Czechmate79
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Small space left...what to plant?

I have just about finished planting my small 4x8' garden. I have bell peppers, jalepeno peppers, radishes, lettuce, spinach, onions, and five rows of corn (6 seeds in each row planted 6" apart). I used the square foot gardening method, and I know I am slightly overcrowded with the corn, but I am left with a 1x3' space of bare dirt.
I am at a loss at what I should plant next in this small area and my radishes will be ready to harvest in a week, so I will have another extra square foot.

Any ideas?

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rainbowgardener
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left over space

Sounds like especially when the radishes are done, you would have space to stick a tomato plant in! Every one loves home grown tomatoes. Otherwise think about swiss chard. You have lettuce and spinach, but they will be done once it gets hot. The swiss chard will just keep growing all through the season until frost. Any recipe you can use spinach in, raw or cooked, you can substitute the chard and sometimes I like it better.

2cents
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Sound like a great garden.
You can go with you favorites, more of what you've already planted for staggered harvesting of your favorites, or try different varieties of those same plants.
A 1 x 3 space would be good for something bigger.
Squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage family, herbs, beans.
Endless opportunities.
Good luck

Czechmate79
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I actually looked at Swiss chard today, and it definately seemed like a good choice for me since I love salads and greens. I did forget to add that I have two tomato plants (Celebrity and Better Boy) in my garden as well. Within 6 weeks my lettuce and spinach will be harvested or bolting, so there will be another 2 square feet, but I hope to do successive plantings with both and keep them shaded from the Summer heat if I can.

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jal_ut
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Some bush beans would be good.
Beets come up and make some greens quickly, or you can grow them longer for the roots.
Arugula is a spicy herb that is excellent on a sandwich or in a salad.
Lettuce and spinach may not do well once its hot weather.
Radishes can be planted all season here. They do well if kept damp.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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What about cucumbers -- fast maturing ones. I second bush beans. Carrots -- DEFINITELY check how fast they mature -- last year one variety I planted took absolutely forever! Also, it turns out you can start them inside (I always thought carrots had to be direct seeded) -- I used paper pots.

Have you considered Nasturtiums? Both leaves AND flowers are edible and look wonderful in salads. Why don't you check out other edible flowers? Don't have time to look for it, but someone posted a list of them in the past.

I'm finding spinach and Swiss chard hard to get to sprout. Maybe there's a special trick.

I'm going to try starting lettuce from seed in the coolest part of the house every 2 or 3 weeks and transplanting them into the shadiest/most watered part of the garden this summer.

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jal_ut
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I'm finding spinach and Swiss chard hard to get to sprout. Maybe there's a special trick.
Those plants (carrots too), are cool weather plants and sometimes refuse to germinate if the weather is warm. Plant them very early in the spring.

Every year I have spinach go to seed in the garden. Next spring there it is growing as soon as the snow is off. This actually got planted in the fall, so you can see there is no limit as to how early you can plant it in the spring.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Czechmate79
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I still haven't gotten anything in the space yet :( . But the radishes are filling out nicely and they might have about 5 more days to go. My jalepenos already have two peppers as long as my pinky even though the plants are only 10" high. The onions seem to be doing well, with most of the green growth being 6" tall already. Spinach and lettuce is about 3" tall, and the thinnings have made excellent little snacks! My corn hasn't sprouted, but it's still early. My bell peppers and tomatoes are growing VERY slowly (still only about 10" tall), but the foliage looks great and the peppers have a few buds starting.

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hendi_alex
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Arugula is great for a small space. Really adds flavor to a salad. As an alternative you might consider a few low growing sugar snaps. My wife and I visit the garden daily, and just snack on the few snaps that are ready. Occasionally if the harvest is large enough then they are added to a fresh salad.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Czechmate79
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Any thoughts on trying cucumbers? I know they take up at least the same space as tomatoes. But perhaps I could squeeze in two or three plants (one plant per square foot). I have never tried them before, but my family loves to eat them!

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hendi_alex
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Cucumbers would be my first choice, but when considering your small space, rejected the idea. On the other hand, if you don't mind the vines rambling outside of the bed area, then a 1 x 3 planting zone would be fine for two or three plants. I planted four cucumber plants in my raised bed. The plants are planted right beside the edge of the bed and are trained to spread in the path between adjacent beds. Those plants take up very little of my actual bed space.

