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I am new to Trough raised Beds I was wondering is there anything I can grow s I Live In the North East Scotland Dundee, I was wondering if frost would be a consideration 



Onions sets and broad beans can be sown now. The beans may need covering with a fleece. Mine did very well until February when it was very cold, (I hadn't put a fleece on them)  but sometimes it's OK. The vegetables that are hardy are kale, brussels sprouts, winter cabbages, broccoli and leeks. But it's too late to sow. You may be able to find some plants, but it's still a bit late. Winter gardening I've found is a bit hit and miss.


From what I've seen on Beechgrove which is filmed near Aberdeen, the best way for you to get veggies through the winter is to protect them with fleece if they're out in the open or grow them in polytunnels.  I suggest you have a browse through their Fact Sheets to see if any offer advice - 

I garden in central Belgium which can get seriously cold and I haven't got any winter veg through for the last 4 winters but strawberries survive, as do blueberries, blackcurrants and other soft fruits and rhubarb crowns.  Winter kale and broccoli, Swiss chard, garlic, leeks and onions have all been frozen to mush.  This year I'm trying these again but will be giving them cloches or fleece covered frames for protection against the worst of the winds and frosts.

With regards to winter sowing I have been told that fleece can be substituted by thick black bags cut along the seems and earthed over to hold them in. Now as I have never done this before I cant comment on its effectiveness but does anyone see this as being wrong. In a few days ill be putting in some red and white onion sets and some garlic cloves and covering them up in the above way.


Am I wrong,Paul


You can use black plastic to warm the soil before planting, but plants need light to photosynthesise and grow so using black plastic which will prevent this will kill your plants.  Fleece will allow light to pass through to the plants.


Dove from above,

As it will take a while for the sets and garlic to produce shoots can they be covered for a while then slit to allow the shoots to come through to natural light?

Im thinking if it can keep the soil warm then they should produce green shoots early on and by sliting them to allow them through then best of both worlds. warm soil and light.




You are looking at this from the wrong way round-how will you know when they are shooting?

If you are that keen on growing through plastic-cut holes and plant into that-but honestly it is really for use in warming the soil up-what you will create is a lovely hiding place for slugs and snails

Garlic/onion sets do not need protection-the worst culprit is birds pulling them out before rooted-hence the fleece option.

Complete novice, I read you post as Dove did, ie you were thinking of covering plants with black plastic instead of using fleece, fleece isn't a ground cover but protects plants already in growth and protects them either by wrapping the fleece around the plant  or covering the foliage, if you see what I mean

Using black plastic to warm up soil in spring makes sense however garlic needs a cold spell to enable the cloves to split and doesn't need ground cover to protect it. If you haven't planted out your garlic yet there is probably still  time to start it in modules providing you can keep it warm enough to put out shoots.

I'm not sure about onions, I wait till spring to plant those.   

Jim-I watch BeechGrove, excellent gardening programme.

There's probably little you can grow at this time of year but to get an early start next year, covering your veg beds about March-April time with black plastic will warm up your soil to give you an early start, you would then need to split the plastic where you are to plant and plant out. I'm in the NW and to get an early start this year bought a frame and then covered my veg beds with a plastic tunnel.

Look through the seed catalogues and plan for next spring. Happy gardening     

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