jeff84
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Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

I have 82 square feet of raised bed area.

here is my planting list

6 tomato
15-20 peppers
some bush beans
carrots
garlic
onions
2 or 4 summer squash
2 or 4 bush cucumbers
okra
10 broccoli


I am planning on building two more boxes

one L shaped that is 16x8x4 and one 12x4

for an additional 176 sqft

but I doubt I will have them built before planting time

I am right on the line of 6a and 6b

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ElizabethB
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

Hi Jeff,

Welcome to the forum.

These are general plant spacing guidelines that I use for my raised beds.

Tomatoes
- indeterminate (vining, grown vertically) 2 per square foot.
- determinate (bush) 1 per 2' x 2' square space

Peppers
- 1 per square foot

Bush beans
- from seed, direct sow, 9 per square foot

Carrots
- seed, direct sow, 16 per square foot

Garlic/onions
- sets, 16 per square foot

Summer Squash
- vining, grown vertically, 3 plants per 1' x 4' space
- bush, 1 per 3' x 3' space, mounded

Cucumbers
- vining, grown vertically , 2 per square foot
I am not familiar with bush cucumbers - allow the same space as bush summer squash - 3' x 3' per plant

Okra
- 1 per square foot

Broccoli
- 1 per square foot

Hope this helps.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

basically the answer is no, what you have so far is not nearly enough space for all that.

I don't know how it is divided, but just to help me think about it, it could be 2 8x4 beds and a 4x4 (roughly)

If you get them in right now, you could put say five - six broccoli plants down one long edge of an 8x4. Then later you can put three tomato plants down the middle. By the time the tomato plants are getting big and need the space, the broccoli will be about done and can be pulled.

A row of carrot seed can go down the other long edge. The other 8x4 could have onions down one long edge. Garlic is planted in the fall. That bed could have five-six pepper plants down the middle. You could plant lettuce or spinach seed down the other long edge, right now. That will also be finished and pulled later.

The 4x4 could have a few bush bean plants. And there you have it. That's what fits in the space you have.

Squash spreads out like crazy. Here's a picture of two of my squash plants last summer :

Image
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jeff84
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

it is one 10' by 5' bed that is 12" deep with the length running north to south, and two 4' by 4' three tier beds each tier 7 inches taller both facing due south

all of the squash I have selected is of a bush variety, and the toms are half determinant and half indeterminate 3 of each.


guess I better get on top of building those other beds

I do have some experience its just always been in the ground and I just let everything sprawl together nor ever really paying attention to just how much floor space each plant was occupying

also the beds that are already built are filled with a good mix of topsoil, manure, coco coir, perlite and composted wood chips, all I have left as fill material is the topsoil/steer manure mix. do you think that would be ok, for now with plans to add some sand later? or do I need to get more material to fluff it up? keep in mind these beds are sitting upon poor drainage red clay.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

Doesn't really matter how it is arranged. Basically the same square footage will grow the same amount of plants. You could of course make a different plant mixture. I was just trying to show you, via a hypothetical example, about what would fit in the square footage you were talking about.

topsoil/steer manure mix. do you think that would be ok, for now? yes Just be sure you poke some holes in the clay with a garden fork before you add fill on top of it, to improve drainage.
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applestar
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

Where are you located?

Pay attention to the succession and planting timing that rainbowgardener outlined. It really makes a difference in getting more out of a limited square footage in garden beds.

Cucumbers can be grown on a vertical trellis -- heavy wire fence type panels or CRW, or nylon netting hung from sturdy frame. This saves on ground space and you can grow shorter things in front and greens behind (or A-frame it and grow greens underneath if you live in the south with hot summer sun).

As for summer squash -- are you sure you need 4 plants? Again where you live is important because around here squash vine borers (SVB's) will take them down. Even so, my three yellow zucchini plants took over nearly all of about 4 foot by 8 foot space while pumping out more fruits than I knew what to do with. But take a look in this thread and see what you think. In that same space, I grew garlic and onions. i tried to grow sweet potatoes too and would have except some kind of burrowing animal ate them all. :evil:

Subject: Applestar's 2016 Garden

...oh yeah okra... you need to grow a fair number of them for sufficient harvest -- depends on how much you eat I guess.

