Hi, I'm 68 years old and as a teen ager sold veggies off a 3 acre
plot. Kept a large garden for several years but gave up a few years
ago and want to get into a raised garden situation. I have laid up
loose cement block, two tiers high 17 blocks long and three blocks
wide. A heavy layer of paper over the bottom, 8 inches of stone free
sandy loam, 3 inches of rotted horse manure, covered with loam, filled
to top with horse manure and tomorrow I am going to cover it heaped up
with about 4 more inches of loam. I am going to add 50 lbs of
pulverized limestone to the top layer of loam. Its late here in the
season, upstate NY so am going to plant string beans and set out a few
strawberry cuttings. Is there anything else I should do to this now
besides water it? Any suggestions on what I can plant this late? I
plan on a few inches of leaves this fall. Comments would be
On Tue, 15 Jul 2003 14:04:44 -0400, Allan Matthews
I bet you are going to just LOVE your raised beds! I would
never go back now...never.
(We live in northern PA, with a climate most likely fairly
similar to yours - we're in the mountains.)
Lettuce and Swiss chard are quite frost-resistant and would
be OK to plant now. I've had lettuce survive just fine in
the snow and in temperatures down to 16 F. I've had Swiss
chard survive fine down to 12 F. Kale can survive all
winter, I'm told. I'm planting some in about two weeks.
You would still have time for bush beans - I just planted
some, they are supposed to be mature in 47 days. Well -
even if it takes 60 days: there's still time here, and I'd
think in most of upstate NY there would be time for them
I think you could also plant (early) beets too, and various
Asian greens (if you eat these), bok choy for one. You'd
probably need to order the Asian greens online and in that
case, you'd better do it quickly.
If you're interested in any Asian veggies, I recommend:
You might want to take a look at a wonderful book called
'The Four Season Harvest' by Eliot Coleman: it's
specifically about extending the seasons and having fresh
veggies all or most of the year.
Where are you in upstate NY? I'm asking because if you're in the far north,
you could probably start some cool season crops like leaf lettuce, spinach,
radishes, arugula, snow peas, etc.
I was born in Plattsburgh, NY and lived in West Chazy in my childhood, moved
to Albany/Saratoga area in college and am now living in Raleigh, NC for the
past 8 years. Down here we have 3 seasons. Early Spring (Feb-Apr) for cool
crops, Summer (Apr-Oct) for warm season crops, and Fall (Sept-Dec) for cool
To grow the cool season crops, you need warm days and cool nights to do
best. It sounds like you've got some good soil combinations in your
layering process. I started my garden very late down here this year because
I own a residential flower planting service and my customers get first dibs
on my time. I'm just getting several flowers on my cucumbers and pole
beans. Got lots of yellow pear, grape, better boy, and celebrity tomatoes
that are green. They should ripen any day now. I've got some jalapeno and
bell peppers that are ready now. In 3 weeks we will be driving up to
Plattsburgh for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary party. Not looking
forward to the drive - roughly 15 hours.
Good luck on your new garden. Hope it works out well.
Zone 7b - North Carolina
As Henriette says, don't put strawberries where you put lime (make a
separate row and bury them under woodchips - that will make them
At this point you can plant any greens which have a short season, in
fact you can plant things like arugula all the way to october. I would
suggest chard, beets, lettuce, arugula, tatsoi, various chicories,
pakchoi, spinach, kale. You can also consider radishes or short season
carrots. In october you could also plant hardneck garlic or multiplier
onions for next year. No reason you shouldn't have plenty of veggies
starting in september and stretching into december ( I cover my beds
with tunnels to stretch the season into early january).
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