Large Square foot gardening

captaindirt(6/7)August 7, 2009

I have found the ultimate best way to SFG but I grow a large garden in a very small area. I grow 70-100 tomato plants each years. 75 Sunflowers and more. with this many tomatoes it's impossable to only grow on the edges of the beds.

Has anyone else had this problem?

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hellbender(6)

I have found the ultimate best way to SFG
What is that?

it's impossable to only grow on the edges of the beds<?I>
Why grow only on the bed edges and why is it impossible?

Has anyone else had this problem?
Frankly, no. Ffrom the description given, I have trouble figuring out what you are doing and why it's a problem. If the problem is too many tomatoes or not enough bed edges, then perhaps you need more beds or less tomatos?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 6:27AM
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gardener_sandy

I don't have the problem I think you're trying to describe but I can see no reason for having tomatoes just on the northern edge of a SF bed. They aren't grown just on the north side of a typical garden bed, either. I would run the rows north/south and put one row in every other set of squares with trellises or cages or stakes or whatever you use to get them up off the ground. That will give them enough air circulation to help prevent disease problems and still give more tomatoes per square foot of space than traditional rows.

The sunflowers should be happy one per square in a mass planting. Just be sure any shorter crops you grow are not shaded by the sunflowers or tomatoes.

JMHO.

Sandy

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 4:45PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

This post is very confusing, and a better description would be helpful.

EG

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 11:32PM
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holly-2006

Yeah, I can never understand Sandy either. lol

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:00PM
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gardener_sandy

Sorry you didn't understand my attempt at answering the op's question. I'll try again.

What I think he's saying is that he thinks tomatoes and other taller crops should only be grown on the edge of a SF bed. All the illustrations in Mel's book show one trellis on the northern side of the beds and tomatoes, cukes, etc. on that trellis. If he's trying to grow 70-100 tomatoes, that won't work unless he has a LOT of SF beds.

I suggest that instead of having one trellis running east to west along the northern edge of the bed, that he run trellises north to south and space them 2' apart in the beds. That will mean one empty row of squares between rows of tomatoes and will allow air circulation and ample sun for the plants.

I hope that's clearer. I also hope I understood the OP's question. Maybe he will come back to this thread and let us know if that's what he meant or not.

Holly, if there are other posts of mine that you don't understand, please let me know and I'll be glad to try to clarify them. I want to help, and if what I post is not easy to understand, then I've just wasted my time.

Sandy

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 6:18PM
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holly-2006

Your posts are always clear and concise, Sandy!

Sorry if you misunderstood me, I was just having a little fun with EG whilst pulling your leg.

:)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:34PM
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gardener_sandy

My DH says I get too "wordy" sometimes. I know I do. I had trouble with the op's question and struggled for an answer but felt he was really looking for help. I feel bad when a question doesn't get some kind of an attempt at an answer.

There I go again.... LOL

Sandy

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 9:36PM
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captaindirt(6/7)

thanks for the answers.
what I mean is that I have plenty of room to plant my garden in single rows and still have the room for everything else. My problem is, if I just plant tomatoes along the edge of the beds as discribed in the SFG book, it doesn't save any more space than the single row method or actualy less space because of the paths between beds.
I like the method but I guess I just don't understand it yet. I have the book "all new SFG".
Do I plant my tomatoes just on the edge or do I plant tomatoes in each an every sf if that's the number of tomato plants I want?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 10:55PM
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holly-2006

If you mean planting a tomato in every square foot of the bed, you're going to spend a heck of a lot of time pruning those plants. That's a lot of work!

I think that if I had the amount of room for a garden that you describe (room for 70-100 tomato plants), I'd leave the tomatoes out of the SFG and give them 4-5 feet between plants complete with CRW cages.

But that's just me.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:07AM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

I agree with holly!

It sounds like you have plenty of space. If the SFG doesn't fit your needs for tomatoes, why not just leave them out of it (or just put a few in there and see how you like it) and plant them as you have in the past. Then use the SFG for your other crops!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:42AM
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captaindirt(6/7)

thanks everyone for your help. I've grone from traditional single row gardening to lasagna gardening that I really didn't like and the wife refused to enter the garden at all.
Now I was going to try SFG next year (just two beds at first) and see how it works.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 11:05PM
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holly-2006

Have you decided how big the beds will be?

I'd start off with maybe some salad fixings - lettuce, radishes, maybe some spring onions, spinach, carrots, a celery plant or two, and see if she likes that. Even better if you could put the boxes a little closer to the back door if garden layout permits.

Once she sees how easy and convenient it is, it won't be long before you're able to strap a yoke on her and get her working the back 40.

:)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 8:59AM
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captaindirt(6/7)

Has anyone ever tried pruning their tomato plants? Is there a good site that shows step by step process? Videos would be even better.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 9:59PM
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captaindirt(6/7)

Holly,

My garden area is 64' by 10' so I was going to go with a 4' by 6' bed.
4' so I can easly reach in and 6' to give me two feet at each end. I can put 10 od these beds in the garden if I wanted to but I will start with one on each end and traditionaly garden in between them for now.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 10:13PM
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gardener_sandy

Here's an excellent video on pruning tomatoes.

Sandy

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato pruning video

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 10:17PM
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holly-2006

Wow - 64x10, I'm green with envy!

I'm working in a space of about 60 square feet, if I'm lucky.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 12:47PM
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captaindirt(6/7)

Has anyone here ever pruned determinite tomato plants back to a single stem? If so what was the results?
please share if you can...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 7:39PM
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holly-2006

Don't prune determinate plants or you'll have NO tomatoes.

Ask me how I know that...LOL! Yes, I am a boob.

"They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die."

-from the FAQ at the top of the main page of the Tomato Forum.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 8:35AM
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holly-2006

I should have provided a link for you...

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Forum FAQ's

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 8:38AM
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