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Hello my name is Katie Rushworth and today I am going to show you how to plant up a raised bed. Now this one here has been made by Craig Phillips and it is really straight forward to do, you can see how to do it on the Silverlinetools. com website.
First of all I am going to fill it up with compost. Now I am using a multipurpose compost here, you can use homemade compost if you are disciplined enough to make it, a mixture of topsoil and compost would be fine, but it wants to be full up to the top. And there we go, that is about there now, ready for plants! Now it is amazing what you can grow in such a small space, we can have crops growing all summer to be harvested in this with just a little bit of planning. First up I have got some strawberry plants which are really pretty, they have a delicate white flower and of course the delicous fruits, so I am going to put them at the edge so they hang over and really soften the edge of this raised bed. Now the beauty of a raised bed is that it is full of soft soil and compost making it much easier to dig. Strawberries grow via these stow alongs, they sound out these long runners and when they hit the soil a new plant will grow and then once it has got its roots and leaves established you can snip that from the parent plant and you will have a brand new strawberry plant in your border. Now if you don’t want too many stow alongs and strawberry plants marching through your raised bed you would simply cut them off and then the energy directed would go straight to the fruit instead of creating new plants. So next I have a selection of herbs and some other vegetables, I have onions, carrots, lettuce and beetroot. I am going to put the carrots in first, now carrots wouldn’t usually grow in a bed as shallow as this but this variety grow as a sphere they are kind of a globe carrot so they are perfect for small raised beds like this. They will stay nice and compact, I am going to put a row of them along here. Now carrots are prone to attracting something called carrot root fly which will demolish rows of carrots. The slightest bit of movement will send the fragrance of teh carrot leaves like an alarm bell to the carrot root fly and they will hunt them out and come and eat them all. However, we are going to do something called companion planting and the next row along is going to be herbs and fingers crossed the scent of the herbs will confuse the carrot fly and they will leave the carrots alone. Now carrots like really free draining soil so if you are sowing directly into the ground with seeds you should put some sand in the bottom of your hole and that will jelp the seedlings root away, but seeing as we have plants like this we should be fine. So to disguise the smell of the carrots I am putting in time which is a pretty plant and it smells amazing. We are going to have a Rosemary, and this is an evergreen shrub, it can get quite big but if you use it a lot it will keep it’s size nice and manageable. I also have some Basil and some Sage, and then the last herb I have to put in is Chives. Now chives have a gorgeous flower on them, it is a bit like a purple pompom and you can eat the flower as well, they look amazing sprinkled on top of salads. Now next up I have some beetroot and beetroot are really easy to grow, you can grow them in the smallest of spaces, they are really reliable so whether you grow them from a seed or by a plug plant like this it is really easy and reliable cropping. Now should you want bigger beetroot you can thin out the seedlings so for example I could pull this one away and sacrifice that one meaning I would get a bigger beetroot on the bottom of that one but if you are not particularly fussed and are happy with smaller plants then it is fine to keep them as they are. Next I am going to put my lettuces in, now lettuce are quite thirsty plants. There is alot of water content in the leaves os you have to make sure that you keep them wall watered and also slugs love them. I find that egg shells sprinkled around the base of them keep the slugs away, and also if you can bring yourself to do it, beer traps. So if you think a jam jar with some beer into the soil it will make sure that the slug will be lured into quite a kind death I suppose. Drunk on beer I can think of worse ways to go. I am going to give these a bit more space because this will give them a big lettuce. If you are growing the lettuce from seed, then you want to be sowing that seed once every two or three weeks and that will give you a succession of lettuce throughout the year. Whereas if you sow it all in one go it all has to be use din one go and there is only so much lettuce one family can eat. So try and space out your sowing periods. And then last but not least, I have got some onion plants. In each pack like this there are four and if you are really delicate you can pull them, tease them apart like that and then you have just the one onion and sink them in. They smell incredibly pungent already, and again planting onions alongside carrots will just deter those carrot fly. When your onions are ready to harvest, you need ou t lift them out of the ground so when they are onion sized if you like, if that;s a good guide is lift them out of the ground and then leave the onions just on top of the soil just to dry out for a few days and that way they can be stored for much longer, they will keep for a good few months. And there we are, in such a small space I have got stawberries, carrots, a selection of herbs, beetroot, lettuce and onion. And it has taken me about 20 minutes to plant up with very little maintenance and much easier on my back than bending down to the ground. Now to give everything a drink and just let it do it’s thing until things are ready to pick and harvest. For loads more gardening tips go to Silverlinetools. com.