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Scottb42178
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Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

South Texas First Time vegetable gardener here. This is the first time i had the location and time to take this on. If all goes well, i want to expand to four beds total, in a 12 x 20 fenced in area.
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Here is my newly installed 8x4 bed.
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Here is my planned grow layout.

I will update weekly, please advise if you see something that i am way off on, this is my first attempt at a veg garden
Last edited by Scottb42178 on Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

j3707
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Hey Scott, that's a great picture. Look forward to seeing your updates.
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imafan26
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Are you planting this all at one time or ofr succession planting?
Carrots, radish, chard, lettuce peas, Asian greens, beets, collards or kale are usually planting while the weather is cool. In hot areas that are frost free, that is late summer up until around March. Rule of thumb greens and roots in cool weather
From March - May plant warm season crops (temps 70-85 degrees) cukes, squash, corn beans, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes. Flowers and fruit in warm weather.

90+ degrees. Harvest and solarize. Very few plants like extreme heat.

Some plants like garlic and onions have to be planted at the right time of the year and you need to get the variety suited for your climate.

If you want to extend your season into summer. You will need to supplement with more water and provide some summer shading.

Carrots will grow o.k. as long as the temperature stays 70 or less. Kale can take a light frost.

If your average daytime temperature is 70 or less and you are at least 6 weeks before your last frost date, you can plant cool season vegetables. If howerver, temperatures are likely to be 85 or higher in the next couple of months, start warm season crops because they will mature in warmer weather. Cool season crops will be bitter and bolt early in hot weather unless you can create a microclimate with watering and shading.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

I've got the radish, carrots, onions, chard, and lettuce growing since Feb. 14th. I'm hoping it wont get too warm for them, but we have hit some low 80's already. I already lost my collards due to high winds, but have re-sown this past weekend.

I wont transplant the peppers and tomatoes for a few weeks. I did get the chance to bring them out for some sun and fresh air this weekend. They have been growing indoors under lights since January. I am really worried about that mid-July heat coming in, as I've had problems with my container peppers dropping their flowers. Hopefully with a good watering regiment, and some luck, they will survive the summer.
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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Radishes - sown 02/14
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catgrass
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

8 x 4 is not very big when you're going to put in cucumbers. You definitely need something for them to climb on. I usually figure at least 2-3 ft. square per tomato and pepper plant. Radish and lettuce will be done in a month or so. Swiss chard will make it until June. Squash take up a good amount of space, too. Consider bush varieties of the cucumbers and squash.
zone 9 Southwest La.

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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

I've tried to stay as compact in the variety as possible, also i moved all my tomatoes from the raised bed to the dirt. I accidentally bought indeterminate variety and couldn't risk them taking over the bed. I will be making a trellis sometime this month for the cucumbers, just hoping they wont take over too much. The peppers i am going to cage up and hope that it keeps them under control.

imafan26
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Yellow bell, California bell, Keystone, and Jupiter peppers have better disease and heat resistance. I grow an heirloom Chinese Giant but I grow it early, I planted mine in January and they are making peppers now. I don't expect them to produce well in the heat. Mine are in pots so I can move them around to different spots as it gets hotter to extend the season. Hot peppers don't really mind the heat that much.

It is the same with tomatoes, in hotter areas you need to select for heat tolerance. HeatwaveI II, celebrity, Arkansas Traveller and most of the cherry tomatoes will fare better than large tomatoes when the temperatures top 90. You might consider adding a shade structure for the summer. it helps if it is overhead and the sides are left open to let the air through. Heat master, Sun Chaser and Florida 91 are supposed to do well even in temps over 90 with adequate water. I tried Solar Fire but it does not have the necessary disease resistance to survive here.

Squash and gourds do well in the heat as well as jicama and the tropical greens.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

03-13-16 Update:

Harvested the radishes, not good size, but taste was good.

Heatwave Lettuce. Probably needed to be thinned out, but going to leave it alone.
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Pinkeye Purple Hull Peas on Left, Blue Lake 47 Beans on Right.
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Tomatoes in ground.
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Pepper transplants going in this week. Cucumbers sowed.

imafan26
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

It looks like you are doing a square foot garden method...sort of, which is a good choice for a small garden. Your radishes were not that big because you did not pay attention to plant spacing. You either plant seeds or seedlings at the proper spacing or you thin.
this is actually a slide presentation on the square foot method but it also has a spacing guide
https://www.suwanee.com/pdfs/Square%20Fo ... 031610.pdf

I actually like this planner for square foot gardens since it gives it to me in pictures and I am more visual
https://vegetableplanner.vegetable-gardening-online.com/

I actually do have some issues with square foot garden designs. It works for intensive planting but it requires a lot of deliberate pruning and forethought especially on large plants like tomatoes, zucchini, cabbages, and eggplant that spread out. Those things I rather plant in pots or somewhere else and plant in the square foot garden only the plants that behave. I also thin the plantings more than the square foot plan which I think is the maximum you can do.
Bush beans get a square foot and pole beans would be planted in a long narrow row along the trellis and not bunched up in a square. I also interplant to save space so I would not have a square of radishes and a square of peppers. I would put the peppers or tomatoes in a large pot and plant the radishes or lettuce in with the tomato seedling. They will be harvested before the tomato needs the space. Radishes need 2-4 inches apart in all directions and lettuce needs 8-10 inches. Beets 4 inches, green onions can be packed but I would not need an entire square of them so I could plant radishes or beets on the perimeter of the square. Square foot plans do not allow for planting more than one thing in a square or for underplanting at different stages of growth.
I do try to pay attention to plant spacing but I interplant and underplant so every inch is filled up, the plants will act as a living mulch and help contain the ever present weeds. I am not 100 percent organic. To get plants this size, I have added nitrogen in two divided feedings. I use sulfate of ammonia. My soil test indicate I don't need anything else for years. The only other thing I keep adding is compost and I till in the plant residues when it is done.
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This is my garden on 3/5/16.  I have garlic, round onions, broccoli, 1 brussels sprouts, kale (1) cucumber on trellis (7- multiple plants on two trellis).  cherry tomato (sprawling volunteer), beets, cutting celery, rakkyo, komatsuna, tatsoi, won bok,  I have kai choy growing as a weed but it is already too big to eat.
This is my garden on 3/5/16. I have garlic, round onions, broccoli, 1 brussels sprouts, kale (1) cucumber on trellis (7- multiple plants on two trellis). cherry tomato (sprawling volunteer), beets, cutting celery, rakkyo, komatsuna, tatsoi, won bok, I have kai choy growing as a weed but it is already too big to eat.
this entire garden is 8ft x 16 ft.  I am only using half since the other half is taken up by an aloe patch that needs thinning and weeds.
this entire garden is 8ft x 16 ft. I am only using half since the other half is taken up by an aloe patch that needs thinning and weeds.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

My garden survived two violent spring storms, with minimal damage done. Lost a squash, a collard, and a tomato.

Purple Eye Hull Peas on left, bush beans on right. Peas had a bad aphid infestation in back row that i pulled plants and replanted. I treated with water, dawn and rubbing alcohol mix.
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Cucumbers in back, peppers in front. Will try to run the cucumber up the fence as recommended in above post.
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Zuchini Squash
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Georgia Collard in front, Basil in back.
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Looking for my garden to really take off with weather improving. Scheduled to fertilize this weekend.

Till next time..

Mr green
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Nice garden you have going there, thoose tatsoi posted earlier look amazing, its and awesome plant.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished - Lao Tzu

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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Update for 04-13-16: Some rain, but some good sunny days last week. Plants are really taking off, some too much. The squash will overtake its two square feet, definitely a lesson learned on spacing. Green beans are producing lots of pods, will be harvesting before end of the month. Peppers producing some pods, cucumbers and melons have lots of flowers. Will see how the squash bounces back.

Due to some humid weather, had some powdery mildew on my squash, had to cutback foliage.
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Cucumbers heading up the fence.
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Peppers, left to right: Cayenne, Numex Heritage, MOA Scotch Bonnet
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Georgia Collard and lemon basil.
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Cowpeas on left, Bush beans on right
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Peppers, onions, carrots & cilantro
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Looking great!

I could be wrong, but that doesn't really look like powdery mildew on your squash leaves. A number of squash varieties naturally show that silvering along the veins, especially on mature leaves:

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Powdery mildew is different. It is more dusty/ powdery looking and more evenly distributed:

Image
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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Well, that's a relief, and disturbing, as i cut back numerous large leaves. Hopefully it recovers! Guess i jumped the gun so it didn't spread to other plants as i have a crowded garden.

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Scottb42178
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

Got a tumbling composter as a gift. Will see how quickly i can get some compost cooking.
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imafan26
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Re: Raised 8x4 Zone 9B

If you do square foot gardening it is designed for maximum yield in minimum space does require you to tri whatever falls outside of the space. As you have learned already the other downside to close spacing is that air circulation can be a problem unless you choose your plants well and it actually helps not to plant all the squares at the same time. It will give the larger plants more space and younger plants between older plants don't' take up that much space...yet.

The other thing with close spacing and not having an established garden patrol yet is you have to constantly be on the lookout for pests and disease and nip it in the bud.

I actually give my zucchini plants a 3 foot circle. In my garden that is one of the quarter sections and they are planted so half the zucchini is going to be sticking out into the path. It is fine if I am not using all of the garden space, but I prefer to put large plants like zucchini, and tomatoes outside the garden in their own space instead.

I don't like to thin, but if I plant carrots I either have to thin or really spread the seeds when I plant them. Carrots will need about 2 inches of space between them otherwise you may not get a lot of carrots because of crowding.

Carrots are hard to transplant, so it is worthwhile to get pelleted seeds. For myself carrots have such a short planting window, are relatively hardd for me to grow, they don't taste any better, in fact mine can be bitter, and they are inexpensive to buy so I don't plant a lot.

Beets, lettuce, Asian greens and some herbs are fairly easy to transplant out and since I am succession planting in the garden. I start the seeds in community pots and transplant out into the garden when the previous crop is done. The square foot method allows you to amend and plant just one square at a time. Planting seedling starters increases yield because you save time waiting for the seeds to grow and while the garden is occupied with the previous crop, you can get a head start on the next square. The hardest thing in doing that it helps if you keep good records of what you have planted where and especially when they germinated. That way you can estimate days to harvest when the square will be available. It is something I still have to work on. Sometimes things took longer to fruit than expected especially when the weather was colder than normal so I ended up having over grown starts. I partially solved that problem by giving some of them away and I have learned to plant a couple of starts a couple of weeks apart and to wait a little longer to start them. I sometimes start more than I can plant out in the allotted space, so now I try to leave a section open a little longer for the overflow and I will plant seedling between other plants wherever there is space.

It takes a while to figure out how much space each plant actually needs. Square foot gardening helps with that but you have to plant evenly in the square so things are not bunched up. The exception in my garden is that the tomato trellis I use for the cucumbers can support more than one cucumber so I plant 2-4 on the same trellis. I don't use commercial tomato trellises for tomatoes, but they are good for pea fences when they are opened up or for cucumbers, pole beans and to support bell peppers. I don't use the cone tomato trellis, only the folding tomato trellises, they are easier to store, can be used in different configurations for other plants, and are stackable (sort of) .

I find that the square foot spacing is a little too tight and I don't like to plant in rows, thin or prune. I give plants a little more space. Things like cucumbers, don't need the whole square if they are trellised up. So if the trellis is on the north side, they only need to be planted along the edge of the squares. you can plant something else in the same square around the cucumber. The square foot plans are not designed to plant more than one thing in a space.
Large plants like zucchini, squash, melons take up too much room in the garden so they have to have their own space somewhere else, I plant tomatoes in large pots instead on in CRW cages (no pruning required). Melons I let sprawl and at my community garden I have an overhead trellis they can climb on and I can still plant under the trellis. The gourds will climb the perimeter fence. Of course I lose a few of the squash that way too. I have an open space near the garden gate. I can plant melon or squash vines on the edge of the garden and they can sprawl in that space. I can't plant too near the fence or my plants would end up being harvested for me and that section of the garden was where the tool shed was and there are rocks and buried concrete tile and iron in the ground so it is not that plantable. After a while you will find you grow more or less the same kinds of things and you will know how big they get and how much space they need at maturity and it becomes easier to space things that way. Bush beans for one I would only plant one in a square so they move more air between them. Mostly I grow pole beans since they produce more beans and they take up less space on a trellis. Cowpeas will sprawl out about three feet but they can climb on each other so I give them a 3 ft wide strip. It is easier for me to work the garden if I don't have perennials mixed with annuals so I keep herbs and long term crops like jicama, ginger, taro, tomato, peppers, citrus trees in pots. It is easier to work around in the garden if you don't have to work around long term plants. Ginger and heirloom tomatoes cannot tolerate nematodes and taro and sweet potatoes would be all over the place so they are better contained. Citrus trees in pots keeps them smaller and so I can have more varieties but the yield drops with the size.
Over time instead of squares, I look at my space in terms of circles. Plants really don't grow square without pruning.
I have a 3 foot diameter circle for zucchini, cutting celery, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts. If I plant on the edge of the garden the circles can go out of the box.
I have a 10 inch circle for lettuce, tatsoi, spinach
I have a 2 ft circle for mustard greens, daikon, swiss chard
2 inch circles for carrots
4 inch circles for beets, radishes
Since I trellis cucumbers, beans, peas, jicama, 2-4 plants can be planted in a 1 ft circle. If I use the tomato pots for these instead I can get about 9 plants on a tomato trellis.
I can plant smaller circles inside the large circles when the bigger plants are still young.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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