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Equilibrium 06-15-2013 08:26 AM

What would your “ideal” veggie garden look like if….
 
What would your “ideal” veggie garden look like if….grow space wasn’t a consideration? I'm definitely trying to get ideas. My veggie beds were "stuck" anywhere I could stick them and the realization hit me that somewhere down the road.... I'm going to get a chance to start all over from scratch and chances are good.... I'll have a lot more space to play with than what I've got here and I won't be dealing with a layer of computer monitors, bicycles, chunks of concrete, mattress springs, car parts, and other garbage buried 6" under my lawn so I just wanna pick brains!!! How would you lay yours out? Would you go with raised bed? What orientation would you pick? Would you fence it off?

havalotta 06-15-2013 08:48 AM

Hmmmm Good question...

I think I'd lay the beds out kitty corner to the sun..
At an angle from lets say S.W. to N.E. thus the morning sun hits it all and the afternoon sun doesn't get blocked by plants in front of one another.
All would receive every bit of sun equally as it moves across the sky.

It would be raised (To control the grass from creeping in) and narrow enough to weed with out entry so as I mature I wouldn't be teetering upon planks or rocks placed between things to prevent soil compaction.

It would be filled with very rich or nutrient enriched soil and topped off with chopped leaves to control the weeds once the veggies are established.

I'd lay an underground sprinkler system to water it all.

It would not be fenced in unless......there was a problem with deer eating up more than you care to share.

havalotta 06-15-2013 08:50 AM

Hmmmm Good question...

I think I'd lay the beds out kitty corner to the sun..
At an angle from lets say S.W. to N.E. so the morning sun hits all and the afternoon sun doesn't get blocked by plants in front of one another.
All would receive every bit of sun equally as it moves across the sky.

It would be raised so the grass doesn't creep in and narrow enough to weed with out entry so as you mature you won't be teetering upon planks or rocks placed between things to prevent soil compaction.

It would be filled with nutrient enriched soil and topped off with chopped leaves to control the weeds once the veggies are well established.

I'd lay an underground sprinkler system to water it all.

It would not be fenced in unless......there was a problem with deer eating up more than you care to share.

sprucetree 06-15-2013 09:10 AM

One thing that would be very nice is a garden shed; If it was at the North end with South facing windows it could be used for seed starting.

I'd also like an old sink to rinse veggies and clean carrots and onions. That goes with-out sayin' that I'd need various plumbing fixtures and different zones that used drip irrigation and over head irrigation if required.

Fenced would be nice and could double as trellis for climbers like gourds, cukes, and beans.

Of course Equil said veggies so that won't allow rabbits, chickens, and bees which would require hives, hutches, and roosting.

havalotta 06-15-2013 10:03 AM

Could add a hive...

will-o-wisp 06-15-2013 10:09 AM

Definitely raised beds with wide paths, a fence, gates and trellises and arbors.
If formal something like the Cloisters herb gardens, if informal some type of circular or spiral design.
Absolutely a potager with a mix of flowers, shrubs, herbs and vegetables
And if money was no object stone walls lined with espaliered fruit.

