Much of the following layout is from several gardening books, including Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew.
The garden is about 70 feet long by 90 feet wide, give or take a few feet. North direction is at the top (see picture) – the gate is at the center bottom (where the angle is – not sure why we did an angle … one of the mysteries of life, I guess). You also may notice that the garden is not exactly square … LOL … Well, it looked sorta straight when we were putting it UP 🙂 Must’ve been an earthquake moved it. : )
The gray area on the picture above, is the paths – the paths are on a 2 foot wide foot path, then 4 foot wide for carts, then back to 2 foot wide, etc. The 4 foot wide path is for room to move a cart in and out for mulching, harvesting, etc. The skinnier 2 foot wide paths are to walk down without trampling on the garden bed, yet still be able to reach both sides of a bed.
Regarding the size of the garden bed – according to the author of the book, he suggests to have the MAXimum width of 4 foot wide – most folk can only comfortably reach about 2 feet out for weeding, maintaining, etc. By keeping it four feet wide max, you can reach from either side of the bed from any path without straining.
Last week, I started a path through the center going East and West (see map). I learned the hard way in years past, that it’s a long dang walk down one side of a 60 foot long bed, to get to the other side – and the temptation is to just jump across the bed. And you TRY to miss the plants and seeds. Guess what happens … yup – you end up stepping on the plants and seeds when you jump. With a path across the center, the temptation is not there (unless you are Gabriel and can leap across, Olympic long-jump style : )
Across the top (Northern side) are the Mammoth Russian sunflowers – they are supPOSed to be 9- 12 feet high … we’ll see. I’ve never had any luck growing sunflowers – mine tend to be get 1-2 feet high, then they die out (that is if I can keep them from the birds – that’s why I have the caps over the seeds until they sprout)
At each end of the beds of the tomatoes, beans and corn, I’ve planted flowers – Nasturtium and Marigold – and radishes in between them.
The idea is, Marigold flowers supposedly emit odors from their stems flowers and leaves, which critter bugs detest – they tend to stay away from plants that are surrounded by Marigold. And the Nasturtium has a similar effect.
The radishes emit a strong odor in their roots, which grubs hate – and they’ll move on. So, the flowers and the radishes on each end cap, plus I planted a couple Marigold in each pot of tomatoes (and the squash); and I put 4-5 radish seeds in each squash pot – it is supposed to deter the dreaded squash bug.
I’m not going to worry about whether I can pull the radish out without damaging the squash and tomatoes – I’ve not had much luck with radishes in the past – they are there strictly to protect my precious squash!
The entire garden is surrounded by 8 x 8 pallets (salvaged from hot tubs that were delivered to the store) with the pallets set on their side.
Why 8 feet high on the fence? To keep out them ding-dang-deer! Them deer are crafty, they are! I’d like to see them jump over THIS! We removed every other board on the pallet (else it would be too heavy, could topple over in high winds), then fastened the pallets to a 4 foot treated landscape post on each side, then wrapped a 3 foot high chicken wire around the bottom entire perimeter to keep out them pesky wabbits. (yep, we have ding-dang-deer and pesky wabbits.)