Newbie dreams

floodthelast(5 N. OH)January 3, 2009

I am planning to build two 4x4 veg. beds this spring to add to my current 2x4 bed. I have loads of Veg. seed and herbs to fit so am trying to plan my first sfg.

I've been looking up charts and conversions and trying to see if I can fit everything I want in my space. Does anyone know if it is possible to do small pumpkins and watermelons? Would it be better for me to try and do them in containers. I don't know if I can trellis, my toddler might undo them.

At any rate I will be growing: eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers, lettuce and peas to name a few.

I'm also hoping to companion plant so I have to narrow down my varieties and space.

Any advice would be helpful.

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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Trellises for pumpkins and watermellons need to be very strong, so I doubt your toddler would undo them. Oh, and my little kids make great garden helpers. Just a thought.

Anyway, if you don't trellis, they're going to go everywhere. You can manage this by planting the corners of the beds with the big vining plants and let them sprawl out over the path or yard, moving them gently to make them go where you want.

As for all your plants fitting. Sure they will. You just have to plant limited numbers of plants. Your tomtato will take up tons of space (I like containers for those, the ones EG made). But if you map it out, you can get tons of plants in your 40 SF.

Good luck and let us know how it is going! And let us know how we can help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:22PM
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carolynp(z7)

I was able to grow little pumpkins (6") in my sfg last year. I only grew two, but that worked out perfectly: one for carving and one for pies at Thanksgiving. I think they're really lovely plants, too. I'm with Sinfonian! I love bringing the little guys into the garden. BTW: all their little pals from the neighborhood like to help in my garden, too. Here are the adorable girls from down the street.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden helpers

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 2:35PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

Welcome floodthelast, I have been gardening for 50 years for about six months out of the year. I still dream/think about gardening twelve months a year though, donÂt tell my DW, she thinks I still dream about her. Once the bug bites you, there is no antidote. I am not a SFG purest, so I will let others input as to what you can fit. Even if everything fits though, plan on building more beds.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 2:57PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

Thank you all for answering. Since checking the Engineered Garden blog today I have a new plan for my space. It looks like with three trellis' I can fit all but some of the peppers in the garden space. The only problem is I haven't left any room for flowers. I wanted so put some marigolds and maybe tall cosmos in there too. I'll have to draw up my new plan with the computer and then post it here to see what you all think.
My real problem is that this is going to be my first year Winter Sowing as well and I have tons more flowers than veg. I do have other spaces for the flowers, but I need more containers, soil, lumber etc.
Since fall I've been lasagna bedding the veg. garden space and will build my frame for the longer bed as soon as I get the lumber. The small bed is bordered with logs so it will just stay the same. It's already about 8" deep.
I saw your blog Sinf, what a lovely space to grow in. I'll have to check everyone else's blogs too.
Oh and I have a 4x4 area bordered with rocks 4" high for my new herb garden. I need to sfg it too.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 3:44PM
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ribbit32004

My almost 2 yr old is convinced the trellis netting is a swing for her stuffed bunny. My 4 yr old boy also thinks it's a soccer net and bounced his ball off it a time or two. I think, however, that once the vegetation comes in and the netting is covered, they'll loose interest in the netting itself and move to pulling unripe vegies off the plants like they did while trying to help out last year.

I do some things in containers. I like to do some of the same items in the SFG and in a container elsewhere and compare results.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:57PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I have tons of branches from all the maples in my yard. I was thinking of Making my own Trellis'. Although it might be better for the plants if I make the frame out of those and buy netting. Where do you get it?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:22AM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

I'd make them if I had the branches. I made some short ones last year. I tried to sort of weave the branches together. I also tied them in a few spots, and zip-tied them in a couple others.

I did not have much choice on my branches, and they were not very tall, so they looked a little funny, but they held up all season. Once the plants grew up, you couldn't see them at all anyway.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 2:54AM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Hmm, if cost is the issue, I swear my trellis cost under $30 for a 15 footer. I bought 4 2x4s, a trellis netting and attached them to the sides of my beds with some bolts. It worked so well I almost hated to take it down to set up my hoop covers for fall/winter.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 3:28AM
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ribbit32004

I got 5x8 netting at one of the larger hardware chains for about 5 dollars. I got two of them and tied them together to make it long enough.

Granny posted pictures of peas growing on sticks earlier this past fall. You may want to look for those if you're interested.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 8:30AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I will have to take a look at Granny's page then. I have tons of the branches some of them quite long because we got a limb cutter on a stick last year. I was thinking Twig tee pee's for the beans Or a frame with twine Although come to think of it I could do one stick in the middle and make the tee pee out of twine and stakes. Hmm I like that idea. As for the rest I need a stronger trellis and will have to expiriment. I will be sure to post though. I did make myself a four foot arbor out of my twigs this year.