Subject: Puny okra
applestar wrote:So from what Gary and Gumbo are saying, 1-2 pods per plant per day is the norm? No wonder people plant so many plants. I always thought my plants just weren't growing well enough. I usually cut up and save harvested pod in the freezer and when I have enough, make something with them.
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applestar
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

ElizabethB wrote:
These are general plant spacing guidelines that I use for my raised beds.

Tomatoes
- indeterminate (vining, grown vertically) 2 per square foot.
- determinate (bush) 1 per 2' x 2' square space
Umm, ElizabethB --

2 indeterminate tomato plants PER ONE SQUARE FOOT?

...that doesn't sound right... :shock:
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jeff84
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

well my math was way off, but still I bought the lumber to ad another 128 ft2. unfortunately it turned cold so I didn't get started on the assembly. I also have 7 trees going in the ground this spring

imafan26
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

I'd say no as well unless you are not planning on putting them in all at once.
It would be better to trellis tomatoes, cucumbers, and some kinds of squash. Trellising takes up less horizontal space. The trellis needs to be installed on the North end of your bed and make it 7 ft tall if you can. tomatoes and cucumber vines can get that tall.
4 trellissed cucumber vines will take up less space than 1 bush cucumber.

Garlic,carrots and bulbing onions depend on where you live. Please update your profile with your zone and location. I can only grow those things in Hawaii in the fall. Carrots and broccoli don't like temps greater than 70 very much. Green onions I can grow year round but I keep them in pots since they tolerate pots and they last more than a year.

If vines are not trellissed you need to give them space to wander. 1 squash vine can eat up all of your garden space and still will not be contained unless you let it sprawl outside. I once had a Tahitian sqash that ate up half my back lawn then went through the fence and tried to take over the neighbor's back yard. That was just one vine.

How is your bed configured? Is it a square or a rectangle? I am guessing it is about 4 ft wide and 20 ft long.

6 tomatoes will take up about half the garden unless you do two rows then it would take up 5 ft x 4 It would need to be on the North end not to shade plants behind it. (20 sq.ft)

A pepper can take about a sqare foot, but that is very close and peppers will have disease and pest issues with that kind of spacing. I would spread them out and plant other things between them like green onions and garlic if you can grow them now. Carrots IDK. Peppers and tomatoes like it warm 70-80 degree range, carrots like it cooler. I would be a better succession plant for cooler times. Beets will grow year round so that is a possibility and carrots, lettuce and beets will go together in cooler weather along with onions.

Broccoli is a large plant you will only get 2 plants accross and even if you offset plant so they will take up a lot of space unless you cut their leaves. (10-20 sqft) This is also a cool weather plant to plant with the carrots, lettuce, beets, greens,onions and garlic. It also does not like temps much higher than the mid 70's even the heat tolerant ones don't do well unless you are in the higher elevations and temps are less than 80.

Bush beans take up about 1 square foot they still may need staking. They produce all of their beans at once if you want to can them. Otherwise you will get a longer harvest and can plant more beans in a smaller space if you trellis them instead.
Summer squash like zucchini take up as much space as a bush cucumber which is 30-36 inch circle. Even if you let half of it hang out over the edge of the garden, vine zucchini and cucumbers take up less space on a trellis. 3 bush squash or cucumbers will take up 36 sq ft of the garden, but you can plant some small things around the squash, like beets, or radishes. Lettuce, spinach or bok choy can be planted in the cool months when the larger plants like tomatoes and peppers are still small and are not taking up all of the space yet. The lettuce will be harvested before the tomatoes and peppers need the space. One or two Swiss chard can be tucked in wherever there is space and it has repeat harvests. Swiss chard is one of the more heat tolerant greens.

