Border vegetable garden planning - Knowledgebase Question

Secaucus, Ne
Question by afinebenedek
May 17, 2010
I, a newbie, just built a raised bed along a retaining wall, with a coated chain-link fence above the wall, where larges shrubs used to be. The space is long, about 20ft,but narrow,about 2ft wide. I plan to purchase Bonnie starter plants, but am unsure what types of herbs, fruit, or vegetables will grow in this type of bed. Also, can I plant 2 staggered rows, or will that overcrowd the bed?

Answer from NGA
May 17, 2010


A new vegetable garden is an exciting adventure so I know you'll have fun with yours. Choose the veggies you and your family enjoy eating and space them according to the mature sizes of the plants. If you overcrowd them, they will be more apt to develop diseases and they will have to compete for adequate moisture and nutrients. For instance, indeterminant tomato plants can grow upwards of 5 feet tall and wide, but bush or determinant types of tomatoes will grow less than 3' tall and only 2' wide. If tomatoes are on your list, choose patio types or bush types and plant one plant per two feet of garden. You can stagger two plants and fit them into about a 3' length of planter if you'd like to grow two different types of tomatoes. Likewise with peppers. About the only things I would avoid planting are melons and squash - both require lots and lots of room. You can grow cucumbers, though, if you train them the retaining wall or chainlink fence. If you mulch over the bare soil with 2-3 inches organic matter after you've planted your veggies you'll have fewer weeds to deal with later this season. Best wishes with your new garden!

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