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Post  ralitaco on 3/27/2011, 5:28 pm

I am a 2nd year SFG'er, but my first year was a bust; so I am looking for a pretty safe setup. Also, most newbies don't know what to plant or when or how to set up the succession plantings. If there is a general concensus on a basic layout with what works well and when, it would be very easy for newbies, like me, to get started and perhaps have good success.

I was wondering if anyone has a standard layout for a 4x4 box. Now I know that everyone plants different things based on what they eat and where they live, but I am looking for a basic setup that will work for most areas and most people.

I know most people plant tomatoes so they are a must. Maybe some lettuce, beans, cukes? (I don't know so I am asking.) I think the plan should include spring, summer and fall crops.

Perhaps each region could post their own and pin it at the top of their respective region's forum.

What do you guys think,
Jim
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Post  boffer on 3/27/2011, 5:31 pm

@ralitaco wrote:I am a 2nd year SFG'er, but my first year was a bust;

First, let's make sure we don't repeat what went wrong last year. Can you give some specifics?
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Post  ralitaco on 3/27/2011, 5:46 pm

bugs, lack of water, end rot, not knowing what to plant.

Maybe this will help: If you were using one 4x4 box to demonstrate the benefits of SFG over other methods & to produce good harvest throughout the growing season; what would you plant. (Imagine you have an opportunity to put a box in a your local Ag office or at school or a church, etc)
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Post  boffer on 3/27/2011, 6:36 pm

Gotta start with climate and time of year. There's lots of folks on the forum down your way that can help with what to plant when.

In my climate, there's a pretty good line between when to plant cool weather plants and warm weather plants. Your climate might be different.

Cool plants
lettuce, spinach, greens, beets, radishes, potatoes, carrots, peas and others

Warm plants
squashes, tomatoes, corn, beans, cukes, and many others

Pick some cool plants to make a salad. I recall some folks saying they don't always get to eat their tomatoes with their lettuce because they mature at different times.

You would have a trellis on the back row where you could plant peas and they would be done in time to plant cukes in that square. I wouldn't do corn. Toms and beans in the trellise row. Maybe figure out a way to let squash grow on the ground, old school like. It doesn't have to be trellised if you have room.

If you really wanted to be portable you would just about have to stick with the cool crops. In my climate, it's hard to fail with cool crops-they're confidence builders. Maybe someone your way knows if that would be true for you.
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Post  ralitaco on 3/27/2011, 6:49 pm

thanks Boffer,
@boffer wrote:Cool plants
lettuce, spinach, greens, beets, radishes, potatoes, carrots, peas and others

Warm plants
squashes, tomatoes, corn, beans, cukes, and many others

But that is the problem...too many choices. I am looking for specifics. And I think the other newbies would like some specifics too. Kind of like the Carrot Week project.

You know: something like "Cool plant season - plant 3 squares of lettuce, 1 square of carrots. leave 2 squares open for xxxxxx. plant your xxxxx seeds now for harvest in the fall. etc."

Thanks again.
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Post  Old Hippie on 3/27/2011, 6:56 pm

Things I would plant would be things that I eat. Some people like different things so it is kind of hard to say.

However, if I only had ONE 4'x4' box I would probably have 1 square of radishes, 1 of lettuce, 2 squares of beans, 2 squares of peas, 2 squares of beets, 2 squares of carrots, 2 squares of tomatoes, 2 squares of cucumbers, 1 squares of onions and 1 of peppers. Those are all things that we like to eat and for the most part are not too difficult. I would also grow herbs in pots.....dill, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley and sage.

Depending on what kind of bugs you had trouble with, row covers might be a help. One of the reasons I don't grow broccoli or cabbage is that I hate those little green worms in my broccoli. So I would sooner buy it. I had trouble with end rot on my tomatoes years ago until I found a variety that is resistant to it. Some are more susceptible to it than others. Blossom end rot with tomatoes can be caused from inconsistent watering. It is important to water your tomatoes regularly. I water mine by hand with water from the rain barrels, every single day. Each of my eight plants gets at least a litre of water every day.

As far as watering goes, most of my garden gets watered every other day. One plot is easy enough to water with a watering can or hose every other day unless it is very hot. Then every day. It is best to water in the morning rather than at night. That way the plants are better able to withstand the heat of the day.

If you have a very hot summer, you may need to set up some kind of shade system for your garden. The hoops with covers can protect from the sun or in the early spring or late fall from frost depending on where you live.

Hope that helps to some degree. If you have any other questions just ask. It is discouraging when you try a garden and it gets eaten by bugs or fried in the sun or frozen in the fall before you get a chance to harvest anything. Keep trying though and best of luck to you.

Gwynn
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Post  walshevak on 3/27/2011, 7:30 pm

Well, I can tell your what my son is trying in Wilmington

early
lettuce at least 2 sowings 4 weeks apart
snap peas - trellis
collards will survive through the summer with caterpiller control
bok choy at least 2 sowings 4 weeks apart
mustard greens

mid summer
tomatos -trellis
eggplant
okra
pole beans - trellis replacing the snap peas
cukes - trellis
squash - may try to trellis this and hope to keep off the dreaded squash borer

We have wrapped up the early bed in nylon netting for bug control and are hoping.

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