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Take a look at my garden plan?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

This is my first year attempting square foot gardening. I have a 15' x 15' space. Anyone with experience with this want to take a look and give me any advice you may have? It is open all around the garden area and in a very sunny area. Also, these are not raised beds. They are in the ground. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to divide such a large area so I remain in the planned areas when planting.

 

TIA :)

 

GardenPlanPic.png

post #2 of 17

I think it looks ok (I'm no expert but I don't see any obvious issues wink1.gif). One thing to think about is the trellis on the west side of the garden... how tall is it going to be and will it block afternoon sun etc. 

 

Are you growing potatoes in a barrel, box or something? Otherwise I can't see you getting that many in such a small space. 

 

As for the beds/walkways, first I marked the beds with sticks and string. Then I pulled dirt from the pathways into the beds to raise it up a little. And then I laid cardboard covered with straw over the pathways to keep weeds down and the place sort of tidy. 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Awesome, Heather. Thank you for your input. I'm thinking I may put two small trellises from west to east. That shouldwork, huh? Then it may only be blocking some sun on the cucumber to the north of the trellis? About the potatoes.. I was planning on doing them in the ground. I have never grown them before and was going off of the advice of a SFG site I found. I guess I will have to look further into it. 

 

post #4 of 17
Is there a reason for all the little beds instead of one or two long ones? You get a lot more useable space if you made a couple of 3-4'x15' beds with 2' paths in between.

How much do you want to get from the garden? 4 potato plants won't yield much but it'll give you a nice sample. Keep them in the ground. There's enough research out there to show that planting them in containers (boxes, tires whatever) does not increase yield. You can trellis the melons and pumpkins and that'll free up a little space. You can also interplant stuff; lettuce around your tomatoes/potatoes etc.
post #5 of 17

Caveat - I don't know anything about square foot gardening, and my experience is with the wet west coast.

 

As the PP pointed out, the potatoes need more space if you want a decent sized harvest. Can you make a bed along the south side between the watermelon and the pumpkin? Or you could try a barrel.

 

The broccoli will need more space - at least as much as the cauliflower.

 

The peas and beans will need the trellis down the middle of their plot, with a row of seeds on either side. You might have a hard time reaching all the peas & beans in the middle unless you put down a few stepping stones. Make sure you can reach through the trellis/mesh to get to the other side.

 

Picking the cucumbers regularily might be difficult behind the other plants (the little cukes like to hide and suddenly turn huge)

 

Personally I prefer long beds to square ones, so I'd have designed the garden with two to three foot wide beds oriented east-west, one foot paths between them, and a central North-South path wide enough for a wheel barrow, but that's just me :)

post #6 of 17

I'm with the others who asked about the garden bed size and shape. You have a lot of space devoted to paths, which is really just wasted space. If you build beds that are 15' long and 4 feet wide, with two foot and a half wide paths between them (assuming you can access the beds from outside the 15 x 15 rectangle, too), you'd have much more space to garden. If you won't be able to access the beds from outside the 15 x 15 space - because the space is against a wall, or will be fenced, or whatever - then you could make the beds narrower than 4' and just 13' long, so you have a little more path.

post #7 of 17

I agree with PP. I plant in beds that are 4' wide with 2' wide paths. 

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by limette View Post

Is there a reason for all the little beds instead of one or two long ones? You get a lot more useable space if you made a couple of 3-4'x15' beds with 2' paths in between.

How much do you want to get from the garden? 4 potato plants won't yield much but it'll give you a nice sample. Keep them in the ground. There's enough research out there to show that planting them in containers (boxes, tires whatever) does not increase yield. You can trellis the melons and pumpkins and that'll free up a little space. You can also interplant stuff; lettuce around your tomatoes/potatoes etc.


Well.. I guess because it's square foot gardening and not 'traditional' gardening. lol Also, I don't have enough money to to buy plants to fill more space. As for the potatoes, I'm just kind of testing it out, as I have never grown them before and am mostly curious as to how well they will do. I was considering trellising the melon and pumpkin, but there's a lot of grassy space to the south of the garden so I figured it could vine out into the grass if needed. Is there any reason that wouldn't be ok?

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by RoamingWidgeteer View Post

Caveat - I don't know anything about square foot gardening, and my experience is with the wet west coast.

