Growing vegetables in garden beds that are raised is beneficial. The benefits of raised beds apply to both the gardener and the plants that are being grown.
The first benefit raised bed gardening has is that it is perfect to maximize your space.
You can put your smaller spaces to use by simply using techniques such as vertical growing and succession planting.
With raised beds, you get to choose where you’ll want your plants to grow.
This includes choosing a location that is ideal for you and for your plants. You can place the raised bed in a spot where the vegetables you plan to grow in it will flourish.
But, what if you notice your plants are not doing as well as they should be in the area you chose for them?
Well, you can move the raised bed to a better location for your plants. Although it does take a bit of work and some effort to do so, this tactic eventually solves the problem.
The best thing about raised garden beds is that you have complete control.
With planting directly into the ground, there can be a lot of uncertainty. You can never really know exactly what soil is present in the ground.
Not knowing or not having full control over what soil your plants or vegetables grow in can be detrimental to them. This is because the soil is an incredibly important part of growing healthy plants.
With raised garden beds, you get to decide exactly what soil you put into it. You can create blends that are perfectly suited to the vegetables you are wanting to grow.
This will enable you to give your plants the absolute best possible start.
Raised beds also drain water quickly. With that, you are also likely to experience fewer diseases, pests, and weeds too.
Now that we know the benefits of using raised beds, which vegetables are the best choices for this planting method?
Well, continue reading below to find out.
Which are the best crops to grow in a raised bed?
- Green beans
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy
Onions are perfect for growing in raised beds. These vegetables, among others, are known to be of the least demanding.
They require soil that is well-draining as well as enriched. These two things are easy to provide in raised beds.
The raised bed already provides for good drainage. All you need is to create a well-enriched soil mix!
You could also use a store-bought, good-quality soil mix.
This vegetable does prefer soil that is fertile. You can easily enrich your soil with fertilizer or even fresh compost.
It is best to plant your onion seeds early. These vegetables can often take more than one hundred days to mature.
The best time to start growing your onions is early in the spring. You should start planting this plant indoors and only transplant them after the last frost date.
This juicy and delicious vegetable has an intense need for soil that is fertile and deep.
Tomatoes are heavy feeders with incomparable growing speeds. But, they absolutely love growing in raised beds.
In a raised bed you have the ability to control just how much and what kinds of nutrients your tomato plant gets.
The other thing you will need to supply your tomato plant with is a stake. These plants need some sort of support structure to twine around and grow on.
The stake or other type of support structure is most importantly used to aid in supporting the weight of the plant’s growing tomatoes.
You will need to loosely tie your maturing tomato plant to the support structure. This is only necessary until the plant has grown around the support structure.
The best types of tomato plants to grow in raised beds are ones that ripen quickly.
Types that can produce high yields whilst being limited to space are ideal. One type of tomato plant that is especially popular is the Cherry tomato plant.
Cherry tomato plants typically stay quite compact. These plants also produce an abundance of little tomatoes in just one season!
Read about German Queen tomatoes next
3. Green beans
Another speedy grower, green beans are known to only take around two months to mature.
This is true for green bean plants that you started growing from seeds. However, the green bean is not the only variety that can be grown in a raised garden bed.
Other varieties of beans suitable for growing in raised beds include:
- Blue Lake Bush beans
- Mascotte beans
- Dragon Tongue beans
- Yellow beans
- Purple beans and
- Red beans
All of the bean varieties make deep deposits of nitrogen into the soil they are grown in. This makes them ideal vegetables to grow with other plants that feed heavily off of nitrogen.
Heavy nitrogen-feeding plants include cabbage and broccoli.
Green beans, along with the other bean varieties, prefer weather that is warm. Thus, they should be planted after the last frost.
When you sow your bean seeds in rows, you should space them.
Space the rows about 18 inches (46cm) apart. The seedlings in each row should be spaced around 2 inches (5cm) apart.
Squashes are super adaptable vegetables.
Yet, these vegetables cannot tolerate frost. This means that squashes value the additional protection and warmth that raised beds can provide.
Other features squash like that are easily provided for by a raised bed are fertile soil and good drainage.
You should plant your squash seeds only after the last frost. Waiting about a week subsequent to the final frost is ideal.
It is possible to sow your squash seeds directly into the raised bed. However, it would be more beneficial to start your squashes off earlier inside.
This will then allow you to transplant seedlings into your raised bed when the weather has started to warm up.
It is recommended, though, to train your squash plant to grow on a trellis.
