Growing vegetables in raised beds has many advantages. One of these is that the soil is free-draining so it does not become water-logged. Raised beds are a particularly good idea if you have a small garden. You can also grow vegetables in a small pot, which can be placed anywhere in your garden. There is nothing more satisfying than picking your home grown vegetables for cooking at home.
If growing vegetables in a pot, start by covering the drainage holes with pieces of broken pot. This will help to improve the drainage further. Fill the pot half full with a good top soil or John Innes No.1 growing medium. We advise using Westland Top Soil because this is a clay loam soil with high humus content which retains nutrients and moisture. Fill the other half of the pot with a multi-purpose compost. Westland Multi-purpose compost with John Innes is a good compost to use as it was created to support all stages of a plant’s growth cycle.
If you are creating a raised bed, use wooden sleepers or wood planks sunk into the soil making a square around 1m x1m (39” x 39”). Use a similar mix as above, placing stones or crocks in the bottom then covering with top soil and compost.
Decide which vegetables you want to grow in your raised bed or container. Choose some that you definitely enjoy eating. Here are some good options which work well in a raised bed or pot because they do not grow too tall.
- Spring onion
- Lettuce (Tip: carry out successive sowing for a constant supply throughout the season)
- Dwarf French beans (Tip: use a wigwam of canes in a large, circular pot for best results)
It is best to sow the seeds in rows in your raised bed, so use your finger to evenly put some rows in. Open one seed packet at a time and sprinkle some of the seeds lightly in the row. Don’t clump them together or sow too thickly. Once you have sown the seeds, lightly cover them with some soil and firm it down. Place a label at the end of the row so that you remember what you have sown. Repeat this for all of the rows and seeds you have until you have a full bed of vegetable seeds.
If you plan to use pots, sprinkle seeds sparingly over the surface in the case of carrots or spring onion (saves thinning out later), whilst the other larger seeds can be spaced evenly in a circle around the edge of the pot (and some in the middle if you have room).
Remember to water the seeds after sowing, covering pots with glass or poly bags until first signs of growth appear. Pots can be raised off the ground using house bricks or blocks to ensure good drainage. Before you know it you should have a bed full of fantastic vegetable plants.