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Raised bed planting

With the cold weather holding me at home, I have been doing some planning on how effective I want 2018 growing season to be in my limited space. This is new to me, although I had productive season with what I grew last year (my first year), I don't think I made good use of the space, so this year I am planning in advance and selective about what I grow. 

I grew quite a lot of vegetables in 2017 including a lot in containers, however I realised I may have over done it. As a result I was left with lots of used composts. I have used the left over compost to fill my raised beds with BFB and topped with about 4” layer of bought garden compost. This allowed me to increase the depth of my raised beads, my raised beds measures 30” (w) x 45” (l) x 17” (d).

Below is my plan for each bed

Bed 1

Strawberry plants: 2 rows with 15” between rows and 11” between plants

I intend to plant spinach between the rows.

Bed 2

Sweetcorn: 4 rows with 7” between rows and 9” between plants

Bed 3

Onions and Leeks: 5 rows with 6” between rows and 4”-6” between plants

Bed 4

1 row Peas, 2 rows Carrots, 1 row Beetroot and 1 row lettuce

Could I please have your advice if I am congesting the beds?



  • you should space your plants by square foot method.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,846
    This looks like a typical response from the troll formerly known as Grid Gardener!

    Seyfades - if you cram fruits and veggies in too close you will get small plants as they compete for space, nutrients and water.   That's fine if there's just two of you but not so good for feeding a family.

    I grow all our veg in raised beds and make the space between plants 6" to 9" or so for onions and garlic, trowel length for salad leaves and small brassicas such as pak choi, 12" for sweetcorn and 18" for bigger brassicas.    One per metre for squashes which I usually train up a support.    Strawberries get 9" between plants in a row.  

    Between each row the minimum width is a rake head to allow for easy hoeing, going up to 18" for brassicas such as Savoy, Cavolo Nero, broccoli and so on.

    The other thing to remember is to look after your soil as you will be making big demands on it.  Every time you clear a crop after harvest, add back some goodness before re-planting by piling on some well-rotted garden compost to maintain fertility and keep a good balance of good soil organisms.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146
    Thank you  Obelixx.

    I guess I am trying to get the most out of the space I have. I will have to go back to drawing board.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,846
    You can grow quick crops such as radishes and lettuces between slower stuff like cabbages.   Be careful tho.  Some plants don't associate well when sharing space.  You need to have a list of good companions and bad ones.  This will give you a start - 

    See if you can get a DVD by Geoff Hamilton - Ornamental Kitchen Garden - as that shows how closely you can plant things even tho he does it in amongst flowering plants and then check planting distances on seed packets too.   You can squeeze things in a bit but not a lot so experiment and see what works for you.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    It would also be worth looking for "patio vegetable seeds" as there are now many specially bred varieties which require less space.  They won't crop as well as traditional varieties, but should still do well.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146
    Thank you everyone and sorry for the late response, work has been hectic. I just got a compost bin so don’t have homemade compost yet. What store bought product can I use to keep the soil in good condition. I currently have BFB and chicken manure pellets. I am still considereing buying Vitax Q4. Is there anything that can be recommended  to rejuvenate the beds?
  • Your compost sounds fine to me, although carrots may not do so well if it's at all lumpy.

    I agree, some of your planting sounds a bit crowded. One thing to consider: with some crops in a raised bed, there's no particular need to have one spacing between rows and another between plants. Things like shallots or lettuces can just be spaced, say, 6 inches apart in blocks. 

    To save space, you could consider climbing varieties like Cobra French beans, or persuade a cucumber or squash to trail up some kind of support.
  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146
    Thank you Green Magpie,  I will put all suggestions into consideration, make some changes to my plan and will keep notes for what works and what doesn't. 
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