I take it you are from the south since you are planting okra? Please update your profile with your location. Okra grows tall so it can be spread out with smaller plants between them. Some plants just do well together like tomatoes and basil, while others like fennel and just about everything else need to be separated.

You want to maximize the space in the garden, but it is sometimes better not to plant everything in the same place but to spread them out so they get better air circulation and you don't set up the buffet for the bugs. Also, this is something I have yet to master myself, be careful that you don't plant more than you can use of any one thing. If you plant multiple perishable things like lettuce, spinach, or greens, make sure you succession plant so you will have a continuous supply and everything lettuce or lettuce and bok choy do not have to be harvested at the same time or you may not be able to finish it off fast enough.

Most of your plants are big plants: tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, okra, squash and vines. These things take up a lot of space. Plant seasonal things around the big plants while they are small and are not using all of the space yet so it does not go to waste.
Trellis to save space or let things go out of the box like the vines.
Space your big plants and plant smaller things between them to make better use of the space and improve the air circulation
cool season: lettuce, small greens, bok choy, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, beets, radish, warm season: NZ spinach (this can take over) , Swiss chard, beets, black eyed peas, peanuts, and herbs between and under larger plants.

Since you have multiple boxes you can do family rotations. So you can do some companion planting in each box. Companion planting is not science based but based on observations made and passed on by real farmers over the years who learned the hard way what went well together and what does not. Separate enemies by at least 10 ft. I haven't had problems with them planted at that distance.

Try to plant things that I can get multiple harvest from like herbs, tomatoes, peppers, swiss chard, kale, collards, komatsuna, NZ hot weather spinach, chayote (fruits and shoots are edible), sweet potatoes (leaves are edible), taro ( two harvests a year leaves and tubers), ginger, green onions, eggplant, and edible gourds. Succession plant lettuce, Asian greens, spinach. Carrots I can only grow in cool weather with temps peaking around 70 degrees and they are cheap so not worth it unless there is nothing else to plant. I don't like beans but they do grow well if I get rust and nematode resistant Poamoho beans. Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and most herbs are in pots. They can be spread out as they grow. Tomatoes have to be trellissed and netted to keep the birds at bay. Kale and Swiss chard are good for repeat harvests. Planted in partial shade in summer and picked young they are less bitter, they get sweeter in cooler weather. Daikon and beets can be planted year round in the higher elevations in slightly more alkaline conditions. Asian greens are my winter rotation for summer corn. They scavenge nutrients left by the corn. I can grow heat tolerant greens under the ctrus trees in summer.

https://www.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousi ... Online.pdf
https://www.peakprosperity.com/wsidblog ... p-rotation
https://www.almanac.com/content/companio ... vegetables
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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ElizabethB
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

Applestar - re: tomatoes - yes - if grown vertically.

Been, there, done that, got the tee shirt. :-()
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

ButterflyLady29
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

I tried them (tomatoes) vertically last year. Unfortunately I didn't get them tied well enough or use strong enough of a support and they broke the strings then grew all over the place making any harvest difficult. But I still got enough to make some salsa and for a few meals. Harvest would have been much better if they were off the ground and out of reach of the groundhog. I think mine were 14 to 16 inches apart. They could have been closer if my support system had been stronger.

imafan26
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

I have worked with string trellisses. They are a lot of work. Nylon twine makes a good light but strong string. The frame was built with 2x4's and 12 guage wires were strung from the 2x4 poles. Line training is tedious and tomatoes do not naturally climb so you have to prune and train them just about every week. Cucumbers are easier to trellis since the tendrils will grab onto the string and you only have to get them tied up every couple of feet. I used tomato clips.

