Raised Bed Plan – Spinach, Potatoes, Beans, and Swiss Chard.
This Raised Bed is planned to give 3 Batches of Vegetables during one season. The picture above shows the layout of second batch.
- Swiss Chard
Why these crops?
Potatoes are the foundation of this bed, and with potatoes growing between May to September I have plenty of time to grow something before and after the Potatoes. I choose to grow Spinach before since it’s cold resistant and a good early spring crop. As late crop I select Swiss Chard because it is quite slow growing and needs to be planted mid september to grow enough for me to harvest before winter. Mid september should be more then enough for Potatoes, so I’m confident in this plan. I Plan to grow Beans together with Potatoes and they are in general good companions to each other.
4b = 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
This is a Bed that you need to start early to get three batches of vegetables, and are one of the Raised Beds that I have already Prepared for Winter Sowing. 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 Swiss Chard Indoors
- Start harvesting Potatoes and Beans
September – end:
- Harvest the last Potatoes and Beans
- Add Chicken Manure
- Transplant Swiss Chard to the Raised Bed
- Cover with Glass or Plastic
November – mid/end:
- Harvest the last Swiss Chard
- 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 adjusting the Plan a bit for this Raised Bed already and I’ve been Winter Sowing both Spinach and Mache Salad here today. I realised that i really had a lot of Spinach planned, but not enough Mache Salad, so they will share the space in this Raised Bed.
Started the Seeds Today and added a 5 cm layer of Snow on top. It is still cold and Snowy here, and I’ve had a perfect Winter Sowing day outdoors. To see more about how I Winter Sow Spinach and Mache, check out this link with more detailed instructions: Winter Sowing Seeds.
Update, 19th of march
Potatoes are started! Varieties started for this Raised Bed is Valor and Almond Potatoes, which are both late varieties.
More details on how I do the Potato Chitting, se this post: Chitting Seed Potatoes in Milk Cartons.
Update, 4th of june
I’ve harvested the last spinach and mache from this Raised Bed. Some pics of the mache:
Also moved the potatoes and beans outdoors.
Update, 8th of august
Potatoes are growing good this season! You almost can’t see the Beans. But they are in there!
This is a Borlotti Bean: