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Thread: Help! No spatial awareness

  1. #1
    Bibliobeck's Avatar
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    Default Help! No spatial awareness

    Greetings to all. I'm new to this site, to posting messages, and to gardening and I need help!

    After some success with a couple of growbags last year(!) I've been granted a small raised plot for planting veg this year (123" x 41") and I'm stuck and giving myself a real headache trying to plan what goes where.
    I have no spatial awareness, I'm inept with a pencil and paper & just cannot visualise or plan it! I'm planning to plant lettuce, fennel, onions, cucumber, 2 types of bush tomato, summer squash & courgettes.

    My problem is will it fit and if it does, what should go where Due to the shape & situation of the plot I'll need to plant short rows (41") rather than long ones (123")

    My pathetic attempts at planning so far seem to be leaving huge gaps between plants. I know I've chosen some plants that need a lot of room, but since that's what I like to eat it makes sense to grow it, but is there any way I can maximise what I plant and what rules do I need to be aware of (separating the 2 types of tomato plant?). Any advice for this poor confused newbie would be gratefully received.

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    plant squares 4foot by 4 foot, in the squares divide it into 4x4 so you have 16 little 1 foot squares, then plant your polants in then how many depends on the size of the squares eg carrots you might get 9 or 16, but large cabbages or tomato plants you would only get 1. also with large plants that take a long time to grow ie cabbage or broccoli, plant quick growing plants round them to start with like raddish

    hope that helps

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    a book called "square foot gardening" might help you more

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    cotton54321 is offline Sprouter
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    I agree with dragonz - get planting!!

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    Default Square Foot Gardening the Mel Bartholmew method.

    Mel Bartholomew devised Square Foot Gardening. He developed the method as an answer to a problem in a communal garden project. There was a large initial response to the idea of gardening and growing vegetables only for the numbers who continued to tend their plots to drop off over the following months. Those that stayed the course had to find ways of coping with gluts of vegetables, when everyone else also had a similar glut.

    This is what Mel devised.
    1. Dig a plot 4-foot x 4-foot and build a solid side with wood 8 inches high to enclose the area.
    2. Fill the top of the raised bed with a mix of two-thirds, compost and one-third vermiculite.
    3. Divide the bed up using a permanent grid system. Each square is 1-foot x 1-foot.
    4. You now have 16 squares on the top of your raised bed.
    5. Plant a different flower or vegetable variety in each square.
    6. Each 1-foot square can accommodate different numbers of plants. Each square brakes down into a smaller grid system for seed sowing. Think of the dots on a dice and you have some idea of how the spacing works. In each 1-foot square. Instead of having dots of 1, 2, 3, 4, etc you would have dots of 1, 4, 9, and 16. This dot system equates to 12, 6, 4 and 3 spacing for vegetables.
    7. You place the dots in the earth with your finger and then fill the hole you have made with vermiculite. Into each hole you place two seeds. This type of sowing ends the need to go back and thin out the seedlings.
    8. You only ever work one square at a time. Not the whole 4-foot bed, unless you have the time or energy to do so.
    9. Each 1-foot square can be made to suit the needs of what you are sowing or planting in it.
    10. Every time you harvest a crop you make sure that the crop that follows it is different. This will enable you to carry out simple crop rotation.
    11. As you prepare a square for planting you add the relevant fertiliser needed.
    12. As there will be 16 squares with various crops growing you will be utilising companion planting. This will result in fewer garden pests eating your food before you get the chance to.
    13. As crops develop at different rates you can utilise catch cropping.
    14. You only sow enough in one square to provide a weeks harvest.
    15. Rather than sow five squares with carrots at one go you sow one square every two weeks until all five squares are sown. This will give you a staggered harvest of carrots.
    16. A patchwork design not only reduces the loss to pests but it looks decorative as well.
    17. Climbing plants such as beans courgettes or squash and other vines are grown at the northerly end of the square so they do not block out the light of the shorter plants.

    One square will hold 16 carrots or 9 large onions or 8 peas or 1 tomato or 4 full size lettuce. There are whole groups of vegetables that will fit into the following 1-foot spacing of 1, 4, 8, 9, and 16.

    Two raised beds will supply a family of two people with enough vegetables during the year. If you want to grow lots of space hungry varieties like squash or courgettes then add a third bed.

    Here is a list of vegetables and the spacing they need.

    Vine Tomatoes, 1 to a square foot
    Broccoli, 1 to a square foot
    Cabbage, 1 to a square foot
    Cauliflower, 1 to a square foot
    Sweetcorn, 1 to a square foot
    Aubergine, 1 to a square foot
    Melons, 1 to a square foot
    Peppers, 1 to a square foot

    Cucumbers, 2 to a square foot


    Swiss Chard, 4 to a square foot
    Full size Lettuce, 4 to a square foot
    Parsley, 4 to a square foot

    Peas, 8 to a square foot


    Dwarf beans, 9 to a square foot
    Spinach, 9 to a square foot


    Beetroot, 16 to a square foot
    Carrots, 16 to a square foot
    Onions, 16 to a square foot
    Radishes 16 to a square foot

    Bush Tomatoes, 1to a 2 foot square

    Courgettes, 1to a 3 foot square

    Winter squash, 1 plant to two x 1 square feet, side by side in an oblong.

    I hope this helps.
    Jax
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    Bibliobeck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I've looked at the square foot gardening site last week & it does look interesting. My only problem is I think I'll struggle to reach things at the back because of the position of the bed. We knew this when we made it, but as my husband regularly drives over the garden (don't ask!) this was the only place for it. You've given me some ideas about spacings though that are really helpful

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    As my raised bed is based on square foot method here are two photos. the fist was taken a few weeks ago and the second one was taken today.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help! No spatial awareness-2007_0330image0042.jpg   Help! No spatial awareness-2007_0429image0051.jpg  
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  8. #8
    Berr is offline Sprouter
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    Thank you, Jax , for generous post and smashing pics. THAT is square foot gardening. What are the strings made of, may I ask? I presume they're permanent?

    B.

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