Jan 27

Planning a Garden

Recently we had some work done in our front yard, getting rid of a few dead and 'nuisance' trees, which opened up a new area in which to garden.

new garden area

tabla rasa

The area is about 30 by 30 feet, the size of a small backyard.
So I thought I would work it as if this were my only garden, as a way to show those with less space what they can get from their yard.
This plan does incorporate inter-cropping and companion planting, as well as some succession planting.

If those terms are new to you, don't stress it- all the info you need is going to be here.

new garden area

trying to visualize the beds

We will be building 4 beds- each 20 feet long by 4 feet wide (more on that when we start building them).
You can see by the picture below that I'm planning on 2 of each beds being exactly the same, so if you have less space just cut in half what I'm going to list here for you.

I also planned the beds as if each were a separate 4 x 4 bed, so feel free to eliminate any section from your plans.

planning a garden

the info is all there

Because we have a problem with squirrels eating our tomatoes, those beds will be surrounded by 'cages'- more details as we build those, but the screening they will be made with will allow for some veggies to grow up, also getting more actual square footage.

Here's what we can expect from this garden plan:

Pole Beans- trellised to shade the greens and lettuces, plant about 40 seeds 2-3 inches apart, yield: enough to eat fresh as well as can or freeze

Lettuce and Assorted Greens- scattered seeds, eat the thinnings small and continue to harvest as needed, yield: enough for fresh eating until it gets too hot. Succession plant Fall cabbages or root veggies.

Winter Squashes: plant 2 seeds together 12 inches apart, thin to about 8 plants, trellis. Yield: Enough for fresh eating well into the winter, freezes well for soups and pies.

Peppers, Hot and Sweet: Best to separate them, plant about 9 inches apart, 18 of each will yield enough for fresh eating; freeze or dehydrate sweet peppers; pickle, freeze, make hot sauce or can hot peppers.

Eggplant: 18 inches apart is the recommendation (though I usually plant mine a little closer). Even with that you can get 8 plants. Yield: More than you can eat fresh, but can freeze as Eggplant Parmesan or Eggplant Towers.

Celery: At planting 6 inches apart, you'll have plenty of room for 6 plants. Yield will be enough to go wild all summer, then dehydrate for soups and other dishes. The leaves can be dehydrated then crushed like you would use Celery Salt.

Carrots love Tomatoes and Tomatoes love Basil- this is the main inter-cropping area.

carrots love tomatoes

the inter-cropping bible

Tomatoes: 8 per section, strung up. With 6 sections, this will be a total of 48 Tomatoes, giving us enough to eat fresh all season as well as can Tomato-Basil Soup, V-7 Juice, Salsa and Marinara Sauce- plus freeze some for chili. This will be enough tomatoes for us for at least a year, probably 2.

Note: When I say 'us' I refer to my husband and myself, my daughter who will be home all summer and during college breaks, family get-togethers, friends that I share with and what I donate.

Basil: I plant about 6 plants per section (36 total) in between the tomatoes, which improves their flavor and cuts down on weeds. Pinch back to get bushier plants. This will be enough for us for the summer, to freeze to use in cooking, and to make a year's supply of Pesto Sauce.

Carrots: I will be making carrot 'seed tapes' that will allow for a 2 inch spacing between plants. Yield: 24 dozen, enough to eat fresh, dehydrate for soups, freeze and store in cold holding.

Now, I had expected this would just be one post, but then I really wanted to be able to list what kind of harvest you could expect and what you might do with it, and all the succession crops you might plant- and it's getting a little long.

So I'll wrap it up in tomorrow's post (learning how to grow Leeks can wait a week) and I'll see you then!

Please read more in the Hold It Section on how to store what you grow, and check out our Recipes as well for ways to eat all the wonderful stuff you will be growing!

Part 2 is here.

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    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on February 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for including me my friend!

  1. I, too will be constructing raised beds this year. Good to see your plans. Mine won’t be as long, but they will keep the Burmuda at bay!

  2. I love the way you spelled out the spacing and harvest for us G. I am horrible at following plans but this I think even I could do. Thanks again!

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on February 7, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Thanks Patty- it is certainly the most detailed I ever got- usually I just write ‘potatoes’ across the entire area.

    • Avatar of gj
    • Amie on June 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    When using the old compost bin for potatoes, do you flip the top section over so the smaller hole (top) is on the ground or do you leave it with the smaller hole up? Just curious if that narrower top would be a tight fit for 6 potato plants. do you have any posts of this garden completed? I have looked but did not see any.
    I am going to use this method this year. Thanks for the info.

    • Avatar of gj
    • gj on June 11, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Thanks for the question. I leave the narrower end at the top. It’s not all that small and works great, making it easier to keep up on the straw. I am using this method now, so can get an update here this week. That way you can see the progress.

  1. […] from seed.  And then there will be outdoor sowing in the 3 veg beds.  I read that my friend, Gardening Jones, had made some seed tape so I of course got the brilliant idea to make some of my own.  I googled […]

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