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making a path in the middle of the bed

i'm putting this in crafts, because im thinking of contacting our creative minds folks - aka crafters and the like

so... this community garden i now grow in -- they made the beds 5' across Confused what were they thinking?! i thot they were supposed to be built so that you can reach the middle w/o touching/stepping on the soil. this body i live in is 5' 2" (lol, do the math)

therefore, my question is:
anybody have any creative ideas for how/what to put down, create so that i can step, or lean a hand etc, in places?? i thot to put a stepping stone path down the middle, however, so many things, tomatos comes to mind, grow so wide and such, that the path would get grown over...i'm also slender, but still... i just cant imagine in mid august, i'd be able to navigate down this created path.

thanks for any ideas you come up w/ - i love creating! Smiler
(i also: knit, crochet, sew, craft...)
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

Straw or some form of mulch comes to mind. Cool
 

Coastal Southern CA, USDA 10, Sunset 22

 

"Nothing is as optimistic as a seed catalog." Charles Mann

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Throughout my flower and veggie gardens I have stepping stones- some are small pieces of flagstone that are given away for free at a local big landscape supply yard. Others are round stepping "stones" made with small (1 to 2 inch)flatish rocks formed into a 1 foot diameter round shape- like a mosaic.

Yes, they can get a bit overgrown with tomatoes, etc but I tend to pinch the plants along the stepping stone paths and that helps. Also, I know the stepping stones are there and my feet find their way.
 

 


Zone 5/6  Northern New Mexico

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Wow, 5 feet is a wide bed. I don't know if this will help you with that kind of bed - but I use a ball (yes a ball) when I need to kneel and work with my hands free. I use a ball (big - about 2 feet across) to support my upper body, by leaning my arms/elbows, or upper chest onto the ball, and I can sort of roll around in an area that way. Does that description make any sense? The ball supports my weight and my hands are free to work. Ok, it might look a little strange, but oh well Smiler
 
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yep i like all those ideas! straw would be good because it would multch in just fine. stepping stones would be good because they can me moved as needed thru out or ea season.
pogo, now THAT is creative!
thanks everyone
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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My beds are 3' across and although I am 5'6" tall
It's a stretch at times. So, I take one of my garden rakes (they are lady tools with smaller working heads) that has only 7"widespread tines and straddle the gardenbed. Using the wooden sides as rails. That way I can lean on the handle and be secure. Then, I plant tall items down the middle. I used conduit with jute for my squash and cukes down the middle in one bed, conduit with deer fencing for my peas in another, and I placed the stakes outside another pepper bed and used the Florida trellis style using jute so that I only had to reach in for harvest (for the most part).
I like the idea of the large ball too.
 
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wow claude! dig that idea! hmmm, i could simply lay the rake down... -- wont reach the other side --- oh well, still better than stepping!
thanks for replying Smiler
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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Plant beans for drying(I like Jacob's cattle beans) straight down the middle.12" to 18" wide.

They take about 100 days to mature. No need to go to the middle for 3 months. Garden from the 4 sides. Enter middle of bed once, to harvest dried beans for soup next winter.

Like this pic of Jacob's cattle beans straight down the middle:



It will utilize all your growing space that way.
 
MARYLAND zone 6
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well then! now that's a jolly good idea!
thank you Smiler
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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I love this idea, Lisaaann!
I've started my fall clean up and while doing that my mind has been playing with next years layout.
 

 


Zone 5/6  Northern New Mexico

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I liked this plan too. And it worked out great.

Thing to remember is to use BUSH BEANS, not Pole beans, they would shade every other crop too much.

Jacob cattle beans: (pretty and absord flavors well)
pic:



Now remember Oregon red, that will leave you with 2 foot on either side of the row(I'm sure you can reach in 2 foot ) Plant accordingly on either side.

The beans in that vegetable garden pic went in 5/2. Early start, is also a key thing. Remember 100 days till harvest. That should work for you, right?
 
MARYLAND zone 6
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lisann, i dont plant dry beans, but i do plant bush beans. i will keep this thread book marked to refer to next season.
thank you for your great ideas.
kat
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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OregonRed,

You don't plant dried beans, okay, but don't plant bush beans for fresh picking in the middle.

You'll wear your garden out going to the middle to pick them every day! Big Grin Snicker.

Well, if not dried beans, there must be something you like, that you could plant down the middle, instead of using it as a path. We need to get all we can from our spots.

Onions, need a long time and can be planted just like the beans,(set on 4 to 6 inch centers in the same foot wide strip down the middle). Set transplants out in garden 4/1, no
need to get back to the middle till August to harvest. How about that?

