New SFG - please help

gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)March 25, 2013

Hi All,

We just bought our first home. I am interested in setting up sfg. It is my first time - but as a kid I have always been around veggie gardens in my backyard - so kinda know some things (very outdated :)

So as the first step I am planning to make the beds as picture suggests.

Total width of the lot is 60 ft. I want to make 4 - 10 X 4 beds (probably 2 ft deep). Each side (with adjoining neighbors) has 5 ft spacing. The center I left 4 ft for the walkway. Between beds on either sides I left 3 ft for walkway. I tried my best to represent it in the attached image. Also I plan to put may be stepping stones and make a boundary (lenght-wise) all along the beds.

Any suggestions/advice/help is greatly appreciated.
I will post more details for each of the bed soon.

Thanks and regards

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beacivil1(8a/8b NW Austin, Tx)

First, location- where are you?

Second, there are a few important things to consider before you build/place your beds.

1. Does this location get at least 6 hours of direct sun during the day? If not, you will have some problems with getting things to grow.

2. How are you planning on getting supplemental water to your beds? Are you just going to stretch a water hose over and hand water or do you plan on running a drip irrigation system of some sort? Either way, do some planning so that if you need to install something before you bring in all that dirt and walkway stuff...

3. Since you moved into the house, have you noticed any pollinators flying around like bees, wasps, ect... If not, you might end up having to do some hand-pollinating, depending on what you plant.

4. How's your yard drainage in this area? You don't want your yard draining into your beds after a hard rain, as this will not only wash out the nice work you just put in, but can create problems with root rot of your plants because of too much water and the soil does not get a chance to dry out. Again, your area rainfall/climate comes into play here too.

Anyways, these are just some things I wanted to ask based on your post. If all is well with these, then you are on your way. Your layout is fine, but with one caveat- the location of your trellises. Again, depending on your area climate/position of the sun, you might want your trellises on the other side of the boxes, as with where they are now, you run the risk of shading out your smaller plants when you get the most direct sun. Just take notice of where you get the most direct sun, and make sure it would reach your smaller plants.

Good luck and happy gardening!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:35AM
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gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)

Thanks beacivil1 for the response.
I am in Charlotte NC.

1. The location gets about 8 hrs of sunlight now (so in summer it might be even more)
2. I plan to set up drip system with pvc pipes ... I am doing some research and will come up with a plan for review :)
3. There are lots of small flying insects, a few bees, very few butterflies, and some birds (I have a bird feeder in the backyard and see few birds coming in regularly).
4. Drainage is pretty good ... There have be a couple of heavy rains lately but no standing water.

Regarding the trellises ... if i put it on the other side (SW) then it blocks the evening sun, if I put it where it is now it blocks morning sun (both ways a couple of hours)... so now the question is which is better, since summers are very hot here ... may be block the evening sun ?

Thanks again .


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 2:18PM
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The general rule of thumb for those of us in the northern hemisphere is to plant taller things to the north. That would mean your trellises would have to go on the northeast side. You could put something there - a piece of cardboard ? - and observe at different times of day to see how the shadow moves.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Square Foot Garden

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:10AM
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