I have 3 raised beds at the back of the garden, each 8×4, divided into 2 feet squares.  I’ve grown veg in these beds sporodically and with mixed results for a few years now.  This year, I’m transitioning to no-dig, in an attempt to maximise cropping. I mulched where I could using spent mushroom compost, and will do the rest as the squares get harvested.

Here is what’s going on in the plot.

Not yet sown, still languishing in the tub.

  • Fennel
  • Radish

Sown, not yet germinated.

  • Red cabbage (modules)
  • Spring onions (pot)
  • Salads (in the ground)
  • Runner beans (root trainers)
  • Carrots (root trainers)

Recently planted out

Beetroot Boltardy.  Bought a tray of seedlings in my local garden centre.  Very inexpensive, loads of seedlings. Rude not to.  I planted those out, fully occupying a 2′ square.  I’ve probably exceeded the recommended planting distance, but these are meant to be harvested at golfball size so I should be OK.

Leek Musselburgh.  I grew a tray of these in modules, then doubled down and bought a tray in the garden centre for £1.  Really rude not to, there must have been over 50 leeks in that tray. They had loads of them, so I was pleased to contain myself to just one tray.  They were quite small and thus a bit fiddly to plant out, but it’s done.  I’ve grown this variety before, very simple, just leave them to it once in the ground.

Lettuce, various.  I started off 4 varieties in modules a couple of weeks ago, they got planted out in the last couple of days.  They are occupying about 3 squares between them, including the space left next to the climbing beans.  With the successional sowing I did today that’s 4 squares in total, so if I can keep Mr Slug away, we should be pretty self-sufficient in the salad leaves department.

Swede.   I’ve not grown swede before, giving it a try. These were sown in modules and planted out a day or two ago, taking up a whole 2′ square.  I may need to thin them out a little bit, we’ll see.

None of these is particularly photo-worthy at present, they can feature next time.

Growing away

Carrot ‘Jeanette’ – these are doing nicely in their feather bed (I seived a whole square and added sand and compost).  I also recently erected a fly barrier using some mesh I found in the shed.  I’ve just stapled it to some battening that I bashed into the ground.  The bed is already 1 foot off the ground and this beastie perimeter is about 2′ high, so 3 feet in total.  Should be enough, the carrot root fly doesn’t fly very well, I gather.  The only thing these carrots could possibly object to now is that I transplanted them from modules, which folklore has it, they don’t appreciate.  We shall see.

Broad beans – these are getting a bit mullered by blackfly, but I am getting some pods forming.  Hope to get a decent harvest.

Local blackfly farm, proprieter a Mr Ant.


Borlotti beans – these are climbing away up their netting which straddles two of the beds.

Runner beans – flippin’ slugs keep scything these down as they come out of the ground.  A few robust ones have made it past the juicy, easy to reach stage, so I may get some cropping plants out of the two sowings so far.  I’ve also sown some more in root-trainers, which I’ll transplant once they are strapping fellas.

Spuds – Earlies and mains.   All in bags, all growing away like crazy.  It’s only 4, maybe 5 weeks till I can harvest the earlies.  Looking forward to seeing what sort of crop I get this year.  I can recommend this method of growing in sacks (actually empty compost bags), it’s straightforward and less space-consuming than the traditional method.

Turnips ‘Milan’. I still don’t like to eat turnips, but they seem to be growing away happily despite that insult to their kin.

Spring cabbage – overwintered in situ, these are now pretty muscular plants.  I think they may just be forming heads, although I could be imagining it.

Onions – overwintered in situ, I think these are getting close to harvest-ready.  The foliage has flopped over.  They are not huge onions, but then I planted them pretty close.

Snap peas – busy growing up their net/cane arrangement.  They’re still small, but it is a dwarf variety that doesn’t get higher than 60cm.  I’m hoping these are less of a pain than the pod peas I grew last year, which were a lot of effort for not a lot of pea.

Tomatoes, 3 varieties. I’ve potted on to next size pots. The bajaja’s which were sown first, are now in 2 litre pots, with the ailsa craigs and sweet millions now in 1 litre pots.  I’ll let them grow into those pots for a week or two, then either plant them out into final positions or pot on again.  Depends how impatient I am.  I have a trial in mind for the tomatoes this year, looking at watering method.  More on that in a later post.

Courgettes – I’ve been excitedly preparing to grow these vertically up some trellis, to prevent them taking over the whole bed.  Amusingly, I find that, on inspecting more closely the packet, this variety is a compact one, bush forming.  So, it’s small and probably won’t climb.  Sigh. Oh well, best laid plans and all that.

Parsnips – allegedly a temperamental plant, these seem to be growing away quite happily.


Dug up & composted.

Carrots.  I forget the variety, and frankly I want to forget the experience of growing them too.  What a big fat waste of time.  They went to seed, bolted, and the resulting roots were a laughing stock.  They are on the compost heap, suitably buried.  I am not enjoying the experience of growing carrots.

I have fruit going too, I think I’ll do a separate post on those.

What do you have going on in your veg plot?

I’ll be back with another veggie update in a couple of weeks.