Saturday, 3 August 2013

Sorting out the raised beds

Welcome to my new followers Tollyterrier and Janina, glad you could join me.

After being inundated with lettuce, an awful lot of which went to seed, I fed it to the compost bin. Not a waste really as it will help to give us some nice compost for next year.

The mange tout peas died a death in the heatwave and went horrible, so they, along with all the broad bean plants were pulled out of raised bed 4. I decided to remove just under half of the bone dry soil/compost - didn't have any more buckets to take the rest.
A whole bag of John Innes No. 3 was added. I am hoping this won't dry out so much. It was dug deeply into the old soil and then the whole thing given 2 buckets of water and left to drain. After doing so, I checked again and yep, you guessed it, after a couple of inches, it was bone dry, so the soil was turned again and more water given. This time it was wet all the way down.
Finally, the other half of the dry soil and another bag of John Innes was added, dug in deeply and more water chucked on. Oh, forgot to mention that each layer also had a small handful of blood, fish and bone dug in.

I left it to settle overnight, patted it down lightly and sowed one line of a type of lettuce called Moroccan Cress. Every 4 or 5 days I am going to sow another line of different lettuce until the bed is done. That way, I hope to keep in lettuce for many weeks without being overwhelmed. It was then covered with fleece to stop the birds looking for worms.

Raised bed 2 also had some dying growth removed and one row of Boltardy Beetroot was sown. I'm hoping to sow every few days to fill the bed back up. I know beetroot takes a long time but the packet does say sow until July.

Bed 3 also had some dead growth removed and I plan to rake it finely and sow some carrots. Might well be getting late but I'm going to risk it anyway.

I think I must look out for some more hardy lettuce type things or stir fry greens to sow for later in the year.

9 comments:

  1. Do you grow any rainbow swiss chard; one of the backbones of my green garden.

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    1. No, did try it but neither of us liked it. Also don't grow cabbage family as there is only me that eats them! With having only a reasonably small area to grow in, I just grow the things we like.

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  2. My goodness, you have been busy!
    I`ve dug over some open ground today, but do have to pace my efforts due to arthritis playing up. My peas did well this year. I have over 1 kg in the freezer now. Runner beans are a failure due to too many black fly destroying the flowers.
    Curley kale is prolific, the chard is doing ok, but is not much to write home about, and I shall soon dig up some potatoes. I have red cabages growing, but shall not start harvesting until October time.
    Keep up your good work, you are doing marvellously!

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    1. I too pace my work due to my back. I only grow a few broad beans for us and no greens as I am the only one that eats them. Runner beans haven't set much due to the heat but am hoping for better with the climbing French beans. Toms so far are doing well. My cucumber is quite tall, with 2 babies on it at the moment. No room for potatoes but did have 3 tubs, all of which have now been eaten. As I emptied out a tub of potatoes, they were replaced with peas (for shoots), beetroot and carrot. Never know, might just get a crop!

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  3. You have been a busy bee and best to grow things you all like.we have been lucky our runner beans have been fab picked 6lb already, broad beans have been slower and peas slower again but courgettes are romping away we must have had 9lb,tomatoes just need to ripen and cucumber doing well.What about swede,parsnips and onions?

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    1. I am only growing one runner bean and after the recent rain, it has decided to put out some baby beans. Tomatoes seem good this year so far, lettuce has been great and beetroot far better than last year. Used to grow swede, parsnip and onions when I had more garden but just don't have the room now. My veg raised beds are 1 metre square - 3 of them, and the one on legs is smaller. We needed to downsize due to my back and DB's knees!

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  4. That's the problem with raised beds this year- last year they never had a chance to dry out at all!

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    1. That is so true - hopefully, the addition of John Inne's will help. First row of lettuce is popping its seedlings through after just a few days.

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