5 tips for a successful vegetable patch

Whether you want to grow herbs, salads or tomatoes there, raised gardening obeys certain principles that guarantee good results, of which here are the basics.

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1. Choose the structure

Vegetable squares are often made of wood, an interesting material for building raised beds, especially since there are several options: pallet wood, laminated wood, structural timber, wooden slabs, recycled pallets and beams, braided willow also, ready-to-assemble kits… Apply a coat of wood stain or an ecological paint and line the inside with a waterproof tarpaulin.

Three other materials can also be used: stone (natural stone, concrete, bricks, garden slabs), metal (insulate the internal walls with polystyrene sheets) and plastic.

2. Make a good growing medium

Once installed in a sunny place, fill your square using the "3-layer potting soil" technique, guaranteeing vigorous growth of vegetables and herbs, thanks to an optimal development of soil micro-organisms, to a satisfactory retention of the soil. water from rain or watering, and to a solid anchorage of the roots. First fill 30 to 50 cm with coarse and undecomposed material (branches, twigs, wood chips, hedge trimmings) which will drain the vegetable garden, then 20 to 30 cm with compost and more or less decomposed plant waste that constitute a nutrient stock and, finally, a mixture of garden soil and sieved compost (or raised bed potting soil).

3. Consider a booster and blanket

To prolong plant growth and therefore the production season, a vegetable patch can be accessorized with a non-woven cover, a plastic cover or a glazed frame which will transform the vegetable patch into a mini greenhouse, increasing the temperature and humidity.

Avoid the glass pane which could break, but opt ​​instead for a reinforced mesh film, or polycarbonate, plastic film or even winter cover. Also remember to ventilate the bed regularly to avoid overheating too quickly and reduce the humidity of the air, which can promote the spread of disease.

4. Bar access to gastropods

Snails and slugs crawl easily on vertical walls. To prevent them from devouring your crops, attach an adhesive tape all around the bed ... "and if you isolate your wooden box from the ground by installing it on a layer of stone or brick slabs or even on a frame in galvanized sheet, provide a bevelled metal edge facing downwards and inwards, ”says author Folko Kullmann. In the vegetable garden directly, organic slug granules based on iron phosphate will fight against snail eggs.

5. Maintain your square vegetable garden

Watering should be regular and sufficient, but without excess humidity. From the first cold nights, the installation of a wintering veil is good protection for the vegetable patch. In the fall, once the bins are empty after the harvest, install a green manure (rapeseed or alfalfa) which will grow quickly and avoid leaving the surface of the soil bare.

After a few years, consider renewing the substrate at the start of a new season.

Find advice from Folko Kullmann in the book Mon vegetable garden, published by Delachaux and Niestlé.

Claire Lelong-Lehoang

Visual credits: Square vegetable garden 1 to 3: © Coco -

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