 

As the PP pointed out, the potatoes need more space if you want a decent sized harvest. Can you make a bed along the south side between the watermelon and the pumpkin? Or you could try a barrel.

 

The broccoli will need more space - at least as much as the cauliflower.

 

The peas and beans will need the trellis down the middle of their plot, with a row of seeds on either side. You might have a hard time reaching all the peas & beans in the middle unless you put down a few stepping stones. Make sure you can reach through the trellis/mesh to get to the other side.

 

Picking the cucumbers regularily might be difficult behind the other plants (the little cukes like to hide and suddenly turn huge)

 

Personally I prefer long beds to square ones, so I'd have designed the garden with two to three foot wide beds oriented east-west, one foot paths between them, and a central North-South path wide enough for a wheel barrow, but that's just me :)


I'm going based off of SFG, so there are actually 2 broccoli plants there and 4 cauliflower.

I think I should be ok with the cukes, as I can walk around the entire garden area. It's all open. So, I will be able to pick from West side.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe View Post

I'm with the others who asked about the garden bed size and shape. You have a lot of space devoted to paths, which is really just wasted space. If you build beds that are 15' long and 4 feet wide, with two foot and a half wide paths between them (assuming you can access the beds from outside the 15 x 15 rectangle, too), you'd have much more space to garden. If you won't be able to access the beds from outside the 15 x 15 space - because the space is against a wall, or will be fenced, or whatever - then you could make the beds narrower than 4' and just 13' long, so you have a little more path.


Like I said to PP, I can't afford to put more plants in than what I have listed. There are a surprising amount of plants there already! Let's see.. I figured it out the other day -

Plant and how many plants needed for plan shown -

tomato - 3

carrots - 208

basil - 3

peas - 32

pole beans - 32

lettuce - 8

potatoes - 4

cauliflower - 4

broccoli - 2

spinach - 18

parsley - 2

green pepper - 4

dill - 4

beets - 18

watermelon - 2

garlic - 8 to 18

red pepper - 4

pumpkin - 2

 

I'm not sure if you're familiar with SFG or not, but I think the point it to get as much as you can into the smallest space you can. We'll see how it goes!

 

 

post #9 of 17

I'm definitely familiar with SFG - I think most of us here are. :)

 

I guess I am a little confused though - are the beds already built? From your first post, I assumed the beds are being build/dug from scratch, but from your second, it sounds as if the beds may be existing already, and you are just asking for advice on how to fill them. Is that the case?

post #10 of 17

I agree with the PP's who would put in several long beds running all the way across the garden.  Mine are 3 1/2 ft wide, but I'm really small, so 4 feet might be better for you.  Even if you think you can't afford to fill beds that size this year, you might still want to get them established.  If you make the beds permanent (which is easier to do if they're all a standard size), then you can always just walk on the pathways and the soil in the beds never gets compressed.  If you move things around every year, you might end up planting stuff where you had a path the year before.  Is the whole 15x15 ft space dug up, or are you leaving grass between the beds?  If you are leaving grass between the beds, it's definitely nice to have less path/bed edge (which means having bigger beds), because every edge is a place where grass and weeds are going to be trying to creep into the bed and you'll have to keep fighting them back.

 

And I bet you could easily plant quite a bit more without spending much more money.  Seed potatoes aren't that expensive (at least not if you have a local non-fancy source like Agway), and potatoes are practically guaranteed to be successful.   As PP's said, 4 potato plants aren't going to give you very many potatoes.  If your family likes them, it's hard to plant too many.  Or how about onions?  Onion bulbs are cheap.  And as long as you're buying a pack of pumpkin seeds and a pack of watermelon seeds, you could always plant more of them to fill in any empty spaces.  Or if you wouldn't use very many of those, get a pack of some other kind of winter squash.  A couple of spaghetti squash plants could easily fill a 15X4 foot bed.  Two broccoli plants isn't much, either.  If you're starting them from seed, planting 2 isn't any cheaper than planting the whole pack.  But it's getting late for starting them, so maybe you're just planning to buy plants.

post #11 of 17
Quote:

 

Well.. I guess because it's square foot gardening and not 'traditional' gardening. lol Also, I don't have enough money to to buy plants to fill more space.

