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Planning, Designing and Growing a Vegetable Garden

By dave
January 12, 2013

It's that time of year, when freezing temperatures suddenly fade away into our distant memory and we start getting that vegetable garden itch. Let's talk about vegetables - how to grow them and how to design your vegetable gardens.

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Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
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MaryE
Mar 16, 2012 11:17 AM CST
It's a wonderful article, filled with useful and very practical information. When are you going to write a book?

I need to practice more companion gardening, although I do already plant radishes and carrots together in wide rows. The radishes come up quickly and remind me to keep watering the carrot seeds. The carrots are shaded a bit by the radishes, and when I've harvested all of the radishes, the carrots have plenty of space to grow into the loosened soil. Also, the worms that like carrots like radishes better, so they are a trap crop. Growing long rooted radishes has a definite advantage, as the worms enter the root early and are usually only in the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the root, leaving most of it for us.

Wide rows? Why? More space for plants and not so much wasted on pathways between them.
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 16, 2012 11:22 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

That's good info on the carrots and radishes - thanks for sharing that tip. Smiling

I generally don't use wide rows. In fact, my rows are usually just narrow enough to walk on.
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
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threegardeners
Mar 16, 2012 5:42 PM CST
Great article Dave!

I plant my garden in squares. One narrow path to walk on down the centre of the garden and square plots of veggies on each side. I rotate the squares every year.
[Last edited by threegardeners - Mar 16, 2012 5:45 PM (+)]
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Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Mar 16, 2012 6:57 PM CST
Yes, really great article Dave. Very informative. As was said above, you answered questions
I didn't even know to ask.

We are finding that we need to make our rows wider each year mainly to give the heirloom
tomatoes more air circulation. Heirlooms are the ones we prefer to grow, even though they
seem to be more prone to blight than commercial varieties. For other veggies, more narrow
rows do okay here.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jan 12, 2013 1:07 AM CST
Loved this article. It was full of helpful information, such as planting basil with tomatoes. I also love the idea of using weeds as a mulch, I never thought about doing that. I will definitely give it a try this growing season.

We have done regular row gardening and raised beds. I now find the raised beds to be much easier to care for.
This was our very first garden as a married couple, 1963. That's my baby sister I'm holding.
Thumb of 2013-01-12/valleylynn/c10d2c

One of the raised beds with tomatoes and nasturtiums.
Thumb of 2013-01-12/valleylynn/c03bfe
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 12, 2013 7:56 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thank you for sharing that, Lynn! I love those photos!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 12, 2013 10:13 AM CST
We lived in MS and mom and dad came for a visit. The two fiest dogs kept all critters out of the garden. We never lost a thing due to critters.
We had a man come with a mule and plow it up for us. And we did plant with space between each plant, as you can see in the black and white photo.

We did the same with the raised beds, that is just one tomato plant in the other photo. We have found that using the raised beds, our yield was greatly increased. The plant grew much larger, and more productive.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 12, 2013 11:34 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Fantastic. We are planning to add several more raised beds this year. I love 'em.
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Jan 12, 2013 1:24 PM CST
Love the photo's Lynn - thank you Hurray!

Dave - I read this article last year and it' so good, you should run it at least once a month. It's loaded with such good and wonderful information and your enthusiasm just spills over every word. Any person reading it will want to grow veggies. Thumbs up Thumbs up
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 12, 2013 1:56 PM CST
I agree

My seed catalogs have started arriving. I love to study my way through each one. I'll have to order a Baker Creek one. I don't think I've ever received one.
[Last edited by valleylynn - Jan 12, 2013 1:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 12, 2013 2:11 PM CST
Has anyone ever grown Rouge D' Irak, from Baker Creek? I am looking for a new tomato to try this year. One that has a nice balance of tart and sweet.

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