It's for him and some height for my Morning Glories.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 12:05PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

floodthelast, The bean teepees work well. Especially if you make them big enough to set a little stool inside for the little ones to sit on, so they have their own "special" place! I made mine from an old ski pole this year, but it wasn't nearly tall enough. If I did it again, I think I'd use about 10'-12' poles!

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 2:59PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I am definitely going to plant lots of beans. I have red noodle, asparagus, wax and sequoia. :)
I took a look at some of the limbs available to me last night. I have at least four that seem sturdy and maybe four to five feet long. How high should a trellis be?

Also Good news, my hubby said I can use the 2x8's left over from my son's room for the garden bed, so I just need two more for the sides. I would like to build with pressure treated wood. Will linseed oil help the ends to hold up as long?
Also I appear to have 7 buckets available to me so I think I will do the space consumers like Zucchini and pumpkins in those. That way I have room for more peppers and a few companion flowers in my sfg.
I suppose I need to make a chart for the herbs too. I just hate to figure out what won't fit. Maybe it will be a pleasant surprise though.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:51AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

Ha new plan. One bed 4x10 ft. Yay for the space. I have the 2x6's I need. I do need to buy some linseed oil, and tonight I'll go get the pvc and rebar for the trellis. Oh and some netting maybe. They didn't have any I could find at lowe's last time but they did have it at home depot.
I've been making my plans on the computer with my own grids. Here's what I've worked out so far. I still need to organize the herbs.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 11:36AM
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medontdo(8)

Hi!! i know that trellis's are supposed to go "up" LOL i'm thinking of doing mine at an angle or something, another thing, i'm going to use cattle panels for my squash, cukes, maters, melons, well, any vine, and anything that needs to be supported. and the cattle panels will have to be supported somehow. but they are very strong, and i'm sure i can get them on freecycle. if not i seen where i can get them at one of those stores for like $15 so that's not bad. and if you lay them at an angle, then the fruit will come thru the holes!! LOL i read that in one of those gardening magazines. **grinn** ~Medo

Here is a link that might be useful: Barehanded Totally Nutso Gardener!! **Big Grinn**

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 12:48AM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

I think you may have some crowding with your tomatoes and vining plants. I don't know exactly how eggplant and cantaloupe grow, but here's what I learned last summer.

These are my 4'x 10' beds empty, May 19. Pay attention to the one on the left. From 2008 Garden

Zucch.. Zucch.. tomato. tomato
Zucch...Zucch.. Tomato. Tomato
onion.. Cuke... Cuke... garlic
onion.. cuke... Cuke... scallion

This is how the near end of the bed was planned (with my stick trellises). I overplanted onions, but it didn't really matter in the end. I had one determinate bush tomato plant (4 sf). I think i ended up with 3 zucchini plants together (in 4 sf) and I think 2 or 3 cukes (4 sf).

Here's July 7. See the pretty onions, and the well behaved zucchini?? (BTW, I wasn't paying attention in my planning, and forgot the zucchini was a bush, so it didn't need it's trellis area at all, in fact it was quite in the way there) From 2008 Garden

And here it is Aug 12 From 2008 Garden From 2008 Garden From 2008 Garden

My poor onions, most of them didn't produce because they were completely overrun by the zucchini, cukes and tomato. I put WAY too much in that end of the garden. It was such a jungle. Now, my trellis was short (I had to take what I could get for free at the time) and not the most useful other than it supported and believe it or not, somewhat contained the plants, and my garden plan was different from yours, but I just wanted to show you what can happen very easily...

I'm going to TRY not to repeat that mistake, but I am planning to put a few types of vining plants together in a bed, so I may be planning the same error in a slightly different manner... guess we'll see...

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 2:27AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I tried to put most of the heavy vine's in containers so they can grow out as much as they like.
The tomatoes are a favorite of mine and I have so many varieties to try this year. I do have cages I can use to try and separate the climbers with if I have to.
I did buy the pvc and supports last night. I had to go with 5' tall to conserve funds, ten footers cut in half. What is the clasp you use to attach the pvc to the bed? I couldn't find anything like it and didn't know the term.
I still need to buy netting but I did get zip ties to put it up with.
I am not leaning my trellis though I have heard that works well, "paul james". This bed is an island behind my garage so straight up is the ticket.
I do plan to use some of my fallen wood to make support beams though and hopefully that gives the vines a little more room. If I can get a deal on buckets I can put more in containers too.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 12:09PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

I used c brackets or something that were made out of aluminium or some other rust proof material. They screw into the beds on either side of the PVC to hold it secure. Tell them that you need to secure the PVC to wood and they'll direct you where to go. Just make sure you get the same diameter bracket as your PVC.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:22PM
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dutchess_9(8b)

I would be careful using pressure treated wood...there are chemicals in it to keep bugs from eating it and to slow natural decay. You probably don't want those chemicals to leach into your plants/produce.

