The Garden Plan: Always In Flux

This garden is a joint effort between us and our downstairs friends, the sweetest tenants we could ever have hoped to end up with. While it’s a collaborative effort, we did decide to separate our beds. I think this decision has freed us both up to look at our little beds as ‘ours’ to do with what we will, to create our own plans, to lean on each other for support, suggestions, and knowledge, but to take our learning experience into our own hands. We’ll still share the labour, the costs, and some of the produce, of course, and it’s my hope that the garden gives us a chance to spend plenty of time together and get to know them even better.

So, this is our plan! I tried to follow the rules of companion planting as much as possible, so fingers crossed that my onions and carrots will help each other. Of course, it may need to change a bit and get shuffled around and coordinated as we figure out light patterns and tall plants versus short plants, but for now, this is the plan:
Bed One

This is my tomato and pepper bed! There are three different types of tomatoes (beefsteak, cherry, and roma) and three different types of peppers (rainbow, green, and jalepeno). I put all these together hoping that, since they grow relatively tall, neither will block the sun from the other. Also, apparently peppers require nice high humidity for the vegetable to grow, and tomatoes around them will help to provide that within the leafy foliage of it all. 
Bed Two

 Spinach, cucumbers, lettuce, and green beans. The greens bed! When I asked the Husband what he wanted us to grow he had only two requests: cucumbers and green beans. So, plenty of cucumbers, plenty of green beans!

Bed Three


This bed is a bit of a hodgepodge of things. Originally, it was going to be a simple bed: onions, carrots, parsnips, and leaks. But really. Do you realized how many onions you can plant in one square foot? I may yet decide to devote two square feet to them yet, but here, you only see one, rather than the six I had original planned. There’s also chives, two types of squash, dill, carrots (lots!), parsnips (lots!), leeks (just a few – I don’t even know if I like leeks!), watermelon, and two types of potatoes, regular and sweet. These I plan to grow in a potato box to make the most of my single square foot.
I know some of you are experienced gardeners and have already been giving me plenty of advice. So, tell me: how have I done with this garden plan? Is there anything I should know that I haven’t yet learned about any of these plants?
(These plans were created using this wonderful square foot gardening tool.)

Just in case you missed one of them, check out the other posts from This Dusty House’s gardening week”

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0 thoughts on “The Garden Plan: Always In Flux

  1. Looks like fun! Do you have plans for trellis, poles, cages, etc.? To help keep them contained? Lots of the plants you have there will end up taking much more than their square foot. Some people don't mind that they trail all over the sides of the beds but many of these plants love to be trellised (or you can use lattice, poles and string, or plastic garden netting/fencing). It can also help keep the air circulating to keep mold/mildew problems at a minimum. I do my potatoes in a round wire bin made from old fencing with layers of straw and leaves and it works well. Also, with planting this heavily you will want to remember to fertilize every couple of weeks with a good fertilizer or compost tea.

  2. Absolutely there will be trellises! The tomatoes and peppers will each get their own cage, the green beans will have a nice tall trellis to climb up. The melons (and perhaps the squash? I might have to do some rearranging…) will be allowed to grow over the path and onto the lawn as necessary I think. Is there anything else that will take up lots of space that I need to think about? The cucumbers?

  3. Looks ambitious! Two quick thoughts came to mind when I looked at your plans: first, when I was a child we had a garden and a dog. The beans in our garden ended up with dog hair on them as he ran past them. I was wondering if you would switch the lettuce (it would be easier to reach) and the beans to protect them from your puppy? And, one year when the boys were young we planted pumpkins- they were huge plants! I am wondering if watermelon need that kind of room too? Good luck (and leeks are very good – leek and potato soup – yum).

  4. Oh, I love raised garden beds! And I love spring planting, but I'm never good with the follow-through. By July, my garden always looks awful.

  5. Oh, it is! I'm not saying I'll be entirely successful with it, especially since we'll be plenty busy this summer, but I'm at least going to try!

    Good point about the dog hair… Thankfully, Mocha doesn't shed, so it shouldn't be a problem, but I am a little worried she'll learn to dig in the garden. Definitely a bad thing! We're planning on building some kind of fence at the front of the garden, but we'll just have to see how she does with it.

    I'm pretty sure the watermelon will need all sorts of room. That choice might be a bit of wishful thinking… Then again, perhaps I'll just sacrifice a square foot or two of carrots and parsnips and see what happens!

  6. In our attempts are growing tomatoes and peppers, the tomatoes grew WAY taller than the peppers. We've aimed to have the tomatoes at the back so they don't block the sun from the plants in the front.
    And we've learned to let the cucumber plants climb otherwise the cucumbers themselves end up resting on the ground and will be more subject to bugs or will turn yellow on the side that rests on the ground.
    Let me know if you'd like more onion seeds!

  7. Potatoes and cucumbers tend to take over from my family's experience. My parents know plant vines like squash and cucumbers and potatoes in their entire garden, and do CSA for the rest. The nice thing is that if you get any enthusiastic vines, you can just lead them out of the garden or put them on a fence. I love tomatoes with basil; I was always taught that it warded away some type of bug but they also taste delicious! Good luck! I'm sure it will be wonderful!

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