clutchrider
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

Garden Novice Expanding and Looking for Advice

Hello all,
I made my introductory post [url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=42808[/url] before heading here to get some input. Last year I grew some amazing corn and a little bit of lettuce. It was more for an itch I had just to see if I could grow corn. Well that went really well so now I'm looking to expand and make it a summer hobby and get some good eats out of it :D

My original garden was 7x10' and I am expanding to approx. 10x20'. I have put here a picture of my proposed setup (I'm an OCD planner and executor) so apologies if it seems overboard. I tried to pick crops that me and my wife like and that I would be able to grow in a shoreline CT town.

-Sweet Onions
-Leaf Lettuce
-Spinach
-Cucumbers
-Peppers (red, green, yellow/orange, not entirely decided yet)
-Plum Tomatoes

[img]https://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/395533_10150590807484051_604849050_9215813_1707371098_n.jpg[/img]

I don't want to ask yield because it obviously can vary greatly, but with the numbers of expected plants I want for each I have the following questions;

1) Are there any veggies that I may be overdoing or underdoing? We don't always just feed ourselves.

2) I planned on staking the tomatoes with the cages and then using a coated wire fencing with posts for the peppers and cucumbers. Is that the best approach? I heard trellis growing can give more crop yield.

3) I did my separations based on random internet searching and used that for my planning. Are there any advisements on spacing? planting on flat or raised mounds? Adding more of a type of plant somewhere?

4) Does my garden seem logical or crazy in terms of what I am looking to grow?

5) Are there any other plants you think would work well or that I may be interested in growing?

I'm making a separate post with garden prep questions :lol: so please don't hate for my numerous questions. I feel I am off to a good start with what I was able to accomplish last year. Hopefully I can keep it going.

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jal_ut
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I would:
Plant a row of radishes on the front side.

Put a few more onions in the onion row.

Plant something between the onions and lettuce. Beets? Turnips?

Plant more spinsch. Put a seed every two inches in the row.

Trellis the cucumbers. Plant ten plants in that row. Seed is fine. Plant when the weather is warm.

Plant been seeds 3 inches apart in the row.

Plant two rows of tomatoes and Two rows of peppers. My choice, maybe you would rather have loads of peppers?

Welcome to the forum.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Agree with jal, that it looks like a whole ton of pepper plants and not a lot of spinach. At least double the amount of spinach. Also if that is a 7' wide bed 7 cucumber plants in that row is too many. Even if trellised it's too many; if not trellised it's way too many. Most likely is more cukes than you need anyway, unless you are planning to put up lots of pickles.

You can take better advantage of succession planting. Plant your spinach (which is very cold hardy and frost tolerant) now or soon (I think that I'm in a similar zone as you and my seeds for spinach, lettuce, chard, etc are already planted.) Then just wait until it gets warm and they bolt and put the cucumbers (which can't get planted until the soil is well warmed up anyway) in the space where they were.

Don't you want a bit of basil to go with those tomatoes? :) Next to swiss chard, basil is my favorite thing to grow. And if you are looking for something else to grow think about the chard. The lettuce and spinach will bolt and be done as soon as it gets hot. The swiss chard gets started just as early and then just goes and goes all the way through the first few fall frosts. Some of mine from last year over wintered and is growing again.

Not everything has to be in nice rows. Scatter those onions around amongst everything else and they will work better as companion planting to keep pests away.
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

clutchrider
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Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

I'll try and answer some of the posts here:

@jal_ut
-We are not big radish people but I guess I should try them
-More onions, yumm
-Not big on turnips and beets, any other suggestions?
-More spinach, done
-The cucumbers will be trellised, I'll be posting my fencing layout today for review.
-Bean seeds will be updated
-We are not big tomato people and I wanted to try the plum because my wife makes amazing sauce. It was more experimental.
-I LOVE peppers, it's my favorite vegetable. But I can cut back a row and put something else.

@ rainbowgardener
-Any suggestions for what I could do in place of a row of peppers (potatoes, squash?)
-The bed is 10' wide (or will be when I expand), how many cucumbers can I cut back for that row? Would 5 be better with more spacing on the trellis?
-Basil and all herbs are going to be in big clay pots on the deck.
-I'll look into the Swiss Chard (so your saying plant this after the lettuce is done?)
-I'm OCD about things to a degree so having them in neat rows just appeals to me, lol. I can easily put the onions around the garden though. Maybe between other rows?


I was also thinking of throwing some sunflowers along the fence opposite of my garage. Thanks for all the updates! Be sure to check out my fencing thread as I am looking for help with expansion and pre-set for the soil.

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rainbowgardener
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Well, the swiss chard can be planted the same time as the lettuce. But if you wanted as a space saver thing, it would probably work to plant it after the lettuce is done.

I guess after that it depends on what you like to eat. I love beets but my honey won't eat them, so I don't grow them...

You don't have any broccoli in there. It's one of my favorite veggies. I plant broccoli early (start indoors and put transplants out). It is cold hardy and frost tolerant and is mostly done once it gets real hot. I plant the broccoli in the bed where the tomatoes will grow, but they go out 5-6 weeks before the tomatoes. The tomatoes get planted behind the broccoli. Once the tomato plants are getting big and need the space, the broccoli gets pulled.

Otherwise if you are looking for ideas of what else to grow, we've got a nice 4 page thread going on about what people are growing this year:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=41574&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45
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

clutchrider
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Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

Excellent. I am going to look into broccoli but should look into the differences between that the broccoli rabe (my wife loves this, their italian).

I'll check that thread out too, thanks.

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jal_ut
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Hmm, if you drop one row of peppers and scatter the onions, you have room for 2 rows of corn on the end.

Other crops I enjoy are peas, carrots. potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, and kohlrabi.

Any of the summer squash are great too, but they take up some room. You need about a 6 foot square plot for a planting of 5 zucchini plants. Plant all the seed within a 12 inch circle in the center of the 6 foot plot. They will grow out like the spokes on a wheel and you will have more zucchini than you know what to do with. Crookneck squash or scallop squash can be grown the same way.

The pumpkins, and winter squash have vines that can go 20 feet, so if you plant those, you need to give them room to grow. You could plant one in a corner and train the vine to go right along the edge.

I think its great to see you so excited to try your hand at some new crops. Check with your local extension service to see if they have some gardening tips and a planting calendar for your area.

A good part of a successful garden is to plant crops at the right time. Spinach is early. Plant any time now. Cucumbers need warm soil. Mid May probably for those. So you see what I mean about the right time?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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digitS'
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Don't be afraid to grow what you and your wife really like, Clutchrider!

The broccoli raab is a great idea. I have a little trouble growing it here, probably because of the arid climate. I use Asian greens instead and some of them do fine. With either, you may be able to do succession plantings and your wife can enjoy the greens right thru the growing season and into the fall.

Peppers may do really well for you and they have storage potential for those long months of winter when you won't be enjoying your summer garden vegetables.

I'd link something from Purdue on Intensive Gardening (pdf) but you are getting such good advice from experienced gardeners that too much might just bog you down! Try to keep it simple and relax out there in the garden. I say that I measure everything by the foot, also - my foot (almost exactly 12" long :wink: ). Go ahead and "stamp" your garden with something personal and have fun!

Steve :)
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

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