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New to gardening questions raised bed

Hello

I am very new to gardening.
I have a raised bed and want to plant vegetables and fruit.

1. Can strawberry plants be planted with tomatoes and carrots?

2. what material/cover can I use to cover my raised bed?

3. is top soil the same as mulching? I’m struggling to get well rotted manure so looking for other options.

many thanks! 

Posts

  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 669
    1. Harvesting your carrots would probably disturb the roots of the other two so those would not be an ideal mix of plants in my opinion. Tomatoes are hungry plants so not sure they would like competition.

    2. Growing plants is usually what would cover a well cultivated raised bed.

    3. Top soil is the most nutrient rich portion of the soil found near the surface and it is improved by mulching which is the practice of putting organic material on top of the soil like wood chips that protect it from damage from heavy rain and help reduce the amount of unwanted plants/weeds sprouting. Mulching can also help retain moisture in the soil and helps prevent some plants being damaged by wind rocking them too much. Well rotted manure would have more nutrient to add to the soil compared to wood chips which would take longer to break down but a variety of organic materials can be used if you are not able to get well rotted manure. Home made compost could be used or even grass clippings. It is better not to mulch on to dry soil as it will make it more difficult for rain to get into the soil to re-hydrate it for your plants.
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    You don’t say how big the bed will be..

    1. yes if you have enough space that you don’t disturb the other veg/fruit when you harvest 
     
    2. Cover with cardboard and plant through it, water the bed beforehand and then soak the cardboard.  Looks a bit shabby though...

    3.  Mulch goes on top of the soil, please don’t use woodchip on areas you intend growing in. Woodchip is best for paths not covering veg beds.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    A word of warning about mulching with grass clippings.  This is OK if done in the early spring before the grass is flowering, or if the grass is mown often enough that it never gets a chance to flower.  If you use clippings from grass that has flowered, there will be seeds in it and you'll spend a lot of time weeding grass from around your veg.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    Strawberries and Tomatoes are best on their own. They are both hungry and appreciate feeding. 

    I would take a different approach. What can I put with carrots?

    Intercropping carrots with alliums, onions, garlic etc works. The onion smell helps to fool carrot root fly and the plants have similar requirements.

    I often put a row of radishes between carrot rows. The radish is out before the carrots need the space.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,391
    Strawberries could be planted in a different container, a large pot or trough. They are perennial so will be there for about 3 years until you want to re-plant as they aren't so productive after a few years.

    If you have to plant tomatoes and carrots in the same bed then make sure there is a decent gap in between so that they don't disturb each other when harvesting.

    Why do you want to cover the raised bed? To keep cats off? To stop weeds?
    Dordogne and Norfolk
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