Friday, May 27, 2011

Increasing Plantable Area in a Raised Bed Garden Continued

I have talked about this subject in a prior post, specifically adding pots in the dead spaces of the garden. 

Since Kelsi and I have a smaller garden, we are always looking for ways to increase plantable area and therefore increasing the amount of stuff we can grow. We have 6 raised beds which are all 4ft x16ft. We really want double or triple that, but this is not the time for that discussion. 
We plant a very intensive style in our garden. We usually disregard the spacing recommendations listed on the seed packages and just plant to our needs based upon available space. This works really well for us, some gardeners are more strict with spacing. There are many different theories about gardening. Find one that you like.
We bought this cattle panel last year for our beans to grow on. Unfortunately we bought bush beans instead of climbing ones. So this year we loaded the base of it with hundreds of peas. Sugar snap on one side and Alaska on the other.
Well that left us no where for the beans! So we bought another cattle panel and put it over the next two beds. We again planted lots of beans at the base. The idea behind the cattle panel is that the beans and peas will grow up the panel to the top. Then you can walk on the pathway under the panel and just pick the beans and peas that should be hanging down. Hopefully it works this year! We surely got the right beans this time! 

My dad also came across some 50ft rolls of concrete mesh at a job site this past week. He asked if we wanted one. We took it home not knowing exactly what to do with it.
Then it came to us! Squash trellis's! We cut up 6ft long sections and bent them in the middle (3ft on each side). 
This allows us to plant 6 squash plant in an area less than seven square feet. 
The trellis is bent to only take up 3ft along the run of the bed. We are going to plant some cold weather crops underneath the trellis now because we are thinking with 6 squashes on the trellis, the area in the middle will have some nice cool shade.
We also ran this 12ft long section of concrete mesh up the side of the fence from one of our beds. We are going to grow cucumbers up this. Again the idea being that you can walk under the mesh on the path and pick the cucumbers! Hopefully we can get the cucumbers to grow this tall. We didn't had much luck with cucumbers last year due to some plumbing issues of mine which resulted in a drought for the warm weather crop beds.
I will post an update later this season to tell whether these space saving additions were good or bad.

How is your garden doing? 

Thanks for reading!



K-Koira said...

That looks like a great idea. It will be so much fun to have green archways throughout the garden, especially if you can reach up and grab some food!

You guys do have about 4x the garden space compared to me though, so I am jealous of what space you do have.

My project with beans is going to be getting them to climb a trellis along the side of the house, with the goal of shading the house in the summer, keeping it much cooler.

Mike said...

I have heard good things about using beans as a shade plant. That would be nice for your house then! We haven't done climbing beans before this season, so we are hoping for the best!