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Filling raised beds for veg growing


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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find bok choi a useful crop to plant after July. It's great in stir fries or can be steamed and lasts well into winter, in my experience (mine is still cropping now).
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that a first cousin once removed of pak choi?
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That might depend on which part of China you come from.
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks folks valuable advice
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

step 2 complete - have part filled beds with 2 cubic ms of lovely looking topsoil from enrich.ie

I'm getting well rotted horse manure from a friend. I'll end up with about 2/3 topsoil and 1/3 manure in each bed - does that ratio seem reasonable?

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done that man!

I don't know what the others think, but I wouldn't put manure on all the beds.

Peas and beans are hungry and will love the rich soil. But carrots and most other root crops prefer a soil that was manured LAST year.

I put donkey poo on two of the three beds and just a sprinkle of pelleted chicken poo on the root crop bed.

Must have been OK. I had my best year ever in most things!

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How come you had the best year ever and the rest of us had the worst ever as previously discussed? Easily my worst year. 5" of rain in May washed all the nutrients down the hill and then the dreaded blight in September.
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's good to know Sue.

If I put manure on 2 beds and not on the root bed, I would have about a 1/1 ratio of soil to manure on the other 2 (growing peas,beans, broccoli, squash and lettuce) - would that ratio sound OK for those veg?
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could always save some of the manure for the root bed AFTER harvest. It should be fine in a corner with a cover over it to stop nutrients leaching out. Or you could start a rhubarb bed!

Tagwex - OK, if it makes you any happier. The first showings of carrots, beetroot and all of the few seeds I had of Chinese cabbage were a complete disaster. NOTHING germinated - too cold! As we were quite late filling the beds, I bought a lot of seedlings this year and tried some plants I normally don't bother with - leeks, summer broccoli and cauliflower - hopeless. The leeks bolted, we had one decent cauli and we lived on broccoli for a week as it all came at once. There, happy now?

All the usual plants were great, peas, beans, taters (salad) etc.

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's more like it, abject failure last year just like the rest of us!!!!
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a relatively small plot/growing area would you not be better concentrating on veg that take up little room. Squash and broccoli take up a relatively large space compared to others for what you get out of them. You haven't mentioned succession. Any thoughts?
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This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Corkgardener, I've only just caught up with your thread. Apologies!

From your earlier list of seeds you've bought, I think Tagwex has hinted at a good point. One of the things everyone on this forum tries to do is to help newbies avoid needless disappointment and, with only the three raised beds, I imagine you'll only have enough space for possibly one seed out of each packet? But, on the other hand, why raised beds? Your photo suggests you've got quite a bit of space. The grass looks quite lush which may mean the soil's fairly good, so why not simply dig a patch in the normal way? If nothing else, cutting the grass between the beds is going to be a fiddly operation.

Which way is south? I'm rather concerned by the close proximity of that high block wall and the vegetation growing up it. I can see the sun shining on the wall from the left but don't know what time of day the pic was taken. Plus, if you start to treat your beds to lots of nutritional goodies, those climbers will soon come looking for them.

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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, Blowin.
One way of maximising the use of small plots is intercropping. I grew early lettuce in my courgette bed, leaving a space for the young courgette plants to go in later. Similar around my runner beans. I intrecropped shallots with broccoli, too and that was successful.
American Indians had a useful take on this: they would plant maybe four or five Maize, using the growing maize to support climbing beans and at ground level they ensured the soil was shaded and the weeds were suppressed by growing squash. All very efficient!
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good guy wrote:
American Indians had a useful take on this: they would plant maybe four or five Maize, using the growing maize to support climbing beans and at ground level they ensured the soil was shaded and the weeds were suppressed by growing squash. All very efficient!


Have you been talking to Geranimojess?

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We solved the 'mowing between the beds' thing by using landscape fabric and stone. Keeps your feet dry too, as that was one of the problems we had with the old lay out. Picking fresh veg for Sunday dinner is so much nicer if you don't have to change into wellies and squish around in bog, to do it!

I know what you are saying, Blowin, but unless you are planning to grow ALL your veg, ie spuds and squash which take loads of space, you would be amazed at how much you can get from a small, raised plot.

Some years back a friend of ours had a bad accident that prevented her from bending (she fell through the loft hatch and is lucky to be walking at all!). She wanted to grow her own veg, so we built her a waist-high raised bed in a sort of squared G shape. She now buys her potatoes but is self sufficient in everything else!

Everything is sown in small blocks and as GG suggested she sows lettuce and other salad crops between bigger plants. The site is in FULL sun and is well fed. The quantity and quality of the produce is fantastic.

'Send a Cow' have set up similar plots in Africa. They are called 'Keyhole Gardens'. They are very productive. Very Happy

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