Companion Planting

Raised Bed Plan – Early Potatoes, Rocket, Cucumber, Parsley and Pak Choi

Raised Bed Plan – Early Potatoes, Rocket, Cucumber, Parsley and Pak Choi
This Raised Bed is planned to give us Potatoes early in the season. I plan to grow Rocket as companions to the Potatoes in the first batch. Second batch will be Cucumbers. Since the Potatoes will be harvested in end June, I have enough time to grow Cucumbers after the Potatoes are done. Third batch will be Parsley and Pak Choi. I only planned for Parsley, but we’ve really liked the Pak Choi this year, so I will make sure that I grow enough of it next season.

First Batch: 

  • Potatoes
  • Rocket 

Second Batch:

  • Cucumbers
  • Parsley

Third Batch:

  • Parsley
  • Pak Choi

Why these crops?
I will grow 3 beds of Potatoes this season, and this will be the earliest batch. Early Potatoes are the king of this Raised Bed, and everything else is planned to grow with the Potatoes or after the Potatoes. I think it’s safe to put some Rocket between the Potato rows and be able to harvest one batch of Rocket before the Potatoes grows to tall and needs the space. Cucumber goes in the bed as soon as the Potatoes are done. Some Parsly will go with the Cucumber, just to make sure that I have fresh Parsley during late summer/early fall. A last batch of Parsley for winter saving will be planted late, together with Pak Choi. They are both lovely crops to grow in a fall garden. Pak Choi – love it, and it has proven to be really cold resistant and and is easily handling -10 celsius which makes it a great autumn crop for me.

4d = This bed is in the “Needs Almost Nothing” 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 stretched to give early Potatoes. I will start this Potato Bed 2 months before I start the other Potato Beds. It’s a bit risky, since spring can be really cold here, but I will give it a try. 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 – end of: 

Mars – beginning:

  • Remove any Ground Covering left over from autumn (Leaves or Grass Clippings)
  • Cover the Raised Bed with Plastic or a Glass Frame to allow it to heat up faster

April – beginning:

  • Add Chicken Manure to the Raised Bed, be careful not to add to much
  • Plant your Sprouting Potatoes in the Raised Bed. Cut the Sprouts down a bit if they have grown to tall indoors.
  • Plant your Rocket in the Raised Bed, between the Potatoes
  • Cover the Raised Bed with Plastic or a Glass Frame to prevent it from freezing if spring is cold

May – mid:

  • Start harvesting Rocket, harvest continuously
  • Make holes in the Plastic cover for ventilation, or make sure that the Glass Frame ventilates properly

June – beginning:

  • Start harvest the first Potatoes, harvest continuously during June
  • Start Cucumber seeds indoors (8 Plants in one 120×80 cm Raised Bed)
  • Start Parsley indoors

June – end of:

  • Clear the Raised Bed from the last Potatoes
  • Add a little bit of Chicken Manure
  • Transplant Cucumber Plants to the Raised Bed
  • Transplant Parsley Plants to the Raised Bed

August – beginning:

  • Start Pak Choi seeds indoors
  • Start Parsley seeds indoors
  • Harvest Cucumbers continuously during August and September

September – end:

  • Harvest the last Cucumbers and clear the Raised Bed
  • Add Chicken Manure
  • Transplant Pak Choi Plants to the Raised Bed
  • Transplant Parsley Plants to the Raised Bed
  • Cover the Raised Bed with a Glass Frame to protect it from cold nights

October – end:

  • Start harvesting Pak Choi and Parsley

November – end:

  • Harvest the last Pak Choi and Parsley
  • Cover the Bed with Organic Material and let it rest for the 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:

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, 19th of March

I finally started chitting (sprouting) all my seed potatoes today. Same procedure for all potatoes for my three Raised Beds that are planned to hold Potatoes. Since this specific Raised Bed is planned around early Potatoes, I’ve selected the varieties Casablanca (super early) and Juliette.

I’ve decided to do this years chitting in cut Milk Cartons. Last season I chitted all Potatoes on trays, but I found the roots to be a bit tangled so I’m going for a Milk Cartons this year:

Some soil in the bottom of each carton:

And Potatoes:

Update, 19th of April

Potatoes are starting to sprout in the basement. The Potatoes for this Raised Bed is soon ready to go outdoors.

Update, 3rd of May

Almost one month after plan (due to unusually cold spring weather), the first Potatoes are finally being transplanted to this Raised Bed.

I’m making deep rows from start and plant the seed potatoes in the bottom of the row. This makes it easy to cover with more soil as the Potato stems grow.

Update, 30th of May

Well Hello Potato Sprouts. I keep covering you, and you keep breaking through! Good potatoes seems to be on the way!

Update, 10th of June

Potatoes are growing fast. 

Update, 27th of June

Spring has been exceptionally cold here, and even the early potatoes are a few weeks later than planned. They are however looking nice, strong and healthy and are now growing fast. 

Flowering today!

Update, 23rd of August

Great potato harvest from this Raised Bed!

Early potato Casablanca. Nice taste and surprisingly big size!

I started sowing for autumn vegetables a few days ago. They grow fast! Pak Choi for this Bed, and Spinach, Swiss Chard and some other stuff for the rest of the garden.

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