email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Garden Layout

Megan asked why the garden beds "should be true square feet".  A good question.

There is a home gardening system by Mel Bartholomew based on planting home crops by square feet.   Generally, I have used it.  It works by rotating crops through square feet, never letting any space be unused.  It works, but you have to keep at it.  A square foot of radishes, a square foot of carrots, etc.  You learn the best spacing for crops.  16 radishes per square foot, 9 carrots, etc.  It does make easy planting.  As I understand it, it is an adaptation of French Intensive Row Planting.

I try to keep at it, but it takes planning.  Still, I want my framed beds to be in true square feet of interior size.  The interior size is the problem.  The boards you use to make the framed bed take up some space.  So you have to use boards that are longer by their thickness.

It isn't TOO complicated.  To make a 4'x4' soil framed bed, you need boards that are 4' 1.5 inches on all sides because the boards are 1.5" thick.  If you just use exactly 4' boards, some of the last squares are 12"'x9" (12" -[1.5"x2]).

So in my framed bed plans, I have to make the the framed boards a few inches larger than the square feet.  An 8'x4' bed actually has to have boards 8' 3" and 4' 3".  It makes the details a bit insane!

Fortunately, there are some shortcuts.  If there are 4 beds (8 boards total), then that takes 12" of space (8*1.5").  If I didn't take that in to account, then the paths between the beds would be too small for my 24" wide wheelbarrow,

Properly arranged, my beds allow my wheelbarrow.  An inch wrong, it doesn't.  So, my constructed beds must have outside dimensions larger than the true square feet inside but allow the wheelbarrow just barely. 

I hope that all makes sense.

And Megan, you sent me your email once but I lost it,  Would you send it again?  cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT net...

1 comment:

Megan said...

Thank you for the explanation Mark. I was wondering whether you wanted the true square feet because you like things 'just so' - in which case I was going to present the argument for easing up on yourself! LOL However, it sounds as though - as usual - you've researched it all thoroughly and know exactly what you want to achieve.

Sydney, Australia