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02/03/2013 at 20:45
Hi Had a raised bed put in last year. Approx 8x8ft and 3ft deep. We planted carrots cabbage and leeks. The greens shot up but the carrots were all top and no root! Just wondered if anyone could suggest high yield compact veg for the raised beds or buckets and tubs around the garden. The only thing I know I want are climbing French beans, I have seed ready and hoping 2 builders buckets and canes will see an ok yield this year. Please feel free to suggest any veg or space saving ideas. Thankyou in anticipation.
02/03/2013 at 21:41

hi greenbucket,well i have been over my allotment today as i have raised beds only six feet wide though so i can get to all the sides,today i put in jerusalem artickokes.onion sets,broad beans,and befor the month is out in will go turnips,parsnips.spring onions and my early potaoes,you can grows all these in a tub,as i have befor,somethimes you have to be patient,all the other veg will go in in april,may time,raised beds are a great idea,try everything greenbucket,but carrots can take a long time,

02/03/2013 at 22:06
Thankyou Chica. I'm looking for a compact spring cabbage. Any ideas?? Sometimes I think when I buy 6/8 plants they are so expensive, seeds are economical but take more time!!!
02/03/2013 at 23:09

Anyone got some advice on carrots in raised beds pleeze.

02/03/2013 at 23:25
Ditto!! I tried dobbies carrots called Trevor and maestro as they are amazing and good resistance to fly. But mine looked amazing but put down not much root. I'm wondering if it was because my soil was new.

I have heard about giant flax or facks but wonder if anyone had grown these in raised beds.

I'm looking for a fast maturing carrot that is a good cropper.

Thanks
02/03/2013 at 23:27
My dad has sworn by the dobbies varieties for the last 3 years in his raised beds and they have been amazing for him!
02/03/2013 at 23:51
Make sure your soil is light and sandy for carrots generally, it makes it easier for roots to grow big. They don't much like freshly manured soil either, growing in raised beds should decrease the risk of carrot fly as they fly at ground level. My carrot beds this year are about two foot off ground level but I'm also using them as a wind break on an exposed allotment site. Autumn King have always given me a good crop sewn directly to where you want to grow them.
03/03/2013 at 00:10
My soil is not sandy but not clay. We bought 6 tonnes of graded tip soil in. The fact my greens have loved it makes me think that it's a tad too heavy for carrots.

I know it sounds weird but I bought a dog bath, about 1.5ft wide by 4 ft and nearly 2 ft deep. I'm wondering if this could be a good carrot bed??

At the moment I have used compost stored in it. Do you think I could do anything with used compost to plant my carrots in or is this completely the wrong soil??
03/03/2013 at 07:45

I grow Chantenay carrots - tops for flavour - last year they took all summer to develop good 'carrots' due to low temperatures and light levels - hopefully this year will be better  

A member of my family is a commercial vegetable grower and said this was a common problem throughout the UK last year - carrots did not start developing until that sunny spell we had around the Olympics, and even they they were not great.

03/03/2013 at 10:57

I think basically everything took a hammering last year.. That hot spell in march for 3 weeks bolted all my onions and garlic, but all the allotments had the same problem. My carrots were super slow and nothing to write home about, I think it was just the weather last year. I'm hoping it'll be better this year, good luck.

03/03/2013 at 11:47
Fingers crossed then!!!!'

Any ideas for used compost would be great. I used some to mulch my perennials but have so much left. Could I improve it and use for any veg???
03/03/2013 at 11:52

yep, it's what I do, as long as you add some more nutrients you shouldn't have any problems 'recharging' the compost. If you decide what to grow, then have a look at what it likes in detail, there's plenty of info on what to add both organic and inorganic, choice is yours.

03/03/2013 at 12:01
Carrots I think, it's easy to fleece then fine net for carrot fly. Sorry for sounding like a non gardener but its really the first year that I will want to plant up 'properly' last year was all last minute as we didn't get my raised bed and tubs in till June!!!

What would you add for carrots?? It's a mixture of spent tomato and spend perenial compost that I used to start my plants while I was creating beds in my lawn.

I'm hoping that all the fibrous roots etc have composted over winter.

To hand I have sand that I used with seed soil. Could I use some of my raised bed soil with compost And sand?? How deep do you think for carrots like early Nantes.

Thanks
03/03/2013 at 13:08

yeah using up old compost with soil is what I do, it makes a great improver for the soil structure. My beds are made from old scaffold boards, but i dig the bottom out a further 3 or 4", never had any problems with carrrots forking or parsnips. The choice of fertiliser is up to you, organic or inorganic. Just be sure not to use manure!!!

this looks a nice site, should answer all your carrot related questions!

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/cultivation.html

03/03/2013 at 13:09

I mix compost with sharp sand and use either really big pots or Marshalls 'greenhouse gro-bed' I think they are 3 for £11.50ish (no I don't work for Marshalls!) I put a little organic chicken pellets in and get good carrots. The bags are about 8" /200mm high and I've had no probs with root fly.

03/03/2013 at 14:04

You won't generally get good root crops from new beds, as if done properly you'll have dug in manure or some other soil improver.  Carrots, parsnips etc have tap roots that go down to find nutrients, if your soil is too rich, then they won't grow downwards to find those nutrients - it's why they do well in fine, sandy soil, they are looking for 'food'.

Personally, I'd use the old compost you have, add a slow-release pelleted fertiliser (either chemical or pelleted chicken poo if you want to be organic), but I'd mix the compost with sharp sand - it's cheaper than horticultural grit, and you can buy it from a builder's merchant.  I'd use about two-thirds compost to one-third sand.

Hopefully you'll get better results this year anyway.  Can I ask why you've decided to go with one mega-huge raised bed, instead of several smaller ones where you can practise crop rotation?  I know you can still rotate crops in the four corners of your bed, but unless you are very tall, you'll have to step inside the bed to do lots of the planting, which kind or defeats the idea of a raised bed - makes it easier to reach things, and you don't have to tread on the soil, compacting it, which won't do the soil structure any favours.  Not trying to tell you how to suck eggs, I'm just really curious as to why such a big raised bed?

03/03/2013 at 14:20
Well I Agree totally but we only had a concrete patch of 10ft square and the wood we had access to was this size. We put and across to access it! I wish I had more space but not at the back, we only have a small back garden but most of our space is at the front. I haven't yet look to change this to veg as I'm worried it will make the front of the house look messy. If I knew how to put a picture on here I would show you my garden.
03/03/2013 at 14:50

Ah I see!  Makes sense now.  I think for the front garden, I'd go for the 'pottager' style, where fruit and veg are planted amongst flowers.  Carrots look pretty with their flowery foliage, beetroots have red leaves,and runner beans were originally grown by the victorians for their decorative flowers.  Strawberries and tomatoes can be grown in hanging baskets.

If funds allow, I might put a greenhouse on a corner of the plot (say if your drive goes up the middle), and screen it from the road with bamboo or something (in pots, as some of it can be VERY invasive).  Also if it's in pots, you can always move it if it's casting too much shadow on a greenhouse.

I'm soooo skint at the moment, thinking of auctioning off a kidney or something so I can have a shed & greenhouse!

03/03/2013 at 17:42
The drive goes up one side and the other us about 60ft x 20ft. With a bed at top next to house, circular in the centre and a corder bed by the drive entrance. Was going to out perennials - evergreens in here to give colour!

I have a large pop up greenhouse about 6ft x 8 ft so will put that up in the back garden where its more sheltered.
03/03/2013 at 18:22

hi greenbucket i would definatly incorperate flowers in with the veg and it wiil also keep the pests down especially marigolds  and you can make it look really pretty try chard as a veg it looks after itself with deep red leaves which taste fantastic dont forget you can put peices of ginger from the supermarket in a pot just cut it up and leave it to grow,

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