How big is your garden??? : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Ours is not planted yet... But we have fenced off a smaller area than normal. Every year it has seemed to get bigger and bigger, until we were plowing up a place about 8000 sq ft, which just got weedier and weedier as the summer progresses.

So we are supposed to build raised beds this year. I thought we would have them done by now, but since it rains every other day(!!!) we can't even get started... So we might have a late start this year since we are doing the transition.

If we do it according to plan, we should have about 1500 sq feet of beds. We have an area about 40 feet wide x 80 feet long to fill in with beds, with walkways between them. We have someone who is going to bring us mulch for the pathways. I hope we are able to get started soon!!!

Do you all think this will be big enough of an area? I can a lot of stuff, usually about 800-1000 jars a year, plus eat a lot fresh and give away bushels and bushels...

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, May 07, 2002


Melissa: There are some very good explanations of how much you need to grow (maybe even space required) in the old countryside archives. But that is subjective because there are some intensive methods that bear looking at.

I am continually fascinated (and keep harping on:))this family of five in CA who grow a HUGE amount on a normal suburban plot. They tell how they did it and have good sustainable agriculture links there too:

Good luck with the raised beds.

-- Ann Markson (, May 07, 2002.

To tell the truth, I don't think I have ever measured ours. Must do that!! Always too big, but we love to share. We mulch very heavy when we first plant (most of the time :>) ) and that helps the weeding. But still, never ever LOOKS like I would like it too. One year Gary was home full time and our garden looked like it belonged on the front of one of those magazines. TWO people FULL time makes a pretty garden!!!

-- diane (, May 07, 2002.

Ours is almost an acre I think. To big for me to keep up without running myself ragged and too small because I want to share with everyone!Last year I had 110 tomato plants!! This year I am starting with 65!

-- Micheale from SE Kansas (, May 07, 2002.

I like to say "big enough". I've gardened 14 years here, in an area that was already a nice large garden area. I think it is about 2000 sq. feet. I put in all our favorites, enough to can too, plus a couple new things to try for fun. This years it's birdhouse gourds. Hoping to get some green beans planted today if it doesn't rain. They are a staple for us and I am down to my last 5 pints as of yesterday.

-- Nancy (, May 07, 2002.

To big, just got through picking peas again, I was so hot, I had to change my clothes and fall into the pool. I was seeing stars. Right now I"m ready to chuck it in again.

-- Irene texas (, May 07, 2002.

I can't wait to find out. At the old place, we had a bout 1/4 acre when you put everything together.

-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (, May 07, 2002.

This year ours will be close to 4500 Sq. Ft. I don't know what portion of an acre that is. Anyone know? We have built 10 4X10Ft. raised beds. Last year I had 6 and we loved them so much we built 4 more this year. I will have some row crops though for corn and tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers and of course potatoes and melons. If you grow corn, I think it would be better in row crops than a raised bed and actually last year the tomatoes I planted in rows did better than the ones in raised beds plus they were so crowded it was hard to get to the inside of the plants. We do have paths in between the raised beds that are mulced and it is so nice that even with all this rain we can walk through them! We were also able to get early things out earlier than we could have otherwise. I love my raised beds but I don't think I'd want my whole garden in raised beds. They do take a lot of soil to fill. I hope you have access to lots of good soil!

-- Barb in Ky. (, May 07, 2002.

I really can spell! Always won the spelling bees as a kid! Just can't type - I get in to big a hurry!!! MULCH

-- Barb in Ky. (, May 07, 2002.

Well here is our plan! Our garden soil is spectacular. Very rich, organic and everything grows like crazy. So we plan to plow and disc it as normal. Get a machine with a loader on it and push it all into piles. Then we will build the beds, and put horse manure in the bottom from the compost pile, and fill with the dirt we have piled up. Then mulch with straw and fill in the paths with wood chips. We can rent a machine for $100 a day and we should be able to do it in one weekend. That is the plan anyways!!! It will require a days worth of hard work, but we will reap the benefits for years to come!!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, May 07, 2002.

We're working on raised beds also - so far we only have one finished and planted with potatoes and onions. It's about 14'x16' if I remember right. We have another semi-raised (it's on a slope, so the front will be raised but the back will basically be flush with the ground at our back fence level) planned that will be 42'x about 14' that will actually be sort of a mini regular garden for my corn and okra with rows and paths in it. The 14'x16' will be the alternate site for those items so I can alternate corn, okra and potatoes and not have them growing in the same spot.

The rest of the beds (which may or may not get finished in time) are going to be only about 3-4' wide and raised so I can reach across them without entering them from anywhere.

Overall, there's no telling how far I will go and how much space I will end up with. There's always "one more thing" I want to try. This year it's gourds, cotton and peanuts that are on my mind! I want the boys to see how these things grow - I told Mitchell peanuts grew under the ground like potatoes and he looked at me like I was plaid!

-- Christine in OK (, May 07, 2002.

Melissa, sounds great! You are fortunate to have such good soil! We have rocks growing in clay!!! You will never regret building raised beds. Just don't make them too wide. Christine, I like to try new things every year too. Some of them we like, some we don't but it's fun planting different things and a good education for the little ones! My grandchildren enjoy my garden. I've promised the 5 year old (excuse me, 5 1/2! that 1/2 is important you know!) some of my strawberry plants.

-- Barb in Ky. (, May 07, 2002.

IRENE!!!! You PICKED PEAS yesterday and then went into the POOL?

Here in Alberta we had a SNOWSTORM yesterday -- and got a foot of the white stuff!!!

Can I come visit? I'll even pick your peas for you!!!!

-- Tracy (, May 07, 2002.

Small container gardening this year------since we have all our properties on the market for sale this year---I decided to do all container gardening this year--- & hope I have to move them all------

I have done tomatoes & peppers---& my herbs----salad greens---- etc/etc/etc/---also squash----to vine up stakes later---

It will be most all we will need to eat this year-----just no extra to freeze etc/ as usual---unless they all do better than I think!!!

-- Sonda in Ks. (, May 07, 2002.

About 2000sq ft, plus another 1500sq ft of field corn and popcorn. We'll plant wheat and clover over the corn this fall. My goal is to convert everything to raised beds over time, but for now, we need to get the garden in. My herb garden is going to be a raised bed as a start, and I'm going to pasture our turkeys on a few spots for a bit to build up chicken tractor-beds.

-- Sharon in NY (, May 07, 2002.

tracy, I would let any one pick peas at this point. You all come on down and pick away. After one day in this heat, 90, and 75 percent humidity. Its a steam bath. You would fall into your snow, and love it. Or better yet I will come there and fall in with you. You all will probably be hearing a lot of groaning from me till summer is over. God Bless,

-- Irene texas (, May 07, 2002.

We have 6 raised beds, each one is 10 feet long by 5 feet wide..we also will have several rows of corn covering about a half acre if the monsoons ever leave Alabama..and then a 1/4 acre flower garden, and another 1/4 acre melon patch.

-- lesley (, May 07, 2002.

About an acre, Gary bought a David Bradley walk behind tractor with cultivator and plow last year so we have increased the size by about 20%.

-- Polly in NNY (, May 08, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