Raised Bed Plan – Early Experiments, Cucumber, Dill and Pak Choi
This plan goes for two Raised Beds (5h and 5i in my Garden Plan). I just found out that I can get hold of enough Glass and Plastic Frames to use these two beds as Cold Frames early in the season, and plan for three batches of vegetables in this area. Main Crops are the Cucumbers in the second batch, but I will do some fun experiments before and also have time to grow something after. This is the three batches planned:
First Batch – Some fun experiments:
- Pea Shoots
- Scallions/Green Onion
- Early Carrots
- Maybe something more..
- Pak Choi
Why these crops?
Since I found out about these Cold Frames quite late I will use the “extra area” early in the season to experiment. I will have plenty of time to play with Winter Sowing and early Crops, and still manage to get the Cucumbers enough time to grow from May/June until September. After that I will go for a reliable Autumn Crop and plant Pak Choi in both Raised Beds.
5 h/i = These two bed are in the “Others and Perennials” Quarter in my Crop Rotation Plan.
It is two 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 the Cucumbers. 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:
February – beginning:
- Winter Sow Pea Shoots, Scallions/Green Onion, Early Carrots, Lettuce outdoors in the Raised Bed
- Cover with Plastic, Glass or a Cold Frame
April – mid:
- Hopefully there are some stuff to start harvesting in the Raised Bed
- Start Cucumber Seeds Indoors
May – mid:
- Harvest the last things from the Winter Sowings
- Clear the Raised Bed
- Add Compost and Chicken Manure
- Transplant Cucumbers Outdoors
- Start Dill Seeds between the Cucumber Plants
August – mid:
- Start Pak Choi Seeds Indoors
- Start harvesting Cucumbers and Dill as soon as possible, should have much by now..
September – End:
- Harvest the last Cucumbers and Dill
- Clear the Raised Bed
- Add Compost and/or Chicken Manure
- Transplant Pak Choi Plants to the Raised Bed
- Cover with Plastic, Glass or Cold Frame
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, 12th of february
I’m so excited to see how my Early Experiments with new vegetables for Winter Sowing is turning out. I’ve been adding a few news to my Winter Sowing Plan this season, and I started them today: scallions and pea shoots. I also added some spinach, lettuce and carrots to these raised beds.
Started by adding a layer of non frozen Soil in the Raised Bed.
Then laying out Scallion Seeds (using a Sowing Band), and Spinach Seeds:
Covering with 1-2 cm of soil, and adding Peas in the other half of the Raised Bed.
Finally, just a tiny bit of Soil on top, and covering with Snow.
Looking forward to watch if they sprout in the spring!
Update, 26th of March
A few days of sun and warmer weather and the Pea Shoots are starting to grow.
Update, 8th of April
First thing to harvest from my Raised Beds this season will for sure be Pea Shoots. I’m picking the first for dinner tonight.
I started Cucumber Seeds indoors for this Raised Bed this Wednesday.
They sprouted so fast, and this is how they looks now – only 3 days later!
Update 19th of April
The Cucumber plants are really liking the basement, and are growing in a good pace (slow enough to get chubby, and fast enough to be at a good size for outdoor transplant in may as planned.
Update, 23rd of April
Pea Shoots for dinner!
Someone or something obviously decided to move a bunch of peas to the other side of the spinach row!
And spinach in this Raised Bed are looking good.
Update, 30th of May
This early experiment area turned out very well. I’ve had plenty of pea shoots from this single raised bed during the spring (and still coming!). Also nice Spinach. This spinach variety is called Bloomsdale Long Standing and proved to be good in my garden. Really large and chunky leaves!
Update, 5th of August
Dill and Cucumber are happily growing in this Raised Bed. And surprisingly also some potatoes! Must be from the compost soil!
Update, 23rd of August
I have started Pak Choi for this Raised Bed. Cucumber and dill are still growing here. And thriving!
Update, 13th of November
Great harvest from one Raised Bed! Cucumbers and dill for pickles!