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Old 25-02-2003, 03:15 AM
DH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

Any good reference books/sites/software out there how to plot out a
vegetable/herb garden? I am moving in about a month, and am currently
really trying to get a wonderful parcel on ten acres. (Wish me luck - I'm
second in line depending on if the first potential buyers can drop their
contingency.) I'd like to devote about an acre to a vegetable garden to
start, but was wondering how best to plan it out. For example, I know that
some vegetables grow well side by side, but others shade out lower-growing
veggies. What distance should veggie types be from each other, what side of
the garden (i.e, north, west, south, east) should particular plants go, etc.
How far apart should individual plants be from each other. (I know this is
on the seed packets, but I'm looking for a more comprehensive tool to plan
out the garden in advance.)

I love just about every veggie (except radishes), so I want to plant quite a
variety, but I've never been good at placement and figuring out what to
plant early enough so that I can plant a second crop later after the early
crop expires.

I have a lot of good gardening books, but nothing that really covers
planning out the layout well, except for a little book I have about
postage-stamp gardens



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Old 25-02-2003, 04:16 AM
Tim B
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

How many people will you be feeding? Do you like to put food by? Our 30x60
plot feeds 5 all summer plus lots left over to can.

As far as what's next to what, potatoes and tomatoes should be separated.
Different varieties of sweet corn should be separated farther than that.
You probably should pick up a good book and dive in.


"DH" wrote in message
...
Any good reference books/sites/software out there how to plot out a
vegetable/herb garden? I am moving in about a month, and am currently
really trying to get a wonderful parcel on ten acres. (Wish me luck - I'm
second in line depending on if the first potential buyers can drop their
contingency.) I'd like to devote about an acre to a vegetable garden to
start, but was wondering how best to plan it out. For example, I know

that
some vegetables grow well side by side, but others shade out lower-growing
veggies. What distance should veggie types be from each other, what side

of
the garden (i.e, north, west, south, east) should particular plants go,

etc.
How far apart should individual plants be from each other. (I know this

is
on the seed packets, but I'm looking for a more comprehensive tool to plan
out the garden in advance.)

I love just about every veggie (except radishes), so I want to plant quite

a
variety, but I've never been good at placement and figuring out what to
plant early enough so that I can plant a second crop later after the early
crop expires.

I have a lot of good gardening books, but nothing that really covers
planning out the layout well, except for a little book I have about
postage-stamp gardens




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Old 25-02-2003, 04:39 AM
DH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?


"Tim B" wrote in message
. ..
You probably should pick up a good book and dive in.


I've picked up several, but none that have good example lay-outs for a large
garden. I am one of those people who goes into a department store and
points at the demo mannikin and says, "Give me that," meaning the whole
ensemble. I don't do well with independent thought! g


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Old 25-02-2003, 12:51 PM
Pat Meadows
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 19:06:00 -0800, "DH"
wrote:



I love just about every veggie (except radishes), so I want to plant quite a
variety, but I've never been good at placement and figuring out what to
plant early enough so that I can plant a second crop later after the early
crop expires.


Me too. I don't have much of a problem in this area now,
because I have a smallish area in which to garden, so the
choices are rather limited and it's easy to figure what goes
where - the tomatoes can only move from one end of the
garden to the other and the smaller stuff gets placed
accordingly.

I grow a lot of the smaller stuff in large containers now
too, this makes planning easier.

But in the past, with larger areas to garden, I've found
this difficult.

I know that some people use graph paper and a pencil. This
might be the best way to go, I don't know.

I have a lot of good gardening books, but nothing that really covers
planning out the layout well, except for a little book I have about
postage-stamp gardens


Have you ever read Mel Bartholomew's 'Square Foot
Gardening'? This might be helpful in this respect, it
certainly has the info on seed placement (how far away from
each other).

There's a website too: http://www.squarefootgardening.com

As to software, I've just purchased some garden
record-keeping software and discussed it here, you could
Google for the discussion on 'Garden record keeping
software'.

HOWEVER, this software doesn't plot out where you physically
put things. So I don't know if it would be all that useful
for you.

If I were looking for such software, I'd go to the freeware
and shareware sites and put 'garden' or 'gardening' in their
search box.

Two such sites a

http://www.tucows.com

http://www.freeware.com

There are other sites as well that can probably be found by
Googling on 'freeware' and 'shareware'.

I've also seen 'landscaping' software at stores such as
Staples and Office Max - they seem to be much more oriented
towards flower gardening. I don't know if any of them would
be useful for a vegetable gardener or not.

Pat
--
Pat Meadows
CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
United States: http://www.stopthehunger.com/
International: http://www.thehungersite.com/
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Old 25-02-2003, 08:51 PM
Tim B
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

Here's a good planting and yield chart.
http://www.territorial-seed.com/link...ing_chart.html

That's also a good seed company.

