A raised bed offers the chance to grow delicious vegetables even in autumn. Due to the cold temperatures and the constant wetness, not all vegetables and cabbages are suitable for this.
A raised bed is a practical thing - and not just in the warm season. While the hobby gardener has to harvest the ground-level beds slowly and prepare them for the winter from September onwards, he can still plant certain types of vegetables and lettuces in his upscale versions and enjoy them until January.
However, this can only succeed if you protect the vegetables and the various types of lettuce from the cold temperatures and wetness.
Well protected against moisture and frost
Compared to normal, ground-level beds, a raised bed has several advantages, thanks to which you can use it well into the winter.
Due to the height, the first frost cannot penetrate the soil, which would damage the roots and prevent plant growth. The various layers of soil in the bed also act as a heat store against the cold. The plants in a raised bed are also well protected against rotting, which can quickly spread to the plant parts near the ground due to wet, cold September days.
Covers such as a fixed roof or a film tunnel also offer additional protection against moisture and frost. It even stores heat so well that you can harvest vegetables sown in autumn until January. However, you should open the cover at the top of the head at least during the day. As an alternative, you can use a fleece during a short frost period that keeps your vegetables up to five degrees warmer than the outside temperature.
Suitable crops for autumn sowing
There are some vegetable and salad crops that you can sow in September and then harvest until winter.
Suitable crops for the raised bed in autumn are:
- all types of cabbage
- Lamb's lettuce
Typical autumn vegetables, which are sown in summer but only harvested in autumn, are also better served in a raised bed because of their specific advantages than in a ground-level one.
Autumn vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese cabbage
Do not harvest vegetables in frost
If you harvest vegetables from the raised bed, you should make sure that it is frost-free in the cold season. Also, leafy, root and cabbage vegetables should not be frozen when you harvest them.
However, the situation is different with late Brussels sprouts. These only develop their full taste through the frost. So wait a bit here and give the vegetables time until the end of the year.
Sown for the next year
Gardening in autumn not only includes harvesting, but also sowing for the next gardening year. If you have several raised beds or do not want to sow autumn and winter ripening crops in them, you can sow them there again in October. For example, garlic that you sow in autumn grows much better due to the winter cold stimulus in spring. The same applies to onions and garden notches. If you want, you can also transform your raised bed into a sea of flowers for spring, where you can use your bulbs there in October.
If the raised bed should remain unplanted until next spring, use the cold season to enrich it with nutrients again. To do this, rake the soil to one side of the bed and then fill in green cuttings, leaves and other garden waste. These can then rot over the winter and release nutrients to the upper layer of the earth.