Companion Planting

Raised Bed Plan – Rocket, Spinach, Radish, Broccoli and Red Cabbage

Raised Bed Plan – Rocket, Spinach, Radish, Broccoli and Red Cabbage 
Most of my Garden Beds in 2017 Garden Plan produces 3 batches of vegetables during one season. This Raised Bed is one of the exceptions and only produces 2 batches during one season. 

First batch:

  • Rocket, Spinach and Radish

Second batch:

  • Broccoli and Red Cabbage

Why these crops?
I’m careful on rotating cabbage plants from season to season (more about that below), so this Raised Bed is planned to fill the Cabbage Quarter. I Love Cabbage and we eat a lot, so I try to grow a bit of everything in the space that I have. So I keep full focus on Broccoli and Red Cabbage in this Raised Bed, and only grow a little bit of Rocket, Spinach and Radish as quick crops before the Cabbage is ready to be transplanted to the Raised Bed.

2b = This bed is in the “Heavy Feeders” Quarter in my Crop Rotation Plan. Besides from being Heavy Feeders, Cabbages are also sensitive to diseases that can be caused from growing Cabbages in the same place for more than one year, so rotate Cabbages each year (on at least a 4 year Rotation Plan, preferable a 6 year Rotation Plan but that requires more space).

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
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 of: 

  • Wintersow Broccoli and Red Cabbage outdoors in a Plastic Box or Greenhouse

March – beginning:

  • Remove Ground Coverage and cover the Raised Bed with Glass or Plastic lid to allow the Sun to warm it up faster

March – end of: 

  • Add Cow or Chicken Manure to the Raised Bed
  • Add Compost to the Bed

April – beginning:

  • Directsow Spinach (4 rows with about 25 cm between the rows)
  • Directsow Rocket (1 row with about 25 cm between the rows)
  • Directsow Radish between the Spinach and Rocket rows
  • Check the Broccoli and Red Cabbage Plants, transplant to larger pots if needed

May – mid:

  • Check that Broccoli and Red Cabbage Plants are OK. If not, start new seeds indoors now.
  • Start harvesting Spinach, Rocket and Radish as soon as you can

June – mid:

  • Harvest the last Spinach, Rocket and Radish
  • Add new Compost and Manure
  • Transplant Broccoli and Red Cabbage Plants to the Raised Bed
  • Cover with net to prevent Cabbage Flies to access the Plants and destroy them

August – mid:

  • Start harvest Broccoli when ready. When the first Broccoli Head is picked the Plant will produce a lot of smaller Broccolis that can be harvested once a week until around Mid October when frost takes it.
  • When to harvest Red Cabbage depends on variety. Heads should be firm but not starting to crack.

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, 17th of January

I decided to Winter Sow all of my early Cabbage Plants this year. So today I started Cabbage Plants for this Raised Bed planned to hold Broccoli and Red Cabbage. I also started Cabbage Plants for these Raised Beds:

I use different Winter Sowing Methods for different purposes. For these Crops I simply prepare the Winter Sowings in containers indoors, and then place them in my Mini Greenhouse (see pictures below). For other Winter Sowings I sow straight into the Raised Beds (examples of that is found: here).

Fill a Seed Tray or other sowing container with Soil. I use regular Soil from the Garden for all my Winter Sowings, and do not worry about the risk of High Nutrient Soil burning the Roots. Winter Sowing is growing stronger Plants, and my experience is that they will be fine. 

Place the Seeds in the tray. Follow the recommended Seed depth from each Seed Instruction. 

In this tray I’m sowing Cabbage, but also experiment with some new stuff. I have some safe cards when it comes to Winter Sowing, and usually add some crops that just might surprise me… In this tray I experiment with Caucasian Spinach (Hablitzia Tamnoides), Coriander and Swiss Chard. I consider it low risk to try different things, if they don’t sprout i still have plenty of time to start new seeds when the ordinary Seed Starting Season comes.

Bring outside, and add some Snow on top. The snow will melt and the Seeds will sprout when the weather is right later in spring.

I then place a Lid or Plastic cover on top of the Tray, and place it in my Mini Greenhouse (now placed outdoors):

Let’s hope that some of the Plants started sprouts when Spring comes.

Update, 18th of May

Long time, no update on this Raised Bed. 

Yes, most of the Cabbage Seeds that was started this winter has been sprouting and growing in the mini greenhouse outdoors. This is what they looked like about 2 weeks ago when I repotted them:

The early crops in the Raised Bed is growing OK. The spring has been really cold here, so rocket is unfortunately running to set flowers already – but leaves are still OK to eat. I have been harvesting plenty of Spinach from this Raised Bed and other Raised Beds today. I plan to make a separate post on that topic soon.

Update, 18th of June

So.. I had to move the savoy cabbage and pointed cabbages out earlier than the Lettuce was finished, so I switched the location and are now moving the red cabbage and broccoli to location 3d (instead of 3b). (The Raised Bed that I switched with was: 

Anyway. Cleared out the lettuce from this Raised Bed today, and moved Broccoli and Red Cabbages outdoors.

Plants ready to move outdoors:

Planting ongoing:

Cabbage Quarter is now complete and will manage itself for a while

And then cover to protect from cabbage flies:

Update, 1st of July

And they are growing!

Update, 5th of August

Broccoli is taking over this Raised Bed! There is not really room enough for the red cabbage. I will keep it growing for a few more weeks to se if it is catching up. Broccoli looks really stunning!

Update, 17th of August

Broccoli update! So good! 

Make sure to eat the Broccoli heads before Flowers are developing. This one was still very tasty!

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