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VEGETABLE GROWING IN RAISED BEDS

The comments made concerning the following vegetables are a few general remarks made from the perspective of planting the vegetables in raised beds. There is far more general comments that could be made about each individual vegetable, that’s not mentioned here.

Asparagus
Asparagus is perennial and may be productive for up to 20 years. Its light, fern-like foliage grows over 90cm (3ft) tall, with a spread of about 45cm (18″). Choose an open site, avoiding exposed situations and frost pockets. Good drainage is essential. Growing asparagus in raised beds improves drainage. Grow them about 38cm (15″) apart, either in single or double rows, with rows spaced 30cm (12″) apart.

Courgettes
Bush types can have a spread of up to 90cm (36″) whilst trailing types 1.2m-2m (4ft.- 6ft). In cool areas the young plants will need protecting with cloches or floating mulches.

Peas and Mangetout
Select a low growing variety as some will grow to over 2m (6ft) tall. The flowers and pods cannot withstand frost. Grow peas in an open site, in reasonably well-drained soil; they will not tolerate cold, wet soil, or drought. Work plenty of well-rotted compost or manure into the soil before planting.

Swiss Chard
Soil needs to be moisture retentive and fertile, containing plenty of organic material.

French Beans
Ideal for raised beds as they require good drainage to prevent root rot. Work plenty of well-rotted compost or manure into the soil before planting.

Broad Beans
Select a low growing variety as some can grow to over 1.5m (5ft). Prefer a well-drained soil.

Carrots
Their tap roots can grow up to 20cm (8″) in length which makes a 30cm (12″) high raised bed is required. Grow in an open site on light and fertile soil. Deep-rooted types require reasonably deep, stone-free soil. Work plenty of organic matter into the soil before sowing. The fertile, loose soil of established raised beds is particularly suitable for growing carrots. Rake the soil into a fine tilth before sowing.

Strawberries
They are low growing which makes harvesting them a back bending exercise. Raised beds can help to alleviate some of the back strain when it comes to harvest time. Sunny, warm sites give the best flavoured fruit. Sandy soils produce the earliest crops, loams and well-drained clays the heaviest and most finely flavoured; chalky soils do not produce good crops. Good drainage is vital to avoid soil-borne diseases. Choose a warm, sheltered position for the earliest crops, sunny, open ground for the main crop, and a less sunny site for the late-ripening fruits. Well draining raised beds are ideal where the natural growing medium is a wet site.

Sprouting Broccoli
Ideal for raised beds as they don’t thrive in shallow sandy soils.

Lettuce
Require moisture retentive soil.

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