Spacing plants in a raised-bed garden
We live in a fairly wooded area and until now my gardening has been limited to planting a few herbs in boxes on my deck. Since the deck does get a fair amount of sun, I decided to buy a 2' x 4' raised bed. In trying to decide what and how much to plant in my 8 square feet, I did some Googling and found, on the Williams-Sonoma website, a series of charts referred to as "Plant-a-Grams" for raised beds. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/a...
The thing that surprises me about these planting charts is the number of plants that are suggested. For example, in one square foot of a "Culinary Herb Garden, according to the chart, one can plant 4 thyme plants, or 3 verbena, or 4 fernleaf dill or 3 basil plants. Similarly, in one square foot of a "Beginner's Vegetable Garden" you can plant 2 Jalepeno pepper plants, or 3 Rosa Bianca Eggplant, or 4 Italian Flat Leaf Parsley or 1 Black Krim Tomato plant. Before seeing this chart, I didn't even consider that I could plant tomatoes in this bed.
Now, admittedly, I am not a gardener; I would normally space plants according to the recommendations on the tag that comes in the pot. I'd really appreciate some feedbackon this plant spacing from anyone who has done raised-bed gardening. Thanks!
EDIT: Sorry about the image; it's too small to be legible.
Great helpful forum I visit once in awhile:
Good spacing chart:
I have 2 square foot beds, much easier than in the ground gardening, it's helpful to prune the suckers off the tomatoes, they take up less space
7" is fine for herbs, and their herb garden plant-a-gram looks reasonable.
Having used raised beds for many years, I do have some problems with their other recommendations.
Putting 1 tomato every foot will result in the vines all tangling together, especially if they are indeterminate types. Instead, put 1 tomato im a 4x4 ft box, train it vertically and fill the other squares with other plants. For determinate tomato plants, it is possible to put 2 in opposite corners. You might get by with 4 of the new dwarf tomatoes in the corners. They do mention cages which allow bigger plants than if you prune to a pole, but an 18" diameter cage (a reasonable size) will take up more than 1 square foot.
Peas do better on a trellis, so I usually plant them along a fence where I will plant tomatoes later. 4 lettuce plants per square is about the closest I would plant them. I've also grown Orach and Kale in raised beds (1 plant per sq. ft.)
Beans and cukes also do better on a trellis or fence, so if you must do them in a raised garden, put them in the outside squares and train them vertically. 3 eggplants per square also seems too close, and again I like to train them vertically to save space.
Putting Mint in a raised garden is an invitation to disaster. They spread like mad. Put them in a container instead.
If you get the Square-Foot gardening book, the 2d edition revises the author's original recommendations a bit. Be sure to read what he recommends for a planting mix to fill the bed.
I followed the 2nd SFG book, and my best harvest of tomatoes ever in my life came from planting tomatoes two per square foot (one in opposite corners) and training them on spiral stakes. I had eight plants in total and made sauce, salsa, ate tomatoes out of hand, and gave away enough to keep all our friends happy.
Peas go four per square per the book, and are trained on a pyramid made of four bamboo stakes.
Lettuce goes nine per square (again per the book) -- and can be harvested seemingly forever by clipping only the outer leaves.
The 2nd edition recommendations call for peat - which many folks take issue with because of depletion of resources... and I can tell you from experience that if you are having dry weather, the mix will dry out and suck the life out of everything you planted -- no matter how much you water (I was watering heavily twice a day, and stuff just ended up crispy.)
Other friends in Missouri and Texas had the identical problems.
Not sure how I'll alter it for Florida (9b), but I loved the small footprint and easy care...so I'll keep gardening raised-bed, but will be tweaking the mix.
For bigger stuff it does sort of depend on how deep your box is. I have raised beds on the ground, so i amend/ work the soil to much deeper than just the box.
Anything will grow as long as it gets enough sun and water, but it may not thrive in what is presumably a shallowish depth box with a bottom...?
I have been more or less using the square foot/intensely planted method for several years. It's really no different.
The depth of the soil is about 7". Most of my plants will be herbs, which I'm sure will be fine in the box because I've planted them in small-ish pots in the past. I'm also going to try a Jalepeno pepper plant and see how that does. I'm more concerned about the amount of sun the plants will get than the depth of the soil.
Yep - this is a riff on Square Foot Gardening (which is worth a read, even if you don't drink the kool-aid on the soil mix)
You don't have to leave paths in a raised bed, so there's no soil compression....so things can be far cozier than they'd be in row plantings.
Here's a website that will do it for free: http://www.vegetable-gardening-online...