Round vs Square Gardens

azbookwormJune 10, 2011

I was listening to a lecture recently. Guy mentioned that gardens that are round grow better plants and seeds.

I know we always plant in square shapes. They are easier to form. Has anyone experienced or experimented with gardens in the round?

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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I have not heard that before. Can you share some details about why he feels that way?

I have a keyhole garden, mine is not round but alot of them are, I'll post a link to one that's prettier than mine :-) The concept behind the keyhole garden is that you can get to all of the plants from the keyhole's path which maximizes space.

This picture is before anything was planted, I had just finished building it. It's now full of tomatoes, English thyme, lemon balm, chiltepins and one large artichoke, going to flower.

Here is a link that might be useful: Keyhole Gardening

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 8:14AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

This pic of my garden was taken in March this year. I created the garden in December 2010 so plants are just beginning to come in. I should get a picture now, it's full of green!

HTH give you some ideas, I would still be interested to hear more details from the lecture you attended.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 8:19AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

GREAT pics, Mary! So fun to see! I agree 100% that the key to a good raised bed is being able to reach all the way to the middle from either side (otherwise you have to stand in the soil to reach the very middle). I made my first raised bed 6 feet wide and I couldn't reach the very middle, grumble, so I reconfigured it to 4 feet wide so I could reach all the way to the middle.

In any case, Mary I love the look of your keyhole bed. I also agree with you that you should post some new pics too. :) We'd love to see!

Im also curious to hear the logic behind a round bed being better than a square one. What reasoning did the lecturer give? Any of our members agree/disagree?

Fun discussion!
Happy gardening indoors and out,

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 1:34PM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

Hey Mary:

Where did you get your chiltepins? How big are they? I bought some seedlings 6 weeks ago, but they seem to be growing very slowly, even after fertilization. I am trying to keep them out of the direct, scorching Tucson sun, but they get several hours in the late afternoon. How are yours growing?



    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:26AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

P - the chiltepins were planted last summer, they did NOT take off and I lost one or two in the winter due to cold temps. They are coming along nicely now and have just begun to set fruit. I believe they LIKE lots of sun although my beds are heavily mulched with wood chips and/or straw.

I have grown them successfully before but it seems to me that they did take a year to get established. If they set flower I would remove the flower so the plant can send all its energy to root production. Plan to harvest next year. You will have to find a way to keep the birds from stealing *every last one* of the red peppers. They LOVE them! I net the bushes when they begin ripening.

Good luck, hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:39AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

P - it may be that the plants will need protection from the sun when they are still young but I would plant them where they will get plenty of sun when mature.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:28AM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Does a pot count as a round garden? Or is it referring to the placement of seeds and plants in circular patterns rather than in grid patterns? Some gardens are planted in built beds whereas others are planted directly in the ground, some even sunk in. I'm assuming he's talking about raised beds. I would be interested to know more about what was said so if you could elaborate a bit, that would be great. A google search didn't turn up information about this so I'm waiting here with bated breath wondering what this is all about. :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 3:41PM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

Thanks all. Right now they are growing in pots and are about 7 inches high, but a spindly 7 inches. Perhaps they will bush out over the summer..... I did try cutting off the tip to force a bush, but nothing really yet....

Stay cool all.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 9:42PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Try some high nitrogen fertilizer to get them to lush out a bit. Don't overdo it, just a little on young plants.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:17AM
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