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2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please!

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2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! Empty 2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please!

Post  jska on 2/18/2012, 3:03 am

Hey all,

New to SFG, but excited after reading most of Mels book.

Here's my garden plan which has the vegetable varieties, spacings, and arrangement. There's also a picture of the raised bed as it is now, and a close up of some of the soil.

2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! XDa37

2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! AEVdf

2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! 5mg4s

This raised bed was constructed two years ago for a garden project that failed because of lack of effort, and at that time was fortified with peat + vermiculite. The raised bed itself still needs some repair, but I have plenty of time for that.

We have a compost pile that consists of mostly cut grass / leaves that I can use to spruce the soil up for this year.

I intend to build two 5' tall trellis' for the north and west facing sides, which the tomatoes, cukes, beans, and peas will grow up.

Should I bother trying to start scallions from seed?
Do I have too few bean/pea plants to get a good harvest from both? If so, I'll just pick one.

I'll be ordering seed from Botanical Interests this year.

I'd love any feedback/constructive criticism! Thanks Very Happy
jska
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Post  camprn on 2/18/2012, 6:00 am

Hi Jska 2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! 396615 to the SFG Forum! Where in Western Mass are you located. I am just north of you. Your layout looks pretty good to me. I would make the path at least 2 foot wide though. Have you had a chance to read the All New Square Foot garden Book (2006) yet? I think if this was my garden I would build up a bit more and add Mel's mix right to the top of what you already have there. Are you planning to preserve any of your harvest? How many folks are you planning to feed from your garden. You may want another box or two if there are more than two people.

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Post  Chopper on 2/18/2012, 6:19 am

The one place you do not want to skimp is the soil. Definitely add mel's Mix. Do not mix it with the current soil but add it on top. You should have six inches of it. It is worth it.

Otherwise, the plan looks pretty good. I only wonder at the peas shading the peppers but I think by the time the peppers come around the peas will be done.
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Post  DevinGoulding on 2/18/2012, 10:04 am

Jska, looks great! I noticed that you are planning on planting your edamame 9/square and not on a trellis. I am planting them for the first time this year and wasn't quite sure how to plant them, even after reading the seed packet. Will 9/sq be too many? Do they not need trellised? I was planning on planting mine 4/sq on a trellis, but might change that now...
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Post  camprn on 2/18/2012, 10:09 am

@DevinGoulding wrote:Jska, looks great! I noticed that you are planning on planting your edamame 9/square and not on a trellis. I am planting them for the first time this year and wasn't quite sure how to plant them, even after reading the seed packet. Will 9/sq be too many? Do they not need trellised? I was planning on planting mine 4/sq on a trellis, but might change that now...
Having never grown it I can only offer what I have read... here is one example
http://myfolia.com/plants/55-soybean-glycine-max/varieties/7046-edamame
If it was me I would put a short trellis as they can get about 2 foot tall and because everything is planted so tightly in a SFG I would want to have some additional support to contain them. Just my $0.02. Wink

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2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! WxBanner?bannertype=wu_clean2day_cond&airportcode=KEEN&ForcedCity=Keene&ForcedState=NH&zipcode=03431&language=EN
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Post  DevinGoulding on 2/18/2012, 10:13 am

I just read the Rookie topic on Edamame, which has helped answer my questions. Looks like 9/sq is most common and trellis' aren't needed. Since I planned out my garden during the winter, my Edamame will be in a square with a trellis on one side. I'll probably change to planting 9/sq and then keep you posted on whether or not I find they use/need the trellis.

Hooray for rookie topics!
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Post  quiltbea on 2/18/2012, 11:17 am

I like your garden plan. You might be 'walking a tightrope' on that path come summer. Some foliage will be hanging over from both sides. But if you are agile, you can try it. The good thing about an SFG is you can try to grow what you like and then see how it works out for you. Enough crops, not enough, wider walking space, need higher trellis, etc. You can always make changes next year.

I say go for it. Your plan is good. The trellis on the north and the west should work out for you. I found my bush beans growing about 2 ft tall didn't need any staking. The tight spacing helps brace them between each other.