Here is a photo of two vines, one each reaching out from its raised bed planting area. You will notice the beds are to the left and right of the photo, and the vines are in the path between.


[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3123/3536579000_97eaef639e.jpg[/img]
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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applestar
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I always grow cucumbers on a trellis -- so I think it's do-able in the amount of space you have. You just have to go vertical. :wink:

Czechmate79
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I might try the trellis idea. The cukes are growing next to the corn on the East side, so I will need to get them vertical to capture the late afternoon Western sun as to not be too shaded by the tall corn stalks. Even if I only get a half dozen cukes...I will be happy.
For some reason I have always had a bumper crop of veggies even when the odds seemed well against me and the space I have. So perhaps I am doing something right and don't even know it. My soil has always gotten the utmost attention in the early spring with compost and manure before the plants and seeds even touch it.

Czechmate79
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Well, the 12 cuke seeds that I planted were doing awesome and were about 2" tall untill the neighbors cat decided it would be a great spot to take a crap and dug up 6 of the seedlings. I have decided to let them sprawl out of the side of the garden since I have a plot of purple coneflowers about 3 feet away, and the cukes will fill the gap nicely.
My peppers and tomatoes are finally growing alot better and have quite a few flowers. Having a hard time keeping the spinach from getting any taller than 4" since the rabbits nip the new leaves (and I nip a few too). But they are ignoring my lettuce which is doing fantastic!
Most of the radishes haven't filled out much, my wife harvested the biggest one and it was only about 3/4" across. Only half of the corn came up so I planted more about 2 weeks after the first planting.

I am really excited that my garden is doing so well (except for the cat which I have plans for). I even bought a Roma and a Better Boy tomato plant to try in thier own 5 gallon buckets by the house (my first time really trying container gardening and I know there were better choices of plants).

Czechmate79
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Here is an overview of my garden. [img]https://img34.imageshack.us/img34/7925/1000425i.jpg[/img]

Here are the peppers and tomotoes close up.
[img]https://img35.imageshack.us/img35/21/1000429i.jpg[/img]

And here are the radishes, lettuce, spinach, and onions. You can see a few of the cukes in the upper left.
[img]https://img29.imageshack.us/img29/4734/1000430n.jpg[/img]

Czechmate79
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Update on my garden, and a concern. All of my plants seem to be doing very well except for my jalepenos. The plants look healthy as shown in the photos, but haven't hardly grown!
The tomatoes have done exceptionally well, and the bell peppers have started producing small fruit.

The jalepenos are in the lower left corner.


[img]https://img199.imageshack.us/img199/3356/1000802h.jpg[/img]

Here's the bell peppers in the foreground with the tomatoes directly behind.

[img]https://img195.imageshack.us/img195/5316/1000803x.jpg[/img]

And my tomatoes in the 5 gallon buckets.
[img]https://img44.imageshack.us/img44/2479/1000798h.jpg[/img]

Haesuse
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this is just a guess, but:

the jalapenos might very well be fighting a battle for root space, and sorely losing. that tiny garden of yours seems, at first lazy glance, to have WAY too much in it. the tomatoes next to the japs might very well be choking the life out of them...
-Zone 7b
-Veggies, succulents, cacti, flowers, and houseplants!

Czechmate79
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The battle of the roots could very well be the current problem, but I had the jalepenos planted for about 2 weeks before I put the tomatoes in and they still never gained much size in that time. The tomatoes and peppers are all planted in the middle of their own 16x16" squares.

Czechmate79
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Finally my jalepenos are doing better. I had to resort to putting a fertilizer stake by each plant and it seemed to help alot since they have grown a few inches in a week.

I tried to be as organic as possible, but couldn't seem to get enough nutrients to my poor plants!

The corn is almost knee high already and the cukes are doing amazing! My tomatoes are freaks and have grown like crazy, but only flowers and buds so far. The tomatoes in the buckets are doing well, with a few small tomatoes already forming.

Czechmate79
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One more update. I pulled all the spinach and lettuce since it had bolted and lightly tilled in some compost and composted manure. I planted two more bell peppers and two jalepenos. They are about 12" tall and each plant has it's own 16" square plot.

For some reason the hard rains or the wind keeps knocking the dead flowers from my established peppers before they can start fruiting. Hopefully these 4 new plants will provide a good harvest.



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