Raised Bed Plan – Spinach, Potatoes, Beans, and Pak Choi.
This Raised Bed is easy to write about, since it’s an almost exact copy of another Raised Bed: Spinach, Potatoes, Beans and Swiss Chard. The only difference is that I’m planning to grow Pak Choi as an autumn crop in this Raised Bed instead of growing Swiss Chard and that I will select different varieties of Potatoes and Beans. This Raised Bed is planned to give 3 Batches of Vegetables during one season. The picture above shows the layout of second batch.
- Pak Choi
Why these crops?
Potatoes and Beans work great together. Beans will climb the Potato Plants, and also send nutrients back into the ground as they are growing. Spinach is one of my favourite early crops, and Pak Choi is a lovely thing to grow in a fall garden. Pak Choi is really cold resist and and is handling -10 celsius which makes it a great autumn crop for me.
4c = 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 quite straight forward. Start by Winter Sowing (I’m writing this in November, and this Bed is already Prepared for Winter Sowing), make sure to prepare Potatoes in time and start your Pak Choi indoors so you have Plants ready when you’re done with the Potatoes. 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:
- Winter Sow Spinach in the full Bed (select a variety good for early Winter Sowing)
- Cover the Garden Bed with a Glass Window Frame or Plastic Frame to help the Sun warm up the Bed faster.
- Start Chitting (sprouting) Potatoes indoors
- Harvest Spinach continuously
May – beginning:
- Sow Beans indoors
May – end:
- Harvest the last Spinach
- Add Chicken Manure to the Raised Bed
- Add Compost
- Transplant sprouted Potatoes to the Raised Bed. Cut down sprouts if they are to tall and leggy
- Cover with Fiber Cloth if risk for Frost
June – mid:
- Transplant Beans to the Raised Bed. Put between the Potatoes (they will Climb the Potatoes)
August – mid:
- Start Pak Choi Indoors
- Start harvesting Potatoes and Beans
September – end:
- Harvest the last Potatoes and Beans
- Add Chicken Manure
- Transplant Pak Choi to the Raised Bed
- Cover with Glass or Plastic
November – mid/end:
- Harvest the last Pak Choi
- 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:
- 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, 11th of february
I’ve been Winter Sowing a lot today. This is one out of several Raised Beds that is planned to give me early Spinach.
(More on how to Winter Sow in Raised Beds: How to Winter Sow in Raised Beds.)
Update 19th of march
The Spinach has started to sprout outdoors in this Raised Bed, and at the same time I’m preparing Potatoes for this Raised Beds second Vegetable Batch:
Variety selected for this Raised Bed is Potato Bambino. More on how to do Potato Chitting (sprouting) in Milk Cartons, see this post: Chitting Seed Potatoes in Milk Cartons.
Update, 30th of may
Spinach for this Raised Bed is coming, but not quite done yet. That means that my potatoes has to stay in the basement for at least another week.
I’ve been mulching the spinach plants with grass clippings today to try to speed them up a bit.
Update, 12th of august
Potatoes are looking very good!