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Thinking Ahead

Posted by jcrouse Maine (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 2, 08 at 22:41

Hi All,

I'm new to the board, but 4 years into SFG. Here's what I'm looking for advice on. I've got one 4X4 bed that has a trellis for inderminate plants (peas, summer squash, tomatoes).

I've never had good luck with this bed as far as production. I'll admit early to not having a soil test. what I'm wondering about long-term is that I'm planting my first heirloom tomatoes this year. the last few years have been mostly squash that haven't performed.

The plants look really healthy, and i'm on top of pruning etc. this year. My long term question is, if successful, how long can i plan on planting tomatoes in this bed? what can i do to extend this time period, if there's a problem?

This is my only bed with a trellis. i'm not averse to buiding another and mixing it up with rotation, but i'm curious as to how long you've been able to grow any vegetables in the same plot, and what affects that?

Thanks in advance,

Maine Zone 5

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Thinking Ahead

You always want to rotate crops from bed to bed, so you don't plant the same crop in the same spot twice in what, a three year period I hear. I have trellises on every bed but one and that one will get one next year when I need it. You get diseases and bugs have NO problem finding the plants. Finally you deplete the soil of what that plant needs. That could be the reason they don't do well there.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure!

RE: Thinking Ahead

So, how do you have trellis's on all the areas? Don't you shade out the other plants with the ones that grow up vertically?

RE: Thinking Ahead

Me? I have a trellis that is attached to three beds all in a row so the back (north side) of all three beds have a trellis. The same trellis actually, just a really long one. I've got pics on my blog or on my photobucket account, but here's what I mean...

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure

RE: Thinking Ahead

jcrouse - have you been adding extra compost each time you clear that bed, or even square by square? Every time you replant you should amend the soil. That can help as well as the before mentioned rotation.

RE: Thinking Ahead

I planted everything in my beds very randomly. After seeing a list of non-companion plants, I did move a few things. With the exception of my tomatoes, I don't have any of the same plants next to each other. After the season is done, I plan on turning the beds. Flipping soil from one bed to another and just mixing the whole thing up. Hopefully, that will work.

RE: Thinking Ahead

I remembered reading that tomatoes are one vegetable that you can plant in the same location year after year unless you have a disease problem. I checked Louise Riotte's book, Carrots Love Tomatoes and found it there.

She does add that tomatoes are heavy feeders so if you plant them in the same location, you need to give them lots of compost or decomposed manure.

I'm trying some of her recommendations for companion planting this year.


RE: Thinking Ahead

Hey Guys,

Thanks so much for the responses. I really appreciate it!!

I'm going to puzzle this out. I can probably work out rotating the tomatoes around every couple of years. Here's another thing though, what about rotating in cukes or squash in rotation?

I will add nutrients each fall in both compost and fertilizer. Just wondering if I should add something other than a 10-10-10 as a fertilizer to offset the particular fruit producing nutrients? I can't remember off the top of my head if that is the P or the K.

Thanks again,

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