Using a trellis in the growing of your squash plant has many benefits. First off, a squash plant growing up a trellis will receive better air circulation.
It is also easier to spot and keep an eye on your growing squashes. The likeliness of pest problems is reduced too.
The best squash variety to choose for planting in a raised bed is a bush type. It is known that the bush varieties of squashes mature sooner than other squash types.
Another vegetable plant that thrives when grown in a raised bed is the potato plant.
Potatoes, although they are super low maintenance and easy to grow vegetables, can be sensitive.
Apart from good drainage, these vegetables also require loamy and loose soil. This is necessary to avoid the potatoes rotting in the ground whilst they should be growing.
As raised beds allow you complete control over the soil and nutrients, potato care is simplified even more.
You can choose a soil type that is ideal for your potato plant variety. With this level of control, it is effortless to encourage healthy growth.
This results in large, healthy tubers and even higher yields.
Growing potatoes in a raised bed are also worthwhile when it comes to the process of harvesting. Instead of having to go through the back-breaking process, you can instead sit beside your raised bed for the harvest.
For added benefits, you can fortify the amount of soil around your potato plant’s base.
Doing so will encourage your plant to spread out its tubers.
And of course, the addition of straw into the soil mix does wonders for potatoes. Straw is known to promote healthier and larger potato tubers.
Read about how far apart to plant potatoes next.
The mention of garlic may seem far-fetched. This vegetable is not thought to be one of the easiest to grow.
Although it may be tricky to grow typically, when grown in a raised bed, it is a breeze.
Garlic has very specific needs. These needs can be almost painless to meet with the help of a raised garden bed.
Remember, when planting garlic, you should open up the bulb and break it apart.
Plant each clove individually with their point end facing up.
In order to start their process of growing, the cloves require a period of cold. Therefore, it is best to plant your garlic in November, depending on your location.
Give your garlic cloves time to grow and they should be ready to harvest in the spring. You can expect your individual cloves to have matured into chubby new bulbs.
7. Bell Peppers
Another vegetable that appears as if it was made to grow in a raised garden bed are Bell Peppers. Although, you are not limited to just one variety of pepper plants.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can try your hand with other pepper varieties.
Pepper varieties available for choice are:
- Green pepper
- Red pepper
- Yellow pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Habanero pepper and even,
- Jalapeno pepper
Peppers grown in a raised bed are a recipe for success. Not only are they an effortless vegetable to grow, but peppers also bring a vibrant splash of color.
This addition of color is bound to make any garden look fantastic! And of course, we cannot forget just how delicious they are.
The exceptionally popular cucumber is among the perfect candidates for growing in a raised bed.
Because these vegetables are suckers for excellent drainage, they thrive when they are grown in raised garden beds.
Cucumbers do however have a weak stalk and will require the assistance of a trellis.
A trellis should be provided to offer the needed support as soon as the plant begins to grow. Having this support feature is also necessary to avoid the plant’s vines taking over the bed.
This is the typical behavior of the cucumber plant. You may prefer to keep this vegetable growing in a raised bed all on its own.
Nonetheless, with proper care and their ideal growing conditions met, you will be graced with delicious cucumbers in no time!
Although, it is best to avoid stagnating the cucumber plant’s soil. This will result in the toughening up of the cucumber which is less than desirable.
This vegetable is also one that requires the assistance of a support structure. The vine-type varieties of zucchini are the best ones to plant.
Growing zucchinis in a raised garden bed are not only admirable for the plant, but for you too! In a raised bed, your zucchini will be contained and will not spread and take over your garden.
Most gardeners prefer to plant zucchinis on their own in a bed. This is due to the fact that these plants have spreading stems and grow wide leaves.
However, there are some vegetable variants that grow well with zucchini.
Vegetables that are known to grow well when planted in the same bed as zucchinis are garlic and spinach.
But, to benefit your zucchini plant, you can plant it with beans. Zucchini’s love the high levels of nitrogen that is produced by the different bean plant varieties.
Sow your zucchini seeds straight into the raised bed. These plants hate the cold and do not cope well with transplanting.
You can expect your plant to begin to vine roughly five weeks after planting. The harvesting of most zucchini varieties can be done after sixty days or so.
Thriving in loose soil that is moist makes carrots the next best vegetable to grow in a raised bed.
The loosely packed soil in a raised bed makes for the perfect environment for carrot tubers to grow. In fact, carrots do exceptionally well.
The growth of this vegetable is often stunted as a result of compacted soil. Soil that is compacted leaves no room for the carrot tubers to expand and grow.