 

Yeah, plants are expensive :(  For a lots of those I have good luck starting from seed though, especial lettuce, peas, beans, herbs (esp dill), spinach, carrots and beets either by seeding directly in the ground or by starting in trays until the first set of true leaves. Brassicas aren't difficult either but need a bit more care but can still be done on a bright windowsill.

 



 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

The bed is already dug up and will be roto-tilled sometime soon.

 

Is it too late for me to start much from seed? I'm in central NH.. so looks like right on the line for zone 4 and 5. I would love to do that, if I could get away with it!

post #13 of 17

Oh, good heavens, no, it's not too late! It is only just getting late enough in the season that you can put your seeds right outside in our zone! Here's what I'd suggest based on where I live (zone 4B) - I assume it would be pretty similar to where you are:

 

tomato - you'll need plants

carrots - seed now

basil - seed, but wait til your last frost date - it's too early now

peas - seed now

pole beans - seed, but wait til your last frost date - it's too early now

lettuce - seed now

potatoes - seed now

cauliflower - plants, or seed in early June for a fall crop

broccoli - plants, or seed in June for a fall crop 

spinach - seed now

parsley - seed now

green pepper - plants

dill - seed now

beets - seed now

watermelon - seed, but wait til your last frost date - it's too early now

garlic - plant in fall for next year

red pepper - plants

pumpkin - seed, but wait til your last frost date - it's too early now

 

And you know, even if you really want to do all plants and therefore can't afford to fill the space, I'd still do the long skinny beds and just fill as much as I could afford, then plant a cover crop by seed so your good garden soil in the part you couldn't plant doesn't erode away. Wheat or rye are very easy to turn into the soil the next season, and they look nice.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you!!

post #15 of 17

off the top of my head, I think the potatoes, cauliflower, brocoli, and lettuce need more space.  I would have more than 3 tomato plants - some always end up producing poorly so I would hedge my bets with more plants.

 

How about a bit of a hybrid garden?  Sq ft for smaller items like herbs, and bigger space for those items that require lots of space.

 

The watermelon and pumpkin will grow out the garden and into the grass on the south side .  Just so you know.  

 

Good luck!

post #16 of 17

The one thing I notice is that you have a lot of space dedicated to summer squash but didn't list how many plants.... Personally I have never needed more than 2 plants and thats with eating, giving away and freezing a LOT. On the other hand, broccoli need just as much space as a summer squash and only produces one head (and offshoots) so I would flip flop those if you want more broccoli.

And don't forget that you have to rotate it all next year so I would keep groups of things together (like tomatoes) to make it easier to rotate next year. :)

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolian View Post

Thanks for all the responses!
 


Well.. I guess because it's square foot gardening and not 'traditional' gardening. lol Also, I don't have enough money to to buy plants to fill more space. As for the potatoes, I'm just kind of testing it out, as I have never grown them before and am mostly curious as to how well they will do. I was considering trellising the melon and pumpkin, but there's a lot of grassy space to the south of the garden so I figured it could vine out into the grass if needed. Is there any reason that wouldn't be ok?

 




I'm going based off of SFG, so there are actually 2 broccoli plants there and 4 cauliflower.

I think I should be ok with the cukes, as I can walk around the entire garden area. It's all open. So, I will be able to pick from West side.

 




Like I said to PP, I can't afford to put more plants in than what I have listed. There are a surprising amount of plants there already! Let's see.. I figured it out the other day -

Plant and how many plants needed for plan shown -

tomato - 3

carrots - 208

basil - 3

peas - 32

pole beans - 32

lettuce - 8

potatoes - 4

cauliflower - 4

broccoli - 2

spinach - 18

parsley - 2

green pepper - 4

dill - 4

beets - 18

watermelon - 2

garlic - 8 to 18

red pepper - 4

pumpkin - 2

 

I'm not sure if you're familiar with SFG or not, but I think the point it to get as much as you can into the smallest space you can. We'll see how it goes!

 

 


My previous garden was square foot raised beds and they were 3 foot wide and 12 feet long. you can build them however big you want, it really has no relevance for the square foot part. My new garden the beds are going to be 4' x 40' and they will also follow a the square foot spacing. Also most of what you are planting can be direct seeded. No expensive plants to buy, just seed packets with hundreds if not thousands of seeds in them.
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