Vegetable garden layout help and other questions

lsst(7b)May 11, 2009

We have decided to do create a veggie garden this year.

Can some one help me as to where in the garden things go in relation to height?

We do not want to plant something that will grow taller in front of something that will be shorter and not get as much sun.

We are growing:

Tomatoes in cages

Straight neck squash

Butternut squash


Bell peppers

In a corner of the garden, my daughter wants to try growing pumpkins and gourds.

The garden is about 35 x 35 and in the corner the pumpkin and gourds will have run of a section out side of the garden since I am sure they will outgrow the tilled area.

Does any one have any ideas on attractive yet effective fencing?

The deer have not been a problem this year.(so far...LOL) We used to have rabbits but a fox has been hanging around and I have not seen a rabbit in months.

I would love to see pics of your vegetable gardens.

Thanks in advance!

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If you can grow something on welded wire fencing you can get by without spending a ton of money and have extra stuff to harvest. I'd try cucumbers or any of the small gourds. Wooden fences look great but they block a lot of light which is important in the beginning. Deer can jump very high from a standing position so there really isn't an attractive alternative. If they become a problem you might want to put up temporary tall poles every 6 feet and hang deer fencing loosly on it (its black plastic netting). It doesn't look all that fancy but it is the only thing that really stops deer. Hanging it loose helps to convince them not to try and climb over it.

My yard is not all the sunny so peppers and tomatoes really stretch to find the light. Tomato cages never work because they just don't make them tall enough. What I'm doing this year is planting one plant between two 6 foot "t" posts pounded into the ground about 3 feet apart. I use garden twine (jute string) to make a support net between the two posts and encourage the plant to weave itself into it as it grows. I use tomato cages for the bell peppers but even they grow far enough out the tops to pull the whole thing over.

I really like using "t" posts. I can drive them deep enough into the ground to support almost anything and by making a long row of them I can sorta string a trellis of twine that allows things like cukes to ramble along without getting stepped on.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:31AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

First of all, is any part of your garden shaded after 1PM?

Hot weather plants like tomatoes and peppers get priority position to get the most sun for the most hours.
The others (squash,canteloupe) will appreciate some late afternoon shade as do cukes and lettuces)
Since you aren't growing row crops like beans your setup can be flexible. In other words, all the peppers and tomatoes don't have to be in their own rows.
Wow, 35x35 is an ambitious undertaking. Resolve now to use some sort of mulch to keep down the weeds because April/May energy (yours) wanes with the July heat and weeding is essential. Weeds sap the soil of both moisture and nutrients your crops need.
How have you planned for watering?
What is the sun path (critical aspect of garden planning)?

Obviously, you know your tomatoes are the tallest plant in the garden and create the shade for other plants. You just don't want the tomatoes shading the peppers.
You want your running squash like butternut to have enough room so you're not stepping on leaves and vines as you tend the other crops.
Are you making permanent walk pathways?

Remember that next year, you'll be changing the position of the tomatoes and peppers (to safeguard the plants from soil fungus/diseases). So, nothing is really a permanent position.
I'd say your sun path is going to determine your garden layout.
Unless you have dogs in your yard, I wouldn't fuss with a fence. You're not growing rabbit,deer or raccoon favorites.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:36AM
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Thanks guys!!!!

The garden started out much smaller in my mind. My husband got out the tractor and the more area he tilled, the bigger the garden area grew. Then my daughter had her idea of pumpkins and things she wanted to try.

It will be in full sun from 10 a.m. -5 p.m.
The sun pattern will be east to west
We do not have dogs but the neighbor has a sweet older dog that would be walking through the area.

The garden is not too far from other gardens so watering is not a problem.

I am trying to decide the best paths to make within the garden to make maintaining it a little easier.

The biggest negative is that the plot backs up to a grove of trees. We are on acreage but due to our septic and leach fields being in the center of the land, I can not put a garden there. The plants will still get plenty of sun but not as much if the garden were centrally located.

I appreciate all the advice!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 11:04AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

You have plenty of sun and the neighbor's dog is unlikely to damage your garden. Younger dogs run and dig and knock things over.
Is there any pitch to the land or is it totally flat? Reason I ask is, canteloupes like more water than the rest of your crops. If you have a low spot, that's where the canteloupes go. Watch them, they may not get real big but once they start to ripen you'll have every critter after them. Mine I had to protect from box turtles (wood turtles).

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 3:55PM
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Thanks Dottie,

It is on a slight slope but there is a flatter section that would be great for the cantaloupe.

How did you protect them from the turtles?


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 4:39PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Believe it or not, I put each surviving ripe canteloupe into a metal colander with legs so it was off the ground and unclimbable by a turtle. Colander needs legs though or a good sized turtle can just turn it over.
That same summer, I realized why one of my eggplants looked funny..the durn turtle had eaten it from the bottom up into the inside and left the black skin just hanging there.
I suspect he camped out under the zucchini leaves until he was ready for another meal.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 5:44PM
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Tammy Kennedy

That is too funny! Wouldn't you have liked to have a hidden camera to see how he accomplished that!? At least he ate the whole thing and didn't take one bite out of each one, like the birds do with my strawberries and rotten squirrels with my nectarines! Our pet box turtles love cantaloupe and strawberries. Bet you could put each one into or on top of a milk crate to protect it, too. Another option is to grow the loupes on a trellis- they do well with that method. You have to make sure it's fairly sturdy and as they set fruit make slings of something- pantyhose works well- to cradle the growing fruit. Keeps it off the ground where turtles and slugs to get into it too easily.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 7:12PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Does anyone (besides me) wear pantyhose anymore? That said, they ought to be fairly cheap in the stores now. Used to be we'd be looking for projects to use up worn pantyhose(worn once and got a run). off topic.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 1:39AM
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I refuse to answer that question online.

hee hee hee

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Tammy Kennedy

No, i never wear them. But i held onto the ones i used to have just for that purpose. Ido still wear leggings very occasionally (which is basically a thicker version of ph) and they work, too. You're right tho- $ stores have them.

John, john, john.... shakes head....

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 11:20AM
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do fishnets count???

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:35PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

You'll have to ask the canteloupes,John..they have something of a natural fishnet 'skin' already.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 7:02PM
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