Essentially organic raised beds are those who don’t use any sprays, pesticides or chemical additives whatsoever, no artificial fertilizer is used, so in other words what we have planted is completely grown naturally. From time to time we may use an organic fertiliser but this has been certified not to contain any harmful, toxic ingredients and is deemed safe for use with our vegetables.
So much is written and said nowadays about all the harmful, pesticides sprays used in the growing of our vegetables, that we are not sure if it is even safe to buy any veggies at all. However if we have our own raised garden bed out back and we sow, plant and tend to it ourselves, then we can allay all those worries and fears, thus what we have then is considered organic.
When we have completed the raised bed frame, the next step is to dig and prepare the soil within, top-up with a good grade of topsoil, then add some peat, some composted material like leaves and hedge clippings and some well rotted farmyard manure. I would definitely not add grass cuttings as this tends to contain a lot of nitrogen and as a result is not considered ideal for good organic gardening purposes.
A good time to prepare these beds is autumn time when the growing season is complete, we then leave all the freshly added material to breakdown over winter, ie let nature do its thing. This is called soil enriching and is necessary to re-invigorate the raised bed soil after the growing phase of the previous season. Come spring the soil is freshly renewed, fertile and we are now ready for planting.
What to plant in organic raised beds;
When we mention organic, we tend to speak about vegetables mainly. Practically all types of veggies can be planted and grown in these organic conditions. To categorise every one separately would require a library of detail, however we can source all of this information online. Your local garden centre will always provide the correct advice on what is best to plant and sow. I would start with onions, leeks, strawberries, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, radishes and lettuces. As these are easy to grow, they do not require a great deal of expertise and are pretty much maintenance free, apart from a little watering at the start. The next year we could expand more to accommodate other household favourites. All of the above is dependent on where we live, what the growing conditions are like, how soon we can begin planting etc etc, but the basics still remain the same…we need to prepare well and that will auger well for a great rewarding and enjoyable season .
Get ready to sow;
The greatest advantage that we have by using the organic raised beds, is that we have healthy wholesome produce, ready for consumption when needed. The three basic requirements for anything to grow are; soil, heat and moisture. Regardless of whether its grass, trees, shrubs, plants or flowers we are growing, our vegetables are no different. If we have established and understood those facts, it makes our task all the more enjoyable and achievable.
We have no great worries about the amount of airmiles travelled, what country the produce originated or most importantly what sprays or pesticides were used in their production. By using the natural materials as mentioned
above, allows for better growing conditions and when our plants become established, we can mulch around them with bark cuttings, or coconut shell mulch, which will suppress any issues with weeds. When the growing cycle is over, its pretty much more of the same, all we need is to add some composted material and more farmyard manure, fork in well and leave over winter to breakdown again. This will ensure that our raised garden beds will be organic in nature and name going forward. So that said…we are a sociable bunch here at raisedbeds.com, drop in and say hello anytime, or if you have any questions, feel free to ask below.
Happy gardening to all,
” I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow ∼ David Hobson “