# Fuzzy Math

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by suelandress, Jan 14, 2007.

1. ### suelandressWindy Island AcresSupporter

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Ok. I'm trying to calculate how much space I would need for the following, if I were to do it bed style. I come up with 854 square feet and that just seems too high!
Geniuses needed (ok, someone with more sense than me wil do )

12 each: tomatoes, peppers, ground cherry, and sweet potato, cauliflower
6 each : hot peppers, eggplant, brocolli, watermelon, cantalope, squash,
cukes and brussel sprouts
48 each: turnips, kohlrabi. beets and carrots (to succession plant)
24 each : cabbage

2. ### Steve L.Well-Known Member

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Sue, how many square feet/plant of each type did you use in your calculation?

3. ### suelandressWindy Island AcresSupporter

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30 inches each for the tomatoes, peppers. eggplants. ground cherries, broc, cauliflower. 12 in for turnip, beet& kiohlrabi. 6for carrots. 24 for cabbage. 42 for sweet pot. 6o for brusselspts and a 48x48 sq for each of the vines

4. ### Steve L.Well-Known Member

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Uhmm, Sue, I need more info. Does "30 inches each" mean that a plant goes into the center of a square 30" on a side, or what?

5. ### suelandressWindy Island AcresSupporter

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Ummm Steve, I'm a nincompoop! 30 inches apart in all directions....or yes, in the center of a square that's 30 inches by 30 inches.

6. ### VinnyPActive Member

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Okay, I did some rather lengthy computations, here....I've got a few ways for you to look at it, and I think that you might not like them 'cause they seem to take up more space than what you came-up with.

1) I took a box 30x30 12x12 or whatever for each corresponding plant, which (if centered in the box) gives you 30 inches of breathing room for each plant (each box donates 15 inches). Doing it this way I got 1198.5 sq ft.

2) I looked at each plant giving it a radius of 1/2 it's allowed distance to the next plant..... which again gives you the same spacing, but without taking into account what would be the corners of the previous boxes (which are basically wasted space).. I don't know if you can come up with a way to use ALL of that space, I think it's probably impossible, but theoretically you could put all of these in a 939.9 sq ft space.

3) If you're looking to do raised beds I figured out that: according to my calculations (at least) you technically need 411 row feet. But depending on how wide you make your beds some of your plants can be planted multiple times over (a plant that only requires 6 inches can (theoretically) be planted 6 rows wide in a 3 foot wide bed). If this holds true a 36 inch wide bed would need to be 359 feet long (1,077 sq ft) and a 48 inch wide bed would need to be 333.3 feet long(or 1,333.2 sq ft... you have a lot of wasted space because most of your plants can only be planted once per row foot, even at 48 inches).

Hopefully this is somewhat helpful, again, if you want the exact math I can pm you or post it in the thread. If I overlooked something, I appologize

7. ### Steve L.Well-Known Member

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Ok, then, Mr. Excel says 1345.5 square feet. I gotta go, but I'll check his math a little better tomorrow. This figure is more than I'd use (I think), but maybe not. Like I said, tomorrow.

8. ### suelandressWindy Island AcresSupporter

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OMG! I didn't think I was really planting that much food that it would require so much space! I figured my calculations must be wrong (which they were) but I thought they'd be SMALLER! Ahhhhhh

9. ### Steve L.Well-Known Member

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Well the math works out.

If you squeezed things together a little bit, here's what you end up with. I usually go a lot closer together than this.

I'm presuming that you let the tomatoes either sprawl on the ground or contain them loosely in a cage, but in either case, no pruning.

Plant - "Inches"
carrots 6
turnips 9
kohlrabi 9
beets 9
broccoli 18
peppers 18
cauliflower 18
hot peppers 24
eggplant 24
Brussels sprouts 24
cabbage 24
tomatoes 30
ground cherry 30
sweet potato 42
watermelon 48
cantaloupe 48
squash 48
cukes 48

This comes out to 1009.5 square feet.

Sorry about the formating. The tabs from Excel didn't paste very well.

10. ### suelandressWindy Island AcresSupporter

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Yeah, the tomatoes I have cages for Thanks for all your hard work. I'm definitely gonna have to eliminate stuff. The area DH fenced in is about 30x50, but already has a permanent asparagus bed thats 5x30 in it, as well as 6 mixed bushes of gooseberries and currants. I think he'll commit harry karry (sp) if I ask him to add fencing!

11. ### Steve L.Well-Known Member

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I use sorta raised beds (soil pulled up into a ridge about 24" wide at the base, with the ridge centers about 48" apart), with one to three rows on each ridge.

Here's how I'd space them out in my garden.
carrots 6 X 3
turnips 6 X 6
kohlrabi 6 X 6
beets 6 X 3
broccoli 12 X 16
peppers 16 X 16
cauliflower 16 X 16
hot peppers 16 X 16
eggplant 18 X 16
Brussels sprouts 16 X 16
cabbage 24 X 16
tomatoes 18 X 16
ground cherry 30 X 30
sweet potato 16 X 16
watermelon 48 X 48
cantaloupe 48 X 48
squash 48 X 48
cukes 48 X 48
Total Square Feet 688.3

And there would be another 400 or so square feet to path between ridges.

I use tomato cages for my peppers and Brussels sprouts, and I stake my (indeterminate only!) tomatoes.

12. ### Terry WDuchess of Cynicism

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What about the "square foot gardening" method. Does that give Sue any less dirt to turn over? And not planting everything all at once-- So that the whole crop does not need to be picked, preserved, eaten, etc.. all at the same time

13. ### suelandressWindy Island AcresSupporter

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Steve, have you planted brussel sprouts that close successfully?

terry, I won't be turning over any dirt....making boxes and filling them with bought dirt, compost, vermiculite, etc.

14. ### Steve L.Well-Known Member

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I guess you could call it successful, though I've never been happy with the size of the sprouts (my soil's pretty low in N, and I'm not to good at supplementing it). The plants have been big, though (4' tall).

The plants that I listed as 6X? would be in three 'rows' per ridge, thinned to the ? space. Everything else ('cept for the vines) would be two rows per ridge, so each plant would have one side that faces my path (an 'extra' 12" or so on that side). I always think in terms of feet of row of the crop I want, and figure out how many plants I'll end up with.

I've never grown ground cherries, so can't comment on them.

My tomatoes are trained up 10' stakes (pruned to 3 trunks), and I've been trying to keep the cukes on either the perimeter fence or their own trellis.