We have always gone for the raised bed system for ourselves, but not when we were growing a commercial crop. Although it takes time to make raised beds it does cut down on the work once installed providing they are in the right place to start with and the right distance from each other which we have now decided ours are not. A couple of the existing beds will remain, the strawberries and the Asparagus, but the new beds will be at the start of the veg garden in the area where we had grown the potatoes this year, the timber from the old beds will get re-used for the new beds, the beds will be six inches narrower, Simon is tall and can reach to the centre of the existing beds, I cant, the pathways will be wider and the beds increased in height by nine inches, I will be able to weed sitting down on my gardening stool, hopefully no more back pain, we will be able to get a wheel barrow down the pathways rather than lugging heavy buckets full of weeds and spent plants destined for the compost heaps. Quite where all the soil and compost is coming from to fill the new beds has yet to be worked out, we are nearly out of garden compost, just enough left to mulch around the Rhubarb plants and top dress the Asparagus. We never seem to have enough compost, hence the visits to the mushroom farm. We do have hen manure and the donkey manure, but none from the pigs as they were free range and pigs don't mess in their houses. If our maths are correct we require ten cu m of soil and compost for the seven raised beds which is a lot! Each bed is eight foot long, eighteen inches deep and three and a half foot wide. We can relocated some soil from the old beds, although that's a hell of a lot of shifting.
|Not bad value, they will need a coat of stain.|
There are many reasons for using raised beds.
They are easy to work out for crop rotation.
Once installed correctly they truly are a no dig system, just mulch each year with compost or manure and the worms do the rest.
They are much easier to work as you get older and much easier on the back.
You are concentrating your soil fertility where it's needed, not on walk ways.
It is far easier to pick off the slugs from a confined raised area and slug barriers are easier to put in place.
The are also easier to put cloches over that don't blow away.
There are probably some reasons against them but we cant come up with any cons.
|Felix testing our the roof of the dome.|
|Woven and tied it looks neat now.|
|Anemones giving a splash of colour.|