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Late vegetable bed

Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

A builder is coming to block pave our front drive and make a 12 x 8 foot raised bed for us at the front of the house at the end of July.

I am going to grow vegetables there as it is the only place that we have full sun. There will be lavendar, roses and some herbs around the edge to give it kerb appeal.

What vegetables can I plant at the end of July for an autumn/winter crop?

I will not be growing from seed, I'll buy plug plants or I could plant some seeds now for planting late July.




  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    It will be too loose for many brassicas that like a compacted soil. Not too late for beetroot, spring cabbage, carrots, French beans, kale, peas or chard.
  • You could also get some quick salad leaves in at that time.

    Are you sure about the roses? Won't they be to tall, and make it difficult to tend the veg plants?

  • Another thought (apart fro my misspelling of "too"!) : 8 ft wide is not very manageable. Have you thought about how you're going to reach the middle of the bed without treading on the soil? Would two narrower beds be feasible? 

  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    4 foot wide beds are about as wide as you can work without treading on the soil. The beds on my allotment are 5 ft wide and these are just about manageable.

    Remember some crops grow all around the plant so you need to access them to harvest and prolong cropping.
  • Don't agree about winter brassicas not being suitable in a new raised bed. I plant them as deep as I dare and firm them in well with my feet in soil that has fairly recently been dug over sometimes.

    They'll do just fine but perhaps not quite as well as they might next year in the same bed i'll agree. 8 X 12ft is a small area and brassicas need a lot of space.

    Lavendar, roses, some herbs and vegetables is a lot to ask in a raised bed 8 X 12ft me thinks.

    Keen to get started, go for it but accept what you get this year knowing you'll do better next year.

    You may need some wooden boards to walk on at 8ft long by 12" to 14" wide to displace your weight and save compacting the soil too much.

    Wouldn't put roses in.

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Two beds at 12' x 4' would be good.  You could split them each in half which would give you four small beds for rotation, and have lavender at the ends, maybe.  I'd miss out brassicas and spuds in such a small space and have a herb bed; and rotate roots, legumes and tomatoes in the other three.

    As mentioned above, there are several crops in each group that can go in now or even later, especially if they're raised in pots first.

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    Unfortunately I cannot divide them up, it's just too expensive with all those railway sleepers so I thought I'd just put a plank down the middle.

    I don't want an allottment as there are just two people living here and it has to look attractive becasue it's on the road.

    My idea was dwarf lavender and a couple of miniature David Austin roses not great big ones and then mainly vertical veg.

    I don't like salad or cabbages, we eat maybe one cabbage a year, I was thinking tripods with beans, peas, sweetpeas and maybe one sneaky courgette plant and a couple of sprouts. Other things I can grow in large pots.

    It's more of a minimalist veg plot for things that we can grow without too much of a glut. I just wasn't sure if I could grow peas, beans that late?


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    That sounds like a good plan, Lou.  It's certainly not too late to sow peas - it's usual to sow batches every few weeks from March till June, to give a constant supply.  They're nice plants but you'll never have enough peas, even if they get as far as the kitchen!  Broad beans for a late summer crop could also go in now, but this is the ideal time to sow runner beans or dwarf french beans; the latter would be ideal in that plot by the sound of it and a wigwam of runners and one of sweet peas would add height and colour.

    One courgette plant can supply enough for two people, but needs plenty of room - a yard each way - and you may think it's not worth its space.

    You should be able to buy plants at a suitable stage, later in the summer, or sow in pots yourself.

  • It's a bit late for peas, but you might get a bit of a crop from French beans.

    If you start a courgette in a large pot it might just be OK until July.  Or squashes, or cucumbers, they often develop quite late.  

    I wouldn't recommend sprouts in a raised bed, at least they never work in mine. They need firm soil, and the plants can get very heavy and topple over.  If you do want to try to grow some by next winter, you'd need to find a bed for your seedlings to grow in until July, and then transplant them. They do take up a lot of room.

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