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Posted: Feb/18/2009 9:51 PM PST
I asked for a raised planter for Valentines Day. I got two! I also got seed packets, trellis's and cages. I have never grown anything before. I have a goal of being able to can for food storage in the next 5 years. I am an Army wife and have to move so I need gardens that can produce the year of planting. What I got from the husband and kids : Boston Pickling Cucumbers and two trellis's for them to grow up, early girl tomatoes and two medium cages, serreno chilis, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, spanish onions, jackolantern and watermelons. What I want to add when available are strawberry plants. DH built me a raised bed because we have really bad clay soil, so I can and will put in what ever would give me the best results. I have two raised beds, one is long and bulit along a chain link fence, about 25 feet long by 2.5 feet wide and another that is about 3x4 feet. The larger one is full sun the smaller one is near the house and gets sun in the afternoon and evening, but the ground there stays moist (before the planter) I am not sure if it will stay as moist being a raised planter. The planter is about 10 inches deep. I also got the 72 jiffy greenhouse seed starter kit and some lables on spikes. So here is what I would like some help with.
How deep do I need to put the soil in the planter? What soil should I use? I am in zone 6B Fort Campbell KY. I also need to know if there is a way to plant things so that I make the most of my space? I read that I can put cilantro at the bottom around the tomatoes? I think if I am reading things right I need to start my onions like yesterday, the pack for greenhouse seed starter is for 72 pellets. I want a balance of plants to make and can salsa, I do not need large amounts of extras for the salsa. I want to try my hand at pickles, even a few jars would make my day. I have an area outside my fencing in the wood line that I can put the pumpkins and watermelons, if the deer or racoons wont bother them to much. HELP!!!! Where do I start!
PS I am so excited, I also got pink leather gloves and crocs to wear in the garden. Any help would be great!
I added a photo of the yard/planter areas. I think the right end of the large planter will be pumpkins because there is a nice bare spot from the swimming pool last year so I do not have to worry about grass, I will put some round up there to kill off what litte there is. What should I use under the pumpkin vines that come onto the ground from the planter? Mulch, Wood Chips??? I have read they need to stay dry so they do not rot where they touch the ground.
The second photo shows where the small planter is going to go.. I think I will do all strawberry in that planter, I am journaling the sunlight hours for that spot. My dog dug up the yard this winter so we put up the plastic fencing to get the grass growing... guess I dont need it after all.
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posted: Feb/19/2009 2:47 AM PST
Welcome, hooah! HOOAH! Glad to have you with us. I'm not the best veggie gardener, but I'll answer what I can.
The beds should be 18 inches deep, so fill it up all the way. Regular potting soil, mixed with some compost should do the trick.
Put your cucumbers on the trellis and grow UP!
Your veggies will need lots of sun, so pick the sunniest spot.
Cilantro is a cool weather crop, so they will be done by the time tomatoes produce.
I'm sure there are other, more knowledgeable, veggie gardeners that can give you more answers.
If I think of something else, I shall return. (Sorry, MacArthur.)
Posted: Feb/19/2009 3:25 AM PST
I have potting soil on the list, started some composting but can get some broken down from a neighbor. I think I am going to put the trellis across each end of the long bed. From what I am reading I can go 3-4 across because I am going up so I can get in 6-8 cucumbers total, Should I go for 4 on each end or just 3 do you think? Anyone? I have no idea how much will be produced but it seems it will only take about 2 feet on each end, I think I will put a set of 4 on each end to deter the racoons, If I can get some support on that number from someone I will draw my first diagram. I am a planner, and need a drawing to lay out the garden. Thanks for your reply!
Posted: Feb/19/2009 4:13 AM PST
Ok, Good morning if it's morning. I found a "Vegetable Garden Planting Guide" form K-State. I don't know when I downloaded it but must have. The top of the page says KSU HORTICULTURE REPORT. The Vegetable Yields , Average crop expected per 100 feet and approximately planting per person column is helpful.
VEGETABLES Row 100' Per-Person
Cucumbers 120lbs @ 100' 1-2 hills
Beans,snap bush 120 lbs. 15-16'row
Lettuce, leaf 50 lbs 10'
Eggplant 100lbs 2-3 plants
I hope this helps, Just Gardening Guilt Trip
Posted: Feb/19/2009 4:26 AM PST
It is a nice cool morning, 6:20 am. The oldest is getting ready for school. I am still planning my day. I want more than anything to start some seeds.. Is it to early to start them in my jiffy. I need something to do, two more weeks of school for me and Im taking some time off so I want to start working my project. I will take photo and measure the planter today and post it. I am thankful for the post but I am not sure how to do the math. I am planning on 8 cucumber plants 4 in each row growing up a trellis, I have 3 ft trellis but can add bamboo to add height if needed later and the planter is along the chain link fence so the cucs can use that as well if they want to spread. I think I am going to put the serrano and jalapenos in pots on my patio to save room in the planter beds
Location: Westlake, La
Posted: Feb/19/2009 6:12 AM PST
The cucumbers can get out of hand quickly. I always do mine on a fence, I usually plant 3, and I still have them trail over into the yard. If you want a slew of cucumbers, you can plant 6, but unless you have abundant room, I would not plant more than that. I don't think 2 feet on each end is enough. My fence around my cukes is 4 ft tall, and they spill into the yard. The peppers in pots sound fine. Remember, watermelons take a lot of space also.
Posted: Feb/19/2009 6:40 AM PST
The problem is my kids picked out what they wanted.. so I am kind of stuck. I am fine with doing 3 or 4 cucumber plants, I just want enough for some pints of dills to try pickling with my daughter. I am only doing one pumpkin vine, If I get two to three pumpkins off of it I will be happy. I would like to pick either watermelons or pumpkins but my 4 year old has his heart set. I will do a strawberry bed by it self in a raised planter in the space on the second photo. Thank you for the cucumber feed back, I will plant 4 so if I lose one or two I will still have enough for a couple of pints of pickles. I will also stack my trellis to give a higher support they will be along the left corner of the fencing so they will have fence to go on as well as the trellis. Thanks again!
Location: Southeastern US
Posted: Feb/19/2009 6:42 AM PST
hooah from a military mother! there are some good tips on the following link:
You should be able to get information on how to mix/prepare your soil.
If you're worried about how much soil you need for your raised beds, go to the following link for a free calculator:
And, finally, a link to the Dept of Horticulture at Univ of Ky. I highly recommend using guides from your local extension service as they are pertinent to the growing conditions in your state:
Best of luck to you. I've been planting a vegetable garden for years and STILL don't know what I'm doing. Just get in the dirt and have fun.
Posted: Feb/19/2009 7:38 AM PST
Thank you Thank you... I was thinking I was going broke putting this in for one summer, is getting very non-cost effective.
So the calculator said 1.9 cubic yards.. the guy at the the nursery tried to sell me 4 cubic yards of premix at 59.50 a cubic yard.. yikes. The calculator link told me I only need 1.9 cubic yards to fill it to the top! I can handle that and I can do it in two purchases.
I will check out the KY link now.. thank you again!
Posted: Feb/19/2009 7:42 AM PST
Okay I am ditching the strawberry planter, my neighbor told me about the pick your own strawberry patch just down the road.
The planter that is shaded until about noon... would that be good for the spanish onions and cilantro perhaps??? I think if I do the onions twards the outside and the cilantro twards the house I can keep the cilantro cooler so it will not bolt to seed on me to fast. Any thoughts on that???