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Low yields and misshapen root vegetables result from poor soil conditions. You can remedy this if you create a deep bed that provides more space below than in width.

In a nutshell

  • Deep beds allow root vegetables to penetrate deep into the soil with their roots
  • the space requirement is significantly lower compared to conventional vegetable beds
  • yields are increased fourfold depending on the type of vegetable
  • compacted soil is loosened and permanently enriched with nutrients
  • it is two spades deep, 120 cm wide and as long as desired

Deep bed: advantages

Growing root vegetables proves difficult when the soil is compacted. A deep bed is supposed to solve exactly this problem. The special properties of the deep bed allow vegetables such as carrots, parsnips or chicory to grow in the depths in a relaxed manner. Prerequisites for the effectiveness of the beds are the right structure and the optimal condition of the soil used for cultivation. The following advantages arise from the use of a deep bed:

  • less planting distance necessary
  • Substrate is very nutritious
  • significantly higher yields (up to 20 kg per m²)
  • better water supply through deep-reaching roots
  • Waterlogging is prevented

Materials and utensils:

  • spade
  • shovel
  • digging fork
  • wheelbarrow
  • guideline
  • Wooden post for staking
  • folding rule
  • garden gloves
  • compost (mature)
  • horse manure (rotting)
  • quartz sand

Tip: If you are not physically strong enough yourself, you should definitely get a helping hand to implement the project. Since you have to dig deep, creating a deep bed requires a lot of effort.

preparation and planning

Planning the deep bed is essential so that it can ultimately provide the necessary conditions for growing the root vegetables. The final size of the bed is particularly important. The typical dimensions are:

  • Depth: 50 cm to 60 cm (corresponds to 2 spade blades)
  • Width: 120cm
  • Length: as desired

The special feature of the deep bed is the small space requirement, which is mainly achieved by the small width. Since you want to grow root vegetables, depth is far more important than width. However, you can adjust the length as you wish, as it does not affect the function of the deep bed. Just keep in mind that the time investment will be much higher if you create a longer deep bed. Mark out the desired bed with a guide and include any unevenness. Another part of the preparation is placing the plants in the bed. The following points must be observed:

  • plant closely
  • Plants must touch
  • do not plant in each other
  • plant in a triangle pattern
  • use mixed culture

If you're not familiar with the triangle pattern, don't despair. This just means that you plant the root vegetables in staggered rows, creating numerous triangles instead of squares as is the case with regular bed planting. This is the only way the plants can be placed so close together without shrinking. As a precaution, create a plan with the positions in the bed. This will make it easier to plant later.

Creating a deep bed: instructions

Once you have finished preparing the bed, you can start the project. The ideal time is a day without precipitation, since soaked soil is clearly too heavy and can only be moved with great effort. The same applies to prolonged periods of drought, as the soil must be broken apart by the loss of water. There should also be no ground frost. If the day is suitable for the implementation of the deep bed, follow these instructions:

  • Completely remove turf
  • Dig the bed to a spade depth
  • Store excavated earth in wheelbarrow
  • mix with manure and compost
  • incorporate sand if necessary
  • this improves the soil structure
  • Dig another spade depth (2nd layer of soil).
  • first loosen thoroughly with the digging fork
  • compacted pieces break apart
  • 2. Remove the layer of soil from the bed and dispose of it
  • Fill the bed with the excavated earth
  • if the excavation is not enough, add a little more fresh soil
  • Use root vegetables according to the planting plan

Notice: If you want to use the bed for several years, you can attach the sides. Stone elements are particularly suitable for this, as they do not rot over the period of use.

frequently asked Questions

Can the bed be entered after it has been created?

No, because the earth would compact too quickly. For this reason, they are not as wide as other beds, as this helps to prevent soil compaction. Thanks to the size, you can still work from every side, which makes entering the bed unnecessary. Children and dogs should also not enter deep beds.

How can the deep bed be walked on?

If it is necessary to walk on the bed, place a wooden board over it like a bridge. This allows you to work directly on the bed for a short period of time without weighing it down. However, you should not use this method too often so that the risk of compaction does not increase.

Can foil tunnels be used?

Nothing speaks against the use of a foil tunnel in the bed. These are very suitable for carrots, for example, if you want to sow them early. When placing the foil tunnel, make sure that you do not unnecessarily burden the bed. Thanks to the breadth of existing products, this is not actually possible. They are usually available in widths of 150 centimetres, which is ideal for deep beds.

How can an effective crop rotation with deep beds be established?

If you want to make permanent use of the drop beds, you must never neglect the crop rotation. Create a new bed for these each year so you can rotate and plant new vegetables as needed. This way, you can create a space-saving root vegetable garden for years to come.

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