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Filling raised beds for veg growing


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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gardens like that were demonstrated on an NGO's site at Bloom - last year? It also showed how, in African heat, you could compost veg waste in the same bed, to maintain fertility and aid water-retention.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the one!
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely, Sue. Raised beds were virtually unheard of, as far as I know, until the disabled message began to take off and, as you say, someone devised the idea of two foot high beds for wheelchair users.

It looks as though our friend has built his three out of ordinary timber that won't last very long and I'm still not convinced about the idea at all. If he'd dug or rotovated a patch in, say, October and covered it with black plastic sheeting, by March, when most veg goes in, he'd have had an ideal start - but each to their own, I suppose.

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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for comments and suggestions folks - plenty of food for thought!

Few answers:
Orientation: The wall faces directly south (photo is taken from South/East). I'm not sure what the climbing plant is - I only moved in a few months ago.

I take the point about the small plot and lots of veg - I'm sure I won't have enough space for worthwhile quantities of everything but given its my first year I'd like to experiment a bit. All veg listed are ones we eat a lot of - I'd prefer to have a smaller quantity of a widde selection than be self sufficient in carrots and onions say. Saying this - I do think your right, I'm sure next year I'll narrow down to a smaller range. I might leave out the squash based on what your saying.

Why raised beds/not a larger plot?
I can only give over a small patch of the garden to growing veg, most of the garden is laid out in lawn and is for the little guy (and us) to play in. I figure raised beds would be easier to look after and prefer the look aesthetically.

My plan for the 3 beds is:
Bed 1 - Peas/Beans
Bed 2 - Beetroot/Carrots/Parsnips
Bed 3 - Broccoli/Onions (+maybe a squash to see what happens)]

Salad planted in gaps/borders

Where feasible I'll plant in stages to extend harvesting.

Comments/Suggestions welcome!
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A man with a plan. Looks like you have succession and intercropping sorted. Forget the squash in the beds. In a border maybe out of the way. Put quick growing veg between the broccoli, fast growers v slow grower. Have a look at seed spacings for your chosen veg to maximise your bed spaces.
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Tagwerx - might stick a few squash plants outside the bed so.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, Corkgardener. You've clearly thought things through as to what you want/like. There are very few absolutes in gardening and the choice is always the owner's.

I'm guessing the previous occupant planted whatever it is against the wall to disguise it but, bearing in mind the positioning of your beds, you may like to clear the wall completely, possibly paint it white to reflect the sunlight, and then plant something useful to grow up it? Suitably prepared, it could accommodate a reasonable row of beans but wouldn't deprive the youngster of any play space.

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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats an interesting idea Blowin. I'll see what it is this summer but I may do something like you're suggesting.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see you are logged on here most of the day cork gardener. Have you planted out those squashes yet or are you researching?
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tagwerx

nothing planted! I have filled up 2 of the beds with manure though. When I get a dry day I'm going to dig it in properly. Decided I'm going to plant a few squashes behind the beds, rather than in them.

I saw you're ill from another thread - hope you make a swift recovery!
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with waiting for a dry day!
Thanks for the sentiments.
Make sure you overfill as it will sink a bit.
Have you a greenhouse to get an early start?

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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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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More for Year 2 but Tagwex has touched on an idea I had after the last post.

I mentioned the wall and its foliage but it then occurred to me that, being south facing, and IF the wall's owner doesn't object, and IF you don't think the three raised beds are worth the effort, and IF youngster isn't likely to wreck it with a football, that wall's going to make an ideal starting point for a greenhouse so that you can concentrate on tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, runner beans and small salad crops - maybe even a grape vine?

Picking up on the 'when to apply manure' topic, I was blessed last year with a large (tractor) trailer load of fresh farmyard and didn't quite know what to do with it all. My rows of Gladiator parsnips (planted ready spaced) had several failure gaps in them, plus a healthy crop of weeds that I didn't want to risk pulling out for fear of disturbing the parsnips. Once the parsnips were well established and about 6 inches tall, I put a 3-4 inch compacted layer of the manure everywhere there were no parsnips and crossed my fingers that it wouldn't make the roots divide. That level of manure is a good weed suppressant - that was my reason for doing it - and I have to say it had no detrimental effect whatsoever on the crop. In fact I've never had such parsnips and, because of the depth they've gone to, all bar one have broken off down below as I've lifted them. One parsnip is regularly providing enough for four meals for the two of us.

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As practical as ever Blowin. I would have thought of that too eventually!! Must clean out that greenhouse of mine today. All last summers plants are in their still. Covered in mildew.
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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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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting idea Blowin.

I am considering possible planting a row of raspberry canes on that patch in the autumn. The strip of grass behind the beds is just over 1m wide and there is a 1/2 m bed (with concrete barrier) between this and the wall. The strip is about 5m long. If I go ahead with this I was thinking of digging out the raspberry bed, putting in vertical paving slabs (I have loads of these lying idle in the garden) between the raised bed and the raspberry canes as a root barrier. I'd love to get some raspberries from the garden. My main concern would be containing the spread.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry to much about them spreading. I doubt if they would compete with concrete. I used to keep mine in check with the lawnmower - their bed was surrounded by grass. You will have to compete with the birds for a crop, though. Think about how you can conveniently net them.
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