When a square empties after harvest of the one veggie, just stick something else in the square to take its place. You can always sow cool-weather crops directly in the squares in summertime where they will easily germinate, so you can have those crops in the fall. Many can take cool nites and even a few light frosts.
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Post  quiltbea on 2/18/2012, 11:24 am

I forgot to add......if you want more tomatoes, peppers or eggplant, they CAN be grown in 10"-12" pots very well. Just be sure your toms are determinates (only grow a certain height being bush types and harvest at one time). Eggplants sometimes need more heat than can be had on N.E. nites (they prefer 60 and above at nite) but in pots, you can bring them inside on a cool nite. I learned this thru trial and error.

Welcome to the forum. Lots discussed here and lots to learn from everyone. Hope to see more pictures of your garden as you progress.
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Post  jska on 2/18/2012, 1:39 pm

@camprn wrote:Hi Jska 2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! 396615 to the SFG Forum! Where in Western Mass are you located. I am just north of you. Your layout looks pretty good to me. I would make the path at least 2 foot wide though. Have you had a chance to read the All New Square Foot garden Book (2006) yet? I think if this was my garden I would build up a bit more and add Mel's mix right to the top of what you already have there. Are you planning to preserve any of your harvest? How many folks are you planning to feed from your garden. You may want another box or two if there are more than two people.

Hey camprn,

I'm in the Pioneer Valley, south of the Quabbin Reservoir. Making the path 2 feet would eliminate 8sqft from my garden, so I think I'll take the chance and keep it 1 foot. I'm young, agile, and have long arms. It shouldn't be a problem. I'll preserve if my harvest allows, and I'm not depending on my garden to feed any certain # of people. Just hoping for the best. This year is a trial and error to see what I need to do to really step up production next year.

Thanks for the reply!
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Post  jska on 2/18/2012, 1:41 pm

@DevinGoulding wrote:I just read the Rookie topic on Edamame, which has helped answer my questions. Looks like 9/sq is most common and trellis' aren't needed. Since I planned out my garden during the winter, my Edamame will be in a square with a trellis on one side. I'll probably change to planting 9/sq and then keep you posted on whether or not I find they use/need the trellis.

Hooray for rookie topics!

I'm going 9/sqft without a trellis for my Edamame, per the reading I did. I'll keep everyone posted on how they do, and I'll thin them out and add stakes if I need to. Good luck with yours!
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Post  jska on 2/18/2012, 1:46 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I like your garden plan. You might be 'walking a tightrope' on that path come summer. Some foliage will be hanging over from both sides. But if you are agile, you can try it. The good thing about an SFG is you can try to grow what you like and then see how it works out for you. Enough crops, not enough, wider walking space, need higher trellis, etc. You can always make changes next year.

I say go for it. Your plan is good. The trellis on the north and the west should work out for you. I found my bush beans growing about 2 ft tall didn't need any staking. The tight spacing helps brace them between each other.

When a square empties after harvest of the one veggie, just stick something else in the square to take its place. You can always sow cool-weather crops directly in the squares in summertime where they will easily germinate, so you can have those crops in the fall. Many can take cool nites and even a few light frosts.

Thanks Qulitbea. I'm going to try the 1 foot path, rather than sacrifice 8/sqft of the garden. Next year I'll be starting fresh on a new property, so I'll build more sensibly sized boxes, 8x4's probably.

My beans are the pole variety, because I wanted a continuous harvest throughout the season. I may remove the pole beans and plant 6/sqft of snap peas. This is my main question. I'm not sure if 3/sqft of each is going to give me an adequate harvest. Same with the edamame, I've heard the yields are very low. I might have to concentrate on just one bean/pea. We'll see.

I need to learn the cool weather/hot weather continuum a little bit better, I'm sure there will be some unused space in the garden until I master this. Thanks for the reply!
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Post  walshevak on 2/18/2012, 3:37 pm

Here in the South, you would plant the peas before the last frost, harvest until about June, then plant pole beans for the summer. The summer heat decimates the peas. In NE, you may be able to harvest peas much later then we can.

Happy Gardening

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Post  quiltbea on 2/18/2012, 3:55 pm

The heat ruins our peas here in Maine as well. The pole beans do well in the heat.
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Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/19/2012, 1:15 pm

2012 Zone 6A plan -- Critique me please! 396615 jska,
I'm studying "How Much to Plant" on p. 112 ANSFG, and have revised my plan for Spring!
Check it out.
Lee
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