I love this question! Can't ya tell? Thanks for bringing it up!
 
MARYLAND zone 6
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Or how about a pumpkin down the middle? Those don't get harvested until early October around here!
 

 


Zone 5/6  Northern New Mexico

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Gonna need a heck of a lot more space Girlfriend, for a pumpkin. Big Grin, than one foot down the middle.
 
MARYLAND zone 6
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If that is one plant, it sure don't look like mine! Fess up- you must be giving it steroids. We'll have to report you to an organic tribunal of some kind.

(but, actually, I prune out runners and/or trim them back to keep my one plant under control and then I let onions or kale grow up through some of the leaves. I basically want enough pumpkins for a Thanksgiving pie and a couple of quart bags to freeze. Any others are given away)
 

 


Zone 5/6  Northern New Mexico

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2 seeds planted on 5/5, because of the early spring we experienced here. Lordy, I hope things get back to normal. I USED to PLANT seeds of this nature on 5/23.

Not gonna grow something this year, just haven't decided what that might be. Gonna grow something else instead, just haven't decided where I might put that new thing.

This gardening stuff is my only hobby. If I tortured you guys with all my thoughts on this subject...........you would have me committed!
 
MARYLAND zone 6
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OregonRed - have you thought about devoting the middle of the row to marigolds? They help deter some pests, and once the flowers are in full bloom if you feel the need to make them more useful than just bringing beauty, clip the flowers, dry them and use them to dye wool or cotton, or as a medicinal.
 

They say happiness is a thing you can't touch, a thing you can't see;

I disagree  - Scrooge -

North Carolina - Zone 7a

 

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You know, it's trial and error. I placed a new bed against the outer fence, thinking that I could harvest beans from the outside and not have to stretch over. Reality was that they looked so beautiful and attracted deer that munched away on the vines, wild turkeys plucked at the vines, and humming birds visited the red blooms. That seasons beans were a visual harvest only..but just having hummingbirds in the garden was so darn awesome. Now I plant brusselsprouts there and as long as I can keep the frc over them I'm fine Smiler
 
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oh my gosh! love the idea of putting the companion plant/flower there! i'm thinking things like lavedar and i'm not sure what all, anyway - that sort of thing! dill, fennel...and yes! onions, thank you , what a great idea -- woohoo!
:~D
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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Just not sunflowers..even the Mexican ones that grow over 5' because sometimes they prohibit other seed from germinating. I use mex sunflowers in newer beds that I don't plan to grow in, as I'm filling them with compost.makes the look prettier until they are full enough to plant.
 
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Funny. Well, maybe odd, I guess. Immediately as starting to read Claude's idea for using a garden rake, I pictured a completely different scenario. Lay the rake across the 5 foot width, hanging over each edge a little. Then OregonRed should be able to lean in while either standing or kneeling, and setting her hand on the rake handle wherever necessary for support to reach the center. As the growth fills in, 'threading' the handle though may be more easily accomplished lower down, where the stems may be less leafy. Anyway, it's a thought.
 
~ Mary ~ ddogtalk at hotmail dot com There's nothing to like or dislike in another that isn't a reflection of yourself.
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thanks daisy dew, i could even do that w/ a long thick dowel, or board Cool
great idea!
love this forum, thanks peeps!
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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Anytime, you wonderfully receptive and intelligently perceptive person! Cool I love this place too!!
 
~ Mary ~ ddogtalk at hotmail dot com There's nothing to like or dislike in another that isn't a reflection of yourself.
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wow-golly-gee-wiz, thanks daisy
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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okay, `nother idea came to me --- what about planting onions and garlic there? they dont have to be harvested but once, yah? not wide like pumpkins...

(still like the companion flower idea too...)
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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Hmmm. Well, I don't know about where you are, but I harvest garlic before many of my other veggies, as it's usually ready sometime in August. Will that work for your layout? Otherwise, I'd fill it in with some companion flowers. Keep in mind that a well fed nasturtium plant can spread out 4 feet or more in diameter, so it wouldn't really work there. Marigolds mabey?
 
~ Mary ~ ddogtalk at hotmail dot com There's nothing to like or dislike in another that isn't a reflection of yourself.
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thanks daisy, yes, i knew that about nastursium...
currently, i'm going to plant onions and garlic to overwinter, so we'll see what happens.
last season i only had 5' x 5' of bed to grow in, this spring i'll have somewhere around 17' by 5'.
(i look so forward to having the full space w/ my 'home grown' soil in it: 40' x 5')
 

»☼Ö®≡Gö∩RΣÐ☺«

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Willemette Valley Oregon, 7A?  Member since 2005

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