need planting guidelines for raised beds please!

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)August 19, 2012

Currently I've just been doing container gardening. I've been wanting to try raised beds, but there are none in my area to buy.

Building them isn't an option, as I'm horrible with that, and don't know anybody who can do so for me.

I found some at Home Depot, one is a 4' x 4' the other is a 4' x 8'. I'm just looking for a planting guideline for them. It's veggies and some herbs.

As far as what veggies....tomatoes, eggplants, cukes, zukes, winter squash, melons, any leafy green thing, cabbage, cauliflower, and any root veggie.

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I assume you have garden (not only a balcony) to grow in. Would you consider building a raised bed from bricks? (Or building concrete blocks, but these are much heavier). Its easier than making them from wood.
You could find used bricks or may be lucky enough to get somebody's leftovers...just stack them 2-3 high, and you have garden bed.

Just an idea...Rina

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 6:05PM
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If you read the space requirements on the seed packages or on the label of the plant for height or spread then you can get an idea of what you can plant in your raised bed. If you plant a winter squash in your bed then it can pretty much over grow everything else you might put in with it. With a long growing season and good practices the vines can be 10-15 ft long. If I had a limited growing area, I would plant things like greens that don't take a lot of space and can be harvested quickly and followed with another crop. There are varieties of the crops you mentioned that are bred for confined spaces, and I would chose those.

Raised beds can be just areas where the soil is higher because you have dug it and amended it. For my money, soil amendments are a better purchase than sides for a raised bed, and often with a little searching can be found cheaply or free.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Agree with above. Any cucurbit (melon, zucchini, cucumber, squash etc.) can take a lot of space. You probably want your biggest plant to be a tomato, and even then you may consider using a bush determinate variety if your bed space is limited. Peppers are also a good choice.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Well the varieties of winter squash I have are all bush types. Their spread is only about 3'-4' wide and their vines reach a max of 3'-5' long.

I should've clarified that with the squash and melons they're all bush types. When I asked if squash/melons could be grown in raised beds I was referring to the bush hybrids that take up less space, and are designed for small gardens, which are the types I've picked.

Here are the varieties I have for squash...

Hasta La pasta (bush, spaghetti squash)
Butterbush (bush type of butternut)
Discus (bush type of acorn)

Sweet Mama (bush type of kabocha, which is Japanese type of pumpkin)

Bush Table queen (a type of acorn squash)
Cornell Bush Delicata (A bush type of delicata)
early acorn

The melons are Sugar Bush, which only has a spread of 4'-5' and the vines only reach 3-1/2' long. The other is minnesota midget which is a bush type cantaloupe.

I was wondering how many pepper/tomato/eggplant plants you can plant in a 4'x4' without overcrowding them. I grew 3 determinate tomato plants in a 30 gallon storage container; I thought that would be plenty of space, but it was overcrowding the plants and they were fighting for nutrients, sunlight etc.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:38PM
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I haven't done a lot of container vegetable growing, but I would try no more than 4 peppers in a 4 X 4 space.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:34AM
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Even those bush types are pretty large for a raised bed. If you want to do those, you could face your raised beds north/south, and the build a trellis on the north end to train them to so you don't have to have the vines taking up more space or shading smaller plants or hanging over the sides.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:19AM
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in 4x4 you could probably get 4 pepper plants. Tomatoes can vary a lot in size so you'll have to compensate.

I would consider reading about square foot gardening. It teaches you the most efficient way to plant in a raised garden.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Google 'Square foot gardening plant spacings'.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:18PM
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