Stalled again! How do you move forward?

t-bird(Chicago 5/6)May 29, 2013

Hey all,
thought I was over the hump, but still unwilling to start construction - despite purchasing materials to make the start!

I need to commit to at least some design aspects, but so hard to put in all this work/money and think - just a tweek here and there would make it soooooo much better....

How do you power through this impasse?

Why cannot I just look on this as one of many gardens I will have? Maybe focusing on that will help me get over this perfectionism.....

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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Keep in mind that wood beds rot and need to be replaced every five years or so, and anything you don't like with your first design can be changed when that time comes. Think of your first garden as a learning experience, because realistically it's impossible to get everything right the first time.

My first set of raised beds is in it's last year, the wood isn't too bad but the gophers have gotten through the wire on the bottom and I'm tired of the layout. I went with 3' beds and 2' paths and it's way too hard to maneuver around them. When the veggies get large they fill up the space between the beds and it turns into a jungle.

Personally, I like the idea of a perimeter bed for perennials and flowers and then interior beds for annual rotation. I like 2' wide beds, much easier on the back, and be sure to have at least 3' paths, 3.5' or 4' is even better. I've learned my lesson about narrow pathways.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:58AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

I agree on narrow paths, but I don't have too much leeway as I am in the city with very limited space to design the potager.

thanks - I do need to focus on getting something in place, and not letting it be the be-all, must be perfect, final garden of my life mentally.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Just get up and start. If you've got the plans and materials, you already know what to do. Now, it's just a matter of doing it.

Doesn't have to be perfect. No garden ever is, except for the briefest of times. Do your best and call it good 'nuff! Once you've got it started, sooner or later you can come back to it and tweak it a bit, if it really needs it. (I've got a tree bed like that. The original installation was far from perfect...and it's only gotten worse, since. It's not a real circle. It's more like a squiggle. Since the rest of the major work on the garden is all but finished for this year, I can make the time to go back and fix it this summer. Probably get 'er done next month. I need some mulch, and this month's budget is shot, already.)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 6:30PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I say make a plan or drawing first.I was just starting with a small vege garden and wasn't thinking of design, so just went with square/rectangular boxes Dopey me! My DH is a woodcarver/worker and I could have done some spectacular stuff! I will in my expansion! He's not off the hook this time! LOL.
Anyway, do the design (really try to do the wide paths to save your back!), then just do one bed at a time! Maybe cover the rest of the area in compost and cardboard to start getting the soil into shape as you are developing your first bed or 2? That will make your next one even easier!
I'm going on 10 years with the origional hardware cloth wire. Be sure to get the heavy duty stuff if you're using it for gophers! Chicken wire does NOT work! It's holes are too big and it will rot out in a couple of years!
I keep my herbs separate from the vege garden proper. When I started the herb garden, I had discovered this board and the cottage garden board and made it much prettier than the basic vege garden. I have also lined the vege beds with flower planters to soften things a bit.
Lastly, don't think of it as such a chore! Enjoy the ride! Nancy

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:59AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I would first start with what is most important to you and designate a space for it. Berry vines? Asparagus? Just annual veggies? If these are musts, since they are perennial, you need to set a space aside for them. I agree with a perimeter bed, it helps to maximize space. Once that is in place, do not be afraid to play with things. Ours started out on paper but some things changed once we got outside. Most of my beds are lined with rock so on occasion the rocks get tweaked as I "live" in the space more. So for you, set the boards in place, stand back and look at it, even for a couple of days if you need to. If you get it planted and decide you do not like it, next year you can move it around. Good luck and have fun.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 4:54PM
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Get some inspiration photos, take measurements, make a scale drawing on grid paper, break out the newspaper and cardboard and start making a garden!

I hemed and hawed over what to plant, how big to make and finally said that's it and did it. I started on the small side. Today, my garden is nothing like I started. Every year I've moved beds and moved plants. It's part of the fun!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:31AM
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