I'm thinking the best thing is for you to figure how much end-result produce
you want ... how many pounds of tomatoes and potatoes, ears of corn, and all
of that ... then use the chart above to back into the number of row-feet you
need. Then just get a piece of paper and make tic marks on the sides and lay
out, without much detail, what size rectangle that amounts to. Not
considering, at this point, what goes next to what. Most things are happy
next to anything, except tomatoes and potatoes (they tend to develop plants
with BOTH tomatoes and potatoes, both of which are substandard), and corn
varieties need to be separated somewhat, especially sweet corn and popcorn,
or yellow and white sweet corn.

You want to consider how much you can use at it comes on hand, and how much
canning yield you want over and above that. 120 quarts of beans is all we
can use in one year (and about all we have the stick-to-it-ness to can) and
that's not all that many row-feet of beans. For some things, like beans,
you plant some every couple of weeks, and you will (depending on the
weather) have a new crop to harvest every couple of weeks.

An acre of garden is a LOT. Too much to till the first time with a tiller
(especially if it's sod right now), you'll need to get someone with a
tractor to get it plowed and harrowed. That will give it a nice deep
tillage anyway, so it's a good idea. To cultivate, you're going to have to
think of a tiller in the TroyBilt Horse category ... quite a machine.
You'll need room to turn around at the end of the rows. It's going to
require a lot of fertilizer, and lots of expense for seeds and plant
material. It will entail an intense session with the hoe about every day.
Or a major purchase of Preen. Or both.

We had an acre garden when I was growing up and we fed three large farm
families plus sold many many bushels of beans to the grocery stores. And
about 4 of us worked in it every day.

Once you get the basic drawing done, you can combine some things. For
instance, the spring lettuce area can become the pole bean area, the corn
can have vine crops intermingled with it.

Since this is your first year, I wouldn't want you to become overwhelmed
with the amount of weeding, and the sudden onslaught of truckloads of
produce the 2nd week in August. I'd suggest you use the row-foot table
above, and figure what you can really use, and start with a plot about that
size. Plant what you will use, and plant a small enough plot that you can
manage it with the tools you have available. Once you've seen how that
goes, you can expand somewhat

For my family of 5, with a TroyBilt Pony (little brother of the Horse), we
can go up to about 30 x 60 feet without feeling overtaxed, and have time
left over to do normal summer stuff. From that we have ample preserved
strawberries, beans and tomato products all winter, and we eat good during
the summer.

Since you'll have room to do this, let me recommend thinking about
completely alternating garden sites between two equal-sized areas each year,
letting the unused garden bed lie fallow beneath a cover crop (rye etc) each
year.







"Pat Meadows" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 19:06:00 -0800, "DH"
wrote:



I love just about every veggie (except radishes), so I want to plant

quite a
variety, but I've never been good at placement and figuring out what to
plant early enough so that I can plant a second crop later after the

early
crop expires.


Me too. I don't have much of a problem in this area now,
because I have a smallish area in which to garden, so the
choices are rather limited and it's easy to figure what goes
where - the tomatoes can only move from one end of the
garden to the other and the smaller stuff gets placed
accordingly.

I grow a lot of the smaller stuff in large containers now
too, this makes planning easier.

But in the past, with larger areas to garden, I've found
this difficult.

I know that some people use graph paper and a pencil. This
might be the best way to go, I don't know.

I have a lot of good gardening books, but nothing that really covers
planning out the layout well, except for a little book I have about
postage-stamp gardens


Have you ever read Mel Bartholomew's 'Square Foot
Gardening'? This might be helpful in this respect, it
certainly has the info on seed placement (how far away from
each other).

There's a website too: http://www.squarefootgardening.com

As to software, I've just purchased some garden
record-keeping software and discussed it here, you could
Google for the discussion on 'Garden record keeping
software'.

HOWEVER, this software doesn't plot out where you physically
put things. So I don't know if it would be all that useful
for you.

If I were looking for such software, I'd go to the freeware
and shareware sites and put 'garden' or 'gardening' in their
search box.

Two such sites a

http://www.tucows.com

http://www.freeware.com

There are other sites as well that can probably be found by
Googling on 'freeware' and 'shareware'.

I've also seen 'landscaping' software at stores such as
Staples and Office Max - they seem to be much more oriented
towards flower gardening. I don't know if any of them would
be useful for a vegetable gardener or not.

Pat
--
Pat Meadows
CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
United States: http://www.stopthehunger.com/
International: http://www.thehungersite.com/





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Old 25-02-2003, 09:15 PM
Pat Meadows
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 20:54:16 GMT, "Tim B"
wrote:


Since you'll have room to do this, let me recommend thinking about
completely alternating garden sites between two equal-sized areas each year,
letting the unused garden bed lie fallow beneath a cover crop (rye etc) each
year.


