Just built potager (pic) and question re plans

venusruizApril 5, 2009

Hi, after a month of planning I finally got my raised beds built and filled with soil/compost. I planted some peas on the and onions already, but would really appreciate any comments and suggestions with the plants I want to put there. North is the top of the page, away from the street. Thanks so much

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Good for you! It's a lovely plan! I am nearing the finish of mine so have a pretty good idea of how much time and work you have spent. Congratulations!

I should think that in your climate you could be planting lettuces (I love romaines), carrots, greens, perhaps some cabbages too. Perhaps in the way of flowers, you could plant nasturtiums, calendulas, larkspur, pansies, lobelias, wallflowers, and poppies.? I don't know your climate that well, but these are all cool season bloomers for me here and will withstand temps down into the twenties, anyway. Good luck! Keep posting your pictures!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:34PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

You're going to have a ton of veggies out of those beds! I love your layout.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:50PM
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thanks so much, I hope i get plenty veggies to freeze, can and share :) Only now Im planting the lettuces, carrots and broccoli. We had a freeze just a couple of days ago, but I think they are going to be fine. Any suggestions on my plan, is it too crammed, and is that enough space for the squashes and/or the tomatoes?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 5:48PM
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Great design! Your beds look just the right size--very manageable.

You might want to reconsider your corn layout. You may see better pollination in a block of rows.

I also see you have quite a bit of chives. If you can keep the slugs out of 'em you will be up to your eyeballs in chives. They can also be a bit invasive.

The "before" pic is excellent; be sure to post the "after".

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 6:42PM
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granite(z6 NC)

Squash can take a tremendous amount of room...you've only set aside 2x2' for each squash plant and 3x3' is a minimum requirement per bush squash. If you plant a vining summer squash with a trellis you can put 3 plants in a 1 x 4' area, spacing the plants 16" apart. A winter squash plant is huge, huge, huge and will never fit in that space. The SFG book states that a vining winter squash can be grown 2 to a 1 x 4' area but that's a dream. Hubbard squash vines can grow 15-30' in every direction...EASILY. The SFG also states that you can grow a tomato vine in a 12" square area...but most gardeners find that that is not true AND it depends heavily on what variety of tomato you grow. If you get a patio tomato plant they stay smaller but most heirloom tomato varieties grow HUGE plants.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 10:06AM
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diggity_ma(5 MA)

I think it looks like a great plan, but you're really pushing it on the spacing. I agree with everything Granite wrote, plus I'd point out that borage can grow quite large and flop all over the place, so it will pretty much dominate the beds you put it in, crowding out everything else except possibly the broccoli.

I think you might be happier if you stick to smaller, tamer crops. Greens in particular don't take up much space, so I'd recommend concentrating on salad crops. Think lettuce, mesclun mix, spinach, chard, beets, carrots, etc. Also, most herbs are fairly tame, or at least can be clipped back.

I guess if you really want to do corn, you still could. I'd put it in that square bed that we see off to the right near where the hose loops. You could probably even plant pole beans in the same bed a few weeks later.

Nice job on the construction, though! It looks great!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 2:30PM
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Granite, thanks so much for the input. I didn't know my summer squashes were bushes until after I got the seed packages on the mail. Now, I guess I has to deal with them. Im going try them and see how they go, if anything they can sprawl a bit into the upper path, I'll keep taking pics of my progress or disaster. I dont have any winter squashes, i figured it would be too much. What about cantaloupes, I allocated a 1x3 space for one plant thinking Im going to train it up on a trellis, is this realistic?

Diggiti, thanks for the info on borage, would it work if use one of those tomato cages sold at HomeDepot to keep them from flopping over? In regards to the corn, I have the seeds, but Im still changing my mind everyday on whether to plant them or not. I have a horrible infestation of squirrels in the neighborhood, and I think the corn may be a calling card for them. They are such a problem, my husband is going to built a cage for the tomatoes, but we haven't discuss one for the corn, he thinks Im being silly for trying corn, so he may not be up to it.

I really appreciate your suggestions, Im a newbie and any advice I can get from an experienced gardener is a blessing. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 11:01AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Corn is such a dilemma. It's so delicious and it is the essence of summer. However, it takes up a lot of space and you only get one or two ears per plant, so a big space investment for very little food. And then there are the critters....coons are my big problem. On the other hand, if you plant your corn in a solid block (several short rows side by side) and allow squash or cucumber vines to wander through their feet.....

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 6:07PM
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Your garden looks great! How do you water the different island beds? Do you water over head or soaker hose?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 1:14AM
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Right now Im watering with a hose, overhead, but eventually (before summer gets here) I will be installing a drip irrigation system. Im working on the layout this month. I have soaker hoses but I have read that drip irrigation is better and longer lasting, so I will using the hoses on other areas of the garden.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:44AM
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