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Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

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Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  ralitaco on 3/3/2017, 1:10 am

I don't know why this has come to my mind or if this is even possible/feasible, but with so many people just starting out with SFG'ing AND gardening in general, I was trying to think if there is an ideal 4x4 SFG plan. I know that there are many, many variables that go into selecting what to plant, but I was hoping we could find some kind of "consensus" for a successful start for a SPRING garden.

For those of us that have a few seasons under our belt, what would we suggest to newbies that will give them the greatest variety, success and satisfaction. I would like to see your 16 squares either in a list or in a 4x4 layout that takes into account plant placement.

                                            NORTH
Cucumber (x1)Cucumber (x1)Pole Beans (x8)Pole Beans (x8)
Cherry Tomato (x1)Bell Pepper (x1)Slicing Tomato (x1)Squash (x.5)
Hot Pepper (x1)Slicing Tomato (x1)Cherry Tomato (x1)Squash (x.5)
Leaf Lettuce (x4)Oregano (x1)Basil (x1)Leaf Lettuce (x4)
                                             SOUTH

Here are some the reasons I selected what I did:
1. Slicing tomato: They are the #1 home grown crop so they should get at least 2 squares. 
2. Cherry Tomato: They ripen quickly and can be quite prolific (although 1 square may suffice) 
3. Lettuce: grows well, can be harvested a little at a time. 
4. Cucumbers: They are usually quite prolific and easy to grow. They vine so they would be a good plant to trellis
5. Pole Beans: I felt 2 squares were needed to get enough beans to eat a few times. Also they can go on the trellis too.
6. Peppers: Bell & Hot are both usually easy to grow. both have a variety of uses.
7. Oregano & Basil: 2 herbs that most people know how to use. Would be a good intro to growing herbs in the SFG.
8. Squash: Another one that produces well if you can avoid the SVB. Also because the leaves grow so large, they are impressive to see in the garden.

Ok, those were my thoughts and ideas. I would like to hear yours.
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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/4/2017, 8:50 am

I don't think there is an ideal plan because of those many variables (personal taste, pest density, climate)...
That said, here's my plan Smile :


 
Cucumber (x2)Cherry Tomato (x1)Snow Peasx8>Basil (x1)Slicing Tomato (x1)
Radish(16)>Carrots (16)Bell Pepper (x1)Hot Pepper (x1)Scallions(x16)>Turnip(4-9)
 Successionthis row withLeaf Lettuce (x4)then Bush beans(x9)
Nasturtium(x1)Parsley (x1-4)Dill(9)>Beets(9)Kale (x1-4)
 
Your plan has a squash for two squares, which implies it's a vining squash (not a typical zucchini) being grown vertically. If the pole bean/cucumbers on the back of the square are already on a trellis, this means you'd end up with a trellis on two adjacent sides. Having tried this sort of thing I can say it's really awkward! So I've skipped the squash on my plan.

I have the tomatoes on the trellis for support, and have peas for increased variety. Snow or snap peas have better yield than shell peas since you eat the pod. With care, a basil can get transplanted in before the peas are finished. Once the peas are gone, the tomatoes will probably be taking up some of that square. 

I wanted to keep beans on your plan, but with limited trellis squares I switched to bush beans. Plant a lettuce square every two weeks (starting before the last frost), and pull them 4-5weeks later and plant a square of beans for an ongoing supply. 

I replaced oregano with parsley because my experience with oregano is that it does great in containers and 'dirt' and doesn't need my precious MM. It's also perennial in my climate which means the square is 'stuck' on oregano.

I included nasturtium because it's both a flower and an edible for those who like that sort of flavor. Placing it on the corner means a trailing variety could flow over the edge, or a non-trailing variety like Empress of India could be used.

Kale is an "in" vegetable and is rewarding for a beginner because it lasts after the first frost. I have it on the corner because it gets large. Most varieties are best at 1 per square, but I have a lanciato type that is doing very well at 4.

Beets provide greens even if they don't form beets, and the same can be said of turnips.


Last edited by BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/4/2017, 8:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : unintended emoticon)
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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/4/2017, 10:32 pm

It is just so individual...I am looking at y'all plans, and they are both great.  But not what i would grow.  So by inference I think there is an infinite variety of these starter squares.  One of the impetuses for me to even do SFG was to get my patty pa squashes back.  The SVBs year after year in the ground...I have a little more control in the box.  

I would trellis cukes, pole beans (burgundy)
Maters, peppers
Taters, carrots
Radishes to carrots beets
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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/5/2017, 1:47 pm

Interesting thread. I'd really have to ponder on what I'd plant if I had only one box. I know lots of spring squares would be used up with sugar snap peas, kale, collards and lettuces. Summer would be kale, collards, maters, pole beans, cukes. Back to spring crops for fall.

If I'm remembering correctly I think Mel put a sample box in the ANSFG book, too.
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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  Turan on 7/5/2017, 5:22 pm

I thought that I would suggest a first garden 4x4 to be a salad garden.

