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8 messages
06/04/2014 at 16:29

Hello all

We're busy putting in three raised beds plus creating a traditional flat bed area for growing our own veg.  

I've read that brassicas like to be properly firmed in and that light airy soil is a main reason for them failing - especially brussels sprouts where one ends up with loose open buttons.  

However, one of the points of having a raised bed is that you don't compact the soil by treading on it and that it remains light and airy once it's been dug the first time.

This being the case, how does anyone grow brassicas successfully in raised beds if you can't tread them in?  This is why we've got a traditional flat area too, so that I can plant veg that like good firm soil - and it's large enough that I can rotate within it so that the brassicas aren't always in the same spot each year.

How do other members grow brassicas successfully in their raised beds please?


06/04/2014 at 17:06

I grow brassicas in a raised bed.

If I tell you what I do it may help' First I have a cultivater tool (3 pronged) which will break up lumps, then I rake level. then a use the 'blunt' end (ie put the rake upright and flat) and press the soil level, then I do go up and walk it as if making a lawn, then I throw on Chicken pooh pellets, press in again blunt end of rake  then lightly rake again.

I have done this already, probably Jan/Feb as then I let the weather (rain) push and compress soil more. It is not disturbed again except for planting.

This is what I do - there are probably other gardeners who do it differently

06/04/2014 at 17:45

Thanks for your reply Matty - I'm just very confused by all the articles that say you never walk or firm down on a raised bed.  So it's pretty contradictory to then put in brassicas that need exactly that treatment!

I'll think I'll stick to putting them in my flat, traditional bed and keep the raised beds for other veg groups.

I'm still keen on hearing other people's experience though please!

06/04/2014 at 19:05

Hi Daisy, Brassicas and brussels in particular do need firm soil to prevent wind-rock which damages the roots and leads to 'blown' sprouts, so Matty is doing the right thing in his raised beds when growing them.  As you have the choice, I'd agree with you and use the traditional bed for brussels, reserving your raised beds for 'value added' veg and those which don't need as much space as brassicas.

06/04/2014 at 19:32

Thanks Bob - I think I'll definately put the brassicas in the flat bed.  I may put a couple in a raised bed if I find I have enough space as a sort of controlled experiment.  I'll stake the ones in the raised bed rather than treading them in and see what, if any, difference I find.

07/04/2014 at 22:15

I Bob I'm a  'she' 

08/04/2014 at 00:41

Sorry Matty, I did know but forgot!

09/04/2014 at 20:46

And I know now!  I'm not really a daisy either! 

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