Sunday on the Homefront: The Garden

Hey Everyone!

So I’ve been promising to share my garden plans with you guys and I keep forgetting. So here, I’m finally doing it! I also need to ask some advice from those of you with experience. I plan on saving seeds from this garden, so I want to prevent cross-pollination wherever possible. Here are my questions:

1) Can the nightshade family cross? (tomatoes x peppers? I know tomatoes can cross and peppers can cross, but can they cross with each other?)

2) Can you tell if squash/melons have crossed BEFORE you pick the fruit? (I seem to remember seeing plants cross in my childhood, but I can’t remember if it was the whole plant or just one fruit)

3) How long should I let corn grow before I plant peas/beans in with it?

The Main Garden:

The main garden is a work of simplicity and economy. I played with the idea of raised beds, but I do not have the time or money to do that the first year. I have plenty of extra room as well, so I will probably place a compost pile in the center (or one side) of each garden strip in the fall. This is not the final placing of all the plants. I’m still trying to figure that out (to avoid cross pollination and complicated rotations).

The garden is 600sqft with each strip being 120sqft. There is the possibility of removing one, I have plenty of extra room to do that. Each bed is 4ft wide by 30ft long with a 2ft walking pathing in between the beds. This garden contains all of our food vegetables, it has no soft fruits, herbs, flowers. That may change in future planning, but for the moment, those things are not included.


That’s the initial drawing so you can get an idea. Each square on the grid equals 1sqft. So it’s to scale. I’ll take suggestions.

The Flower Garden:

This will most likely not happen the first year unless I find some free bricks. I plan on building this garden one ring at a time. It’s more of an art project, but it would be a gorgeous flower garden with the possibility of herbs and some veggies making their way into it. I definitely view it as a place to relax and unwind instead of a source of food.


The main circle is composed of 4ft wide beds, 2ft wide walking paths and about 530sqft of growing space. The triangles are roughly 10ft wide and 10ft tall with 2ft walking paths. I’m not sure of their square footage, but it’s obsolete anyway. This is already a much bigger flower garden than I could probably fill. I’m playing with the idea of removing the outer ring (although it completes the design), but I’m not sure yet. There is also the possibility of ringing the entire design with fruit trees and bee boxes. But, like I said, it’s becoming a giant art project, I need to keep in mind that it needs to be functional as well. I may keep the inner two circles as herbs/flowers, the outer ring as veggies, and the triangles as extra whatever I happen to have.

This flower garden will be a free garden. I plan on building it from stone/bricks that are free and found. If it does actually come into existence, it will be an extremely low investment. I’ll be scouring roadsides and craigslist for bricks for quite a while.

Well, those are my plans for the garden. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Keep in mind that the main garden will happen fast and MUST be for food production. It cannot be an all consuming project either, I have to do other things as well. Thanks for your help!

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Ben, what a beautiful design! When I made my concentric circles garden, I stuck a big wooden stake in the middle of it, tied a heavy string to the stake and measured it out to the outline of the bed and attached it to a pointed stake. I dragged that stake into the beds, creating a perfect circle around the center point. I adjusted the length of the string accordingly for the outer beds and filled in the furrows with lime powder. It is an easy way to mark out your design on the ground and achieve those concentric circles. I have never tired of the design and makes for a rewarding journey around the garden. Best of luck on your new adventure!

    1. Thank you! I actually saw that method used once! I cant wait to try it myself! Thanks for the help! I hope this design comes to fruition, it would be beautiful!

  2. I just picked up some yummy veggies from a local family farm. Next time i talk to them ill tell them to stop by your page. šŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! I would appreciate that!

  3. Great ideas. I am trying a circular, labyrinth style garden but have also got to be practical about where things will grow and sunlight! Can’t be a perfect circle either and have two old chestnut trees in it!

    1. Agreed. I think I’m going to build mine so it has the shortest plants in the center and they get taller as they go outwards, that way I won’t have to worry too much about shading.
      This whole designing a garden this is a lot more complicated than I remember.

      1. I need to plan for shading trying to use direction of sun but also in summer some plants could protect others by shading. Yes getting even more complicated.

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