First row of squares on trellis,
Patio tomato, Cherry tomato across 2 sqs ,           cucumbers 2/sq
2nd row~
Lettuce mix planting a square every other week across all 4 squares

3rd row~
Sweet Banana pepper,   Hot Hungarian wax Pepper,   Festival Lights Chard (4/sq), onion sets planted close for green onions

4th row~
Dill, Cilantro   5/ sq,  Basil 5/ sq, Nasturtiums    
                                           
That should provide one with flavorful, satisfying salads most of the summer.

I never did figure out how to do that onto a true grid after way to long trying this will have to do.

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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/5/2017, 7:36 pm

Great thread!  I really regretted not doing lettuces my first year, but I got a late start too....made up for it.
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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  sanderson on 7/5/2017, 9:07 pm

Interesting, and fun, to plan.  Mine is based on short day/ southern desert/Mediterranean climate.  Spring planting (April) for summer crops, followed by fall planting (October) for winter crops.

Spring Planting  10 Types of Veggies

NORTH (Trellis)
Cucumber (x2)Cucumber (x2)Pole Beans (x8)Pole Beans (x8)
* **Sweet Potato (x1)*Slicing Tomato (x0.5)*Slicing Tomato (x0.5)Bell Pepper (1)
* **Sweet Potato (x1)Bell Pepper (x1)Hot Pepper (x1)Oregano (x3)
*Cherry Tomato (x0.5)*Cherry Tomato (x0.5)Basil (x1-2)Cilantro (x1-2
                                            SOUTH

*  Tomato cage
** And/Or train to fall over and run

Fall Planting  13 types of Veggies, front 3 rows covered with frame and bridal tulle

NORTH (Trellis)
Snow Peas (x8)Snow Peas (x8)Snow Peas  (x8)Green onion (x16)
Chard Rainbow (x1-2)Chard Rainbow (x1-2)Russian Kale (x1-2)Curly Kale (x1-2)
Broccoli (x1)Purple Cauliflower (x1)Parsley (x1-2)Garlic (x9)
Toy Bok Choy (x4)4 Seasons Lettuce (x4)Radish (x16)Short carrot (x16)
                                            SOUTH


Last edited by sanderson on 7/6/2017, 3:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edited sweet potato spacing)

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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  yolos on 7/5/2017, 11:13 pm

@sanderson wrote:Interesting, and fun, to plan.  Mine is based on short day/ southern desert/Mediterranean climate.  Spring planting (April) for summer crops, followed by fall planting (October) for winter crops.

Spring Planting  10 Types of Veggies

NORTH (Trellis)
Cucumber (x2)Cucumber (x2)Pole Beans (x8)Pole Beans (x8)
* **Sweet Potato (x3)*Slicing Tomato (x0.5)*Slicing Tomato (x0.5)Bell Pepper (1)
* **Sweet Potato (x3)Bell Pepper (x1)Hot Pepper (x1)Oregano (x3)
*Cherry Tomato (x0.5)*Cherry Tomato (x0.5)Basil (x1-2)Cilantro (x1-2
                                            SOUTH

*  Tomato cage
** And/Or train to fall over and run

Fall Planting  13 types of Veggies, front 3 rows covered with frame and bridal tulle

NORTH (Trellis)
Snow Peas (x8)Snow Peas (x8)Snow Peas  (x8)Green onion (x16)
Chard Rainbow (x1-2)Chard Rainbow (x1-2)Russian Kale (x1-2)Curly Kale (x1-2)
Broccoli (x1)Purple Cauliflower (x1)Parsley (x1-2)Garlic (x9)
Toy Bok Choy (x4)4 Seasons Lettuce (x4)Radish (x16)Short carrot (x16)
                                            SOUTH

Looks good except can you really get three sweet potatoes in 1 square.  Not my sweet potatoes.  I plant them no  closer than 1 per square.  What do others think of the spacing.???????????  Depending on the space I have to plant them, I really like one per 18 inches.


Also, pole beans.  Mel says 8 per square but I think 4 maybe 5 per square maximum.  Do you plant yours 8 per square.????
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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  sanderson on 7/6/2017, 3:24 am

Sweet potatoes:  I plant 5 slips per storage tote.  Maybe that is too crowded?  Maybe 3 per tote is better?  I can't argue with your successful harvests, so I will change it to 1/square.

Beans?  Yes, two rows of 4 [plus 1 spare] = 9.  Smile   As this is a Newbie's first bed, I used Mel's spacing guidelines.

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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/6/2017, 12:30 pm

I dunno, Yolos...everything you grow down there in GA comes out ginormous! I think you need Square Yard Gardening.
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Re: Ideal Newbie 4x4 plan?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/6/2017, 4:33 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:I dunno, Yolos...everything you grow down there in GA comes out ginormous!  I think you need Square Yard Gardening.
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lol!
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