Advice on raised beds for a newbie

  • 25 Replies
  • 6426 Views
*

noshed

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: East London
  • 4731
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2007, 15:16 »
I've just re-read The No Work Garden by Bob Flowerdew. He doesn't advise using sides to your beds because they harbour slugs etc. He just runs trenches around. I suppose it depends a bit on your soil. I must admit I haven't bothered - but mine are just fixed beds, not very raised.
It's worth getting the book out of the library though, some good advice, even though the plait is a bit naff in a grown man.
Self-sufficient in rasberries and bindweed. Slug pellets can be handy.

*

milkman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Hampshire
  • 1260
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 16:48 »
Bob (and his plait) is my inspiration for gardening organically in perfect harmony with nature.  My beds too are fixed rather than raised, as a result I'm effortlessly able to keep my two 5 rod plots under immaculate control...well some of the time anyway (see my personal picture gallery thingy).  I just used any old bits of wood to edge them, mainly so I can tell what is path and what is bed when the blackbirds have been playing with my topsoil.  

Save for the thorough initial clearing and digging, the fixed beds certainly weren't hard work to create, requiring just a tape measure to measure how wide you want them to be and some means of marking them out so you can still remember where they are next time you visit the plot (thus spaketh a girlie).

Benefits of being 4ft wide - easy to reach middle of bed, easy to construct cloches and find material of suitable width to cover them without resorting to sowing bits together to cover a wider bed.
Gardening organically on chalky, stony soil.

*

John

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Clogwyn Melyn, Gwynedd
  • 15815
    • Low Cost Living
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 22:47 »
Noshed - I'll not have a word said against the blessed Flowerdew. Besides, his plait will provide much joy to his young children :)
Check out our books - ideal presents

John and Val Harrison's Books
 

*

Smudgeboy

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Kent
  • 160
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2007, 11:09 »
Thanks again all - fascinating stuff, esp Salkeela's cardboard beds!  :D

My problem is actually space and whether I will be able to use it - my house has a large south-facing front garden (I'll come back to that later!) and a pretty small north-facing back garden.  

However, behind the back garden is a farmer's field, which he cultivates (corn, I believe - not long moved in). There is a large ditch/dyke affair surrounding the field and a 10ft strip of grass between my garden wall and the ditch.

I established from the previous owner that they never cultivate on "my side" of the ditch and from my OS map that it's not a footpath or anything - and it's this area I hope to turn into a veg patch. OF COURSE, it starts with getting permission from the farmer, so it might all be a moot point.

If he does agree, it still raises the question of whether he will allow me to actually dig up the area, or simpy allow me to do some sort of container growing.

Therefore, all questions are around what the farmner says.

If he says "do what you like", I'm laughing.

If he says "container only" I need to work out how to container-ise everything (I had thought about a few of those large galvanised steel bathtubs, but I'm sure I've heard that galvanised steel and food don't mix?)

If he says "get orff moi laaand" then I have to do a total re-think and decide whether I want to turn my front garden into the veg garden - not so pretty and how much of my lovely veggies will get pinched !!

Decisions, decisions - s'pose I should start with farmer Giles!
Veg? That's chips, innit?

*

Salkeela

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: N.Ireland
  • 285
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2007, 11:19 »
Quote from: "Smudgeboy"
Thanks again all - fascinating stuff, esp Salkeela's cardboard beds!  :D


:lol:  I've yet to see if they work.  Big experiment! :)

Quote
If he says "container only"


Don't suggest containers!  Don't even mention them; if he's a farmer he'll think only of planting in the ground.  He may not even think he owns that strip.  Perhaps it belongs to someone else?  Probably good to ask him anyway.

Oh and offer him some produce as an incentive - always works well in my experience.

Good luck.
Sally (N.Ireland) Organic as far as I know!

Plant plenty.  Celebrate success.  (Let selective memory deal with the rest.)

*

Smudgeboy

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Kent
  • 160
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2007, 12:08 »
Thanks sal - I do intend to just ask an open question - explain my situation and just leave it hanging . . . more than willing to offer him a home-cooked dish or two, cooking being another passion.

Noticed today that other recent newbies have taken more trouble to intriduce themselves than I did - apologies if I trod all over the 'good form guide'!

