Raised Bed Plan - Lettuce, Red Onion, Winter Carrots, Lettuce, and Beetroot.
This Raised Bed is planned to give 3 Batches of Vegetables during one season. The picture above shows the layout of second batch.
- Early Lettuce (or choose another early crop like Spinach or Radish)
- Red Onion
- Winter Carrots
Why these crops?
Carrots and Onions traditionally thrive together. The smell of Onions keeps the Carrot Bugs away, and they compliment each other since Carrot roots grow deep and Onion roots grow wide between the rows.
Sowing Carrots and Planting Onions at the same times enables me to grow something before, and something after these Crops. I choose Salad for the first Batch as I have plenty of other Early Crops in other beds. I choose Beetroot for the last Batch since they belong to the same Family as Carrots and goes well into this Garden Bed from a Crop Rotation Perspective.
3b = This bed is in the "Needs Less" 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. Yet you don't want to be to early to destroy the Plants. 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 Salad 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.
- Harvest the Bed Continously
Depending on how cold/warm the spring is, the Salad will be ready to harvest at different time. Harvest Continously as soon as you can. No reason to save for later. Eat as much as you can and enjoy early Salad.
- Harvest the last Salad (if anything left to harvest)
- Feed the Raised Bed with manure (I use Cow Manure Compost)
- Plant Red Onion Bulbs (If you want to grow Onion from Seeds, you have to start them earlier indoors)
- Direct Sow Winter Carrots
- Direct Sow Salad around the edges of the Frame (this gives a little Salad to harvest continously for the next months)
- --> See my Sowing/Planting Layout in the image above
- Start Beetroot Seeds indoors (choose a late season variety if possible)
- Harvest continuously, first Salad and later also Onions and Carrots when they are ready.
- Transplant your Beetroot Seedlings to bigger Pots if needed.
- Harvest the remaining Carrots and Onions.
- Add manure
- If possible: add compost
- Plant your Beetroot Seedlings that you started in June.
- Harvest Beetroots
- 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 120x80 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.