). Wink

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 7/2/2016, 8:32 pm

Every year I set out a  carefully planned ( in my mind) garden and by the end of every year I end up promising myself not to do this, that or the other next year.
As only a 3rd year SFGer, much of it ends up getting revised.
The only things in their original spot are my cucumber, tomato and pepper plants.
One thing is I always seem to forget is how hoggy for space squash plants are.

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/2/2016, 9:18 pm

Squash, they are space hogs! And in the middle of them I planted ground cherries. Ummm, will not do this again. They are both ultra competitive for everything. Sun, nutrients, space. Last year, I made the huge mistake to put carrots next to the hog guy squash. Very few carrots. Shaded out.

My mom said, "Live and learn." Truth.

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  StrongAsMeat on 7/2/2016, 9:37 pm

Thanks guys and girls.  Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven

I picked up some trellis from HD, along with bamboo poles and ties. I trimmed back my big plant suckers and the leaves blocking my peppers, propped up the poles to the trellis to guide up the climbers, I'll take pics tomorrow. 

I'm already planning on expanding next year, I think I'll add a 2'-3' deep section at the end of my 2 to make a U shape, and redo my fence and trellis completely. We'll see if we even make use of the squash and zucchini, as they may not return, but I know I want more peppers and fruit. I've started using spinach leaves and cilantro for the guinea pigs, need to wait til there's more to use it for ourselves.

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Re: Poor planning?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/3/2016, 8:57 am

SAM, it really does look good! And you've started small, which is a plus.

We started big & it was overwhelming, even though it's SFG...

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Re: Poor planning?

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