Equilibrium 06-15-2013 09:31 PM

There was a member here who once told me I needed to make paths wide enough so I could get a wheel barrel through... he was RIGHT. If you make paths too narrow.... you either won't be able to get a wheel barrel through or you'll lose the skin on your knuckles. I still have some paths that are too narrow because I did my measurements off my old wheel barrel not my new 1 that's wider.... oopsie.
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I don't think I'd use wood for the sides of any raised beds. Next time around... I think I'd go with cinder blocks. I dunno... I'd have to do some research on alternative siding materials.
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If I'm gonna try saving seed from non-GMOed corn.... I'd need a minimum of a block of 144 plants so I could take ears from the center so I guess the 1 thing I know is that I'd want at least 3 raised beds that would be 14' x 14'.... one for flour corn.... 1 for sweet corn.... 1 for popcorn and feed corn.
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Right now.... my rows are north to south.... that seems to work. I'd probably have to research what's best.
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Between the beds.... I'd really like to install a permeable geotextile fabric then load on pea gravel... I'm sick of dealing with weeds between beds.
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The idea of a garden shed combo greenhouse is great.... more so because we'll be headed toward USDA zone 7's or possibly even an 8 and I just don't think we’ll have a need for a dedicated greenhouse anymore in those zones. I could see cold frames somewhere though.
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We've got electricity in our shed and in our greenhouse. I've lived with it and couldn't live without it now... I got spoiled. Same thing with water and gas to our greenhouse. Once you have it.... you really wouldn't want to go without it so I'd have gas, electric, and water lines run to what ever we end up going with be it a shed and greenhouse combo or a shed and a greenhouse. Now a sink…. that’s something I don’t have that I for sure wanted and forgot I wanted a sink.
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Our chicken coop is on skids.... it goes with us where ever we go so we're covered for the few chickens we have. Chickens would definitely rip up a garden.... they'd need to be in their own runs. If anyone is thinking about chickens.... you really don't want to include them in a veggie garden. I've got 1 that keeps escaping right now because she discovered my strawberry patch and what can I say... I don't think there's a strawberry left on any of my plants since Mildred made her "discovery"... she's eating them before they ripen. I don't see a need for another insulated chicken coop like what we have designed for zone 5 or lower but it is what it is and it's already bought built and paid for and able to be trailered to a new location so we'd probably lean toward new coops along the lines of the style in the photos that liquid posted before... I think she's in KY.
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The more I think about it.... the more I think a fence is probably a must.... and a line around the base that's electrified by solar might be the way to go to keep raccoons out of the corn. All 5 of the states we're looking at have raccoons and rabbits and 4 out of the 5 have deer issues so I'm thinking an 8' high enclosure the deer would have difficulty jumping is gonna be the way we'll have to go and we'll just enclose everything instead of doing what we're doing right now which is individual fencing around each raised bed. The more I think about it... the more I think enclosing the whole grow area is the way to go because like spruce said.... fences could double as supports for grapes gourds, beans, peas.... what ever.
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A few hives could definitely be included.... I just so happen to have 2 complete hives here in boxes. No to including chickens or rabbits like spruce said though. Chickens destroy everything they scratch around in or peck at and domesticated rabbits would reduce everything within an enclosure to nubs just like their wild cousins would and besides which.... they can't take heat and they really don't like getting wet.... their hutches really need to be on the north side of structures protected from rain and snow or preferably inside a barn or insulated garage during the summer months. Our oudoor hutches are in deep shade. They get nice breezes but no direct sun to speak of except in early spring and after leaf drop in fall.
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Drip irrigation.... that's 1 of those things I keep meaning to get around to here. I've watched a few videos and it looks simple enough that I could probably do it myself. Only problem is the time. I think if I was starting all over again.... I'd go with a gravity fed drip irrigation system and.... I'd install it before I ever started gardening.... that way.... I could water like an easy bake oven.... set it and forget it!!
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Trellises and arbors do make a garden look like a garden. I'm not a formal kinda person but I love the Cloisters. I seriously don't think we'd have enough $$$ left to build even an outhouse to pee in if we went with a Cloisters style garden but.... I'll dream with willo on that!!! A potager garden would fit our lifestyle better and it'd definitely be more in our budget.... I actually know what that is from a book I bought. It was a peasants garden and they were swirly or symmetrical or a combo of both. $$$ is definitely a problem.... we couldn't do brick walls with espaliered fruit unless.... the property we buy has an old style barn on it that's collapsed into its foundation!!! Then we could do espaliered fruits on brick or stone walls!!!

havalotta 06-16-2013 06:42 AM

Quote:

Between the beds.... I'd really like to install a permeable geotextile fabric then load on pea gravel...
I'm sick of dealing with weeds between beds.
Weeds and seeds still sprout in the pea gravel I KNOW! I HAVE it!
I'm continually shuffling my feet as I walk through it to uproot what sprouts.

Quote:

I'm thinking an 8' high enclosure the deer would have difficulty jumping is gonna be the way we'll have to go
NOT necessarily! My girlfriend installed an electric fence-wire around her veggie bed years back. It is only a few inches off of the ground. Low enough to walk over....Deer carry their feet real low so when they walk, one little tick of the electricity on a hoof and off they go.
8 feet might not be high enough...Especially if the fence is made of wood. Not so much of an issue if it is made from wire. Reason being....they really can't tell how high a wire is...wood is a more visible solid object that they can SEE how high to leap over. If chased by a predator, they can easily leap over a 12 foot fence!

biigblueyes 06-17-2013 10:15 AM

Don't forget to go vertical. Even if you have plenty of space, some things like tomatoes and cucumbers do better if the fruit/veggies don't have contact with the soil

Equilibrium 06-17-2013 05:55 PM

Ya... I know. Weeds will still grow in pea gravel... they're just easier to rip out by hand when there's not much for them to take root in.
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I have definitely seen deer go over 10' fences so I totally believe they can make it over 12'. I was thinking more along the lines of an 8' fence and an additional line of electric fence. I've seen it done this way before and it definitely keeps the raccoons and opossums out.
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Vertical is for sure important. I'd like to be able to bring some of my hog panels with me when we eventually do move.... which is probably a good 4-5 years down the road from now. The hog panels can be cut with bolt cutters and they make excellent supports for vines... not so great for tomatoes though but.... stakes usually work well enough for those.


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