Thursday, 19 April 2012

Growing Vegetables In Raised Beds & Potatoes In Bags



Since giving up the lottie last year we have spent the winter preparing my back garden for growing my veg. I don't have as much space for growing vegetables in the garden as I did down the lottie but I'm still determined to harvest a good crop. Even just growing a few veggies, and fruit if you can will save you money off your supermarket bill.

First thing Papa & I did last year was put in some raised beds. My garden is surrounded by a lot of trees that suck the nutrients away from almost everything I try and grow beneath them so raised beds are a good solution.

We were very lucky to find these old crates while Papa was out salvaging wood. There are a few factories near us that very kindly give us their old pallets for recycling and one day they had three of these that they gave to Papa. I was thrilled as I instantly knew what I would use them for.


To save me from the hard work of digging the grass out from inside the raised beds I lined the bottom with old cardboard boxes which killed off the grass. I emptied my compost bins into them and left them covered all over the winter. Then this week I topped them up with some fresh bought compost.

So in my first bed I planted red onions and carrots. I use onion sets instead of seeds. Sets are basically mini onions and they tend to be a little easier to grow than seeds with more success. They come in bags or nets that usually have quite a few in them. I paid about £3 for my bag.


I always grow my onions alongside my carrots. I was told by a wise allotmenteer that carrot fly do not like onions so if you plant them in alternate rows it combats the carrot fly problem. This has worked wonderfully for me in the past so I'll stick with this method.

Carrot fly can smell carrots from a mile away and its during the process of 'thinning out' the seedlings that the carrot fly are attracted to your crop to demolish it.

When you plant your onion sets just make a small hole and drop one in with the top just poking out. Blackbirds love to pull the newly planted onion sets clean out so if you wish, you could cover with some fleece until they get going. I don't bother though, I just replace the odd one that goes missing.


In my other beds I planted parsnips and swedes. I will plant out some more onions and carrots in a few weeks time as these are the two veggies we use the most.


During the Easter holidays my lovely Niece helped me seed up my tomato's. We have planted four different varieties. They are safely tucked away inside the green house and when they are big enough I will transplant them into grow bags.


So as I am limited on space this year I have decided to grow my spuds in bags. You can buy re-usable bags that are specially for growing potatoes very cheaply online but I'm using my old compost bags which are free (even better). 

They have to be compost bags that are black on the inside and all you do is turn them inside out, roll them down and put about 10 inches of compost in the bottom.

Then pop four or five seed potatoes in the bag with the noggly bobbly bits facing up (this is where the plant leaves will sprout from).


Cover the seeds with more compost. Make sure there are a few small drainage holes in the bottom of the bag. Position in a sunny position, water and leave to grow.


As soon as the plant shoots start appearing unroll the bag slightly, cover the shoots up with soil and keep doing this process as they keep growing through.
Hopefully at the end of it you will have a big bag of spuds.

Here's how the veggies are looking eight weeks later



 Watch this space.

So are you growing anything this year?

9 comments:

  1. Hi again, just had to say 'snap' as I have done a post about square foot gardening today, it seems we're all keen to get growing we just need some sunshine now!

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  2. Hi Mama. Looks like you and your little helper got really busy over Easter! I have found I have two copies of Carol Klein's book Grow you own Veg. Would you like one? I'll pop it in the post for you if you'd like it. just remind me of your address . I'm so thrilled to have one your giveaway!

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  3. Hi Mrs Tightwad...Big waves! xxx
    And Sky blu, I would love a copy, Thankyou so much! I'm more than happy to pay you for it...of course for postage too. I'll email you xxx

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  4. What a fantastic idea re. the potato bags. I am definitely doing that!! We are trying to grow courgettes at the moment...Too cold to plant anything else out just yet... :)

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  5. Oh! I mean as a gift! I know you'll put it to good use! Most of my London friends live in small garden-less places, I would love you to have it. Gx

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  6. Hi Emma, I'm so envious of you. We move next week, and by the time I've done all the unpacking and sorted things out I may just have time to sow a few things in pots this year, but will very definitely be getting/making some raised beds for next year. Looking forward to seeing how your crops do - great tip about the carrots and onions, must remember xx

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  7. I blogged just yesterday on our plans for this year. We have one decent size raised bed in the garden but tend to focus on growing mainly salad veg as that can be squeezed up tight and we eat a lot of it with almost daily BBQ's over the summer.
    Your's are looking great though, have you any plans for keeping the slugs off?

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  8. I have to say the older my kids are getting, the more interested they are in actually growing something. I can barely keep a pot plant alive!
    But I'm willing to give it a try this year.
    Brodie actually got a little kit for his birthday, to grow his own tomatoes. Hopefully it's got idiot-proof instructions that even I can do.
    I'll keep you posted x

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