At home I prefer to use the CRW cages as the tomatoes don't really need to be pruned. I just remove the lower leaves to keep the fungal diseases at bay. The plants in cages get spaced farther apart since my cages are about 30 inches in diameter and curled around the pot. I don't get as many tomatoes as line trellissing but I do get better air movement and 3 tomatoes are more than I need. I still have to net the tomatoes to keep the birds out. It is difficult sometimes to harvest the tomatoes. My pots are outside of the vegetable garden so I can use the space for other things. Tomatoes don't like being overhead watered either and the veggie garden has an overhead sprinkler. I water the tomatoes by hand.
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Dirt
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

So, I'm a little confused about some of these responses. It sounds to me like he has close to enough room for what his plans. Now, without knowing what 'some' carrots or 'some' pole beans are, there's really no way to know for sure. But I am wondering why so many responses saying he doesn't have enough space. I am with Elizabeth on how much space is needed. Although we vary somewhat, such as I plant one tomato per SqFt., but will squeeze my squash in tighter, we're pretty similar.

Below is one of my planned beds for this year. This bed is 4 x 5, or 20 Sq.Ft. It will have 24 pepper plants and a border of green onions. I think it may have been imafan that recommended the onion border to me in a previous post. As you can see, I am putting in more than a plant per Sq.Ft. plus adding the onions, and the addition of the onions aside, I know from experience they'll do just fine. (provided I can keep the beetles off of them!)

Image

If I add up his 6 tomatoes, 20 peppers 4 squash, and 10 broccoli I get 40Sq.Ft. That leaves 42 Sq.Ft. for the other plants. the carrots, garlic, and onions could be planted the same as I am, as a border. I would abandon the bush beans and bush cucumbers in favor of pole beans and vining cukes so they can all grow up.

With respect to the trellises, I favor using a frame system and garden jute, which is compostable. Yes, it takes a bit more to set it up in the spring, but that's when I'm excited about gardening. The plus is that in fall when all I want to do is be done, I can just cut it off the frames and toss it in the bin with the plants. That eliminates having to clean all of the plants off of metal fencing, nylon, or other material.

A comment to the OP: One of the advantages of raised beds is that you don't have to walk in them, which would result in packing the soil. If you keep your bed width to 4' instead of 5', you'll find you can reach things much easier without putting your foot in the bed.

Some of you folks seem very experienced, so I'm hoping someone can expand on the space thing. I am interested to know.

imafan26
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

Okra did not specify but you will probably need 1 sq ft minimum
Bush cucumber and bush zucchini take up a lot of space, more than 1 square foot. More like a 30 inch circle even if you let half of it stick outside of the garden you will need 2 full squares.
Unless you prune your tomatoes to a single stem religeously and stake them they need more like 24-30 inches for a cage.
Peppers are 1 per square foot.

If the plants were not so big, you could get more in.

Even lettuce needs 8-10 inches spacing if you want the heads to get big.
You can get 9 bush beans per square ft but you will get more beans if you use pole beans and trellis them instead.
Carrots you can get 16 planted 2 inches apart, beets need 4 inches apart so you could get nine in. You could get a lot of green onions in a square. If you plant small things you can plant more like radish. The bigger plants have to be trimmed to keep them inside the square. The square foot garden plan maximizes use of space, but I find some of the plants are way too tight on the plan so I only use it as a guide and my plants get more space. I also am not wanting to chop leaves off my plants on a weekly basis. I don't get as many plants in, but they have better air circulation and grow room.

I have grown broccoli and you have to cut off the leaves to get them to fit in a square, they fit more comfortably if you give them two squares. I can only get 2 broccoli or Brussels's sprouts plants accross a 4 ft wide bed. and only 4 plants total in a 4x4 ft bed. The leaves are still touching each other.

My garden is an oval that is 8ft x 16 ft but some of it has aloe and a Mexican oregano in it so the available space is close to 100 square feet.
I can only get 67 corn if I plant the entire garden in corn. 39 if I plant half
4 broccoli, 1 brussels sprouts, 1 komatsuna, 4 japanese cucumbers trellised, 1 summer squash bush with half of it hanging outside the garden, 1 kale, Lettuce, spinach, and Asian greens tucked between plants and in any available open space.

tomatoes, peppers, ginger, and eggplant are in large pots, they would take up too much space and time in the garden. Most of the herbs are in pots too, since they tolerate pots well and I can move them around as I need them. Most of my citrus are in pots to keep them dwarfed.

https://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/plant-spacing/
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applestar
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Re: is this enough sqare footage

You have to remember that the roots are growing under the ground at least as far out as the leaves. So if the leaves are touching, then the roots are touching... and competing for nutrients and water. If the leaves are overlapping, then they are competing for sunlight, and the roots are intermeshed under the ground and competing even more.

If the soil underneath is fluffy and deep and rich, then the roots can and will go down and have more room to grow, and find more nutrients and water. The depth of the beds are not being mentioned in the discussion above -- that's going to make a big difference. Rich, deeply tilled or double-dug enriched beds will be able to support close planting better than a shallow, solid bottom box of nutrient-poor potting soil.

You also have to remember that crowding is a self-fulfilling endeavor. If they are crowded, they will be stunted and they won't grow as big. Folks who recommend wider spacing are usually growing bigger plants (thinking this is normal) and more than likely, end up with a bigger harvest.... !!!BUT!!! That is not to say it's wrong to crowd and stunt your plants IF you are satisfied with the harvest they produce. Sometimes, when you only have a small garden and you are thrilled to be growing and harvesting anything at all, the size of harvest doesn't make any difference, nor affect your sense of accomplishment. :-()
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Dirt
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Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

Well, I don't settle, nor do I find myself happy with a small harvest. Last year for example, I had 8 tomatoes in 8 square feet. They overgrew my 8' tall trellises. We ate, we canned, we gave away. When we stripped the plants before first frost we had 16lbs. of green tomatoes and another 6 or 7 of red. I could go on about the beans, jalapeños, etc.

As imafan said, air circulation is critical, but an awful lot of this revolves around nutrients. I made a mistake last year in trying some air pruned corn, I didn't provide the nutrients and they were stunted. That was my first experience with air pruning, and I won't make the same mistake again. Another problem was something ate the silk off the ears, so limited pollination.

I can certainly see the point about not wanting to work as hard at keeping plants trimmed back, and wider spacing would help that, but if it's small enough it isn't a big chore. I did decide this year to stretch my tomatoes out just a bit. They will be four plants in four feet one way, but only three plants in four feet the other. That is simply to make it easier to see the ripe fruit.

If I sat down and added up everything I'm going to plant this season against the square footage, I'm guessing it would be fairly close to the OP's. Someone said that listed spacings are guidelines. I think that's a good way to look at it. And I still think he's not on terrible shape on space!

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applestar
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Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

OK, do you have a progress report thread Dirt? Your garden production sounds great, and I think it would help to know how you prep your beds and what you feed your plants. Do you have them on automatic irrigation? ...though I think in Michigan area, you do get regular rainfall....

Oh yeah -- trellised pruned vs. not pruned tomatoes make a huge difference in amount of space they take up. Do you only allow single vine per plant? Two? These are indeterminates, right? What variety?
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Dirt
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Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

I can do one if you like.

I use a 300 gallon tote connected to my garage gutters to collect rainwater. Last year we had a very dry summer, so I supplemented my rain water by adding tap water to the tote. This had dual benefits. There were a lot of organics in the water and it was starting to smell, basically liquid compost but not many greens. By adding tap water I was able to keep the organics in check with the chlorine, and and the chlorine in turn was spent by the organics. I am adding a filter to the collection system this year.

My beds are not auto irrigated but they are piped with 1/2" PVC. I simply connect a hose from the tote to the bed and open the valve. Because I know the SQ.FT. of each bed and my tote, I can easily calculate how much water I add to each bed in inches. I made a spreadsheet up so if I want to add, say 1" of water to a specific bed, I know how many inches that is from the tote. Last year I saved 10 gallons of water in milk jugs before winterizing the tote for the year. I stored it in the basement and am using it to water my starts.

My beds are prepped with a few inches of composted manure worked into the surface each year. When planting I'll work in a tablespoon or so of organic fertilizer, or whatever I can get on sale. My soil is pretty even so I try to stick with something that doesn't have goofy numbers. A 10-10-10 is fine. This year I'm going to mix a bit of garden lime in each hole for peppers, tomatoes, squash, etc., anything that could be subject to blossom end rot. Through the year I will feed fish emulsion or a dissolvable processed fertilizer. I am partial to Shultz 20-20-20, which I feed at half strength every week or so depending on what I'm feeding.

Clearly I'm trellising indeterminate tomatoes. I won't plant determinate for a couple of reasons. First, they take up too much space. Second, I don't want them all to come in at the same time. I am not one who enjoys putting up huge amounts of canned anything all at once. I've learned that I can do small batch canning in a few hours here and there. We put a lot in pint jars, and if we need more we just open two.

I tend to prune to two main branches, although that can vary. Once they get on the trellis I remove most suckers, but will leave one if it looks advantageous. I'm trying some new varieties this year, except for one. I grew Burpee's 4th Of July hybrid last year, and while initially disappointed in the size, they were prolific and tasty. Once I realized they were a perfect size for canning whole I decided to plant them again this year. The flavor held up well in the jars. Other varieties are an Early Detroit Heirloom, a variety of cherry called Growing in Place, a sauce tomato called San Marzano, and another Burpee Hybrid called Super Sauce. They're supposed to get huge @ 2lbs., I'm trying one plant as more of a novelty just to see what happens.

Here are some of the Early Detroit and 4th of July starts as of 22 days, which is today. There's some oregano in the background.

Image

Here's a new bed I built yesterday, ready for soil. I am having the local landscape supply deliver 1-1/2 yards of screened compost this week. It is 13' long and just over 2-1/2' deep. It will be planted with purple podded pole beans along the back in the large section, planted 4" apart. The small section will have 3 rows of super sugar snap peas planted 3-1/2" apart with 3" spacing. The center will be a single but staggered row of yellow wax bush beans planted about 4-6" apart, and the very front will be half turnips and half carrots, two rows each. Radishes will be planted in between the carrots to make better use of the space. I plan on two plantings each of the peas, turnips, and bush beans. I will overseed the turnips and use the greens that are thinned.

Image

imafan26
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Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

If you are dedicated and choose your plants well you can get lot in a small space. We had a demo container garden that was essentially 4 ft wide by 6 ft. long and we were able to grow 65 different plants in there. Partially by using some succession planting around the younger tomatoes. Some of the vining plants were allowed to sprawl out of the garden and cucumbers ad tomatoes were trellised. Some plants did have to be pulled since they ended up being too crowded as the other plants grew around them. It also took dedication to check every day to keep ahead of any bug issues since the close spacing meant that any bugs that got out of hand would have a feast with so many plants put together. Plants were selected for their compatibility and the outside of the garden bed was planted with green onions, marigolds and othe plants to lure in beneficials or trap bugs.
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Dirt
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Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

Thanks, that's an excellent post. You nailed it on what you refer to as 'dedication', I think that's a polite way of saying: "It's a lot of work!" :lol:

I guess I am lucky in that if I fall out my back door my two main beds are right there next to the patio. If I go out to sit and have a beer it results in doing something. Supporting a plant, pruning suckers, or something else.

jeff84
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Location: southwest indiana

Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

wow I cant believe this thread still going. so far all I have planted is onions, broccoli, carrots, garlic, and a few peppers. it is looking like I wil indeed have enough room to plant everything I had planned on. perhaps not as much as I had planned but still plenty to eat fresh during the season, and also preserve a good bit for winter. once everything is planted I will take a few pictures

imafan26
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Posts: 11225
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

