Pat's Raised Bed Kits

03 March 2009 | Posted in Gardening by The Marshalls Family

Sunday 01 March 2009

Managed to get outside for the second day on the trot! I covered part of one raised bed with a cloche to warm it up a bit ready to sow some carrots and salad leaves in a week or two. I have a row of strawberries that have been in for three years now and they crop really well but do we get any fruit? Nope! The blackbirds have a field day and always manage to beat us to them. I'm sure they even ate some of the green ones last year! I think I'm going to take them up and use the space for something else. I put some Lady Crystl early potatoes in the garage ready to chit, they are in a position that gets some good light but where they are protected from any frost.

I have some brassicas growing in another raised bed. They were poor little things when I put them in as they were a few that were left-over from the Spring Cropping Collpats-plot-1ection and were about to be thrown out last October. I rescued them - all yellow leaves and wonky, floppy stems - I didn't expect too much but I had a spare raised bed so thought I'd give them a sporting chance. I gave them a bit of a soak then nipped off all the yellow leaves. On most of them that only left the growing tip but I planted them anyway. To my surprise they all perked up and within a couple of weeks you wouldn't have recognised them. Although they're probably a bit further behind than normal because of the poor start they had they're lovely little plants now. I covered them for the really cold weather with some insect barrier netting and only one plant seems to have been nibbled by slugs. I'm waiting for the warmer weather so I can water some Nemaslug on to the beds - it worked a treat on them last year. I had hardly any slug damage.

I put a cloche over part of another raised bed to warm it up a bit ready to sow some carrots and salad leaves in a week or two. Square foot gardening really is the new revolution.

Monday 23rd March 2009

Here are a couple of images I took at the weekend of my first signs of peas, sown in guttering!



16 March 2009 - Caroline Boyce Wrote:

Planting peas in a drainpipe sounds interesting! Could someone explain more please.

17 March 2009 - Chris Mountford Wrote:

I use an Excel spreadsheet to show my planting process. I have drawn a schematic of the plot using blocks and then plant as required

17 March 2009 - diane Wrote:

Have always wanted raised beds but how do I do them on a sloped lawn?

17 March 2009 - Angie Heys Wrote:

Hi Pat Dont give up on the strawberries. We had the same problem plus dificulty in weeding so we moved the strawberries into a cage and onto mangers 12 foot long and 3 foot high. We used the big blue bins cut in half and attached to struts. Great for harvesting and weeding. Good luck Angie

18 March 2009 - Mike Wrote:

Hi Caroline, Planting in guttering is a very simple process which gives your peas an earlier germination and protects from mice eating the seeds before germination. All you do is cut the guttering to your required row length cover the base to a couple of centimeters depth then sow a double row of peas as per the instructions on the packet cover with more compost water and hang from the roof or along your potting bench in the greenhouse. When they have germinated and your row is ready for them draw out a shallow trench and slide the whole lot in one length from the gutter in to the trench draw in the soil, firm, water and watch them grow. Remember to support them.Then repeat the process each time so you will have a succession of peas through out the year. Good luck.

23 March 2009 - Hilary Powell Wrote:

Hi Pat, We have 2 allotments and use raised bed kits on the poorer parts of the site. Planting peas I've used the guttering way for a few years and wasn't all that impressed with the crop. Last year I used a different method, I trenched out the length I wanted (33') about a foot wide and scattered pea seed along the trench I used about 4 -5 large packs then filled it in and waited for a few weeks. We had a brilliant crop - we're still eating them and I still have about 20 packs in the freezer!! It certainly beats the guttering way. We grew carrots in our raised beds with fantastic results, I've always had a good crop of carrots but last year the roots were completely free of bugs, this year we've put more raised beds in and are planning to grow parsnips in them as well.

23 March 2009 - Pat Hubbard Wrote:

Hi Diane, You don't say how steep your slope is but if you dig out the high side and use the soil you remove to build up the bottom area of the raised bed site you should be able to form a level terrace. It will take a bit if digging but it is probably the simplest way. The alternative would be have extra timber cut to the angle of your site to build up the lower end of the and add extra soil/compost until it is level.

06 April 2009 - Sarah Wrote:

Hi All, We've moved to Shropshire & I find I'm gardening on Sand! Raised beds are a good idea which I'm going to try but can anyone advise me what to do about Pheasants & Squirrels? The Pheasants scratch up every seed & seedling I plant be it reseeding the lawn, or flower & veg seeds! Last year they erased one section of my lawn & flower bed like giant wild hens! The Sqirrells dig up every bulb I plant! & helped themselves to the fruit bushes. I think a fruit cage would be a godsend but the cost of ones that are not just made from fragile netting is prohibiting! so does anyone have any ideas? I thought perhaps one could be made from chicken wire but wouldi it bear the weight of any pheasants landing on top of it? Any ideas would be welcome

08 April 2009 - Pat Hubbard Wrote:

Good Morning Sarah, A fruit cage would be the best solution to keep out these pests and I would think that if chicken wire is strong enough to keep out foxes it should be strong enough to hold any pheasants that land on it and also keep out the squirrels. For any area you are unable to cover in this way I would try 'Grazers' it is a deterrent which must be applied to the foliage of any growing plant where it is taken in systemically. Because it is nutrient based, it can be sprayed safely on ornamental, shrubs, bedding, fruit or vegetable and lawns. It will in fact help repair any damage already caused. It is odourless to the human nose, and safe for pets. Although in most cases 1 treatment is sufficient for Grazers to be effective, in areas of serious risk it may be best to build Grazers up within the plants with a couple applications 3 days apart. Grazers is also very effective on grass and generally 1 initial application is sufficient - apply just after mowing and if possible leave 5-7 days before re mowing. Grazers being trace element based is beneficial to the plant and can be sprayed safely even on young plants at the earliest growth stage.

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