Thursday, 7 March 2013

Raised beds for vegetables

">Raised beds for vegetables:

The reason that I have raised beds is that my allotment is on a flood plan along side the River Thames. My plot has had 73 days under 64 cm of water (about 2 feet).

 The only beds that were out of the water were those that I had raised up above this level. The floods wiped out most of my vegetables.

The only one that did not suffer was my leeks, which I continued to harvest even when they were under water.

The water has since gone and I am setting about raising the rest of my beds. 

The way that I am doing this is to dig down to the sup-soil. Roughly two feet. I put the topsoil to one side. This leaves me with a hole two feet deep. I need to fill this hole to ground level.

 For this I use any organic material that I can get my hands on. It in bottom of the hole, where the roots of my vegetables are not going to reach; I put about a foot of old books, or cardboard.

 I collect the old books from friends (mostly old paper backs) and the cardboard I collect from local shops who are more then willing to get rid of it.

 On top of this, I have put leaf mould, which I got from a local college (I live in Oxford) they were more then willing to have somewhere to get rid of it.

 Then I put the topsoil back on top. I will leave this to settle before I plant my winter vegetables. This will be about four months.

 I know this works because I used this method two years ago and have grown good vegetables on the beds every since.

 It is a sort of Victorian Hot Bed with a 21st century twists i.e. the cardboard.

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