Layout of Raised Beds

Hello All!
I have an old basketball/tennis court made of macadam (asphalt). The court is about 40' (East/West) by 100' (North/South). It's days as a baskeball court are over.
I am planning on breaking up some of the macadam and making several raised beds. I'll probably be doing this over the course of a few years.
My question is this, what direction should I lay out the long side of the beds, E-W or N-S? The area is bordered on two sides by trees and lawn on the other two sides. The trees are far enough away to that their shade isn't a consideration, but work wll as a windbreak.
I have had great success with this year with tomatoes, peppers and herbs. I'll being moving these to the new beds and probably addtion some others, lettuce, beans, cukes, etc. I'll probably have a bed as a cutting garden also.
I am in southern New Jersey, zone 6, borderline 7.
Thanks for your advice,
Tim
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If there is any slope, crosswise to the slope.
Failing that, let's see, the main thing which springs to my mind is putting the tall plants at the north side and the short ones south of them, so they don't get shaded. That might argue for E-W beds. But you have a lot of space.
40 feet by 100 feet strikes me as a big area to lay out in a strictly rectangular way. But I guess I've always been the type to think in terms of curved paths, aesthetically pleasing asymmetries, one part raised a bit higher than the next, etc. I guess what I'm saying is that if you've dealt with the obvious things, like slope if any and what would shade what, I'm not thinking of a lot of considerations other than aesthetics in terms of making the decision. There are some rules to that (for example, rectangular arrangements and lined-up sight lines for drama, or curves and little niches for intimacy and variety), but it depends a lot on the site and how you see it looking.
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The usual thing is to run them NS, this way the plants all get equal sun on each side. If you run them EW the north side of the row gets less sun in the northern hemisphere and the south side less in the southern. This becomes more of a consideration in winter and the further from the equator that you are.
As well as sunshine also consider drainage. If your soil is not well draining and the slope is slight it might be worth going some other orientation away from cardinal points if it puts the rows down slope and improves the drainage. I am assuming this court was in fact level so this may be important. The soil underneath could be natural, building rubble, imported fill or any damn thing so wait until you see it and can dig some test holes before deciding on this issue and others.
David
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g'day tim,
generally north/south so the beds get even sun over the passage of the day.
we have pic's and story on how we do our raised beds on our site, you are welcome to have a look.
wrote: snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len & bev
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.lensgarden.com.au /
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