Raised Beds - Using a Bed System
As an alternative to digging up a section of lawn and creating a vegetable plot, you could try the 'Bed System' of raised vegetable beds. It provides easy access to crops and a very effective solution if your soil is poor and in need of large quantities of organic matter. It also looks organized if that is what you like in a garden.
Making your bed
Mark out the area for your beds with pegs and string.
Measure carefully around the edges and cut lengths of Gravel Board to fit.
Cut sections of 80mm x 50mm timber into 300mm lengths and hammer them into the ground on the inside of the corners and every 2m along the inside of the lengths of the bed.
Fit the Gravel Boards into place with Decking Screws.
Fill the beds with a mix of topsoil and organic matter.
Cover paths with landscape fabric followed by gravel or bark chipping's
You should now have a raised vegetable bed similar to this: veg bed
This bed is larger than normally used, and to improve access to the plants in the centre, it would be more useful to divide the plot down the middle and produce two smaller beds. The same should be done for the far bed giving a total of four beds.
No doubt you have already heard of crop rotation but just as a reminder, this is what it is used for. If you grow the same type of crops in the same section of ground for successive years you will increase the amount of pests & diseases in the soil specific to that group of crops. So we move the plants and allow the build up of pests to die off.
Crop rotation also allows you to Crop Rotationplant a crop in the ground that benefits the soil for more delicate crops next year. For example following Potatoes with Onions is beneficial to the Onions as the Potato tends to smother any weeds, and following Legumes with Brassicas is beneficial to the Brassicas as the Legumes have fixed Nitrogen nodules into the soil.
Keep a gardening diary and plan out your crop rotation strategy for the next few years. It will also give you a good idea of what types of seeds you should be buying.