Planting Templates and Watering Combinations for Intensive Gardening

David ThorntonStarred Page By David Thornton, 29th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Organic

This information is necessary for planning your intensive garden beds. For planning what to grow for fresh use, successive planting for continuation of fresh organic crops, to get more for your food storage, and plan your watering system.

Detailing Intensive Gardening Bed Design

In a previous articles I touched on the subjects of what to grow, some good combinations, identified some plant types, and covered some planting dates. I will get into more detail on these subjects after laying out a bed template to help in making a plan for the growing season. When we get to the planting articles. You should have a good idea what you want to do with the space that you have available.

Planting Template for Intensive Garden Beds

To plan a bed I will make a template that can be used every time, with different combinations, and different planting dates. In the winter I sit down and make a plan for the garden, determine what I am going to grow, how much, and when to plant each bed to get the results that I want.

Example of Planting Plan Template for 4’ Beds

BED NUMBER

SR 1 Lettuce Thin to 12” apart and use thins.
SR 2 Spinach Thin to 3” apart and use thins.
MR 1 Spinach Thin to 3” apart and use thins.
SR 3 Bush Peas No thinning necessary.
SR 4 Bush Peas No thinning necessary.
CR Spinach Transplant Tomatoes May 1, 2’ apart
SR 5 Bush Peas No thinning necessary.
SR 6 Bush Peas No thinning necessary.
MR 2 Spinach Thin to 3” apart and use thins.
SR 7 Spinach Thin to 3” apart and use thins.
SR 8 Green Onions Thin to 3” apart and use thins.


Example of Planting Plan Template for the 2’ Beds

BED NUMBER

SR 1 Tall Peas No thinning necessary.
SR 2 Tall Peas No thinning necessary.
CR Spinach Transplant Tomatoes May 1, 2’ apart
SR 3 Spinach Thin to 3” apart and use thins.
SR 4 Garlic sets No thinning necessary.

See the Bed Design illustration.

Watering Combinations for Intensive Garden Beds

If you use drip irrigation you may not get good seed germination in the main and center rows when using four soaker lines per 4’ bed.

However, in the early spring this does not present a problem, there is rain or snow and stays cool. If it is unusually warm here in the spring I will hand water with a hose until the seeds germinate. In some gardens I have had a combination of sprinkler and drip irrigation.

At those locations I wanted to keep planting some hard to germinate seeds into the summer months. Crops like carrots. The best time to grow carrots here is when you plant around June 1. The sprinklers help to get fall crops started also. Crops like lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli etc.

Some crops that require a cool season will grow well in the fall, but they need to be planted in the heat of summer, here in Utah that would be in August. The sprinklers were set up so they could be adjusted to work with small areas, by changing the heads to quarter, half or full, and were only used when needed.

Once the plants were established, I would stop using the sprinklers, and turn on the drip irrigation. I no longer have enough space for that, all of my beds are planted in the spring, and the beds are still producing at the time fall crops would need to be planted.

In desert areas that I have gardened, there was not any snow, and very little rain. When starting the garden in the late fall it was still hot and dry. I needed the overhead watering in those locations to get the plants started, but there is another option for that situation, by adding four more soaker lines per bed.

Then there will be a soaker hose along every soaker row, the lines would need to be placed right on top of the seed rows, so that the seeds would get direct water, instead of the water being dripped 3” away from the plant row, like in the system that I use with four lines per 4’ bed.

Tags

Bed Design, Garden, Garden Beds, Gardening, Intensive Garden Beds, Intensive Gardening

Meet the author

author avatar David Thornton
Gardening expert with over thirty years of experience with intensive organic gardening research. The main focus of my articles will be to teach others how to create a limited space intensive gardening system and save time and money.

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Comments

author avatar Pink&Blue
30th May 2011 (#)

Thank you very informative . I love planting but i could never get my lettuce to flourish.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
30th May 2011 (#)

All I am growing is weeds. Chickweed and dandelions mostly, the deer seem to eat everything else.
I really need to go back and start from a clean garden, and put down mulch.

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author avatar David Thornton
30th May 2011 (#)

There are plenty of weeds in my location also, but with my intensive bed system they do not present a problem. The vegetables crowd them out. See my other articles for more info and watch for the new releases.

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author avatar Retired
30th May 2011 (#)

sweet.. this is great info man..

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author avatar Denise O
19th Jul 2011 (#)

David great info and well written. Congrats on the star page. Thank you for sharing.:)

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