I'm new to vegetable growing but are keen to get my children interested
so we have decided to install some raised beds in our garden. We will
have two beds and each bed will be 2.4m x 1.2m and are 30cm high. They
are on the way in transit as I'm writing this...
Now, my questions are:
1) The beds will be placed on a lawn area. What do I do with the lawn?
2) What do I fill the beds with? I was thinking of filling at least half
with good quality topsoiled (delivered to my door) and the rest with veg
compost, compost made myself in my garden and some manure. Not sure if
this is correct?
3) Any suggestions as to what to grow in each bed and what goes nicely
together? We are thinking of growing lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, patty
pan squash, cauliflower, spring onions, raddish, onions/garlic, dwarf
french beans, chard...
4) In terms of crop rotation I have little knowledge, but I assume
whatever we grow in a bed this year, should not be in the same bed the
We will also grow some carrots in a large container, as I know they
don't like many types of soil, and tomatoes and cucumber in
growbags...what about courgettes, where would they be best off?
Thanks for any advice!
Sounds good to me. Should work as is. Some people add vermiculite to
their soil to help retain moisture (not cheap) for raised beds.
Patty Pan Summer Squash takes up allot of space specially the bush
varieties. Many winter vine squashes can be grown on a trellis to save
space. One bush variety squash plant can take up 1 square meter.
I suggest a salad garden concept for the beds: Lettuces, leaf Lettuces,
cherry tomatoes, radishes, celery, peppers, carrots and cucumbers.
In my opinion plant companions is an art. I tend to keep short plants
with short plants, like peppers and celery. Tall with tall, like
cucumbers next to tomatoes on trellises. Some say carrots and celery are
One could switch boxes from year to year for rotation.
I have never used grow bags, so I do not know much about them.
The courgettes, zucchini and squash: In my opinion, one plant is
enough. Those plants need room. They can smother smaller plants if
planted too close.
Enjoy Life... Dan
This is what I do, and have been 99% weed-free. Wet the area thoroughly.
Lay down a couple of layers of paper (any paper will do; I use old phone
books and newspapers), or a single layer of cardboard. Wet that really well
too. Sprinkle a little cow poo over it to get the earthworms excited. Then
fill it with your dirt and organic stuff. The grass will die and rot under
the paper and make the earth richer. You may also want to keep a layer of
paper AROUND the beds, covered with decorative mulch, just to avoid grass
creeping back in, but I admit I don't do this and rarely have any problems
You don't really have to spend a lot on dirt. If you are doing transplants,
you can fill the beds with rough stuff like clippings and dead leaves (it
could help to mow them to chop them up a little first), and you'll do fine
just setting the plants in there, maybe with a handful of dirt or compost in
with them. Even if you want to plant small seeds, you can dig a little
trough in the rough stuff and put some commercial dirt or compost in the
trough to plant a row with small seeds. In a few years of refilling with
rough stuff you'll have some good, crumbly dirt and you'll only have to top
it with dead leaves and clippings every year. (It took me about a year to
see a few inches of real soil below the mulch.) I placed ads on Craigslist
asking people for their bagged dead leaves and got TONS of them!
You can find lists of companion planting suggestions online. I cram my
plants in there pretty good. I space them at least half as far as the seed
packets say to space them. With raised beds you really can get a lot in
there. I'd suggest planting different things is each bed...herbs under
tomatoes, onions among lettuce, beans and corn together with a pumpkin or
two among them... It confuses the critters!
Right. Also, when you plan to have a high feeder growing next year, be sure
to plant a legume the previous year. So if you know where you want to plant
corn next year, grow beans there this year. Look up crop rotations online
to find some good info on cycling the types of vegetables you grow.
cover the lawn with a good cover of newspaper overlapped, see our
presentations for some ideas.
best to plant whatever is in season.
> so we have decided to install some raised beds in our garden. We will
> have two beds and each bed will be 2.4m x 1.2m and are 30cm high. They
> are on the way in transit as I'm writing this...
> with good quality topsoiled (delivered to my door) and the rest with veg
> compost, compost made myself in my garden and some manure. Not sure if
> this is correct?
> together? We are thinking of growing lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, patty
> pan squash, cauliflower, spring onions, raddish, onions/garlic, dwarf
> french beans, chard...
> whatever we grow in a bed this year, should not be in the same bed the
> don't like many types of soil, and tomatoes and cucumber in
> growbags...what about courgettes, where would they be best off?
I bought some raised beds too from Harrod Horticulture and their guy
there (Martin I think his name was) was very helpful and gave me great
tips on soil types, planting, rotating etc depending on what veggies you
want to grow...and some common pest problems...deffo worth dropping him
an email...you can find his contact details on the Harrod Horticultural
I love my raised garden, I only wish I did it many years ago..my original
garden was about 12 X 20 ft. I made 4 raised beds 4ft wide X 1 foot hi, X 10
feet long....Last year..the 4th in my raised beds I had the finest crop I
here is what I did for cukes..I covered the cuke section with a nylon mesh,
fine so the water could get through...had the finest cucumbers ever, even
with the cucumber beetles around.
Last fall I elected to use a half section for Rhubarb,,this will be a
permanent thing, the other side will have herbs and such..
1 section had sweet red peppers, best I ever ate, they were so good it was
difficult getting them into pots to cook them....sugar peas,,,soooo sweet
and succulent don't forget them a small row will yield much..I ate them off
in the afternoon , the next day they were back...and I had to eat
more...again soo delicious right off the vine...garlic..plant in the fall
and watch it grow all winter...morning glory's up a side fence a beautiful
sight in the AM...Throw a sunflower here and there, they grow hi and wont
hurt the veggies....romaine lettuce, compact and great for salads...good
luck I am sure you will know next year what to do..
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