Wouldn't that be lovely? I'd do that for sure, if we had
enough room. We don't.

I have a garden that's about (I'm guessing) 20 x 30 feet
plus a sizeable container garden. It's enough to grow a
whole lot, though.

We have room for other plants here and there, we're hoping
to get rhubarb, gooseberries, and raspberries planted this
year. We have room for a strawberry bed along the side of
the garage too, and room to plant blueberries in the front
of the house. I would like to have an herb garden, but
haven't yet worked out where to put it.

Pat

--
Pat Meadows
CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
United States: http://www.stopthehunger.com/
International: http://www.thehungersite.com/
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Old 25-02-2003, 09:27 PM
Tim B
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

Yes, that was for the person who posted the original questions, who has 10
acres avail.

"Pat Meadows" wrote in message
news
On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 20:54:16 GMT, "Tim B"
wrote:


Since you'll have room to do this, let me recommend thinking about
completely alternating garden sites between two equal-sized areas each

year,
letting the unused garden bed lie fallow beneath a cover crop (rye etc)

each
year.


Wouldn't that be lovely? I'd do that for sure, if we had
enough room. We don't.

I have a garden that's about (I'm guessing) 20 x 30 feet
plus a sizeable container garden. It's enough to grow a
whole lot, though.

We have room for other plants here and there, we're hoping
to get rhubarb, gooseberries, and raspberries planted this
year. We have room for a strawberry bed along the side of
the garage too, and room to plant blueberries in the front
of the house. I would like to have an herb garden, but
haven't yet worked out where to put it.

Pat

--
Pat Meadows
CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
United States: http://www.stopthehunger.com/
International: http://www.thehungersite.com/



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Old 26-02-2003, 02:51 AM
DH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

Great ideas. I am saving the link and information. The rotating idea is
one I thought about, but I wasn't sure how necessary it was. But I do have
two areas, about 1/4 acre each, already fenced off as pasture, side by side
so it would be easy to go back and forth there, leaving some parts (with the
perennial beds) alone.

I was planning on having the whole thing backhoed up initially, but have
also been following the thread (can't recall if it was this newsgroup, but I
think so) about the Mantis tiller vs. other tillers. My aunt just bought a
Mantis, so maybe she'll let me take it for a test drive! :-)

Thanks for the well-thought out and constructive response, Tim!


  #9   Report Post  
Old 26-02-2003, 03:15 AM
Tim B
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

You're very welcome.

The Manis-type tillers are ok for cultivating well-tilled ground ... if the
garden plots aren't already tilled I'd either get somebody to plow and
harrow it with a tractor, if that's possible, or else till it with a
rear-tine tiller. If you use a tiller, some people prefer slicing the sod
off first (and putting it in the compost heap), and some till it under. I'm
a till-it-under person myself if it's not especially weedy.

It will be a physically stimulating undertaking with a tiller to take a
quarter acre from pasture land to ready to work. But you have some time; in
my zone (6A) beans, corn, tomatoes and peppers go down later than
everything else, maybe June 1.

One more thought --- call your county extension agent. They'll be very
happy to provide all kinds of advice fine-tuned to your area. While you're
at it, ask for information on their Master Gardener program. Great classes
and you don't have to be a masterful gardener, at all, to start.

For anyone monitoring this thread who has a *smaller* garden, let me
recommend double digging. You can do about a 10x10 section every evening
until you're done. Basically you use a long handled round point shovel, dig
a trench one shovel depth deep, and lay the soil up on the ledge formed by
your digging. Then do it again.. This gets you down two shovel's distance.
Then take a step back and do it all over again. That will leave you with a
very good approximation of plowed ground. It works the soil deeper than a
tiller will. And it is terrific exercise, you won't need to go to the gym.


"DH" wrote in message
...
Great ideas. I am saving the link and information. The rotating idea is
one I thought about, but I wasn't sure how necessary it was. But I do

have
two areas, about 1/4 acre each, already fenced off as pasture, side by

side
so it would be easy to go back and forth there, leaving some parts (with

the
perennial beds) alone.

I was planning on having the whole thing backhoed up initially, but have
also been following the thread (can't recall if it was this newsgroup, but

I
think so) about the Mantis tiller vs. other tillers. My aunt just bought

a
Mantis, so maybe she'll let me take it for a test drive! :-)

Thanks for the well-thought out and constructive response, Tim!




