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This is all very new to me. I come from a family of black thumbs. They are amazed that I can keep house plants alive... but I enjoy working outside and growing things. The issue is just that I have no in-person guidance so everything is kind of trial and error with me. We've been in our house now for two years (this will be the third summer) and have slowly "reclaimed" the yard. (Our neighborhood is on the edge of a forest, so many of the yards in the neighborhood are a little overgrown, which we like. But when we moved in, our yard was *really* overgrown. Now it's only as messy as we like. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ) Last year I was able to grow some herbs in a tiny bed near our kitchen and start our compost.<br><br>
Now that we feel we can handle our good-sized yard, we want to move on to a vegetable garden. I've been reading a lot, and I think we're going to start with a raised bed in a very sunny corner of our yard. I really want this to work so I don't want to overdo it this first year. I see "beginner" gardens online recommended to start at like, 10 x 16 ft. But I was thinking more of something like 12 x 3 ft. (it would fit the area well), so it would be really small but manageable, and then each year I could maybe add another bed next to it once I feel more confident.<br><br>
Would this be a weird size? Is there an advantage to having deeper/wider beds?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>huggingmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15359085"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But I was thinking more of something like 12 x 3 ft. (it would fit the area well), so it would be really small but manageable, and then each year I could maybe add another bed next to it once I feel more confident.<br><br>
Would this be a weird size? Is there an advantage to having deeper/wider beds?</div>
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The first veggie garden I put in at this house was 12 feet by 18 inches deep. It's the area between our path and the side of the garage. It's actually a great location for a veggie garden--full sun all day, and well-protected from frost well into the late fall but it's the only room in that great location. This year, it'll probably be my 4 roma tomato plants and 4 pepper plants (the last few feet belong to my perennial herbs).<br><br>
Something 12x3 would be a great area to look into square foot gardening for. You'll never have to walk on the soil to access any part of it, so it'll fulfill that part of the requirement.
 

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Thanks! And now I have another search term to look up. Square foot gardening looks interesting...<br><br>
Your first veggie garden size and location sounds like my MIL's, which is awesome. (She gardens, but lives halfway across the country... sigh.)
 

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A good rule of thumb on the width of a bed that is accesable from both sides to plant is twice the distance you can reach while sqauatting down, for some that may be 3ft, for others 4 or even 4.5 to 5 feet! If you have a tall and short person in the home then maybe compromise with something in between! If the bed is only accessable from one side like at the edge of the garden only make it one armlength across so that you can reach the back of it to weed and plant.<br><br>
Make your first veggie garden only as big as you feel comfortable with, let it be fun and not stressful!<br><br>
Watch how much space you use to walk beside the bed this year so that next year when you build another bed you know how much room to leave between the two for a walkway/pathway.
 

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I have a couple of friends who love their sq ft garden. Mine is traditional row style and is approx 8x16. This is my first year too and I feel this is the max size I could handle. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Between designing, planting, watering, and weeding, its a lot of work!
 

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I'm all about the square foot garden because it is easy! Go for it. You could use the square foot gardening method with whatever size bed you want.
 

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12' x 3' would be a great size for starting out -- just don't plan to grow pumpkins! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Build a small raised bed, plant a few things and go from there. Each year add on and grow more as you are comfortable. The only warning I would give anyone is to not go too big at first. Then you risk getting stuck with a ton of work and weeds. I like some of what the squarefoot gardening book has to say. I also like the lasagna method of raised beds which works for us better. The gardeners supply catalog online has a cool little online kitchen garden planner. You put in the size of your raised bed and it helps plan what will fit.
 

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I say start small but remember that some plants can be piggish with space as they grow (most squash plants come to mind.) For a raised bed, you really want something small enough that you don't have to walk on it and compact all that lovely loose soil you filled it with. So 12' x 3' sounds great. That is plenty of room to start you off. My first year I planted a huge garden (maybe 10' by 25') and most of it ended up going to weed or being neglected because I didn't understand what garden maintance looked like. So start small and give it lots of love. Add more next year if you find you enjoy your time spent tending to the plants, and are wishing for more.
 
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