Sacrificial Esthetics

earthlark(3b)March 1, 2014

Just curious if you guys think I'm make life a lot more difficult for myself doing a 50'x50' garden design like this rather than simple rows running east/west. Garden is in a field next to next to I have there. This garden will be primarily a vegetable garden as well.

Shading is the biggest issue, right? I always wonder how much of an issue it is, though. Any other problems? (I'm thinking of using this garden as the other half of a 7 or 8-part crop rotation, this garden obviously consisting of 4 rotation areas.)

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Btw, black is soil and brown is where the paths are. I'd probably do corn and cucurbits in NW section, legumes in NE section, umbelliferae and allium in SE section, and possibly grains in SW section.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:54PM
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This is the wrong forum to ask "if you are just making it difficult for your self". Most of the people who post here are as interested in the aesthetics of the garden as they are in the production, if not more so. It definitely takes more time and thought to make beauty than to just grow crops.

It seems to me, If the garden isn't somewhere where you are going to be able to see it easily from your windows or yard area, or spend time relaxing in it as well as working then it might be more trouble than its worth.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Have you considered taking out some of the paths and making bigger blocks on the north side, with smaller beds on the south side? This will give you room for your bigger plants (like corn and tomatoes) but still give you plenty of sun for your herbs and other small, sun lovers.

Are you planning to have any perennials, such as asparagus, rhubarb, raspberries, etc.? That might make a difference, too. NIce plan, hope you post pictures :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 1:12PM
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I'd put stepping stones near or at those corners for the times you need to quickly get from one area to the next. It is a bit of a maze of a design.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 8:45AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

It seems pretty involved. At 50x50, I couldn't quite figure out how wide the pathways would be? I made the mistake of having them only a couple feet wide and it makes it difficult to haul compost/soil to refill beds each year. Also, what Mandolls said. Will it be visible?

Look around at different pictures here (if they are still here). Some start with a cute design and end up with a jungle! Or google pottage images to get some ideas of what the design will look like fully grown. NANCY

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 5:45PM
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lavender_lass(Zone 4)

While potager beds are normally 3' to 4' deep, so they can be reached from both 50' x 50' it seems like much of your garden space is taken up by pathways.

Have you seen Jennifer Bartley's potager? She uses vertical planting structures in the middle of the beds and then plants around them. Would something like this work for you?

I would probably plant herbs in the center beds, with roses in the middle. Then if you have room left over on the outside of the garden, maybe add one more perimeter bed of soft fruits, perennials flowers, apple cordons, etc. But that's just me :)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 11:07AM
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I would agree with other commenters about the number of paths. The veggies will grow out and over the paths by end of summer creating a jungle. I once did a cross design that I really liked but the kids started leaping over the beds instead of walking around. I kept that design only one season and reworked with better access the next year. My garden now is actually a lot like lavender lass' design except I have a larger center circle without the 4 inner beds.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2015 at 7:13AM
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The other thing to consider is that you will need to rotate your crops to avoid buildup of unfriendly insects and diseases. So you won't be able to keep the same section for the same plant family year after year.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 4:18AM
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