Need some help with some plant ideas to fill space.

wvubeermanApril 22, 2013

So I have spaced too much in the past in my garden and have not got all the stuff I want or the amount. I need to know if I am setting this Square foot Garden up correctly and by all means i do not need to use all the spaces, but would like to. If the file downloads correctly then hopefully you can see what I have so far. Tomatoes will be grown on a nice trellis and same with the Cucumbers. But I have never grown beans and I think I could put some in. We eat everything so anything you throw out would be great.

I want to put in some sprinkers or some soaker hoses in between some of the rows, the placement of these is also something I need advice with.

Also tell me what i am doing wrong Please !!!! lol

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Here is a better one that is easier on the eyes. :D

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:09PM
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growsy(8b GA)

It looks like you don't have enough corn for good pollination. My understanding is that you need at least 4' x 4' of corn for decent pollination.

Do you have a plan on how you will get to the plantings in the back for care & harvesting? I think you might want to consider some stepping stones at least. Consider also that your plants will bush out - when we grew cukes & beans on a trellis in a bed 2 feet from the fence they bushed out so much there wasn't much room to get behind them. Also, I have never grown okra, but I've heard the plant can be irritating to the skin. I think it gets pretty big, too. You might think about putting it together & somewhere you won't have to come into contact with it until you want to.

Why are you mixing things up? Are you trying to avoid cross pollinating varieties, or going for aesthetics? Or is it for another reason? I would consider putting same plants together because they will have the same needs & you can more easily deal with them as a group.

Beans are great & can be very productive. You could substitute them for the corn along the back. Perhaps you could do a block of a short variety of corn (so it doesn't shade other things too much) if you move things around a bit.

I am not familiar with your growing area, so I'm not sure what else to add.

I see you have cukes growing on the fence, but you have a line of them down into the bed. Will those get a trellis, or are you putting bush varieties in front?

Definitely (IMO) put as much organic matter into your soil as you can. We have terrible soil here (sand), but my small gardens are looking lush. We found a local coffee shop that gives us bags of their compostable material regularly. We add that straight to the garden beds (coffee grounds, veggie scraps, egg shells) with some manure (we use quail because it is inexpensive & convenient). Also, we added in some peat moss & vermiculite the first couple of times we were turning over the beds.

Hopefully someone with more expertise will give you some good tips. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Alright I redid some stuff.

I live in NC and I get a good bit of sun all day long on that northside aka Fence side of the garden. I placed some marigolds in areas that I think will allow me to use them as stepping stones to get to the other plants. This is the fourth year of having this garden and the past three years i have not got much out of the garden because I was spacing it too thin and also the dirt under was clay. I have about 1.5 feet of composted soil that I has been tilling up regularly and this is the first year i have tilled it and did not see one chunk of that nasty clay that plagued the garden in the past. I plan on trying to grow the zucchini and squash more vertically, in hopes I can control it a little better. I am not worried about the Okra, it does well and I clean up the bottom of it as it grows. Also I wear long sleeves and pants when I harvest everything, tomatoes break me out worse than the Okra, so getting to that is not an issue. I have never grown corn and want to try it out.

Let me know if this setup is a little better. :D

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Hey there,

if you're wanting to grow strictly to SFG methods, you'll want to have a path along your fence line. As you're currently set up, you'll have to walk onto the beds to get to the parts of the bed in the middle, and that's something you want to avoid to prevent soil compaction, etc. The maximum you can reach across a bed is the limit for a single sided access bed, so about 2 foot for me, three if you've got longer arms maybe.

You might want to look at Three Sisters planting, with is a really old way of getting great crop density - you basically grow something tall and thick, something tall and climby and something low and spready. The classic was maize/corn, with a climbing bean and a squash, all grown in the same area. The corn provides the cane for the beans, the squashes provide natural grown cover and a weed blanket for everything else and the beans fix nitrogen into the soil. I break slightly from traditional coz I cant stand corn - so I grow sunflowers for the oil and seeds. I plant sunflowerand beans to one square foot and butternut in the square ahead, which I then train down my path in what is otherwise 'lost' space.

I'd also maybe look at painting that fence white if you can - it really helps reflect light and heat back into the back of the bed where stuff might get shaded out. Bear in mind too that the trellis' you've got showing as on th eends on the beds will cast some major shade over parts of your bed.

Love the grid you've got there, is that cord ? mine always snap after a year on me ham fisting over the beds, I really should use something more robust :-)

Best of luck


    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 2:00AM
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Dave thanks for advice. My hope was to use the beds scattered throughout with marigolds as my stepping stones to access some of the crops. Don't know if it will work, but I might try, I will give updates. That fence provides great wind cover for the plants and I will prob just shake the corn in hopes it will pollinate them. I might end up making a walkway in the back just up to the corn on each side. I am in the process of planting all of the crop, if some get weeded out, I will just take the loss, but I am hoping everything survives. It is just fun to see if I can make it work and I am up for the challenge. Plus I have small neighbor kids I can get to go in there and get the hard to reach stuff;). They like to help out

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:47PM
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