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Suggestions for vege garden layout in this space?  RSS feed

 
N Taylor
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Can anyone suggest how they might arrange the garden beds in the following space? This is where I plan to grow all our veges (zone 1). It gets plenty of sun and is mostly quite flat, very gently sloping to the northeast (about 10% grade). It is surrounded on most sides by a low hedgerow to reduce the wind. Existing paths are marked in grey. A small home orchard sits immediately south of this area.

I can't figure out whether to use keyholes or rectangular beds /rows and how to lay them out. Anyone with a little experience care to offer some suggestions??
Garden-4.jpg
[Thumbnail for Garden-4.jpg]
 
James Freyr
pollinator
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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I'm not really familiar with what can be direct sown in zone 1 versus transplants you can start indoors to extend the growing season, but the advice I can give is plant tall trellising things on the north side, and then step down to medium height plants to the smallest vining ground plants like melons on the southern side to prevent shading and everything gets adequate full sun exposure.
 
N Taylor
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Thanks James...although it will be the reverse here as I assume you are talking about in the northern hemisphere

As to the general bed layout....suppose I just put in a series of slightly raised beds on contour....any comments on such an approach? Would it be better to build up square / rectangle shaped beds? What about keyholes?
 
James Freyr
pollinator
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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Yup I made an assumption since your location isn't listed but raised beds are great. I garden in raised beds because my native soil is very a heavy clay type and drains poorly, I have ponding water in some areas after it rains. I would build whatever shape and size beds your heart desires. Mine are all 4 feet wide so it's easy to reach the middle, and they vary in length. I have a lot of 8 foot, a few 12 and 16 foot, and one 24 foot for the strawberries, which is the only perennial crop I currently grow in a raised bed.

Edit: I just realized if I had been paying attention I would have seen southern hemisphere on the map you provided. Doh!
 
Ben Stallings
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Location: Emporia, KS
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Here's my article on the subject: https://www.interdepweb.com/drupal7/content/sinuous-raised-beds

And a recent design I did along those lines, to begin construction this fall: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1MTZ4oJFegA07znVePq4520LLlPE_ZaIKcYrOoevUQ0A
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
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N Taylor, I assume you mean Permaculture Zone 1 and not USDA growing Zone 1?  You'll get very different advice depending on which you mean.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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I think a lot of this really depends on:

(1) Aesthetics: what type of garden do you like the looks of? Do you life formal raised beds with straight lines, curving raised beds, or a mix?

(2) Water: Does it rain a lot all at once, or is it constantly drizzly, or is it dry during the summer or dry all year round? Each of those will lend itself to different types of garden beds and lay outs. You might want them on contour if you get very little rain, or off contour if you need drainage.

(3) Materials: What do you have available for building these beds, Different materials lend themselves to different beds?

(4) Plants: What are you wanting to grow? If you're growing a lot of plants with different sun/water needs, you might want some raised beds with drainage, or some keyholes to preserve water, or sunken beds for wetter growing areas, etc. It's okay to experiment with different garden bed styles! I have a keyhole, a herb spiral, a hugel/lazagna bed, two big hugelculture beds, gardenig around fruit trees, and a mulched potato bed.

A little more info about your climate will really help, even if it's just saying, "I'm Mediterranean zone 9 Australia" or "I'm tropical zone 11 in South America" 
 
N Taylor
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Sorry! I meant permaculture zone 1.
We are in a mild coastal subtropical climate...warm winters and mild humid summers. Rainfall is typically light showers every day or two.
 
Angela Tims
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I much prefer keyhole style freeform beds, you can get maximum square footage for planting area and minimum square foorage used for walking paths. 
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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