Does this layout look okay?

IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)January 29, 2013

Income tax is almost here, which means I get to build my new raised beds and start my new, much larger garden. North is the top just for the record. I used and then amended it's recommended plan to fit my needs (for instance, it had more melons and less corn). I've done my best to situate the plants where the tallest ones won't overshadow the shorter ones.

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Having peppers between corn and okra could shade out their production depending on the sun orientation moving through the garden. If it moves up/down the rows as planted, then your peppers would be shaded. Given your zone, this might be beneficial during the hell of summer heat, though it may not benefit early/late season pods.

There's similar concerns for the cukes (on the squash) you have laid out if you plan on trellising them.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 18:04

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:00PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

It looks like a pretty well laid out plan. I don't know the dimensions and wonder if the corn rows are too crowded.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:03PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

Each block is 1 square foot. The sun moves from the right side of the pic to the left (the direction the bottom bed is laid out in) with a slight orientation of being behind (bottom of the pic) all the beds.

I wanted to try and separate the hot and sweet pepper plants some, but I could move them all together so that the corn and okra are together, if that would be better?

This post was edited by IAmSupernova on Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 18:29

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If you are using Sq. Foot Gardening guidelines then that forum would be the best source of info for you. But I do several small beds with a modified sq. foot approach and have never found 1 sq. foot to be enough for peppers - 2sq. foot works much better. 3x the production in 2 sq. foot.

And I think both the corn and bean layouts are going to be way over-crowded and quite difficult to harvest. Beans are going to turn into a tangled jungle and it will be impossible to side-dress the corn as needed. JMO


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:45PM
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I purposefully try to get my peppers into a little shade, to cut down on sunscald damage.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:12PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

I'm not really too worried about having to work extra to harvest stuff or care for the plants. One of the main reasons I picked up gardening was because I had no real hobbies (video games, that's about it) and wanted something physical to do.

My only concerns over planting so densely would be are the plants going to be able to get enough nutrients if they're packed in too close, and of course the problem with planting short plants next to tall plants and trying to make sure both get the right amount of light..

I wanted more beds, but I needed to scale back from my original plan. So now I'm still trying to work in all the plants I wanted, in a slightly more limited space. I even already had to cut some, I had more varieties of peppers planned and at least double each type of what I have planned now.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:29AM
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very good layout hell besides my own one best I seen in the last 6 seasons i shift the peppers and okra but quite acceptable though i hope the cantaloupe and watermelon are bush varieties.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:01AM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

I'm looking at sugar baby for the watermelon.. Haven't quite decided on the cant. yet. The watermelon is bush though.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:26AM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

My only comment, given that you are in my neck of the woods, is that you might eventually find that it works best to split your vegetable selections into fall and spring gardens with different formats and layouts. For example, in my case I find that carrots, green onions and lettuce are best planted in the fall garden (along with broccoli & cauliflower). So instead I use the available space for something else. Some vegetables do well in both fall and spring, like snap beans. Other vegetables only do well only in the summer heat, e.g. eggplants, squash & okra.... But in the end there is absolutely nothing wrong with your choices.

On layout I concur with the other posters regarding the comments on shade from the larger plants. In some cases usage of the shade is beneficial for the shaded plants and other cases not so good. It looks like your layout is well thought out...

Gardening is pretty much year-round in our part of the country. Below is the Louisiana planting guide link. The SE Texas planting guide below is probably close to this one. You may want to find it and see how it compares...

Here is a link that might be useful: Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide

This post was edited by grandad on Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 14:03

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Hi Supernova,
It looks like you have given it a lot of thought. I would like to suggest if you are planning on seed saving, that you be careful where you plant plants that might cross pollinate.

You may not be thinking of this right now, but when harvesting time comes along, you may wish you had.
Like I have before.
You may also want to add some companion plants and some beneficial plants to help with growth and pest control.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:43AM
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luckynes13 companion planting is waste of space and time.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:31PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

No, I don't really plan on seed saving. Seeds are relatively cheap. If I had a much larger planting space, I'd probably be more worried about saving seed, but as it is now, I can't imagine using more than a half packet-packet of any given seed in a year, which is just a couple of bucks. For stuff like the watermelon, I'm sure the seeds would go bad before I could use them all.

