Broccoli in a Wooded Raised Bed


I’m a big fan of the brassica family – the plants look awesome. In England my mum had a whole patch of purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and standard broccoli. It was a jungle of leaves that made you want to bite them. In fact this is exactly what happened – the pigeons ate the lot.

I’m yet to see any pigeons around here; I assume the mosquitos chased them off. This is lucky because impulse purchasing left Belle and I with nine young broccoli plants. Our problem was we had nowhere to plant them because our garden is currently either patio, lawn, trees or shrubs.

My solution:

Digging amongst oak trees is bloody hard work. I got extra blisters to add to my chicken-coop-building wounds. I had actually planned this bed to be twice the size, but I was knackered and the mosquitos were killing me. In hindsight I like that it’s small and plan to dig a few more. I’ll nestle them between the trees to take advantage of micro-sunspots.

The soil was sandy, so when I filled the hole I layered wet leaves and algae between with the soil. The top layer is mainly leaves with a bag of compost over the top – probably 1-2 inches cover if I’m lucky. I’m pretty worried the broccoli will notice that this raised bed is more aesthetics than substance and die.

Just to push my luck I planted some beetroot seeds in the four square gaps. I’d read somewhere that broccoli and beetroot make good companions and I’m hoping the beetroot will be up and about before the broccoli gets too big.

I may get leaf shaped roots, if anything grows at all…


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