When grown in a raised bed, carrots are less likely to develop knobs.
Knobs are known to occur in the more conventional style of garden beds often. Carrots without knobs are much easier to harvest.
The variety of carrots you choose to plant will affect the type of raised garden bed you should prepare.
Long-growing varieties of carrots will need a deeper bed. Whereas, smaller and shorter carrot varieties, like the French carrot variety, will only need a bed that is low and fairly short.
It is no secret that beetroot that has been home-grown is much better than any store-bought kind.
Home-grown beetroot is generally more tender and sweeter tasting.
Beetroot seeds should be sowed straight into the soil of your raised bed. Composting the soil early in April, depending on your location, is also viable.
But, it is then necessary to keep the soil moist after this is done.
Planting your beetroot seeds intermittently can be done. Doing so will result in several months of harvesting.
From April until June, you can plant a few of your beetroot seeds every two weeks.
Just like potatoes, beetroots are quite easy to grow and have a preference for soil that is loamy. Growing this vegetable in a raised bed means you can cater to their exact preferences.
Doing so will help you to get the best growth out of your vegetables.
Do not plant beetroots with beans, however. Beetroots prefer low nitrogen levels.
This environment is the exact opposite of what you will get if you plant and grow beans as they release high levels of nitrogen whilst they are growing.
As a plant that does not do well growing in an abundance of weeds, lettuce loves raised beds.
In a raised bed, it is much easier to keep control of weeds. In a conventional garden bed, weed control can be difficult.
The other thing this vegetable loves that is provided by a raised bed is warm soil. With raised beds being a warmer option, you can even sow your lettuce seeds slightly earlier.
This is also possible as lettuces do not mind a short period of cooler weather.
Sowing your seeds earlier means you will be able to keep them going and grow for a little bit longer and later into the season. Warm soil will also assist in speeding up the germination process.
With plenty of varieties to choose from, there is a type of lettuce out there for everyone!
Plant your lettuce seeds right into your raised bed in the early days of spring. And, remember to keep the soil evenly moist.
You can then expect to harvest your lettuce in just thirty days. This is true for most varieties of lettuce.
For an added benefit, harvest your lettuce first thing in the morning. Doing so is known to preserve the lettuce’s great flavor.
By only picking the leaves you need and not removing the whole head of lettuce you are likely to get more out of your plant.
Kale is a fairly versatile vegetable. They can be grown happily in a smaller space.
Kale is even flexible enough to be grown comfortably in an area that is closely spaced.
However, this vegetable does not do well in weather that is hot. If they are grown in a season with undesirable weather, you are likely to experience a bitter-tasting plant.
But, it is easy enough to protect your kale from the heat. By simply growing a taller plant in the same raised bed, you can extend this vegetable’s growing season.
As with lettuce, when you harvest kale, it is better to just take what you need. By only removing the leaves you require at the time, your kale plant will continue to grow.
This means your vegetable will produce more leaves for you to harvest at a later stage.
Radishes are not the easiest vegetables to grow. But, a lot of success has been achieved with growing these plants in raised beds.
This is due to the fact that it is easy to avoid all of the features that radishes sorely dislike.
To name a few, this vegetable does not like soil that is too rich, nor does it enjoy clay-type soils. Conditions that are too soggy or too dry are also not ideal.
In a raised bed, you can keep all of the radish’s preferences in mind to create the perfect balance. A well-draining, loamy soil is best.
However, you will need to make sure it does not get too dry. And because this plant does not have very big roots, they only need a very shallow bed.
All three radish varieties can be easily grown in the same raised bed throughout the year. Cater to their very picky needs and you will be enjoying radishes all year round!
15. Bok Choy
Bok Choy is another vegetable that does not do well with sharing its space with weeds. These plants are heavy feeders but speedy growers.
They thrive in rich soil that is light and loose. Bok Choy is easy to grow and prefers to be grown in cooler weather.
It is best to start this vegetable off indoors. Once the frost has passed, you can then transplant the seedlings into your raised bed.
Although it is their preferred environment, Bok Choy needs to be protected from the cold. This means they are best planted beneath a plant that will provide a bit of shade and protection.
Raised beds are an ideal growing environment for many different kinds of vegetables.
Raised beds are able to provide for a number of different preferences. This type of garden bed offers gardeners the ability to grow a wider range of vegetable varieties.
Whether you want to grow different vegetables together or apart, you have complete control.
Raised garden beds can even make growing the most difficult of vegetables seem easy. Any plant that grows upwards rather than outwards is a winner where raised garden beds are concerned.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.