New to Gardening; Planning my Layout

Discussion in 'Ideas' started by matt zad, May 24, 2013.

  1. matt zad

    matt zad Fire Starter

    So this will be my first year planting and growing my own produce. I already constructed a 4'x12'x12" above ground bed and I'll be filling it with compost/mushroom soil tomorrow. I need some help with ideas for laying out my plants without out getting carried away for my first time and becoming overwhelmed. It's only my wife and me but I have friends and family to give overstock away if need be. Here's what I started piecing together so far; I have the garden split into a 1 ft sq grid for spacing/ planning. Can anyone offer some insight or suggestions on how I should lay this out so I have a successful first run? I'd like to add some fruit into the mix too. i.e. berries and melons. Thanks in advance.

  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congrats on the garden bed....raised beds are easier IMO to work in & maintain. Mine is 4X8X10 so kinda similar. Your grid, while looking good on paper, is not gonna I chuckle because I've done the same need wayyyyyy more space for those tomatoes and that 4' square area for squash is way to small as well. I put 1 squash in last year and it took over about 1/4 of the whole bed. I put in one tomato plant, Big Red variety, and it got as big as a Christmas tree enveloping a chili pepper plant about 2 feet away. The pepper plants might do ok if you keep them under tight control. The 4 cucumbers will take over everything, literally. The lettuce won't stand a chance. This is not meant to discourage you by any means, but you don't want your first attempt to be a nightmare either. I have gone to putting squash away from everything else and am putting cukes by themselves this year in containers with trellis/lattice behind them for climbing. These things spread like crazy. And be careful with the mushroom compost, it can have an adverse effect
  3. matt zad

    matt zad Fire Starter

    Haha, thanks for being honest. Those are the things I need to hear so it isn't a nightmare like you said. Being it's only feeding 2 people I can afford to space things out more and use less plants. I'd rather not have too much growing. Would it help to control the spread of the cucumber and squash plants if I sunk a divide in the soil in the bed? Or is that just crazy talk???

    I'll be growing from plants and the mushroom soil I'm using is a basic blend that I was told by the nusery that it is fairly "clean"and mixed with top soil. He uses it in his own garden. Thanks for the info.
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No kid uses some shroom stuff in his beds, I was going to but settled on a compost blend from the local nursery. Regardless, nothing will really stop the spread of certain plants. I suppose one could constantly prune off foliage but I believe that could inhibit fruit production somehow, so what's the point. I'm sure some more informed serious gardeners will be along to chime in. It's rewarding but much more work than I ever thought to maintain...stay on top of it and yes, I'd plant much less especially the first time out.
  5. matt zad

    matt zad Fire Starter

    So I got the garden in this past weekend and weaved a soaker hose through the rows near each plant. Can someone tell me what frequency amd duration should I be watering? I currently have the hose on a timer set to go for 45 mins every 6 hours. Would it be better to burry the hose a couple inches? I was checking some google searches and I saw a lot say to water once every 2-3 days but that doesn't seem right to me.

    Heres a picture of what I have.

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get a water moisture meter at a gardening center... check the moisture at the root zone of the plants...  water and adjust the schedule   accordingly...   Dave
  7. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great....keep showing progress as things grow!

  8. matt zad

    matt zad Fire Starter

    Just stacked most of my plants over the weekend and cut my watering back to 45mins once a day around 4pm. My pepper and tomato plants seem to be doing good but my cucumbers and lettuce dont seem to be loving life. I'm also getting a lot of water drainage from the garden into the surronding mulch. According to a moistor meter I'm still in the green but what can I do to save mu cucumbers and lettuce (cuc-Far Left)? Thats a soaker hose weaved through the plants...I might be over doing it.....[​IMG]

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013

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