  #10   Report Post  
Old 26-02-2003, 03:51 AM
DH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

Well, being a little lazy, I think I'll have it plowed up mechanically
first, then go in afterward to "fine tune" the soil. :-) It is all pasture
right now, with tall grass. This is if I even get this particular property,
but no matter what, I've decided to go with at least five acres.

The funny thing is, I was thinking of a way to get the grass under control.
The neighbor of this property raises goats that he rents out for brush
control, but they don't eat grass!!! He says he has a little runt of a
sheep that he bottle fed that he can loan me. :-)




  #11   Report Post  
Old 26-02-2003, 12:51 PM
Pat Meadows
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

On Wed, 26 Feb 2003 03:19:25 GMT, "Tim B"
wrote:



For anyone monitoring this thread who has a *smaller* garden, let me
recommend double digging. You can do about a 10x10 section every evening
until you're done. Basically you use a long handled round point shovel, dig
a trench one shovel depth deep, and lay the soil up on the ledge formed by
your digging. Then do it again.. This gets you down two shovel's distance.
Then take a step back and do it all over again. That will leave you with a
very good approximation of plowed ground. It works the soil deeper than a
tiller will. And it is terrific exercise, you won't need to go to the gym.


Both my husband and I have physical problems which prevent
us from doing this, unfortunately. And I shudder to think
of what it would cost to pay to have it done.

I'm going with the best substitute I can find though: we'll
have the garden tilled (as we did last year) and then I will
purchase THREE truckloads (pickup truckloads) of
spent-mushroom soil. I can purchase this fairly cheaply.

We'll have the spent-mushroom soil (which is wonderful
stuff, very similar to compost soil) dumped at the entrance
to the garden, and then rake it into wide raised beds.

We'll also use the spent-mushroom soil for the container
garden (as we did last year: everything we grew in it did
extremely well).

This will be almost as good, I think. I wouldn't bother
with this if we had 'normal' soil but we have very, very
heavy dense clay that is very hard to work, and tends to be
soggy and wet all the time.

Pat
--
Pat Meadows
CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
United States: http://www.stopthehunger.com/
International: http://www.thehungersite.com/
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Old 27-02-2003, 04:15 AM
Tim B
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

I've decided to go with at least five acres

Of vegetable garden? How many semi truckloads of each item would that be,
though.


"DH" wrote in message
...
Well, being a little lazy, I think I'll have it plowed up mechanically
first, then go in afterward to "fine tune" the soil. :-) It is all

pasture
right now, with tall grass. This is if I even get this particular

property,
but no matter what, I've decided to go with at least five acres.

The funny thing is, I was thinking of a way to get the grass under

control.
The neighbor of this property raises goats that he rents out for brush
control, but they don't eat grass!!! He says he has a little runt of a
sheep that he bottle fed that he can loan me. :-)




  #13   Report Post  
Old 27-02-2003, 05:27 AM
DH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?


"Tim B" wrote in message
. ..
I've decided to go with at least five acres

Of vegetable garden? How many semi truckloads of each item would that

be,
though.


No, five acres of property. :-) If I tried five acres of garden, I'd have
to quit my job just to have the time to work it! But those five acres of
property will hopefully ultimately include an acre of garden area, and a LOT
of fruit and nut trees.


  #14   Report Post  
Old 28-02-2003, 02:28 AM
Tim B
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?

Ahhhh I see now.

Agree on the fruits. Let me suggest small fruits and berries too.

(off topic follows....)

And if you're zoned for it, chickens are a good idea. You can put them in a
movable coop with no bottom and they'll fertilize your garden plot. Goats
are fun too. Theoretically there's room for even a couple of horses or
cows. You are blessed.

"DH" wrote in message
...

"Tim B" wrote in message
. ..
I've decided to go with at least five acres

Of vegetable garden? How many semi truckloads of each item would that

be,
though.


No, five acres of property. :-) If I tried five acres of garden, I'd

have
to quit my job just to have the time to work it! But those five acres of
property will hopefully ultimately include an acre of garden area, and a

LOT
of fruit and nut trees.




  #15   Report Post  
Old 28-02-2003, 04:29 AM
DH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Garden plot planning?


"Tim B" wrote in message
. ..
Ahhhh I see now.

Agree on the fruits. Let me suggest small fruits and berries too.

(off topic follows....)


You must be my long lost twin. :-) I have some blackberry plants that have
traveled with me from home to home in a container, so they will be going up
with me. Wanted to plant a mulberry tree/shrub as well.

I am already reading up on chickens. I kept them a long time ago, when I
was a kid, but they seem to have become more complicated since then! g

I found out today that I got my ten acre parcel!!!! One nice thing is that
it comes complete with a barn and a big fenced chicken coop, as well as
those two pastures, so there won't be much I have to do there, other than
install fencing so my two big pooches don't stray too far.




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