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Aya
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Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

How much space would you recommend?

Hey Guys, this is my first year with gardening space and I think I might be a little overzealous, but here's what I'd like to grow:

Tomatillo
Cherry Tomatoes
Red Lightning Tomatoes
Basil
Cilantro
Thyme
Oregano
Catnip
Tarragon
Parsley
Rosemary
Chives
Celery
Grand Bell Peppers
Broccoli
Spinach
Flowering Kale
Lettuce(Summer Crisp, Romaine, and Black Seed)
Swiss Chard(Flamingo)
Scallions
Carrots(Chantenay & Kaleidoscope)
Sugar Pod Peas
Little Marvel Peas
Black Eyed Peas
Sweet Corn
Cantaloupe
Crimson Sweet Watermelon
Sweet Sugar Pie Pumpkin
Big Max Pumpkin
Lavender
Potatoes (Red, Russet and Purple Majesty)
Shallots

And then a few flowers:

Grandpa Ott Morning Glory
Columbine
Shasta Daisy
Forget-me-not
And...Dahlias

I also had some brambles started (Blackberries, Raspberries and Blueberries) but my puppy ripped them out of the ground so I'm pretty sure they're toast :cry:

My fiance was being nice and built me a raised bed, but..its a little tall. Current size is 8'x2'x4' which I know isn't enough room to grow all of this...any ideas or advice?
Last edited by Aya on Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jal_ut
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2000 square feet would be about right. A 40 X 50 plot.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Aya
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Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

Wow - I think that's the size of my entire back yard :o

gumbo2176
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Aya, what part of the world you live in? Some of what you've mentioned will not do so well in a hot climate if you are planning on planting it anytime soon.

I've had no success with spinach, broccoli, some lettuces and even parsley if in direct sun in my growing zone (9).

Like jal-ut mentioned, it will take a pretty nice plot for all that and I'd trust his judgment on this with the success he has with his garden each year. The last thing you want to do is crowd a lot of things in too little space. I had a lady friend do that last year and her little plot didn't produce much due to overcrowding.

cynthia_h
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"The Emerald City" is another name for Seattle due to the...uh...sparkling effect of the almost-constant rains.

This member is unlikely to be overcome by heat, but at the same time is unlikely to receive enough heat for certain plants on the list, e.g., peppers, corn, and melons. It's difficult enough to get them to succeed where I live; my specific yard runs to temps like Seattle's (due to the redwood shading everything), and these will *not* succeed here for me.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Aya
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Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

I'm about 40 minutes north of Seattle - so its pretty rainy and doesn't get too hot. I think I'm mostly concerned about the rain. I built a hoop house on my raised bed. So far, my melons and all of my beans/peas are doing really well and my corn and potatoes have sprouted ( I was worried about the rain and started them all indoors about 3 weeks ago). Not sure where to go from here..

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

You need to organize your list by harvest season and best growing conditions. Sun and drought tolerant Lavender will not grow well next to lettuce, etc. Those that need special care vs. ideal for your climate.

Then you can divide up your yard into appropriate "zones" or beds. Make note of micro-climates in your yard -- full sun, part sun, south side of a structure, protected from wind, tending to puddle, tending to dry out, etc. Remember, too, that the sun rises and sets further north and higher in the sky in the summer, then retreat approaching winter so the the sun/shade conditions will change. In winter, some areas will never see sunlight and be in constant shade.

Because some of these crops are best grown in early spring -- even winter if you have mild winters -- and harvested, while others are planted in late spring/early summer for summer/late summer harvest, and yet others can be planted late summer/early fall for late fall/winter harvest, etc. You can stagger their planting times and actually grow them in the same space.

Some things can be grown up trellises to save room.

So the answer to your question is not straightforward -- these techniques vastly change the amount of growing space you will ultimately need.

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Aya
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Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

And I thought gardening would be easy :lol:

My raised bed is sitting along the fence where I get full sun. The right side of my yard is partially shaded, but still fairly sunny and then the left side of my yard is a bit smaller - because of my deck and its mostly shaded by the neighbors fencing. I'll have to do some research it looks like. I've read my gardening book cover to cover - but there is a lot of information!

cynthia_h
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If the "gardening book" isn't Sunset's Western Garden Book, may I strongly recommend that you add this one to your library. The climate zone maps alone explain sooo much about gardening in the complex geography of the western states and provinces that you just won't believe it. (These maps saved my "bacon" when I moved out here from Atlanta many moons ago.) Although there are Sunset climate zone "maps" available online, they're simplified versions of those in the book and can give a misleading impression to people who live in complex terrain--like the S.F. Bay Area or the Puget Sound region.

If you want to get an idea of where the sun will be in the winter, watch the moon in the summer. Their rising and setting points appear to switch with one another due to the tilt of the earth's axis.

Thus, on or near the summer solstice, the sun will be at its southernmost rising and setting points. The moon, though, will be at its northernmost rising and setting points. Take note of them; this is where the sun will rise and set in December. Project the shadow lines of your house and structures (e.g., fences, deck) onto your garden to figure out where the low- and no-sun areas will be during the colder/darker half of the year.

Cynthia

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Aya
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Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

I don't have that book - I may have to look into it! The book I have now is Better Homes and Gardens: Vegetable, fruit and herb gardening...

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rainbowgardener
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You've gotten really good advice already, so I don't have a lot to add except that most of the herbs on your list grow quite well in containers. So in addition to your raised beds, you could just scatter some large-ish containers full of herbs in whatever sunny spots you have.

I think it helps to take it easy, start small, don't expect that you are going to be able to grow everything the first year. Each year you will know more and be able to do more. Eventually you will have that whole back yard turned into garden space and can grow everything you want! :D
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Aya
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Location: The Emerald City : Zone 8A

That's what I'm hoping for!

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