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Hi from Colorado! Qs about mapping squares

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Hi from Colorado! Qs about mapping squares Empty Hi from Colorado! Qs about mapping squares

Post  Denverish on 1/29/2019, 4:33 pm

Hi there!

I've been gardening off and on for several years but in a quite haphazard manner (with equally haphazard success, haha!) This year will be my first time starting a 'permanent' vegetable garden, though, hooray! In hopes of simplify things as well as increasing my odds of success, I am giving the SFG method a go. Super excited!

I am currently reading the third edition of the SFG book, and am stuck on how to fill in my squares (in the planning phase for this year's spring, summer, and fall harvests). We just set up our first raised bed, a 3x6 that will have hoops and a trellis, and are super excited!! We will also add two 3x3 or 3x4 raised beds and a few containers this year, and have planned space to add a second 3x6 bed next year. 

The problem is, I am confused about how crop rotation, interplanting, and companion planting work using the SFG method. On page 49 of the book, it says the SFG method recommends creating "deliberate diversity in your garden by not planting adjoining grid squares with the same vegetables... avoid planting the same vegetables in adjoining squares." Nearly all of the sample garden designs in this book (pages 53-55), however, show the same vegetables planted next to each other in adjoining squares. 

So... what am I missing? 

This is my first point of confusion. My second point of confusion is wrapping my head around how crop rotation works, according to the SFG method, that is. The book makes it clear that crop rotation is important... but I am either overlooking or misunderstanding how crop rotation actually works using the SFG method. The closest thing I can find on it in the book is this: "Fortunately, the SFG style makes this kind of rotation almost automatic" (page 189). Perhaps it is because I don't understand how to fill in my squares for my first SFG that I am really at a loss as to how the rotation automatically happens. Or maybe I am overthinking it? 

Thanks in advance for your help! 

Kind wishes,
Christy (Denverish)
Denverish
Denverish

Posts : 1
Join date : 2019-01-29
Location : Arvada, Colorado

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Post  sanderson on 1/29/2019, 6:41 pm

Hi Christy, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

The first year should be about learning how each variety grows. Do plant vining and tall tomatoes on the north or west trellised side. Short stuff on the south or east side. Summer squash in the southern corners so they can spread out over the side of the bed. As far as crop rotation, I have no choice as to where I plant the summer peppers each year, or tall vining winter squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and beans. While it is a good thing to rotate beds, it has worked out okay for me to NOT rotate. Being in zone 9A, I have summer crops and winter crops with only a few small things like lettuce and radishes where I will harvest, then add more compost and plant another seed in the same spot. You will get the swing of things and each year you will be more and more comfortable with your SFG.

Having more than one bed in the garden area can help with crop rotation. Plants you grew in Bed #1 can be grown in Bed #2 next year. Etc.

When you get your plot plan sketched and penciled in, you can post it here and folks will help if there is anything critical. We love photos so don't be shy! Wink

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Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/30/2019, 8:00 am

Hi Christy. Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

Sanderson makes some good points. And she's VERY experienced!

I would also say keep notes on where you plant things, how they grow, are they successful in your microclimate, how much are you able to harvest.

This first year will be a learning curve. But well worth it!! Have fun with it... And we're here to help!
AtlantaMarie
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Post  sanderson on 1/30/2019, 4:27 pm

I second keeping a journal!

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/30/2019, 6:35 pm

I agree, and welcome!  

I keep notes on my ipad on plans vs what actually happened!  They are 2 different things... Smile 

I also take pictures as a reminder.  Your first year, it will be a learning year, and you should make sketches and take lots of notes!  

Are you buying plants from a nursery or store?  Tell us what you like to eat and want to grow!  

glad you\'re here
Scorpio Rising
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