Raised bed garden in N. Cal zone 9

kzmiddleMarch 1, 2013


It has been a while since I have had a really successful garden and I want to remedy that situation.

I am in Roseville, CA which is zone 9.

My raised bed that I have to work with is 8' X 16' and has basically a full sun exposure.

I am looking for recommendations as to what to plant and when.

I will be growing some tomatos, squash and peppers for sure but I would like some ideas of other stuff to grow too.

I am interested in spinach, green beans, cucumbers... whatever.

I would really like to try and have a continuing abundance of fresh vegies to harvest from spring through fall.

All ideas and suggestions are appreciated.

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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Check with your local Master Gardeners - they publish vegetable planting lists for Placer County. You can also call their help line and discuss your specific site, soil, etc.

Remember that most people can't reach 4' (1/2 the width of your bed) so you likely have to leave the middle unplanted.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Placer County Vegetable Guide

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 9:40AM
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A path up the middle would definitely be useful. You might want to check out square foot gardening for ideas, along with your local Master Gardener group. Plant what you like to eat, and learn which vegetables are cool season and warm season. You might want to consider strawberries, too. Swiss chard is super easy to grow. Be sure to put your tallest plants to the north so they don't shade the lower growing plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Square Foot Garden

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 10:20PM
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You're a little lower than I am, and my last frost date is April 15th. However, up here we always seem to get hit with either frost a week later than that, or else hail two weeks later. I recommend getting a roll of the light Agribon from Groworganic.com, (just up the road in Grass Valley) and covering everything for three weeks after the last frost date.

As already mentioned, 8 feet is pretty wide, so you'll want a path up the middle. If you're still building, I'd suggest giving yourself at least a 2 foot rise, with a 6~8" board across the top. That gives you a place to sit while weeding and picking, instead of having to bend over or work on your knees.

Also, remember that the plants tend to hand out the sides as well. I thought a 4 foot spacing between my 4x8 beds would be plenty, but once things get going, I'm down to about 2 feet, before I start getting wet from brushing against the plants.

All that said, my tomatoes and cukes from the greenhouse go out in 5 weeks. Beans will get direct seeded a couple weeks later.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Hey, thanks for all the responses!

Very good advice on the size of the bed. I built the bed probably 16 years ago, I wish I had done it differently for sure.

So this year I took out the sides as some of the boards were rotting and a couple of the posts had rotted through completely.

I did check out that square foot gardening and I may implement that sometime in the future. I just happened to be pretty far behind in starting so I wanted to get right on it.

I am definitely interested in high density gardening to get even more fresh food from it than I have in the past.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Sides down and Marigolds planted

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:30PM
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    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:31PM
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    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:33PM
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    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:34PM
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    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:35PM
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So all in all, it has gone pretty well.

My tomatoes are all indeterminates and I will be adding a stake for each one and allow 2 - 3 stems to grow and take off all suckers after that. I have done that in the past and had very nice crops.

I have two bean teepees and my first bean has broken through today. Inside the teepees I have spinach that has also just come through today.

By the tomatoes I also have strawberries and pepper plants. Two bells, a sweet yellow and a jalepeno.

I will be growing cucumber, zuchini, crooked neck and a yellow scallop squash in the cages.

I have also used a concrete wire to create a 7' long by 5' high "fence" that I have watermelon and honeydew that I will train onto the fence. Once I start getting fruit there, I will creat slings or hammocks if you will, to carry the weight.

All feedback is welcome!
Good growing everyone!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:49PM
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napapen(ca 15)

If your tomatoes are indeterminates than a stake will not be enough.
I suggest the square folding frames with stakes to hold them in place. The round ones only work if upside down otherwise they tip over. They need to be stakes too. Tomatoes can get 6 ft tall - at least in my yard.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:08PM
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Hi Penny,

Thank you for the feedback!

I have used many different cages in the past for tomatoes and I have had the most success with using stakes.

The are good sized stakes, 8' that will go in the ground 1.5 - 2'. So the will be about 6.5 feet tall.

If you only let 2 or 3 stems develop, it is plenty for a 6' plant. I agree they will easily get 6', most likely more like 8' !

I will post pictures as it develops. Keeps me motivated to have a great garden.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Nice going, Keith!

Re: the tomatoes - everyone develops a system that works for them and their location. I almost always choose indeterminate tomatoes but I cut them off about 2/3 of the way through the season to allow the plant to focus on the flowers/fruit already set. (I still get more tomatoes than we can eat so give many away to happy non-gardeners.) So the height never becomes a problem.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:24PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

You did very nice work! Please post your results and a photo or two of the beautiful veggies you will get. :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:20PM
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Thank you Sara and hoovb! Much appreciated.

I will definitely keep posting as the garden develops and I start harvesting.

Is it appropriate to just keep posting on a thread here or do you set-up a gallery? What is the proper protocol?



    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:43PM
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That looks like it's going to be really nice KZ. I still haven't planted anything in my garden. I'm behind thanks to an overzealous irrigation project.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Hi ya,,
Wanted to see if you have some updated pictures of your garden. I have been following this thread, and am impressed with your efforts..
First time in ages that I absconded from planting in my beds. Missing the product it gave us. However, these long endless heat driven days have made me just want to escape it all....Just for this year!
I am in Elk Grove, we have a great community spot that I look at longingly and will be back at it..Maybe a winter planting. Or not LOL

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:56PM
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