Having a fruitful garden harvest is a dream many people have, but it can be hard to achieve depending on your circumstances. Raised beds generally have fantastic drainage, and warm-up earlier in the season, and those with physical limitations can enjoy gardening more easily. Even better? Several vegetables are easy to grow in a raised bed.
From fresh herbs to leafy greens to root vegetables and tomatoes, raised beds make having a bountiful garden more accessible than ever. Raised beds on a smaller scale can make it easier to garden in small spaces, such as on an apartment patio or balcony. Let’s take a closer look at more of the benefits of raised bed gardens and cover some of the best vegetables that can be grown in your space.
Benefits of Gardening in Raised Beds
Growing food in raised beds has a ton of advantages. Using a raised bed is a smart choice if you live in an area with less than ideal soil, whether it be too rocky, sandy, or you have clay soil. You can set up your beds, fill them with good quality dirt, and grow vegetables that you wouldn’t be able to develop directly in the ground.
If your goal is a beautiful garden that is pleasing to the eye, potager gardening is a fun choice. Otherwise, you can set your beds up according to what fits best in the space you have available to you. You don’t even have to limit yourself to just edible plants, as flowers are a great way to add color to your planting area.
Other benefits include:
- Fewer weeds
- Adequate drainage
- Root crops thrive in deep, loose soil
- Easy to maximize your space, allowing you to have a bountiful harvest
- Aesthetically pleasing
- The soil in a raised bed warms up sooner than the ground does
Types of Raised Beds
When it comes to setting up your raised bed garden, you have many different options. If you are handy and have access to lumber and tools, you can always build beds with wood from your local hardware store or lumberyard. For those that want something easier, you can turn many different things into raised beds. If you’re looking for unique alternatives, Pinterest is a great place to look for ideas.
Some unique and popular alternatives to building wooden beds include:
- Old tires
- Plastic kiddie pools (just be sure to make holes in the bottom for drainage)
- Garden bags
- Wooden boats
- Kids’ sandboxes
Choosing Your Vegetables
As you’re browsing your local stores’ seed selection or online seed websites, you’ll notice that there are seeds for any fruit and vegetable you can imagine. It may seem overwhelming, and you may want to grow everything, but it’s best to start small.
- Choose things you know you will eat
- Pay attention to your growing season
- Look into how long each vegetable will take to be ready and plan accordingly
10 Best Vegetables to Grow In Raised Beds
From spinach and lettuce to chard and kale, leafy greens are a fantastic choice for raised beds. Many people even like having a bed specifically for a salad garden, containing all of their favorite greens to include in a salad. Most of the options for lettuce and spinach do well in cooler weather, so this is something you can start sooner in the season than other things.
Raised beds are a great way to do this if you want an herb garden. Having a bed right outside your backdoor or even a window box you can access from your kitchen can allow you to have an abundance of herbs at your fingertips. Chives, parsley, dill, cilantro, and many more can be grown this way.
Root vegetables are an excellent choice for raised beds, and radishes are a popular favorite amongst gardeners. They’re one of the fastest-growing vegetables you can plant.
This versatile root vegetable is easy to grow and requires very little work. You can start them from seeds, or you can grow them from bulbs.
Ideal for loose, deep soil, carrots thrive in raised beds. There are a ton of varieties you can choose from, from the traditional orange kind to yellow, purple, pink, and even white ones. If your ground soil is tight and rocky, a raised bed is the best way to get a bountiful carrot crop going.
Tomatoes are a very popular choice because there are countless varieties to choose from. Tomatoes are very versatile and can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, and salsa. You don’t even need very deep soil to grow a healthy amount of tomatoes.
Just about every type of cuisine benefits from garlic, from pasta and garlic bread to steak and chicken. Garlic is a good choice for raised beds because it is easy to grow, doesn’t need super deep soil, and will keep coming back year after year.
If you’re a fan of green beans, this is a wonderful crop to add to your beds. They grow vertically, so they won’t take up too much space in the bed, allowing you to add plenty of other items around them.
From sweet peppers to spicy ones, peppers are another type of vegetable that can thrive in a raised bed. Whether you prefer bell peppers, jalapenos, or another variety, this is a popular choice amongst gardeners. If you like salsa, making a bed with hot peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onions is a yummy option.
Whether you prefer to snack on them alone, make pickles, or make sauces like tzatziki, cucumbers can be grown in abundance. Cucumbers are quite popular because of their versatility and ease of growing.
From root vegetables, leafy greens, herbs, and tomatoes, there are a lot of delicious options when you’re planning your raised bed garden. Whether you have a lot of space in your yard or your square footage is minimal, raised beds can allow you to grow vegetables that you wouldn’t have thought possible.