Vegetable Garden and Apple Tree

Dan88Iroc(4)January 19, 2013

Hello All,

I am new here so I hope that I am not repeating questions that were previously asked. Anyway, I have two questions that I'm hoping for help with:

1) I plan on growing the following this year:
- Peas (4 vines)
- Green Beans (6 vines)
- Purple 'Green' Beans (6 vines)
- Cucumbers (3-4 vines)
- Lemon Cucumbers (3-4 vines)
- Various Hot Peppers (12 plants total)
- Bell Peppers (4 plants)
- Cherry Tomatoes (3-4 plants)
- Onions (Not sure how many yet)
- Strawberries (Not sure how many yet)
- Watermelon (3-4 vines)
- Lambkin Melon (3-4 vines)

I plan to trellis up the peas, beans, and cucumbers so hopefully they won't take up a ton of room. However, I am not sure how much room I will need for this. I am going to be tilling up an area in my yard when weather permits but I am not sure how much area I will need. I plan to make one 12' x 16' garden for sure. I have room for one or two smaller gardens elsewhere in the yard if need be. Please help me determine how much room I will need. I have gardened in containers before so I have some idea regarding some of the plants but I have never done a project quite like this before.

2) I have been considering planting an apple tree. I have done some reading and apparently you can buy apple trees that are grafted so that they contain 4-5 different types of apples on one tree. Where would I find something like this and what are my options? Ideally, I would like some that are good for eating raw, some good for cooking, and some that I could make into a nice wine.

Sorry for the long-winded post. Thank you all in advance for your help!

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soilent_green

IMO sounds tight. If you want a good idea of plant spacing requirements then access a square foot gardening plant spacing guide - many available via internet keyword search. This will give you a good idea of what size garden you will need for what you have on your list. Seed packets should also carry spacing information. Follow those references, I find them to be generally accurate.

Do not forget to include human access in the garden. Can get very frustrating having to climb over plants all season while carrying harvested produce, or accidentally stepping on your nice veggies when getting in to harvest. You also need to be able to get in to weed and do other gardening chores.

Going vertical as you mentioned is a very good idea when space is at a premium. Do it wherever possible.

Melons consume a lot of space for what is IMHO a relatively small return, can be hard to justify in small gardens. But if you really love them, then find a way to do it.

Over-plant a garden and you will regret it. This takes discipline until you gain more experience. Planting garden too tight can get very frustrating once the plants size up affecting yield amounts, sizes, and overall quality of produce, and can really affect the enjoyment of your garden and your hobby.

My two cents for what they are worth.

Good Luck.
-Tom

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 11:47PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

As Tom said, you have some things that take quite a bit of space. Vertical growing will certainly help. I noticed you mentioned 3-4 cherry tomatoes, unless you REALLY love cherry tomatoes you might be able to cut back there. 1 cherry tomato plant can provide enough for several people.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Dan88Iroc(4)

Thank you very much for your input. I will definitely go vertical with as much as possible. I also plan to cut back on the cherry tomatoes and peppers to hopefully leave a little more room to maneuver.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:23PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Also make sure you choose a short vined cucumber variety, something like Bushcrop or Spacemaster. I think you will need to skip the peas this season, because they need to be planted early. if your soil is clay based (we have no idea where you are gardening), the ground won't dry out early enough in the spring for you to safely rototill without destroying the soil structure. Whether it is digging, hoeing or rototilling, any kind of working with a soil that is still too wet, is a really, really, REALLY a bad thing.

This is how new gardeners unknowingly create a cement like soil texture. Adding dry soil amendments helps in the long run, but you still cannot incorporate them until the native soil dries sufficiently.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:45PM
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