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Critique my plan

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Critique my plan

Post  lisaphoto on 3/6/2011, 9:17 pm

Last year, I included in my plan some of my cold weather crops, that were basically done by the time I planted my summer crops. So this year I am only including my summer crops, and I will also be inter-planting herbs, especially basil, and some lettuce. The top of the grid is north. Vining plants are in the back (north) and will be allowed to grow over a patch of grass that is covered with weed barrier. I also have a bush zucchini in the front, that I have allowed 4 squares for. The only thing I haven't grown before is eggplant. So let me know what you think of this layout:

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Re: Critique my plan

Post  Blackrose on 3/6/2011, 10:13 pm

Is that a 4x12? Or is it three 4x4's and you just stuck them together in the plan to save space on the screen?

The reason I ask is, if it is a 4x12, you may have trouble reaching the onions and garlic without stepping on your Mel's Mix. Other than that, it looks good to me. Smile
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  quiltbea on 3/6/2011, 11:40 pm

I have troubles with the tall tomatoes ranged beside the beans along the south end together. There's going to be some difficult-to-reach problems there I think.

You could put your eggplants in those southern blocks and place the tomatoes in their place.

Having the vining crops along the north where they can grow across the backside is a good idea. They'll need the space.
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  lisaphoto on 3/7/2011, 8:41 am

I should have mentioned, the north side beans are pole beans, and the south side ones are small bush beans
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  quiltbea on 3/7/2011, 1:11 pm

lisaphoto,
I realized the south beans must be bush beans but those tomatoes beside them are three across the front. It'll make it difficult to get 'into' the bed from the south side to reach the onions and hot peppers, and the north side is filled with tall plants along with your west side. There has to be some 'wiggle room' somewhere in that area.

I'd exchange the 2nd and 3rd tomato from the left front (south) with the 2 eggplants along the northside. They will be smaller and easier to reach across and thru than the tomato plants.

Good luck and enjoy your gardening this year. Its always amazing how much fun it is to begin and watch things grow.
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  lisaphoto on 3/7/2011, 2:04 pm

Ok, I edited it some based on your suggestions. Again, I'm not sure how big eggplant will grow. But I think I have it so that the only things that aren't easy to reach are the carrots, garlic, and big onions that will not need much tending most of the season. I moved all the squash to the north so it can sprawl onto the ground. So do you think this looks better?

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Re: Critique my plan

Post  dizzygardener on 3/7/2011, 2:13 pm

You eggplants can get up to 3 feet tall.

Also, I think your tomatoes are going to shade some of your bed. Conventional wisdom is tallest things at the North so they don't shade things. Tomatoes, esp. indeterminates, can get HUGE.

I'd move your tomatoes to the North and put your squash/melons on the sides and direct their vines over the sides of the box.
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  quiltbea on 3/7/2011, 2:26 pm

My eggplants never grow that tall. Maybe its the far north area in which I live.

If that's the case in your southern states, the eggplants could be juggled and put further in the center where you have carrots now and move the carrots to the south.

I agree the tomatoes on the east side will shade the smaller plants behind them. The best place for them is on the north or the west sides.

Don't despair. I've changed my raised bed plans a few times already. It comes with the territory. You find a better place for a plant or one that likes its companion a little more or you want to move one that had the same plant in that space the year before or you don't want to plant a brassica where another variety of brassica grew the year before, or one may grow taller than you expect and needs moving. In the meantime, you have fun playing with your garden plan and do the best you can.
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  lisaphoto on 3/7/2011, 2:28 pm

Unfortunately, I can only let them vine to the north, due to their position in the yard. I fortunately get full exposure to the sun in that part of the yard, so I think everything in the middle should get enough sun. That's where I had the tomatoes last year, and they didn't really block much. The only thing I think may be blocked too much would be the far left squash. Maybe I just won't plant one there, or plant an extra one, and not care if it doesn't make it. Truth be told, considering I am having a new baby in May, I'll just be happy if I get something out of the garden this year.
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  dizzygardener on 3/7/2011, 2:31 pm

@quiltbea wrote:My eggplants never grow that tall. Maybe its the far north area in which I live.

If that's the case in your southern states, the eggplants could be juggled and put further in the center where you have carrots now and move the carrots to the south.

I agree the tomatoes on the east side will shade the smaller plants behind them. The best place for them is on the north or the west sides.

Don't despair. I've changed my raised bed plans a few times already. It comes with the territory. You find a better place for a plant or one that likes its companion a little more or you want to move one that had the same plant in that space the year before or you don't want to plant a brassica where another variety of brassica grew the year before, or one may grow taller than you expect and needs moving. In the meantime, you have fun playing with your garden plan and do the best you can.

I'm hoping that my eggplants don't get that tall, but they very well might. They love our hot weather. Eggplants grow slower in colder climates and will even stop producing if it gets cold enough.
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  quiltbea on 3/7/2011, 2:33 pm

Congratulations Lisaphoto, on the new arrival in a couple of month.

That said, don't waste much more time on the plan. As you said, whatever you get out of the garden will be pleasing and enjoyable.

With well-fed composted soil, it always amazes me what harvests we can get.

Enjoy.
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  dmsandlin on 3/7/2011, 3:50 pm

Lisaphoto,
what software are you using for your plan? it looks like a very handy tool.
best wishes on your growing family!
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  lisaphoto on 3/7/2011, 3:54 pm

It's on gardeners.com. I made the plan, and did a screen shot using MWSnap
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Re: Critique my plan

Post  dmsandlin on 3/7/2011, 4:07 pm

Will have to check that out. Thanks!
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