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Basic 4x4 layout

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Basic 4x4 layout

Post  ralitaco on 3/27/2011, 7:40 pm

I posted this on the "Garden Plans" forum, but as suggested, I thought I might do better posting here:
I am a 2nd year SFG'er, but my first year was a bust; so I am looking for a pretty safe setup. Also, most newbies don't know what to plant or when or how to set up the succession plantings. If there is a general concensus on a basic layout with what works well and when, it would be very easy for newbies, like me, to get started and perhaps have good success.

I was wondering if anyone has a standard layout for a 4x4 box. Now I know that everyone plants different things based on what they eat and where they live, but I am looking for a specific basic setup that will work for most areas and most people.

I know most people plant tomatoes so they are a must. Maybe some lettuce, beans, cukes? (I don't know so I am asking.) I think the plan should include spring, summer and fall crops.

Perhaps if we get a consensus you could pin it at the top of the forum.

What do you guys think,
Jim

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  quiltbea on 3/27/2011, 8:28 pm

I'm sure that would be helpful for the new SFG but it also would differ depending on the area of the country in which one lives.

Here in Maine we have a short summer and long cool spring and fall so our succession planting wouldn't work for anyone in TX, the south, or California.

Maybe you could try your state's extension service and see what they have to offer in regards to plantings in your area.

I hope someone from your neck of the woods can help you. Good luck.

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  ralitaco on 3/28/2011, 12:00 am

QB, that made sense about the difference in season lengths. That's why I posted in the Lower South forum. Perhaps each region could provide one 4x4 layout that works well for their region.

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/28/2011, 4:48 am

Better Home and Gardens has some sample plans available HERE They offer Spring, Summer and Fall options.

In order to plan your own garden, you need to determine what you will use, then break it down into cool weather, warm weather and fall crops.

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/28/2011, 1:52 pm

ralitaco wrote:QB, that made sense about the difference in season lengths. That's why I posted in the Lower South forum. Perhaps each region could provide one 4x4 layout that works well for their region.

That's a tough one, Texas alone could have 15 different 4x4 ideas. I was listening to Neil Sperry's radio show yesterday-he's the formeost expert on growing in TX-and some poor caller called in and asked what types of lettuce he could grow in the summer, Neil told him he cannot. However, I can grow later than someone 2 hours south of me, and using a shade cage in my SFG or simply planting on the east side of my house start fall crops sooner.

On page 44 of Mel's new book is the perfect 4x4 plan for spring, all you need do is check your frost dates. Chapter 6 is the next best thing, especially page 128, the section on a typical garden. Also keep in mind, not everyone will like swiss chard or brussels sprouts. I have 4 brussles sprouts plants (not really recommended for spring planting in TX, but okay 10 miles away in AR go figure) but I am the only one who eats them. I will be sharing with extended family, if they survive our heat & humidity, if not I'll be trying again in fall, but probably just 2 squares.

It all depends on what you and yours will eat, make a list of what you want, sort them by weather, and there you go. If only 1 person wants radishes, then maybe that could come off the list until you get another box going, unless that one person is the only one who will tend the box, then they get to plant whatever they want.

See what's okay for me here in this part of the region is different from those 50 miles away in OK, they do not have the humidity we have here, I've had plants wilt and die from the humidity and not the sunlight, they literally cooked.

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  Old Hippie on 3/28/2011, 2:30 pm

I was going to post to that same issue.

We have Canada as one region but it is made up of so many different growing zones. There are at least four in my province alone. In Vancouver and Victoria, they can keep growing almost all winter long. Makes me crazy. My daughter is on her second crop of radishes. But here in central BC where I live, I can't even plant any yet because the ground is still covered in two or three feet of snow. I do have some in my cold frame that I planted last fall and they have just sprouted.

It is tricky sometimes to get a handle on all of the info and adapt it to your own area.

Gwynn

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/29/2011, 3:12 pm

Ralitaco
Okay, I have a bit more time on my hands today (not really I'm doging my chores-trying to melt honey combs into wax-messy) and went looking for some more specific info for you. WOW, I envy your county extesion office, they have tons of stuff on the front page, and it looks like the master gardeners in your area have a free event coming up too.
http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/


For planting in your area try here, tons of links
http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/search/searchresults.php?cx=006479830194247690177%3A-ag07qz3p1y&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=planting+guides&sa=Search&siteurl=pender.ces.ncsu.edu%2Findex.php%3Fpage%3Dhealthnutrition#954

The first link on that page is going to be when to plant. Let me know if you need more help, and sorry if I sounded short yesterday, I was waiting on my night in shinning armor to rescue me and drop me off at the library, and he was in no hurry to get here. I had cabin fever. Again, if you need more help, holler, we will try to do what we can, oh and do you have Mel's new book, "The ALL New SFG Method"?

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  dizzygardener on 3/29/2011, 3:28 pm

here's a beginner's plan:

http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2009/05/free-garden-plan-beginner-garden-in-day.html

There are a few more on that site if you search for them.

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  ralitaco on 3/29/2011, 9:22 pm

Thanks everyone for your input.

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  nancy on 3/30/2011, 10:04 am

I'm a huge Little House in the Suburbs fan - that's how I found Mel & this forum!


Last edited by nancy on 3/30/2011, 10:04 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Basic 4x4 layout

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/1/2011, 3:25 pm

I too like Little House in the Suburbs, I want to try her home made deodorant when I get low. It's time to make laundry detergent again, I found a new recipe I want to try, it's supposed to last the average family of 4 a whole year. The average family does 5 loads a week-say what, I do 3 a day 3 days a week, and that's just me and hubby, my kidso do their own or they go in their birthday suits.

ralitaco, just wanted to check in on you and see how things were, have you decided what you want to start with yet? Oh and I found this on the forum today and wanted to share it with everyone.


General Planting guidelines:



Here are examples of what can be planted in each square foot:



16 carrots or radishes, onion (or 9)

9 onions, beets, peas, garlic, spinach. bush beans, pole beans

4 lettuce, chard, marigolds, or kohlrabi, strawberries,

1 tomato, pepper (try 2 next time), eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, or corn, cabbage, celery, potato

1 squash, or melon per 2 sq.ft. (or 3ft space – zucchini)

2 cucumbers





1 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 12 inches apart.

4 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 6 inches apart.

9 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 4 inches apart.

16 per square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 3 inches apart.

FarmerValerie

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