4x9 box delima

ribbit32004April 4, 2009

I've known I was going to have this problem as soon as I put the trellis up, but I was hoping to have some epiphical revelation long before now. I can't figure it out, so I was hopeing you could help me.

I have a 4X9 box. The trellis of the box is on the 9 foot side. I figured I could reach to the squares directly infront of the trellis by reaching through the back of the trellis to the front, but that's right sports fans, once the trellis gets covered, there's no way I can reach to the squares in front of that (third row from the front)from either the front or the sides since it's 9 ft long.

I was thinking of planting flowers or other companion stuff there that I didn't have to tend regularly, but that's a lot of wasted space.

Any idea how to get a semi vertically challenged gal into the center of this bed without walking on the soil?

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That's an interesting dilemma. Maybe you could place a narrow (6 or 8 inches wide) board across the bed, supported with a couple posts in the middle. It might allow you to step in without stepping on the soil. Wouldn't be real convenient but may work. Or sacrifice the middle column entirely and put a 12-inch plank across. I was planning to make 2 4x8 boxes myself for our first SFG, but ended up making 4 4x4's spaced 15 inches apart because of the same issues you're having.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Maybe a few stepping stones, strategically placed, that you could step on to maneuver through the center. You could plant some shorter crops around them that you could easily step over.


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

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:52PM
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Can you plant a mix of companions and veggies that don't require constant picking, like bell peppers maybe? Or carrots? or maybe a dry bean (I'm sure there's a better description, but I can't think of it).
If you put a board across the center of the bed (for a place to put your hand) can you lean in to reach those squares? You'll have 5 squares that are hard to reach (you should be able to reach squares 1,2,8 and 9 from the ends of the beds.) Maybe make a couple of them companions and the others low-maintenance veggies.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 3:25PM
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I like the idea of a board across to put my hand on to lean over. That would really work. Granny, the beds there are 12 inches deep, so stepping stones would just sink under my weight. With the board, I'd sacrifice two reachable squares, but I'd gain those back to either side...At least it may also be an idea to keep the board moveable and use the board to reach to the center to plant the things that don't need regular picking and pick it back up again.

Y'all are great!!!

I was innitially planning on putting beans there, but I just planted those in a hanging basket. I'm hompeful they'll either drape off the ends or crawl up and wind around the deck.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 3:51PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

Maybe something like sweet potatoes. They develop a canopy so thick, weeds will not germinate. You will not have to tend yo them until the end of the season.


Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 4:14PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

What is growing on the trellis?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 9:24PM
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cucumbers, beans and tomatoes

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 7:20AM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I would use string to trellis them to an overhead support.
Make uprights 1ft in from the last row with a cross beam no higher than YOU can reach. If your plants make it up - let them grow back down the other side. You can them run a string to anything in the last 2 rows. Use jute twine if you have it so it will decompose in the compost pile. Or whatever string, rope, or wire you have on hand.

You might want to plant ALL the tomatoes in the last row - if that IS the North side.

Personally, I think no matter what you do the 9ft side is a problem. If you have no other options, go with but sometime during the season when an idea strikes you, be sure to write it in your garden journal so when planning for next year you will remember.

Even a 1ft strip just for tomatoes might work? With walking space on both sides?

Without seeing your orientation to N-S and any fixed objects, it is really hard.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:21AM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

Maybe it's too late for this, but what about just moving the trellis?!

Move the trellis in 1 foot, and plant on the short side, anything that you plan on going up the trellis. Then, you would only need to reach across 3 feet.

Plant root crops in the foot right next to the trellis, and you can reach in, pull out what you need only once.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:54AM
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