Veggie Growers????...............

Thread starter #1

Smiffy

Grand Slam Winner
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
22,850
Location
Gods waiting room.....
Looking for a little advice if I may?
Just put together my first raised bed, with the hope of becoming a little more "self sufficient" from next year.
Not planning anything extravagant, just maybe onions, tomatoes and runner/broad beans to give me a gentle introduction and to see how I get on initially.
I have some soil and manure being delivered next week, and plan to fill the bed and give it a decent time to settle before next Spring.
I'll start sowing some seeds next March/April indoors as I don't have a greenhouse.
Should I line the base with some decent cardboard and maybe some grass cuttings before the "mix" goes in???
I read conflicting reports regarding cardboard, but general consensus I think is it's a good thing, especially this far in advance of veg actually going in.
And advice would be welcome.
Size of the bed is 12" deep and it's about 7'6" x 3'6".
Thanks
Rob

raised bed.jpg
 

PhilTheFragger

Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
13,063
Location
Aylesbury Bucks
My carer who has several raised beds (which I built) says don’t use grass clippings as they promote weeds.

Cardboard on the base only if you have bindweed.

She says Chuck in the muck and mud, mix it well, then cover it with cardboard as this will regulate the amount of rain seeping through and stop the goodness in the muck leeching away during heavy rain and will stop weed seeds settling.

Remove cardboard after planting,
Jobs a goodun
 

Lord Tyrion

Money List Winner
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
18,843
Location
Northumberland
If it is thin cardboard it will disintegrate over time, particularly winter. My wife has an allotment and uses spare sheets of cardboard each autumn/ winter to cover areas she wants to remain neutral. Cardboard covered by a bit of soil to prevent it blowing away. As long as your aren't using thick, reinforced cardboard put it down and forget about it.
 
Thread starter #5

Smiffy

Grand Slam Winner
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
22,850
Location
Gods waiting room.....
If it is thin cardboard it will disintegrate over time, particularly winter. My wife has an allotment and uses spare sheets of cardboard each autumn/ winter to cover areas she wants to remain neutral. Cardboard covered by a bit of soil to prevent it blowing away. As long as your aren't using thick, reinforced cardboard put it down and forget about it.
That's what I was thinking.
It'll hopefully compost by the time I get around to planting....
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
10,779
Looking for a little advice if I may?
Not planning anything extravagant, just maybe onions, tomatoes and runner/broad beans to give me a gentle introduction and to see how I get on initially.
I would suggest tomatoes would be better in a growbag. French/dwarf beans instead of runners (no frame required that might blow over) and Mange-tout/sugar snap peas. And succession sown lettuce of course. 'Cut & come again' lettuce can save space (eg Salad Bowl). There might be room for a few first-early potatoes.
Get the soil/compost above the height of the lower boards but not too deep.
I suggest you plant/sow across the bed rather than lengthwise.
 

williamalex1

Money List Winner
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
11,675
Location
uddingston
Looking for a little advice if I may?
Just put together my first raised bed, with the hope of becoming a little more "self sufficient" from next year.
Not planning anything extravagant, just maybe onions, tomatoes and runner/broad beans to give me a gentle introduction and to see how I get on initially.
I have some soil and manure being delivered next week, and plan to fill the bed and give it a decent time to settle before next Spring.
I'll start sowing some seeds next March/April indoors as I don't have a greenhouse.
Should I line the base with some decent cardboard and maybe some grass cuttings before the "mix" goes in???
I read conflicting reports regarding cardboard, but general consensus I think is it's a good thing, especially this far in advance of veg actually going in.
And advice would be welcome.
Size of the bed is 12" deep and it's about 7'6" x 3'6".
Thanks
Rob

View attachment 38436
Hi Rob , Great minds Eh :D
As an experiment I tried this a couple of months ago on a much smaller scale, using just a 2'x6'' window box.
I used some old golf balls and some gravel chips as a base, covered with grow bag compost,
I planted 3 seedlings, 1 Strawberry 1 Tomato and 1 Pepper .
Strawberries slowly appeared after a few weeks and were very nice but they started to spread and take over the box, so had to cut them right back.
Next came the Tomatoes, green then very slowly turned red, small but tasty .
Peppers are almost ready to pick. I'll post pictures tomorrow.
I hope to try again a month or so earlier next year, on a slightly larger scale but not enough to be self sufficient.
The wife is a veggie, so just to keep her happy, I'll try growing some small leaf plants like Wild Rocket, Spinach , Broccoli, if I only Thyme :ROFLMAO:
After all this is Scotland, hopefully you'll have better luck, weather and results.(y)
 

ColchesterFC

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
5,203
I wouldn't grow onions. They take up a relatively large amount of space for the return especially with onions being so cheap in the shops. Peas are a good option as they taste great opening the pods and eating them raw straight off the plant. Tomatoes are also so much better when they're home grown. It also depends if you are looking for same year crops or ones that you plant one year to harvest the next. Purple sprouting broccoli is a good longer term crop and I've also grown sprouts which are similar in terms of growing time. In the past I've grown my own corn on the cob, but again like onions take up quite a lot of space for the return, although they do taste better than shop bought. I also wouldn't grow potatoes in the bed you've pictured. My experience is that if you can get a container around half the height of a water butt with around one third of the circumference cut out you should use that for potatoes. Plant them in the bottom of the container with just a shallow covering of soil/compost and then every time the plants break through the surface cover them with soil/compost. Keep doing that until you reach the top of your container and you'll have potatoes all the way from bottom to top.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
10,779
An extra thought - carrots. However it may be worth mixing a quantity of sand with the compost in the area where you sow the seed. Bu it's not essential.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
10,779
I don't like Mange-Tout or sugar snap peas, or French beans come to that.
But I love runners. Mrs likes broad beans hence my selection.
Broad beans will need supporting. They grow up to 3'. Runners will certainly need a frame of some sort. I grow them in a large wooden box (18" x 18" x 15") and use a cheap obelisk. I found it withstands the wind better than 6' canes.

PS re potatoes post #6 - I should have said keep adding soil/compost as the green tops show through.
 

jim8flog

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
10,189
Location
Yeovil
Ditto to Rulefan's comments about tomatoes. Best in grow bag or pot as the fee can be concentrated on one plant without over fertilising other crops. The other thing to consider with tomatoes is blight if they get it and are growing in a bag or pot is easy to discard the whole lot.

Similarly potatoes can be grown in bags, vertical mounted rather than horizontally and it is easy to start with a part filled bag and top up as it grows with the same comment about blight.
 

Doon frae Troon

Ryder Cup Winner
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
17,508
Location
S W Scotland
Sow your broad beans in big pots with canes and place them between the raised bed and fence alternate with sweet peas if you want a show.
You will soon find out that you need a bigger planter.(y)
Cut and come again salad lettuce is dead easy and very handy to grow in pots, don't over seed. Keep sowing new pots every month in the summer.
Plant some marigolds and or nasturtiums nearby [or in] the planter, the scent is handy for keeping beasties away. Nasturtiums growing on the overhang of the planter is a good plan.[You can eat the flowers, nice mustardy taste]
 
Last edited:

mikevet

Assistant Pro
Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Messages
122
Location
East Sussex
Runner beans need a lot of room and tend to overshadow anything close. Why not have a wigwam or two at the back of flower beds as a feature, and to save space in your raised veg bed?
 
Top