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I had three raised beds put in; 4x8 OD; with loss for the frames they are closer to 37"x94. I bought the SF gardener and am starting my plan for this year. I will be putting covering over them to get a little earlier run on it but the amounts he listed for each sf seemed undoable. I appreciate your design and will do some doodling with it compared with what I worked out from his schematic.
I think you have to allow yourself to have some flexibility when doing square foot gardening. I agree that the "square foot gardening" book seems very intense- Actually I have practiced it (loosely) for many years. I have all raised beds that are mostly 3' wide by various lengths- my main one is 50' long with a few breaks- a tree, etc. I know pretty much how much to allow each tomato, each pepper, etc.,. and go from there. I will take some photos tomorrow.
Yes, I am putting supports on the north end of the furthest north bed for climbers. Also wanted to try some shorter supports for hanging things like squash in nets from the supports to get them off the ground and leave more growing room. Big experiment this year. Tomato, beans, melons etc will stay under cover all summer to maintain heat. We are really cool up here for them.
>> hanging things like squash in nets from the supports to get them off the ground and leave more growing room
Cool! I always thought that sprawling crops like squash and melon "should" be grown in small raised beds, like 1-2 square yards each. Then they could sprawl radially away from the bed as far as they wanted to.
The guy who wrote the SF garden recommends the baggies (usually panty hose) for lots of stuff like melons, squash, etc. We'll see how it works this year. Squash and zuchinni grow really well here. Not so well the beans, either bush or vine. Too cool, air and ground.
Oh. Well, you build a frame like you would hang netting on for peas, but you make it really strong then as the vines grow you move them up the trellis. As the fruit (melons, squash, etc) starts to grow and get heavier you put them in something like panty hose and attach them to the trellis. They can grow as the panty hose if very expandable but are suspended from the ground; you are essentially vertical gardening providing you more horizontal ground for other bush type stuff.
I would work up a 3- year plan, based on rotating the crops for nutrients and disease reduction.
Example: Legumes add nitrogen to the soil. Most root crops do not like extra N, but leaf crops thrive. So one possible 3- year rotation is:
1) Legumes (raise the N in the soil)
2) Leaf crops (use the N)
3) Root crops (reduced N is better)
Another rotation would rotate not individual species, but rotate by plant families.
Most Crucifers get the same soil problems, so rotate them as a group. Do not repeat Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage... one after the other. Perhaps dedicate one bed, or half a bed to this plant family one season, then another bed next season... and make as long as possible a rotation before you repeat these crops in any one bed.
Most Solanums get the same soil problems as each other, but different from Crucifers, so rotate Solanums as a group. Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplant in one bed this year, and a different bed next year and so on.
If there are some specific soil problems (diseases or pests) that are a significant problem in your area, target your rotations to avoid that problem, and select resistant varieties, and varieties that have proven to do well when grown in your area so they are the strongest when your specific problem is at its worst. You might even have to skip a year, and not even grow a certain plant family to break the cycle of some pest or disease.
So your rotation schedule might be different than the one I set up.