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Preparing for next year

Hi folks.  New here and to the heady world of growing your own.

As I am too late coming into this this year, although I have enjoyed getting some salad crop and herbs etc, my main priority is to plan how I am going to go about gardening next year. 

I want to fill the small area I have with raised beds as my arthritic knees rule out digging.  I have included a small, 6x4 greenhouse which I have just completed assembling and I think I will create a gravel floor in there with containers to grow stuff as well as a small staging come potting station.

My main worry is ow to prepare for planting beans etc next year.  Can I create something like a trough planter with a frame back to plant beans in or do they need to go into the soil?  I am thinking along the design lines of those planters you get with a trellis back for climbers but not as posh.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,317

    Would there be soil underneath the troughs?

    If so, you could cut away some of the bottom of the trough and your beans will still be at a raised level and the roots can get to the soil.
    If you're just growing dwarf beans, then I should think a deep trough would be fine filled with a good compost.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • There are quite a few varieties of beans/peas/courgettes/tomatoes ect that have been developed to grow in containers, so troughs would be fine Graham. Have a look at Suttons seeds, they have quite a few varieties to go at.

  • GrahamTGrahamT Posts: 4

    Thanks for the replies folks.  Yes there will be soil underneath the troughs, well it will be a section of de turfed lawn but it is quite clay Ike and very hard ground.

    I will take a look at the dwarf varieties and the container varieties. Certainly the tomatoes will be container grown in the greenhouse.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384

    Graham, it's good news that you have soil under your planters.  Make raised beds with no bottom and, this autumn, put a 4-6 inch layer of well-rotted manure on top and leave them like that over the winter.  The worms will come up from the soil below and pull the manure down into the soil, so all you'll need to do in the spring is some light cultivation.  If you put a 2 inch layer down each following autumn, you will keep the soil productive and will never have to dig again.  As time goes by the clay beneath will turn into great soil and your beds will effectively get deeper, all by themselves.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • GrahamTGrahamT Posts: 4

    Cheers Bob, that sounds like a plan.  Thanks for the tip.

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