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First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

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First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/17/2011, 9:39 pm

Hello everyone, this will be my first year trying square foot gardening, so I thought i'd get some advice on my proposed layout before going through with all the purchases.

I will be putting the garden in a 12'x24' space, surrounded by a fence (welded wire?) with a gate to (hopefully) keep out the deer, raccoons, bear, rabbits, and other wildlife.

In the attached picture, the left side with the tomatoes would be facing Northeast.


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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  CarolynPhillips on 1/17/2011, 10:03 pm

Welcome to SFG

I would say you might want to read up on Companion planting too. Some veggies don't like being next to other certain types of veggies. Example= Beans don't like Tomatoes. Basil Kills Rosemary. Eggplant helps Beans. Cucumbers don't like Tomatoes or Sage.
I love your graph. Wish I had a software that did that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants





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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  Blackrose on 1/17/2011, 10:19 pm

CarolynPhillips wrote:I love your graph. Wish I had a software that did that.

Hi Carolyn,

Looks to me like vasfg is using growveg.com to do their SFG layout. I use it myself. Very Happy
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  CarolynPhillips on 1/17/2011, 10:37 pm

Thank you for the web link. I did get excited til i saw $25 a year . I dunno about that.
But it does give 30 day free trial. Sigh
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/17/2011, 11:53 pm

Yup, I am using the 30 day trial of growveg.com. I was using http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html as my reference for companion planting, so i'll try to look on other sites as well to make sure the plants will get along next to eachother.

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  ribsyhuggins on 1/18/2011, 12:10 am

the following bed design will give you an extra 50 sqft of space
as for the vegetable plant you design needs bit more work
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

let me know if I can help you.

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/18/2011, 7:40 am

Ribsy, in your design you have 2' between the various boxes. Will that be alright, or do I need at least 3' like it recommends in the book?

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  LaFee on 1/18/2011, 7:43 am

I'd go with 3', vasfg -- 2' doesn't leave you enough room to kneel between your beds.

I have about 2-1/2' between my bed and a wall, and I either end up working while leaning sideways or in an awkward squat. 3' would make it work. (for what it's worth, my height and weight are proportional and have no mobility issues, save for a funky knee)

Jay in West Palm Beach says 3' is easier here: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4963-back-in-square-foot-again

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  ribsyhuggins on 1/18/2011, 8:29 am

i don't kneel i usaully use small stool. the real issue is if you can get
wheel barrel to fill the beds.


vasfg it might helpful if you listed all veg you want grow since all icons in you diagram are not entirely clear as to what they are.

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path widths

Post  ander217 on 1/18/2011, 8:49 am

I also agree that 3' walkways are better if you can devote the space for it. We have eight 4' x 10' beds, four on each side of a wide walkway, as well as 1' boxes along the fence. Due to the layout of our garden, in order to squeeze in two additional 4' x 10' beds, we scrunched up the walkways on one set to 2' on one side and 18" on the other. If I had it to do over again I would make those two beds only 3' wide and have wider walkways.

I need to sit in a chair to do much of my gardening, and that's almost impossible on the narrow paths. It's also difficult to get a wheelbarrow between the rows when adding compost or harvesting, and in summer when the plants were growing full blast they hung over the edge of the beds making it difficult to walk between the okra and corn.

It can be done if you need to squeeze out every foot of space possible. But it's much easier with the wider paths.

One thing I will add, however, - I see no reason to have a 3' walkway at the ends of boxes as long as they aren't next to other boxes that need working room. As long as there is enough room to walk around them, I don't think extra room at the ends are necessary if one can reach the boxes easily from the sides. In your case you need the extra room to work the boxes along the fence, but if your boxes were crosswise to a fence with no boxes along it, for example, there would be little benefit in having three feet between the end of the box and an unused fence, IMO.
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/18/2011, 9:32 am

As requested, here are the plants labeled, although I am still deciding on the varieties.

I moved the parsley after seeing it was not compatible with the lettuce on the wiki page.

The gaps at the end of the 4' wide boxes would be where the entry to the garden would be through the gate, so there is room to get to any box from the entrance.

I appreciate all the quite feedback, thanks guys!


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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  CarolynPhillips on 1/18/2011, 10:11 am

Twisted Evil
About the graph.
So , I could plan my gardens for this year and save to my puter and or print.
Then rotate and change it for next year and save that to the computer. Do the same for the 3rd season and save that and print. And I have 30 days to complete this affraid all because I dont wanna pay $25 a year but I would have a 3 yr rotation diagram on hand at all times.

I do have a gardening plan on CD but its not as pretty as this one.
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/18/2011, 11:57 am

After reading my last post I realized it wasn't very clear, and full of typos. The gate will be on the bottom side (closest to the romaine), and the gaps would be to get around the 4 foot wide box. Maybe I could extend and split the 4 foot box in the middle, and extend the upper 2 foot box to get an extra 24 sqft.


Last edited by vasfg on 1/18/2011, 12:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  quiltbea on 1/18/2011, 11:58 am

vasfg....You do realize that asparagus is a perennial and will stay there for the next 20 years?
I'm going to start an asparagus bed myself this year. The family loves it and its getting very pricey at the markets. This way we can have it year after year.

I plan my raised beds with this garden planner:

http://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Gardeners-Site/default/Page-KitchenGardenDesigner

Its fun and easy. When you want to print it out, it will give you pictures and spacing and info on the plants involved in that particular plan. I make one up for each raised bed and my long rasied berms as well.

edited to add: You can save the plan and then later if you want to add something or change something, you can do so. You just have to enter your email address and it will list all your plans.



Last edited by quiltbea on 1/18/2011, 12:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add at the bottom.)
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/18/2011, 12:26 pm

Yup, we love aspargus as well, and it is one of the higher priced vegetables in the store. My main concern with the asparagus is how deep to make the box. What are your thoughts on that?

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  NAR56 on 1/18/2011, 12:36 pm

Thanks for the link! I will use this to plan the spring garden.
Very Happy
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  florenceq on 1/18/2011, 12:43 pm

[quote="quiltbea"]vasfg....You do realize that asparagus is a perennial and

I plan my raised beds with this garden planner:

http://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Gardeners-Site/default/Page-KitchenGardenDesigner

Thanks for the link, this looks just like what I was looking for!
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  quiltbea on 1/18/2011, 12:55 pm

All the info I found on the subject of asparagus tells me to dig a trench 8" deep for the crowns, but that they will have very long roots when grown. If you have your raised bed over an old lawn or soil area, it should work, as long as you don't have an inpenetrable barrier under the box. The roots will just grow a lot deeper than the box.
I have 3 berms (raised beds without lumber around them) about 15 ft long. One for strawberries in which I grow them the 'matted row' form so I can keep them forever in one spot, this year a 2nd one is designated for asparagus and hopefully a coldframe I'm planning this spring, and the other I will change from year to year. In the berms I've tried potatoes, flowering annuals like salvia and glads, zucchini and summer squashes, and watermelons.

In 2009 one of the berms was 2 shorter ones where I planted potatoes and sweet corn. The sweet corn was lost to the overabundance of rain we had that year that dessimated many home gardens. Happily, many of my raised beds made it thru and I had a good first crop for my 1st yr doing SFG. Those 2 berms on the right are filled in and are now one long berm.

Here is the berm in front of my raised beds where I planted strawberries in 2009.

These were my potatoes my first year in a shorter berm before I attached the 2 and made one long one.
I did this because I couldn't afford to buy any more lumber but had plenty of garden loam left over that was delivered by the truckload. Now I like the concept for crops that sprawl and benefit from more space to grow.

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  CarolynPhillips on 1/18/2011, 2:23 pm

Vasfg,
Do you have a resting area near your garden so you can look at it while you rest?

I designed mine with an unbrella table in the center of the growing area
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  CarolynPhillips on 1/18/2011, 2:27 pm

you have to overlook me sometimes====have you ever noticed how raised beds with no borders look like graves?==its a mental thing i guess.
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/18/2011, 5:37 pm

It will be over an old lawn area that was converted to all soil for a garden last year. The soil is mostly clay, so I will have to do some work to it, but it's good to know you can make bottomless boxes. Is it a good idea to put the weed blocker on the bottom of boxes as long as they don't have deep rooted plants?

I don't have a sitting area yet, but it might be something to look into once the new garden is built.

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  miinva on 1/18/2011, 6:08 pm

Putting the weedblock on the bottom stops the weeds from coming up from below and it's worked like a charm for us, although we've only been doing this for two years. I also like it because it makes it easy to take up the soil if you find that you need to, like we need to do this year to level out the first boxes we put in, being such newbies that we didn't think about the water all running to the lower end once the soil settled in the boxes and shifted a little bit with each watering. The later beds we leveled and they water much more evenly.

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  vasfg on 1/22/2011, 8:22 pm

Well, after hours of hopping between various online seed sites, I think I have decided what I will go with. Trying so many things will probably lead to successes and failures, but I figure i'll make this an experimentation year and scale back after I know what works. I'll try to take pictures at various stages of the year to show some progress.

New diagram (I made added 2 feet in width, and connected the 2' boxes):

Plant list:
PlantType
AsparagusJersey Knight
BasilGenovese
BasilSiam Queen (Thai)
BasilSweet
Bibb LettuceButtercrunch
BroccoliGreen King
Bush BeansJade
CantaloupeTasty Bites
CarrotsNelson
Cherry TomatoesSun Gold
CilantroCaribe
CornSilver Queen
CucumberDiva
GarlicGerman White
JalapenoJaluv an Attitude
Mesclun MixMesclun
ParsleyGigante d'Italia
Pole BeansFortex
Romaine LettuceJericho
RosemaryRosemary
ScallionsEvergreen Hardy White
ShallotsPicasso
Shelling PeasLincoln
Snap PeasSugar Snap
Soy BeansButterBeans
SpinachTyee
StrawberriesEarliglow, Allstar, Sparkle
Sweet PepperCarmen
Swiss ChardFordhook Giant
ThymeGerman
TomatoesBrandywine (Sudduth)
WatermelonLittle Baby Flower
Yellow SquashZephyr
Yellow SquashSuperpik
ZucchiniCostata Romanesco
ZucchiniRaven

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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  camprn on 1/22/2011, 8:52 pm

That lay out looks really really good! Well done! thinking
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Re: First time SFG'er seeking opinions on layout of garden

Post  middlemamma on 1/22/2011, 10:25 pm

I have been working on my list of what I am going to plant for days...I don't have the plan on paper yet but I think I would be embarrassed to share! LOL

EVERYONE'S plans look awesome!!!!

Jennie
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