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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Planting raised beds: practical tips for young vegetables

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Raised beds are the wonder weapons of every allotment gardener. Almost all common types of vegetables feel right at home in it. You can read here how the popular beds are laid out correctly and planted cleverly.

Raised beds, you could say that, are the allotment gardener’s jack of all trades. It is not for nothing that the small power plants made of wood or stone have sprouted like mushrooms from the soil of many allotment gardens in recent years. Raised beds literally take the private cultivation of fruit, vegetables and herbs to a new level. And the best thing about it: hobby farmers no longer have to bend their backs when planting, collecting weeds and harvesting. If you have some manual skills, you can build the raised bed yourself.

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Here you can read about the advantages of a properly laid out and planted raised bed and which vegetables get along best with each other in the smallest of spaces.

Shift work: cleverly fill the raised bed

The most beautiful raised bed is useless if it is filled incorrectly. Instead of haphazardly tipping high-quality and, above all, expensive potting soil into the bed, you should fill the raised bed with a system and brains. From roughly rather nutrient-poor (at the bottom) to fine and rather nutrient-rich (above). Let’s start with small branches, twigs and leaves that are covered with some soil. This is followed by a ten centimeter thick layer of unrotted compost and other shredded material. This is covered with some mature compost soil. Another layer of finished but unsifted compost is followed by about 20 centimeters of mature compost soil before the raised bed is covered with about 15 centimeters of high-quality garden soil.

You can find out how to create a compost here.

Tip: The two lowest layers should when filling be well compacted. Otherwise, the bed can quickly collapse when it rots and the heating effect is gone.

The raised bed is particularly suitable for heat-loving types of vegetables – – a paradise. In addition to peppers and tomatoes, this also includes zucchini. In order to use the nutrient-rich soil of the freshly created bed optimally, so-called heavy feeders should be placed in the raised bed in the first two years. Lettuce and spinach, which get by with fewer nutrients, still feel at home later in the dizzy heights. Tomatoes, cabbage, leeks, cucumbers, zucchini or celery need a lot of nutrients and belong in the ground in the first year of the raised bed. Basically, there are hardly any plants that are not suitable for the raised bed. In addition to the easy-care radishes and carrots, beans, radishes, peas and onions are also popular. Which automatically leads to the keyword mixed culture. Because in combination with herbs and flowers, the raised bed is a guarantee for healthy plants and thus a good harvest.

Tip: Raised beds can and should be planted more densely than other vegetable beds. For example, there is space on the walls for climbing plantswhich are protected from pests by the height.

To good neighbors: what goes well in a raised bed

Herbs are also great for raised beds. Mainly because they are said to keep annoying small animals away from the vegetables. Chervil is said to be a red rag for ants, snails, lice and mildew. Basil also protects against the dangerous mildew fungi. That is why the herb keeps good company with cucumbers and zucchini. Spinach and lettuce team up against flea beetles. If you plant tomatoes between types of cabbage, the cabbage white will give it a wide berth. You can protect the strawberries, which are particularly popular with snails, by putting some parsley next to them. Because they don’t like the voracious mollusks at all.

Read here how to successfully combat powdery mildew.

Planting a raised bed: what can go outside and when?

Since a properly filled raised bed works as a kind of natural heater, classic spring plants such as radishes, lettuce, radishes or rocket feel comfortable in them as early as March and April. They don’t mind slightly colder nights. Spring onions, leeks and onions like it a little warmer. At the end of April you can plant the trio in the raised bed without hesitation. Be careful with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini. Cool air doesn’t do them any good. And because the ice saints are often not up to mischief until mid-May, you should only let the early plants from the windowsill out into the fresh air in the third week of May. If you want to eat cauliflower and broccoli from your own garden, it is best to wait until the warm summer months.

Plant, care for, harvest – and protect your back

raised beds – – are not only a guarantee for delicious garden vegetables. They also protect the often heavily used backs of gardeners. Both when planting and when tending and harvesting, bending down falls flat. For this reason alone it is worth cultivating at least one of them in the garden.

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Source: Stern

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