Am i overcrowding my beds? (4 pictures)

estreyaMay 6, 2009

Greetings, all!

I'm a complete neophyte in the veggie gardening realm, and i'm sure over time i'll make (and hopefully learn from) many many mistakes. Having said that, i thought i'd post my planting notes in the hopes that the experts among you will "red flag" any obvious no-no's before i sink my starts and seeds into the dirt.

Does it seem as if i'm overplanting these beds?

Are there any combinations that won't play well together (for example, i seem to remember reading beans and onions are at odds and should not share space)?

(4) 4x8 beds

Sorry for fuzzy quality - taken through window screen

Seeds and starts

Any words of wisdom would be deeply appreciated. I'm so excited about this new adventure i could burst!

PS: The top of the beds are pretty much South, full sun all day.

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beginnerkelli(6)

wow! i'm impressed! i say go for it, but i'm also a newbie and really have no clue what i'm doing :P

ps i had to google neophyte just now and ludite earlier, so i learned two new words today! =)

best of luck to ya!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 2:18AM
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estreya

Thanks, beginnerkelli. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things will grow and thrive if i just pay attention and deal with things as they come.

My little orchard is already teaching me things. This Spring, i learned that i didn't thin enough apples off my trees last year - i'd read that the fruit must be thinned or they'll refuse to produce the following year. So, last summer, i went out and picked off maybe a dozen or more baby apples, wincing as i did it because they looked so cute and perfect and it cut me to the quick to snap them off. Sure enough, this year, they're not flowering nearly as much.

So we live and learn! :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:30AM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

If the south side is the side at the top, here's what I would suggest. Your plants seem like they will have plenty of room, if you trellis the vining varieties. (That should grab EG's attention!)

Anyway (reading left to right), I would put the indeterminate tomatoes at the "bottom" or north side of the first bed, along the trellis. Next put the herbs and finally the strawberries. (the herbs will deter harmful bugs and bring in the beneficials, for both toms and strawberry). The second box I would put the lettuce at the north end, and then the tomatoes (but this puts your trellis in the middle of your bed...you may not want to do that). The thought here is that the lettuce will appreciate the shade as the season goes on, and be slower to bolt to seed.

The third box is ok, but again, I would trellis the vines at the north side. It's much easier to trellis cukes and peas than zucchini, so I would flip those. The cukes will be straighter and have much less insect damage on a trellis. The zucchini will need a large amount of ground space, but you can let them wonder around the base of both the toms and the cukes!

In the last box, again I would move the tomato to the north end and a trellis, then I would have the carrots. In the middle of the box, I would put the eggplant, and finally the radishes and beets.

Remember, you can probably get a solid fall crop of most of these plants that you are starting from seed. If you get them in late July/early August you should have a nice secondary harvest. If you get them in later, root crops can be grown all winter long...leave them in the ground - trim the tops and mulch heavily. Then, harvest as necessary - just brush the mulch aside, grab what you need, and replace the mulch. They can be harvested all the way up to when they put out new growth the following spring. After that, they would be a little too woody to eat, but you could always let them go to seed and have more seed for future plants, if you forget about them!!!

Good luck. Remember, gardening should be first and foremost FUN. If you aren't enjoying yourself, consider doing something differently. You will get as many different opinions as people you ask for advice. Take a little from each and make it your own!!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:47AM
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estreya

Eaglesgarden, thank you!! I'm capturing your entire post and putting it in my gardening notes. Thank you for taking such care with your suggestions.

The depth of my beds has me a bit concerned, because i have cardboard beneath the dirt to squash the weeds. The beds are only six inches high. But we'll just see what happens this year. I imagine by next year, the cardboard will be thoroughly decomposed so anything inclined to deep root will have a little more flexibility.

This is going to be such a fun adventure.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:30PM
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ribbit32004

Don't loose sight that it IS a learning experience even if there is a small issue you don't like this season. That's the joy of winter. You get to plan...and plan..and replan...and plan the garden all over again. It's a beautiful thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Corner Yard

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:14PM
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markmein

I'm a newbie too, across the river in Portland. I started early in the Spring, under covers, following the planting densities listed here for SFG. Things get very, very dense, but seem quite productive. Greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula) fill in their squares quite tightly, as have the indet. toms I planted - each to one square (2x4). I'll put up my trellis this weekend because the toms are bushy and snug. I have a few vining things (squash that's in, cukes & melons that will be going in) that will either be trellised or run along the path between the beds.

Being a newbie myself, I don't know much more than what I read in Steve Solomon's "Vegetable Gardening West of the Cascades," but it might be getting a little late for the peas, and maybe the arugula too. Peas in our area suffer from a thing called pea enation - which kicks in in the summer... You might as well plant them & see what happens, but if they die off in 6-8 weeks, that might be the problem. As for arugula, we've been harvesting for several weeks now, and some sections are trying to bolt already. I'll probably try putting in another square in a shadey spot to see what happens...

Enjoy your garden...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 3:12PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

estreya,

Glad that I could help. Keep in mind what ribbit was saying. You will find somethings that you don't like each year. But, the great thing about it is, you get to try something new next year! Congrats to you on having and keeping notes in a journal. I don't do that like I should. I just try to remember what did and didn't work. I probably repeat mistakes more than I should because I don't, but hey its all part of the fun.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 5:37PM
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