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vegetable garden planning guidelines

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vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  jcpen on 4th August 2011, 11:58 am

what vegetable garden planning guidelines should always be followed in square foot gardening and which are optional.

I am assuming that spacing rules are bit flexible since some cultivar take up more
space then others. Such as cherry bell radish can be spaced 16 per square foot
where as watermelon radish might need to be space 4 or 9 per square foot.
and you might need only 1 per foot and use the carrot/potato bed height increaser for a daikon radish.

in my personal view the triangle rule ( tall plants in back and short plants in front)is common in even none square foot gardening methods.

I am curious to see what guidelines you think are less important.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  littlesapphire on 4th August 2011, 2:32 pm

I think the #1 rule for SFG is to ALWAYS use Mel's mix. And then to section your garden off into squares! But those are about the only two rules I follow consistently, lol. You should do what works for you!

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  Furbalsmom on 4th August 2011, 7:06 pm

Littlesapphire is right on for rules #1 and #2

#1 Always use Mel's Mix

#2 Always make and use a grid

#3 use the recommended spacing. But, jcpen, you are also right, some cultivars don't fit in the standard spacing. That is why Mel also gave us the spacing to use based on the "thin to" instructions on the seed packet. This takes care of the various cultivars plus it helps you space items not mentioned on his spacing list.

Thin to 3 inches equals 16 per square

Thin to 4 inches equals 9 per square

Thin to 6 inches equals 4 per square

Thin to 10 - 12 inches equals 1 per square.

I try to get all my vining and taller plants on the North side of the SFG bed to prevent them from shading out the smaller plants. Other than that, I plant for convenience. If I will be harvesting often, like lettuce, it probably will be in an outside square, while if it is a longer days to maturity plant such as carrots, I may put them in center squares.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4th August 2011, 7:24 pm

Mel's Mix, raised bed, and a grid. That's it to be an SFG. Violate those, you have yourself a version of SFG, but not a true one. Good news, there's a section on the forum to discuss non-SFG stuff.



Mel's Mix makes other soil amendments virtually obselete. And, I agree.



Raised beds are merely "dedicated beds." Since we can dig down 6 inches in the soil and have a garden level with the existing ground, this rule sort of has flexibility. But, as stated in the book, it's just easier to drop the new, perfect soil right on top of the worthless stuff that requires all the amending.



The grid is for both spacing and aesthetics. It is what separates an SFG from a raised garden.



Now, you will find lots of debating back and forth here at times. And, you will fall off the fence on one side or the other. It isn't my desire to get you onto my side or someone else's. These are the three rules I don't violate because I had so many "a-ha" moments while reading that book it was ridiculous. I don't think I'll ever do anything differently......until the All New ALL NEW SUPER UPDATED SFG version comes out.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  jcpen on 4th August 2011, 7:52 pm

two rules: I forgot are always have something growing in square during the growing season. doing otherwise lets weeds have an opening.

the other rule is don't grow what you don't eat.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  littlesapphire on 4th August 2011, 8:16 pm

Those are awesome rules, Jcpen Very Happy I know it's wasteful, but I also water any unused squares (like the ones that are under the huge zucchini leaves). If I don't, the Mel's mix gets so dry and just blows away in the wind.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  boffer on 4th August 2011, 8:46 pm

I water empty squares because it's so much easier to keep them hydrated than it is to get them re-hydrated.

A bonus: I add new compost as soon as I harvest so that the weed seeds germinate, and I get them plucked before I plant anything.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4th August 2011, 9:01 pm

@boffer wrote:A bonus: I add new compost as soon as I harvest so that the weed seeds germinate, and I get them plucked before I plant anything.



Now, this is a quality tip!

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  shannon1 on 5th August 2011, 3:13 am

As far as spacing goes Mel even says in his book/bible if you plan on harvesting some veggies as babies (carrots & beets for example) you can plant them more closely. Have you read Mel's "all new squarefoot gardening"?



Here in the south we don't always plant the tallest plants on the north side as some plants bennifit from the shade they get from taller plants in the summer heat.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  jcpen on 6th August 2011, 10:03 pm

shannon yes, I have all six of mels great literary guidelines on growing using the square foot gardening method.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  shannon1 on 8th August 2011, 12:33 am

Fantastic!!!!Very Happy

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  jcpen on 8th August 2011, 6:05 pm

which of my books do you have

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A handy tool indeed

Post  hankyknot on 8th August 2011, 7:43 pm

I got my "Clyde's Garden Planner" in the mail today.

What a handy little tool, its really helped me work out what I can plant when and when the square should be vacant, it even tells me what to start indoors and when. To find out more google Clydes Garden Planner and watch the videos on YouTube, it really is simplicity itself.

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Re: vegetable garden planning guidelines

Post  camprn on 8th August 2011, 8:02 pm

There are some good tools and planners here at Johnny's Seeds

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