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  1. #1
    WiZeR is offline Tuber
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    Default Raised Beds on the Allotment

    Hi

    I'm just planning out my allotment on paper and was wondering about raised beds. I have read the square foot gardeing book where Mel suggests 4ftx4ftx6 inches high. Is this a good rule of thumb? I was thinking a out having 4 2mx2mx8inches... is this too big?

    Or is it a case of suck it and see?

  2. #2
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    I don't like raised beds. You loose so much ground for paths that could have vegetables planted in it. Also some beds are so small that there is not enough room for the vegetables to grow. I suppose it's all a matter of personal choice but take into consideration that cabbages and cauliflowers want about 15 inches between plants and winter cabbages want 2 foot between plants in order to grow fully.
    [

  3. #3
    Geordie's Avatar
    Geordie is offline Tuber
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    Wizer, a raised bed is anything you want it to be. By that I mean make the raised bed a size that looks right and works for you in your garden.

    My raised beds are 12' long by 4' wide by 8" high. The width means that I can reach the centre from either side meaning I do not walk on the bed. The paths between the beds provide an easy access point - if you dont have paths then you walk on the soil so space is lost either way. Raised beds can be managed by the no dig method very easily, just spread your manure or compost etc across the top each year. I know of a gardner in a wheelchair who's raised beds are 3' high.

    As far as plant spacings go, many do indeed need certain distances between them but smaller distances will just result in smaller plants. As a family we rarely use a large cabbage so growing closer together produces a smaller, more useable size. Again its horses for courses.
    Geordie

    Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure



  4. #4
    Lottie is offline Seedling
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    I totally agree with Geordie - do whatever suits you best.

    I have 3 raised beds 25ft x 4ft which are easy to net to protect from the rabbits, deer, pheasants, pigeons, stoat, etc etc.

    I have used them as nursery beds, salad beds, tomato beds with pepper plants, courgette and squash beds, carrot, parsnip, leek and onion beds and find that are easily manageable, confidence boosters as you have a neat bed with a nice crop and can do one at a time or leave some covered.

    The men scoffed at my raised beds and said that they were a waste of time and that you couldn't rotovate them. Guess who grew the best crops? In between the beds are old rubber conveyor belts from a gravel pit, that we found amongst the rubbish on my allotment. So we dragged them to one place and used them as paths between the raised beds. They are great in winter - dry - and summer - keeps all the weeds down. Means that I can grow carrots, parsnips, leeks, things that I want to harvest in winter and don't have to tread on the muddy soil. There are also near my water butts as we don't have any facilities it is just a big field.

    This year I have also divided the bottom end with grass sown paths - again a psychological boost as tackling one bed or area at a time is far less daunting than looking at 100 - 200 feet of bare soil with weeds in it.

    You can see my progress if you look at my early archives and then flick through summer this year.

    You sound so organised, I know that you will be a great success. Just try not to wear yourself out, without giving yourself time to step back and rest and enjoy what you have done from time to time. - I don't always practice what I preach But I did try to more this year, and it felt really good.

    http://kooringa.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    WiZeR is offline Tuber
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    Thanks for your words of encouragement Lottie. I'm off to pick up the keys to the allotment tomorrow, can't wait! I have setup a website to log my progress. First entry should hopefully be tomorrow.

  6. #6
    sewer rat's Avatar
    sewer rat is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default Raised Beds

    Hi WiZeR
    I have raised beds in progress too, but have kept mine to 4 ft wide. This means I will be able to reach any crop in the centre easily without overstretching or damaging any crop near the edge while doing so.
    But as Geordie says, a raised bed can be whatever you want it to be.
    Will check out your site - best of luck mate
    Rat

  7. #7
    Jaxom's Avatar
    Jaxom is offline Cropper
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    I'm building my first raised bed. It is only going to be ten foot long but I have chosen to make it four feet wide.
    I read as much as I could before starting, and the weight of opinion seems to be Four foot wide by anything up to sixteen foot long.
    After sixteen foot the temptation becomes too great to take "short cuts" over your raised bed, thus defeating the object of your future new "no dig beds".

  8. #8
    Dadnlad is offline Germinator
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    Beds are right for some, not others - people and veg !
    We split our double plot into quarters for rotation purposes, and built two raised beds in each 4'(for ease of reach) x 16'(cos the boards I scrumped were 8' long! ). We planted longstanding fruit like rhubarb,raspberries,apple trees etc in each section.
    In each quarters rotation (keeps it simple so me brain dont urt), I find some crops need a bit of space like maincrop spuds,runner beans,sweetcorn,purple sprouting,peas - so plant them in traditional rows.
    On the other hand most veg responds well to closer spacing in beds.Early spuds,french beans,tomatoes,all onion family,all roots,cabbages - so plant closely in beds. Even sprouts & colis that traditionaly need wider spacings, will grow 'button' sprouts and fist size colis when planted closer .
    I agree, no digging and mulching with manure on beds works great, just wish I had enough for the whole plot !

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