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I love the idea of companion gardening but don't know much about it with the exception of all the charts on the internet. Does anyone have any pictures or diagrams of their veggie/berry/herb gardens? I am planning on having Two 3X10 feet raised beds. How and what should I plant? This year I think we are just building up the soil and making it rich and ready for next year but I want to learn all I can before I start. I would also like it to be as organic as possible! Is this a tall order????
This is my garden early this season. My wife and I try to companion plant as much as possible because of the limited space we have. We try to plant short season crops with long season crops so the long season crops eventually get more room as the short season crops get harvested. Plant "bush" or compact varieties of plants and use trellises for vining plants so they take up less room. Plant things that get along well with each other or benefit each other in some way such as a tall leafy plant that can shade a plant that likes cooler soil temps or not as much sun. Use "earthboxes" if your into that kind of planting. A person could put a lot of time and evergy into planning, sometimes too much planning and not enough planting:)
Yes, that is chives surrounded by some old broken bricks. That chive is about 15 years old. The center rectagular box with the chives is the herb garden. It also has marigolds planted in it. I love the chive. When it blooms it is really beautiful, and the blooms are very tasty. The garden is slowly but surly starting to fill in a little. I take photos every couple of days so I will post more as the season goes on.
I opted for pretty tall raised beds to discourage the dogs from jumping in them. I have one for perennials, one for mostly herbs, one for vegetables like lettuce, radishes, etc. Then I have two others along the fence built differently than the big ones. Those have tomatoes in one and beans/cukes in the other.
Then we added these fences to keep the cat and dogs out when I planted seeds. The cat rarely gets to go outside anymore (he discovered he was INDEED a cat and could hop the fence), but I still keep the panels up.
I also have one other raised bed out of 4 x4s. It is a 4 foot square bed. Those pieces of wood were much easier to lift and deal with.
I like your garden Mrs_Ed. I would like to have my beds made out of timbers like yours but I am too cheap to put any kind of money into it. All the wood you see in my garden is stuff I got for free, old cut up pallets. It looks like you have a "city garden" too. I would like to have more space, but I like the challenge of making stuff grow in a limited amount of room. Plus its less to weed and maintain:)
My raised beds are 4 by 8 feet. We used corner brackets purchased from Lee Valley Tools. We filled with some clay soil from when we dug fence post holes, mixed with compost, topsoil, peat, and 1 bag of sand mixed in. We use a small tiller to till them up every year.
They are built with construction timbers and lined with polyethylene. It breaks down over time but they last longer that way and are less costly than cedar or redwood.
We built a frame up over this bed for growing cantaloupe melons and also for snow peas. It works really well. We drape metal rabbit fence over the top bars and staple it to the bottom sides. The melons go nuts on it.
And this is what happens with 3 of the 6 beds every year. TOMATOES!!! Hooray!!!
We use rabbit fence again in horizontal panels for support. They grow up through the panels and are supported really well, even in our strong winds here. I think this system is fabulous, if I may say so myself. :-) We use the panels year after year and they work perfectly well. The rabbit fence is "sandwiched" in a frame made from pine 1 x 2 lumber. In a 4 by 8 foot bed, I grow 21 tomato plants, 3 rows of 7 plants.
Claire, very nice. Those Lee Valley brackets are exactly what I use for my two beds along the fence. I wish I would have used regular boards like you, but instead I used some leftover deck boards. They are just a tad short and don't make as seamless of a side as you have.
Love the tomatoes!
My next raised bed with the brackets will be for Raspberries. I'll be doing some sort of similar support structure within the bed for them.
Tmaple, you are right, each bed is about 125$ in timbers. Good thing I plan on retiring at this home! But I really like the fact that I can sit on the edge. In fact, I wouldn't mind having them a couple of layers taller. I can always add to them though.
Thanks Mrs. Ed! I thought your beds looked super. I love the way that you can sit on the edge because you definitely can't do that with mine. A modification for next time! I might make a flat top with triangle shaped supports under it, facing outward, to allow for a spot to sit. I have tried to sit on the edge of mine but it's not comfy for more than about 15 seconds!
Very nice CMoxon, I really like the 2bys with the bamboo through them in the beans and peas picture. jlp222-- I did build the trellis myself. It started out as a couple of boards screwed together for my scarlet runner beans to climb up and it morphed into what you see now. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I like the height of Mrs_Ed's raised beds. I wanted to make mine taller but didn't have the wood or the soil to fill them. Everyone's garden looks very good.
thanks everyone! It does make gardening easier. For the most part it stops the dogs, but when they are chasing each other, one will often cut through them. Usually only in the winter and spring though.
Nice going, fourks!!! You've made me TOTALLY jealous. I dream of a greenhouse like what you have, warm, sunny, veggies and flowers happily growing along, relaxing place to have a cup of coffee in the morning with my wife...I'm dreaming about it right now!
Thanks everyone. Its been a lot of work, but I can honestly say that it has been the most rewarding thing I've done. Even brought the wife and I closer. I live in the Colorado Rockies at 8600" So a greenhouse is quite a necessity! And yes, I drink my morning coffee right in that seat:-)
Also. the thing that appealed to me about the Tyvek is it will allow the fabric to breath both ways. The plastic always bothered me because I was afraid of trapping moisture between. Plus the stuff is almost indestructible!
My thoughts about how to garden in the desert went all over the place when I first moved to Arizona. The soil is incredibly poor and water conservation is a must. To make a long, boring story short, I decided to build raised beds using concrete blocks. I built them 2 rows of blocks high and then topped them with cap blocks. They ended up being about 18/20 inches high which is a very comfortable sitting height. And, because they're made out of blocks, they're basically maintenance free and should last longer than me.
THANK YOU... THANK YOU... THANK YOU!!! You have all made such impressive and beautiful gardens!!! I can only wish that over time I will have 1/2 the talent that all of you have!! Thank you for taking the time and sharing. I know once I get started I am going to have a TON of questions!!
All I can say is AMAZING JOB EVERYONE!!! Those bed are absolutely wonderful. You have all given me so many fabulos ideas. I was looking for something similiar but now I have plenty of choices. Wow, Blown away!
Thank You! I'm not a mason. Around here block fences are pretty common in the new housing developments so I just watched the guys that build them to learn what I could. It's not that complicated but those masons could do in a couple of hours what took me 3 or 4 weekends. :o)
Great ideas, everyone. Lots of good ideas that may be incorporated into the garden next year, depending on what building materials I can scrounge ;) Half the fun for me is seeing how cheap a really good improvement can be. I put some mulch down in my garden yesterday and my wife put mulch in her perennial garden. What a difference a little mulch can make in the overall appearance!
jlp222--I don't mind at all, actually I'm flattered. I posted another picture of it to give a little different perspective. I have no plan for it, it came to me as I put boards together. When I started I only had 2 criteria, It had to be something scarlet runner beans could climb and it had to be at least 7 feet tall (for the beans and so you can easily walk through it). It is 5 feet wide by 2 feet deep by a little over 7 feet tall (walk through height) I just hope it is tall enough for the beans, they can get pretty crazy. I have plans to hang some of those solar powered accent lights from from it on some decorative hooks that I have. If you build one remember to stake it or tie it down. I haven't done that yet and the whole thing blew over in a storm last night! Luckily it survived and all the veggies survived. Post a picture when you get it built.
CMoxon--Thank you. My wife and I make a pretty good team in everything, that's why I love her so much.
I'm using the square foot gardening method. Here is my small garden - that does not have cheap dirt. I'd have a bigger garden, but I can't afford the soil all at once.
I have 3 - 4x4' beds, 2 - 3x9' beds, 32 tomatoes in pots and planters, 4 tomatoes in homemade earthboxes, 3 - 2x3 beds with squash (not pictured).
The potted tomatoes are watered with a drip irrigation system. I'm still working on the rest and watering by hand.
The four white buckets have concrete and T-post holding up lite-weight deer screen. ( always works for me )
I do not use companion planting, but I do replant a square as soon as it is harvested. Here is a list of what I grow - I have a pdf of what's in my beds (diagram) but I'm not sure how to post it here.
German Pink Tomato
Mr. Stripey Tomato (the yellow sweet ones)
Red Brandywine Tomato
Yellow Pear Tomato
Early Girl Tomato
Big Boy Tomato
Better Boy Tomato
A Local Beefsteak Tomato - Not named from local grower.
2 Varieties Cucumber
White Half Runner Bean
Yellow Bell Pepper
Two type of hot peppers
Two types radish
I list all this to demonstrate the variety and quantity you can do in a small garden. If you count the pots as one square foot each, I have around 160 square feet of growing space. (walk ways not included)
I just re-read what you said about the light weight deer screen, because I was looking at that photo, and the proximity of the woods, and saying to myself "How on earth does sgriffith stop the deer from eating everything?"
Where do you get that light weight deer screen? I can't even SEE it in the photo! I would love to use that. It seems incredibly invisible!
The deer screen is 7' tall. It is nothing more than really thin plastic netting. They could easily knock it down or rip it, but for some reason they have not yet. I get it at Lowes for 12 bucks. Its in the same section as the landscape cloth and bird netting. The reason I have the t-post in cement buckets is that my garden is on a solid rock with only 2 to 3 inches of top soil where there's any.
I plan to buy stone and build a 2 to 3 ft high stone fence and top it with some type of metal fence. Our whole area has a tremendous problem with the tops of everything being razed off by the deer. Its obviously not fool proof, but it is a very strong deterrent.
LOOK at the front left bucket and you can see the screen or netting.
Thanks - I have to go to Lowe's anyway for some more drip irrigation supplies, so I will check out the netting. I see it now, against the bucket, but the nice thing is that it doesn't interfere with your view to the woods. It's very unobtrusive. I like that.
Iowa is inundated with deer, so I am always looking for good solutions.
CMoxon, one of the DG Ubers told me that bloodmeal worked well. He said to sprinkle some at the corners of your garden and then repeat after rains. your netting is probably more cost effective, but I'd have a problem with the concrete buckets.
I think I'd have Kelly put some 4x4 timbers into the ground at the corners of my veg bed, which I think I would prefer to the buckets, but then sgriffith is only using that as a temporary situation until the wall goes in. We have a power auger that he uses to install posts for me. Right now, I have tree stakes in the ground with 6 foot wire mesh all the way around my veg garden. I think the timbers with the netting would be better. I could even make the timbers into the posts for a large pergola type of structure, and wrap the netting around it. My veggie bed now is about 80 feet long and about 15 feet wide, so I need a good, permanent solution.
I see groups of 5 to about 20 in the winter, but this time of year, I often see single wandering deer, or groups of 2 or 3. It is less frequent for me to see a larger group again until fall.
Here is a not very pretty 4x4 raised bed made according to Mel (peat, vermiculite, compost). I have about 4 or 5 different kinds of tomato plants (several with tomatoes on them), 2 cayenne peppers, 4 bell peppers. The rear tomato plants are quite large today and I am experimenting to see if you really can have one plant per square foot. Time will tell. I did add bone meal at planting and some high phosphate vegie fertilizer though Mel Bartholomew (sp?) says you don't need to fertilize his mix. The planks are 1 x 10 inches. Two sides have a 4 inch ht plank resting on top of the bottom one. They are not really serving any purpose though.