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High Yield Gardening: Square Foot Garden Plan Suggestions?

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Forum: High Yield GardeningReplies: 10, Views: 110
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apinch
Morton, IL

February 20, 2013
5:32 AM

Post #9425209

I have been doing the square foot garden method for a few years & recently posted this plan: http://apinchofcharacter.com/2013/02/20/planning-your-small-plot-garden-layout/
I would love to hear your suggestions for improvements!
Jody

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

February 20, 2013
2:03 PM

Post #9425749

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.
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2013
3:33 PM

Post #9425869

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.

This message was edited Feb 20, 2013 5:00 PM

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 20, 2013
5:03 PM

Post #9425956

Have you taking shading into account? The only thigs that jump out at me as "tall" are your tomatoes, that might be climbing supports.

If they are, they should probably be at the North end, so they don't shade anything shorter.

I admire people who plan ahead!

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

February 20, 2013
7:06 PM

Post #9426117

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.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2013
11:25 AM

Post #9426823

>> 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.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

February 21, 2013
11:46 AM

Post #9426835

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.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

February 22, 2013
7:49 AM

Post #9427746

Baggies? Please expound...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

February 22, 2013
10:18 AM

Post #9427874

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.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

February 22, 2013
10:29 AM

Post #9427886

Ok. Thanks!
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 3, 2013
9:45 AM

Post #9437477

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.
For example:
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.

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Other High Yield Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Plant spacing jkehl 25 Apr 26, 2011 11:01 AM
How can you tell if you have enough space? sowersjoy 12 Mar 5, 2007 2:32 PM
Designing Raised Beds for Veggies CultivatingKate 24 Mar 25, 2013 1:20 PM
Container growing vs. raised bed growing yields silverglow 63 Dec 1, 2011 7:34 PM
Square Foot Gardening (SFG) construction pics 1_Lucky_Texan 55 May 20, 2013 7:02 AM


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