I'm Dave, I moved in to my first ever house in November after years of living in flats. It's in Westerham in Kent and I'm over the moon about it - especially the garden - although I've only been there a couple of months and already I'm finding my plans are outstripping my space etc - probably always the way.

I want to start with a few herbs and veggies as  described and then, if I find I'm hooked (highly likely, I'm already hooked on the planning) there are allotments about half a mile away, which, on first inspection, look like they have quite a few unused plots.

I'd love to go organic - might have to start with the basics first and worry about that at a later date.

Another hobby is cooking - I'm no Gordon Ramsay (thank God) but I can't wait to cook with things I've yanked from the soil with my own bare hands.

I also have a developing interest in harvesting wild foods from field and hedgerow. Westerham is a nice village surrounded by fields and countryside (well, the South-East's approximation of countryside - hedgerow-land) and on recent expolarotry walks I've seem multitudes of fungi and berries etc - just need to get a good book on how to recognise wild foods (wild garlic etc) and stuff.

Watch out Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - you've unleashed a monster!  :D

*

Correzienne

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Location: Correze, France
  • 5
Deep beds
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2007, 12:23 »
I started the "proper" way and double dug - no joke on heavy clay! Subsequent ones I didn't bother and there wasn't a lot of difference after a year or two. However couch grass, being in league with the devil, will come up through ANYTHING and is probably best dealt with by chemical warfare if your principles allow - I was once told the roots had been found 20ft down when a septic tank was being installed.

*

Trillium

  • Guest
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2007, 16:22 »
Welcome Smudgeboy. I'm strictly organic, until it comes to couchgrass and bindweed, then the Roundup comes out for them alone. If your front yard is your only hope for a while, use The Ornamental Kitchen Garden by Geoff Hamilton technique of blending the veg in with the flowers. Not so noticeable thus not so stealable. You don't get the huge yields of an allotment, but something is always better than nothing until you can deal with the farmer.

*

yummy

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Warwickshire
  • 553
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2007, 16:28 »
We were about to embark on two raised beds but now I'm worried about the slug issue....

Our soil is v heavy clay and we have seen this past week that it can become waterlogged for several days at a time. I'm worried that this will cause problems and thought that raised beds filled with a sandier soil might be a good thing..

I'm not sure now.. what do you think?

*

John

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Clogwyn Melyn, Gwynedd
  • 15815
    • Low Cost Living
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2007, 16:53 »
I'm pretty sure raised beds are your answer Yummy.

I was talking with Larry on our site where we have heavy clay and he was saying that all the compost / manure / leafmould he has added and he still has heavy soil.

My deep beds on plot 29  are far easier to look after.

Having said that, I don't think they're the answer for everything even on clay soils.  I wouldn't grow sweetcorn, squashes, pumpkins on deep beds. Comfrey establishes well on clay so a deep bed for the comfrey would be a total waste of effort, I think. The idea is that the deep roots of comfrey drag nutrients up from the deep anyway.

*

yummy

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Warwickshire
  • 553
Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2007, 17:09 »
Ah ok thanks.

I was going to put sweetcorn and beans together I think so I will leave those in regular beds. (yippee that is less wood needed now  :D )

I'm going to get two beds ready very soon for leeks, parsnips and erm I can't remember now. I'm debating whether to grow spuds, onions and carrots when they are so cheap elsewhere. I know it would be nice to have all veg fresh from the plot but I'm worried that as a newbie I may not be able to keep up with too many different types at once. Therefore I thought I would concentrate on growing the things that I like the most but also cost the most from the shops e.g. soft fruit, salad leaves etc...



xx
Newbie: advice on raised beds

Started by mike scott on Grow Your Own

5 Replies
1261 Views
Last post May 26, 2009, 22:06
by Ice
xx
Newbie and her raised beds

Started by amandaandherveg on Grow Your Own

8 Replies
2341 Views
Last post April 07, 2008, 16:41
by ssray
xx
need some advice on old compost in raised beds??

Started by mollie15 on Grow Your Own

7 Replies
2240 Views
Last post January 28, 2011, 10:05
by mollie15
xx
Raised beds, planting advice

Started by twee on Grow Your Own

2 Replies
1438 Views
Last post March 29, 2008, 14:56
by compostqueen
 

Page created in 0.332 seconds with 36 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks Social Login Mod
Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |