Raised Bed Plan – Early Asian Leaves, Tomatoes, Marigold, Basil and Pak Choi
I’m playing a high game this year, and are placing my Tomato Bed quite close to my Potato Quarter. This might be one of the biggest mistakes in my plan, but since it is my first year growing vegetables in this specific soil in this new section of my Kitchen Garden I figured that it might work out fine.. This Raised bed is planned to hold 3 Batches of Vegetables, and Tomatoes are the main focus.
- Mixed Early Asian Leaves
- Pak Choi
Why these crops?
I usually grow Tomatoes in my Mini Greenhouses, but this year I decided to also try Tomatoes in one of my Raised Beds. I’ve decided to go for two early and quite low/bushy Tomato varieties to hopefully get Tomatoes before the blight kicks in. Together with Tomatoes I will grow Marigold and Basil. They are all supposed to grow well together. Before the Tomato season starts I will grow a mix of Asian leaves and after the Tomato season I plan to grow Pak Choi in this Raised Bed. That is mainly because the timings match quite good and hopefully will enable me to take 3 batches from this area.
5 d = This bed is in the “Others and Perennials” Quarter in my Crop Rotation Plan.
It is one out of Several Garden Beds (29 when I’m writing this, but tends to be more and more each season…) See the total list of beds and Layout in my Garden Plan for Raised Beds 2017.
Time Plan for this Bed
Time Plan is totally built around Tomatoes. The dates will depend a lot on where you live, and what average temperatures and sunny hours you have at different months. I’m in Northern Europe and this is the Plan I follow:
January – end:
- Winter Sow Mixed Asian Leaves outdoors.
February – beginning:
- Start Basil seeds in trays indoors
March – mid:
- Start Tomato seeds indoors
- Might start some more Basil also…
April – beginning:
- Start Marigold seeds indoors
- Start harvesting Mixed Asian Leaves as soon as you can and harvest continously
May – end:
- Harvest the last Mixed Asian Leaves
- Clear ut the Raised Bed
- Add compost and chicken manure to the Raised Bed
- Move Tomatoes, Basil and Marigold to the Raised Bed
- Cover with Fiber Cloth if any risk for frost
August – beginning:
- Start Pak Choi seeds indoors
- Start harvesting Tomatoes
September – end:
- Pick the last Tomatoes
- Clear out the Raised Bed
- Add Chicken Manure and/or compost
- Transplant the Pak Choi plants to the Raised Bed
- Harvest Pak Choi continuously
November – end:
- Harvest the last Pak Choi
- Clear out the Raised Bed
- Cover with leaves or other Organic Material and let it rest over winter
My Kitchen Garden is built with a modular approach. I have a number of Raised Beds (Deep Beds) – currently 29 beds. Most of them are 120×80 centimeters. They are Deep Beds and I always cover them with Organic Material to improve soil and nutrients, and also have a No Dig Garden. More background information can be found in these posts:
- Kitchen Garden Layout Plan – Layout overview
- Building a Raised Bed Kitchen Garden – How to Deep Dig the frames and feed them with organic material
- How to build Raised Bed Frames – Step-by-Step guide on how to do the Frames for the Raised Beds.
Methods I use to plan each Garden Bed
I plan each bed carefully and enjoy making and developing my plans. I try to consider different angles:
– Succession Planting: I want to have at least 3 batches from each bed to maximize my harvest
– Crop Rotation: I rotate my basic crops each year to eliminate diseases. I have a 4 year Crop Rotation Plan (more about my Crop Rotation Plan here).
– Companion Planting: I want each batch to consist of Plants that thrive together to get good harvest and keep the plants healthy.
– Continuous Harvest: I want to be able to harvest from early spring to late autumn without having to preserve too much food. We prefer to eat all the vegetables as fresh as possible.
Don’t hesitate to discuss the planning of this bed with me. There is always loads of input that can help improving this further.
Update, 9th of February
Started the Tomato Seeds today! I’m a bit ahead of my plan, and by starting this early I do risk to end up with tall and leggy plants. But I have extra lights, and keep my fingers crossed that it will work out fine. I had some space left in my Seed Starter sowing some Chillis and Peppers, and decided to fill the left over space with the Tomato Seeds for this Raised Bed.
Update, 11th of February
And the Basil is Started! I have so many varieties of Basil coming this year and I’m glad that I will have left over space around Tomatoes and Chili plants in my Raised Beds. I’ve also been Winter Sowing Early Asian Leaves for this Raised bed today. it’s the first time I’m trying this type of Leaf Mix for Winter Sowing, so fingers crossed!
I’m Winter Sowing so many Raised Beds this season and I’m not writing detailed description of how to in every post, so if you want to know more on how to do the Winter Sowing, check out this post on Winter Sowing.
Update, 31st of March
As the Early Asian Leaves in this Raised Beds just have started to sprout outdoors, I’m transplanting Tomatoes indoors for the second time. I only plan to transplant these Tomatoes twice before moving them outdoors, and this was the second transplant. To give it possibilities to develop a nice and deep root system, but not having the plants take up a huge area of space indoors I transplant them to Milk Cartons. Planting Tomatoes in Milk Cartons is just like planting Tomatoes in deep pots.
Before transplant (plants has really been thriving in my Basement with Grow Lights):
After transplant to Milk Carton (I cut of the bottom corners to drain and water from bottom and up):
Update, 8th of April
I’ve started Marigold Seeds indoors this week. And the Tomatos are growing like crazy. It’s almost 2 months until I plan to move them outdoors and they already look like this:
I will cut the tops of in a week or so. That will make the plant grow two tops and hopefully give more tomatoes. I will come back with more info on that later.
Update, 22nd of May
The lights are regular Florescent Lights (not specific Grow Lights, just regular). They have been working very well and I had great plants coming in this raised bed. So excited. It felt a bit like having a plant shop for free shopping in my own basement.
I’ve been harvesting and eating Asian leaf mix from this Raised Bed for about a week and I cleared it out this weekend and was finally able to transplant Tomatoes, Basil and Marigold:
Update, 4th of June
Slugs are really focusing on the marigolds.. Did not know that they loved them this much.
Update, 14th of August
Outdoor Tomatoes are looking good! I’ve selected low, bushy and early varieties. Had to prune them a bit today:
Update, 3rd of September
Signs of blight! Picked all the Tomatoes and cut the plants of today to reduce the damage. The Tomatoes are brought indoors to ripe in a window.