And thank you everyone for the input. This is my first 'large scale' garden and I haven't quite got my gardening confidence up (although I am getting there).

As for what to plant and when, the smart gardener thing chose what to plant after I selected all the plants I wanted. It gives you a calendar you can click on that says "What can I plant on the week of xxxx" and gives the list." By the time I have the money, I'll have a week or two left, according to this thing, to plant carrots or lettuce (cutting it close). I thought it seemed like it'd be too warm for them to do well, but I'm going to go with it and see what happens.

This post was edited by IAmSupernova on Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 17:05

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:58PM
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feijoas(New Zealand)

thegreatcob: "companion planting is waste of space and time."
I assume you mean it hasn't worked in your situation?
I'm always a bit confused by what the official definition of companion planting actually is, but for me, it's creating an environment where species support and/or control each other one way or another.

I don't get particularly technical about it, but I have lots of buckwheat etc among the veges. The bumblebees, parasitic wasps et al love the flowers and pay me back in massacre and pollination.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:02PM
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feijoas the reason companion planting does not work is because the list and groups are based of test in 1930's that where bunk.
attracting bees and wasps is not companion planting.
there is only one set of veg companions that been proven to work. beans provide nitrogen.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Hey thegreatcob,
Have you ever done companion planting before?
I have, and it works for me.
More over, I like the plants that keep the pests away, from the plants I don't want them to eat.
But, it is nice to see that you do agree, that it does work to some degree.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:55PM
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People also tend to not do companion planting correctly. The Three Sisters (Corn, Beans, and Squash) is something many people say doesn't work because they plant everything at the same time, which just ends up choking everything out.

That said, I would be a little concerned about the corn layout. If those squares are 1 foot each like you say, that might be too tightly packed. Will depend on the variety, but many of them like to have some breathing room between the rows. I would try doing only 3 rows there to make a little space between them.

I can definitely say its too close together for peppers. I would give them at least a 2'x2' square to grow in. For the kind I grow at least, they all turn out to be fairly bushy, and one foot between them would mean you couldn't see where one bush started and the other ended.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:23PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

Well I haven't got any seeds yet so no variety is actually set yet. I'm looking at Ruby Queen and Peaches and Cream, both say the spread/to thin 12 inches. However I looked at the peppers and they range from 16-24. So I'll need to adjust for that (they're auto generated by that site I used).

The corn, if it says to thin to 12 inches, then is it okay for 1 per block? Or should I still break it up into 3 rows?

This post was edited by IAmSupernova on Thu, Jan 31, 13 at 17:38

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:33PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

When corn instructions says to thin to 12 inches, they likely assume that you have more than 12 inches between rows. For myself I have rows 28 inches apart...but I have plenty of room.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Do you have room for some container plants elsewhere? If so, you good grow your peppers in pots and make more room for your corn.
There is also edible gardening, where you sneek some of your vegetables in with your flowers, again making more room for the corn. Just a thought


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:44AM
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wayne_5 Mel Bartholomew proved in 1985 the space between rows in corn does not matter or the bed are only 4 ft wide.
corn can be plant 1 per foot if soil is fertile enough.

luckynes13 yes i have done companion planting and most cases it does not work or benefits are not worth the trouble.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:14AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

In my (limited) opinion, slicers are usually taller than sauce/paste tomatoes -- but that will depend on your varieties, whether det/indet, etc.

If you're not sure about the height of the varieties you plan to grow, you could post on the Tomato forum.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:27PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

I do but I'm not sure containers would be a good idea here though.. In summer it was a struggle just to keep the bed watered.. I can't imagine how fast a container would dry out, probably faster than I could keep it watered.

I might get a few pots and try thought. I hadn't really thought about doing that.

As for the tomatoes, I'll keep that in mind, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 3:05PM
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