Friday, August 1

Woodblocx Raised Bed - an update

On 4 July I posted about sowing salad crops into our new Woodblocx raised bed.

The bed was filled with potting compost and I sowed small blocks of crops that we thought would be useful to have handy for salads.

By 15 July all the types of seeds sown showed a good rate of germination.
Some space had been left to sow more seeds later to attempt to have some succession.

By 21 July the bed looked like this.
Things were going well - too well as it happened - as almost the next day we found that lots of the beetroot seedlings had been nibbled by birds. I had expected a problem with the salad leaves but not the beetroot. Maybe the beetroot leaves were more accessible.

The situation called for a quick response and so I cobbled together a covering of netting.
Now this set up would be acceptable on the plot but for our coldframe courtyard I want something a little more aesthetically pleasing and so I'm on the lookout for a better arrangement.

Now to focus on the individual crops.
The baby beetroot that were attacked (on the left) are now recovering. The ones on the right were covered before the birds got to them. I don't know what is happening beneath the surface but the young leaves are a useful and tasty addition to salads.
The spring onions that we have so much trouble with in open ground are coming on. It has proved useful to have the ones grown in pots in the greenhouse close to hand, so I hope they do well here too.
The radish are producing good top growth but when last checked were not producing the expected fat roots. I'm not convinced that radish enjoy being grown in compost so we may reconsider how we fill the bed when we move it to a permanent position.
The 'Speedy Mix' salad leaves are being cropped. It is really useful having these close by as harvesting from the plot means we can't pick them to use as fresh as they need to be.
The baby carrots have avoided the first hatching of carrot root fly but will they escape the attentions of the later August/September hatching. 
The 'Bistro Mix' salad leaves are not as far advanced as the other variety but will soon but of a useable size.
The lettuces that were sown to plant in the bed have been really slow to grow - maybe the hot conditions haven't suited them. The young plants have been left in small plant pots which have been sunk into the compost, This way we hope to harvest lettuce without too much disturbance of the plants growing alongside them.

I've also sown a second lot of radishes and both lots of salad leaves. So far so good!

By the way my completed July diary is available here if you are interested.


Stop Press: I have been short-listed in a blog competition see sidebar.


23 comments:

  1. It's all looking really healthy Sue. For some reason I can only grow radishes right at the beginning of the season. The rest of the time they just don't grow properly.

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    1. And they are supposed to be easy, CJ. One of the great mysteries of gardening :)

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  2. You are certainly putting that raised bed to good use. Like you, I have often struggled to get good Radishes when they are sown in containers. I'm currently having another go, so we'll compare notes then... My Woodblocx bed will be delivering its harvest much later than yours, but if the top-growth is anything to go by I expect to get some pretty big parsnips!

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    1. I think I may try a container with soil or soil mixed with compost, Mark to see if it makes a difference.

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  3. This is really interesting Sue. I have been struggling growing salad crops in open ground this year.. mainly slug damage/decimation. I've been thinking about investing in something like this where I can hopefully protect them more successfully. Your point about compost hits home too. It could be why my efforts in a less posh container have been patchy. What are you thinking of replacing the compost with?

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    1. Rebecca, currently we are thinking of either mixing some John Innes loam based compost or garden soil in with the other compost as it should add some nutrients that may be lacking and

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  4. Looking good. There are some things which are just more handy to have at home rather than at the allotment so this set up should work well for you. Good luck in the competition, I've cast my vote for you.

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    1. Thank you , Jo I am happy now at least I have some votes.

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  5. I always forget you can eat beetroot leaves, duh! Thanks for the reminder Sue.

    Jean x

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    1. Glad to be of service Jean, I only realised when I once bought a bag of mixed leaves from the supermarket and there were some in. I wonder whether you cabnuse carrot tops this way too :)

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  6. It must be nice to have it right outside your door now. I've never had far to go, but in this house it really is right outside my kitchen door. Everything is so convenient.

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    1. It's already proving to be a good move, Daphne

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  7. Martyn has just picked some radish to investigate and they are actually thickening up now. :)

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  8. I always get home and realise I've forgotten to bring some lettuce or spinach from the lottie, cost more in fuel driving back than buying a lettuce.

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    1. So do we especially salad things which is why I thought it would be a good idea, Julee

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  9. Great progress! All look so healthy. Maybe I should add more compost and porous material on my raised bed, so all of my veggies will grow better like yours.

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    1. It's early days Endah. They may all suddenly die.

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  10. How wonderful it's all looking, you should have plenty of salad on hand for a few months to come. I've voted, I did it anonymously to keep it simple. Looks like you're doing well. Go girl, I hope you win!xxx

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    1. Having salad stuff to hand is great, Snowbird. Thanks for the vote but realistically I don't stand a great chance of winning but as they say it is the taking part that counts :) Anonymous is the best way to go too.

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  11. The salad crops are looking really good and seem to be growing quickly; no slug or caterpillar damage on the leaves which is impressive (this always haunts the look of my salads). Congrats on the shortlist re: blog competition - I voted for you!

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    1. No slug damage yet, Kelli - thanks for the vote

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  12. That's looking really good Sue. I followed Charles Dowding's advice and filled my raised veg beds with a mix of mushroom compost and manure, everything seems to grow really well. I always seem to lose some beetroot seedlings to the blackbirds.

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    1. I think it will definitely need something more nourishing, Janet but I'm wary of manure and mushroom compost isn't readily available around here.

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