email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Garden Enclosure 2

I love gardening.  I love geometry.  The two intersect when laying out framed beds in restricted space.  Having decided that a 20'x20' enclosed space ought to be a reasonable size to built, I have been sketching out various sizes and arrangements of framed beds to but in that area.

The results have been both maddening and enjoyable.  Maddening because there are possibly endless arrangements, and enjoyable because I love the challenge.  In the process, I have developed some rules:

Primary Considerations:

1.  20'x20' total enclosed size
2.  Paths between beds cannot be narrower than 2' (wheelbarrow access)
3.  No part of a bed can be more than 2' from an edge (for easy digging and reaching access)
        A.  That means no bed can be wider than 4'
        B.  A 4' bed needs a path on both sides
4.  Maximize growing square footage
5.  Minimize pathway square footage
6.  There has to be a support pole dead center in the 20'x20' enclosure and it can't be in a path (the 10' pipes need a center support)
7.  Growing area in beds must be true square feet*

Secondary Considerations:

1.  I won't walk on the framed bed soil, so beds must allow easy movement among them (no labyrinthine paths)
2.  Boards cost money, so the fewer needed, the better.
3.  Beds against the enclosure chicken wire allow some access to varmints


1.  Material costs count only once.  Square feet of growing area is forever. 

* Meaning the inside dimensions of the beds are whole feet, not the outside dimensions.  That threw me for days when I calculated the square feet of the beds and the square feet of the paths and it wouldn't add up to 400 square feet (20'x20').  Boards have thickness, and it adds up!  Nominal 2" boards are actually 1.5" thick, so 8 boards across 4 beds takes exactly 1 foot off the available space!

Anyone who wants to suggest some layouts is more than welcome to send some.  My email address is right under the header.

1 comment:

Megan said...

So, why must the growing area in beds be true square feet? The reason for that isn't obvious to me.

Sydney, Australia