I've just finished my first raised bed and I'm wondering what plants to plant. We are at the height of summer. Should I just concentrate on nitrogen fixing, or is it worth me planting something that will be edible?
I have plenty of farva bean seeds, radishes and onions. Also, would lupins be useful for fixing the nitrogen? And would you ever put comfrey on the actual bed or just use it for mulch?
I would look to see what planting schedules for your area say. You will probably have to provide shade during the height of the day for any sprouting plants.
If, however, you are a couple of weeks to a month or so before fall planting, you could plant exclusively soil-building plants, and then chop them for mulch when you seed in late summer.
I don't know how fall is where you are, but in Toronto where I am, zone 6a, we plant crops in late August that will be harvested around first frost in late October/November.
These are usually greens, or plants that will develop root systems and go dormant in the winter to produce an early spring crop.
Let us know, and good luck.
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Comfrey would be best grown separately, since it will take over. It is used to bring up nutrients. Planted beside the bed, it will bring up nutrient and glean any that run off the bed. Another suitable spot would be around animal enclosures. Nutrient runs off under the fence, forage is tossed over.
The height of comfrey and it's resilience to being sheared, make it a good candidate to be used as a temporary wind break or as summer shade. whenever it is not needed, cut it down and mulch.
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