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Design choice for market garden  RSS feed

 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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I'm working on this tomorrow through the weekend.
I had 20,000 lbs of compost dumped at my property
yesterday (nearly free of charge).

For food production, would you do straight-rasised-rows
with raised hay beds, or circular fashion for a market garden?







Here's a quick mock-up, and the area itself. I was thinking of
making use of the 'horseshoe bed' I tossed together. Raised-bed config
would be best...similar to..


So,just give me the short and skinny. For this area, how would you approach it? (consider slope/grade) and maximization of space for maximal output of vegetables...
Thanks-
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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chicken dog food preservation forest garden hugelkultur rabbit trees
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I think I would do raised garden beds on contour. Last year I made a few different bed styles and found that the ones that I made on contour held more water and were able to be harvested pretty easily. Don't do anything that would make harvesting too time consuming.
 
Nicola Marchi
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While linear beds look fairly nice and professional, i'd want to eliminate as much of the interior foot path as possible from the growing area. That would mean using something more along the lines of keyholes which are almost twice as efficient in gardenspace:walkingspace. I remember seeing the Mandala Garden for the first time in gaia's garden and it's simple and beautiful organization seemed almost wasteless.

Whether you do use linear garden beds or not, i should mention the one possible danger to building them on contour, or in any such way that they catch water. depending on how "raised" the bed is, if it catches too much water on the uphill side it will move downhill. In sepp holzer's Permaculture he makes a point of keeping his linear hugelkultur beds just off of contour to encourage water against the beds while channeling it slowly downwards.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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From my own experience with various garden designs, you should be sure not to make your beds too wide, because it is hard to reach into them to harvest, and don't make your paths too narrow or they will get overgrown by bushy plants and make moving through the garden difficult and potentially dangerous. When I made my paths very narrow ( 1 foot wide) or (stupidly) made only stepping-stone paths, my garden got so overgrown I stopped going into parts of it because it was too difficult. My current paths are about 18 inches and they're even getting overgrown by healthy plants.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Do you have sandy, loamy, or clay soil? If you're going to have to irrigate a lot, I'd go with dripline and slightly off contour beds as Nicola cautions. If watering isn't a problem, or you have to use a hose/circular sprinkler, I'd go with a mandala, and put the sprinkler in the centre.
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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It's construction fill dirt to be honest. I threw down some cardboard and building a different soil profile above ground 'cause the base layer is nearly worthless (iron oxides,clay)...

Here's a clip from this very area. http://youtu.be/Zkep02089NY

Here's diameter of irrigation tubing (that runs alongside the horse-shoe shape currently)

 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Moving forward..
Mandala beginnings..
More here: http://livingwind.tumblr.com/post/19051228332/mandala-garden-genesis-sc
Any/all input is still very much appreciated.

Rock on -
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George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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So, it's really come together...
http://youtu.be/_piLTzbSaRw?hd=1
More to share in the next few days...

Started swaling down my slopes, as well...

http://livingwind.tumblr.com/post/21072619770/swale-creation-with-hand-tools-sc
 
Alex Ames
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Location: Georgia
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I hope you will send us a picture from the same spot as the first one was taken so we can tell
better what you have done.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Alex Ames wrote:I hope you will send us a picture from the same spot as the first one was taken so we can tell
better what you have done.


It's on the Youtube link just above you...Progress thus far.
 
Alex Ames
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Location: Georgia
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George Lee wrote:
Alex Ames wrote:I hope you will send us a picture from the same spot as the first one was taken so we can tell
better what you have done.


It's on the Youtube link just above you...Progress thus far.


I see that you can dig like a gopher but I can't tell which way you are digging without the house in there
to give it some orientation. If there is a picture in there taken from the same place as the first one I can't
pick it out. I am not having any trouble recognizing your dirt. I have some of that myself.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Yeah, haha, I for one, love to dig...

Consult this video to see the slope in relation to the home. I'll finish digging this week and provide more updates. Things are certainly shaping up and becoming that much more efficient.

http://youtu.be/nPMqDBy63Aw?t=5m12s

 
Alex Ames
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Location: Georgia
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Have you made it to China yet?

It has been a couple of weeks now, I am curious about how it looks now.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Swaling a bit down this slope. Filling with organic materials.

More to come later on.
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