You could use cypress or cedar wood, but it can be expensive. I used pine because it was cheaper and knowing full well I would have to replace it in a couple of years. Some people use cinder blocks or pavers.

Here is a link that might be useful: How my garden grows!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:34PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I bought straight pine as well. I need to get some linseed oil, I don't expect it to last forever.
C clamps huh, I think I saw those but they didn't have the size I needed. Maybe I should check home depot, I need to go there to pick up the netting anyway.
Thanks for the suggestions. I can't wait to winter sow some of my veg. Why is it still snowing?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:49PM
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medontdo(8)

you can use nylons, t shirt strips, to hold them up. it would prevent any tearing. and it would be great for them. :') ~Medo

Here is a link that might be useful: barehanded totally nutso gardener :'}

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:07PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

I used copper pipe hanger/brackets (a C shape with a flat edge on each end to screw it to the wood. I found them in a packet of 12 I think at HD for about $2 last summer. Lots cheaper than purchasing individually, as long as they are the right size for your pipe.

If you ask for c-clamps, you will get something different.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:44PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Sorry, I don't know what they're called, but my "c" clamps are what is designed to attach pipe to a flat surface. EG or one of our construction folks help me out here. Let me try this, they look like a wide brim hat from the side. Don't laugh, I've gotten what I need with worse descriptions.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:33AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I did find some of those in the plumbing dept. They were all too small though. I have 1 1/4 pvc, the ones I found were all too small to go around that. Any thoughts? Has anyone bought bigger clamps?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 11:11AM
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anniesgranny(6b)

I think this is what you are looking for.

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: 1 1/4

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 12:53PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

My pvc isn't that big. Seems like there's another type of pipe strap that is just a strip of metal with holes every 1/2" or so. I wonder if that would work for you?

I may be wrong, but it seems like there was something like that holding plumbing in place in a house we used to own.

Sinfonian, I like the wide brim hat description. :-)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 12:57PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Granny, that's exacltly what I meant and used for my PVC.

GB, yeah, the flexible metal strapping would work well for a hoop cover application, though I'm not certain either will be strong enough for a trellis.

Flood, it may not be helpful, but I ended up using smaller clamps to attach larger PVC because I had them on hand. I just bent them a bit and used longer screw to attatch them. It worked for my needs. Or you can find the bigger ones locally or online. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 2:43PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

Grennbean, that would be plumber's tape. It's really strong...I used it in place of L brackets on my previous raised beds, but it's rather flexible and might rip. Maybe if you made three loops, top center and bottom of the frame, it would hold. It's real cheap, so might be worth a try.

Those conduit straps that I posted a link for come in all sizes, so you can get them for 1/2" and 1" PVC also.

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 3:11PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

Good if they are available somewhere, I will keep looking around here when I get the chance.
I have clay under the new bed and have a lasagne type pile of leaves and garden debris and coffee grounds on top at the moment. The plan is to work it into the ground come spring to help with drainage.
This part of the yard floods frequently so the raised bed is a necessity. Although I did put in that new ditch to help it along.
I am hoping to start the majority of my veg. by WS in a few months. Has anyone had success or difficulty sowing these veg. with WS?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 4:19PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

Well here I go. I finished both beds now but need a pic of the big one with the trellis and grid put in. Yesterday I planted out some of my WS lettuce. :) I need to plant the snow peas too.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 9:43AM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Looking good! Very satisfying isn't it? Well done. Planting is nearly at hand!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:01AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

All finished, there is some lettuce in there and some creeping thyme so far. More soon.

The sticks in the back have peas planted right now. That is the smaller sfg.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 9:57PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

Hey, Flood...if the veggies don't grow, you can use it as a tennis net! When I look at EG's trellises, I always wonder when he's going to jump those hurdles ;-)

Anyway, good job!

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:20AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I was thinking volleyball, trouble is it's a bit close to the neighbors fence. :)
Yesterday my dog had company and in the joy of play fighting and running around they snapped my grid apart. I need to jury rig it somehow. I also came down with the flu so no planting out today.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 10:49AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

It's coming along now. Almost full just a few more flowers and peppers to go.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 6:12PM
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rachel597(5A ME)

Hey, I have just caught up with this thread. Looks like you are coming along quite nicely :)

I see 2-liter bottles in the above pic, are these mini greenhouses?

Here is a link that might be useful: Visit My Blog: GrafixMuse's Garden Spot

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 10:20PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

They are, I winter sowed much of my veg and am planting it out as it sprouts with the caps for extra protection.

Also I am thrilled to add that I got more peppers into the garden today and there are only three empty squares left. :)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 10:26PM
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