Jeff, another thing I learned the hard way about planting. Don't be in a hurry to fill all the space. If you plant all of the plants at one time you may end up with too many things to harvest in the same week, and not enough time to eat them all. I made that mistake planting a whole packet of lettuce, kai choy, and bok choi at the same time. Most of the lettuce bolted and I couldn't find enough takers for the kai choy so it ended up tilled back in as compost. Beets and spinach looked like a big patch but only amounted to one meal for the spinach and pickled beets for a week. If you pickle or can you can use up your harvest, but some things just don't keep that well. Things like lettuce should be planted in succession so you have a continuous harvest over time. As things come out of the garden, you can put new ones in. Corn takess a lot of space and the yield is not that good for the space and time it takes. Some things don't handle heat and others don't like cold.

Sometimes a plan doesn't quite come together. I planted broccoli in July but did not get any really good starts until September, The heads did not form till January and I got side shoots after that. I kept the plant till May for the side shoots, but that meant I missed the March 1 deadline for planting corn on time. The first time I planted zucchini many moons ago, 2 plants produced so much fruit, I had a hard time giving them away. The past few years zucchini has been very disappointing. Only 4 fruit.

It may take a while to figure out where and how much to plant and how to rotate the plants around. Once you figure out how it works, then it becomes a lot easier.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

jeff84
Senior Member
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:38 am
Location: southwest indiana

Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

imafan26 wrote:Jeff, another thing I learned the hard way about planting. Don't be in a hurry to fill all the space. If you plant all of the plants at one time you may end up with too many things to harvest in the same week, and not enough time to eat them all. I made that mistake planting a whole packet of lettuce, kai choy, and bok choi at the same time. Most of the lettuce bolted and I couldn't find enough takers for the kai choy so it ended up tilled back in as compost. Beets and spinach looked like a big patch but only amounted to one meal for the spinach and pickled beets for a week. If you pickle or can you can use up your harvest, but some things just don't keep that well. Things like lettuce should be planted in succession so you have a continuous harvest over time. As things come out of the garden, you can put new ones in. Corn takess a lot of space and the yield is not that good for the space and time it takes. Some things don't handle heat and others don't like cold.

Sometimes a plan doesn't quite come together. I planted broccoli in July but did not get any really good starts until September, The heads did not form till January and I got side shoots after that. I kept the plant till May for the side shoots, but that meant I missed the March 1 deadline for planting corn on time. The first time I planted zucchini many moons ago, 2 plants produced so much fruit, I had a hard time giving them away. The past few years zucchini has been very disappointing. Only 4 fruit.

It may take a while to figure out where and how much to plant and how to rotate the plants around. Once you figure out how it works, then it becomes a lot easier.
this is exactly the reason, everything I planted can be easily preserved or otherwise stored for extended periods of time. I'm not scared of a pressure cooker. I would love to have the growing season you enjoy.

out of curiosity how much do macadamia nuts go for there?

imafan26
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Posts: 11225
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Is this enough square footage for a raised bed garden?

Well it depends if you are buying a value added product or you are selling raw nuts to the factory.
My uncle and his friend planted their 2 acre lots in Macadamia nut trees for their "retirement". There are olnly one or two buyers on the Big Island, so the price of nuts an vary a lot. in 2016 it was 97 cents a lb. My uncle gets a higher price if the outer shells are removed first. The trees take about 9 years from seed to fruit.
But there are pitfalls. Rats steal and hoard the nuts. We found one of my uncles old cars loaded with nuts the rats had stolen. It was in the trunk and tumbled out of the glove compartment when we opened it. Some years the prices were so depressed, that I remember one farmer paved his driveway with the nuts rather than sell them so cheap.

There a lot of candies made with mac nuts so it depends on which ones you get it costs about $4.50 for a 6.5 oz container.
We don't buy a lot of the mac nuts here because most of it, even the ones at ABC, Walmart, Costco, and Target are geared toward the tourists and not the locals. A box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts cost almost $10.00.

When I was young my uncle used to send us a bag of macadamia nuts and we had to crack the shells with a hammer. You can't eat too many raw ones though or they make you sick.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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