Blog post: Back from vacation: Expanding the working area

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This thread is in reply to a blog post by grdnguru entitled "Back from vacation".
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
Aug 2, 2016 10:07 AM CST
Because I don't know your exact needs, I'm only commenting generally from my own experience. I started out with a very very big veg garden that had no permanent beds...I simply rototilled the whole huge expanse each year and laid out temporary pathways. It was a monumental amount of work, but I was young, we used a lot of produce and we had little money. As I got older, wiser, and more prosperous, I drastically reduced the veg planting space in the garden. I put in raised beds and permanent paths. I put in a perimeter bed that is devoted to perennial flowers. Here's where I made my mistakes. 1. some of the paths are too narrow. It's very hard to get a wheelbarrow thru them and when I carry big objects, I sometimes can't see where I'm going. 2. I did not pave most of the paths. The paved path is a joy; the others not so much. I put down carpeting and wood chip mulch to reduce weeds, but still... 3. I'd rather have several small beds than one great big one...EXCEPT I think it's good to have one big bed if you intend to grow "big" crops like sweet corn, sprawling pumpkins, etc.

So, from my experience: Width of paths is very important. Paving is very important. Also, GROW upward...I've been using climbing veg (pole beans, etc.) and training things like cucumbers up netting and it really improves the yield and saves space. You could probably grow stuff up the fence. You'll be suprised at how much you can grow in smaller space if you factor in the reduced amount of time it takes to keep the garden weeded, watered, etc.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Craig B
Sparrows Point, MD (Zone 7b)
A passion for organic vegetable gar
Aug 2, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Understood. My middle path seems too narrow at this time. The outer areas are bigger than needed. I do use vertical gardening for my cukes but I need an area for canteloupes. Just reconfiguring one last time so I am thinking this through very determinedly.

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