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Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Beds

Reginald is a retired educator with a passion for gardening. For the past 30 years, he has proven techniques and loves sharing with others.

Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Beds

Growing vegetables is great fun as we look forward to the spring and starting a garden. Along with the fun comes hard work and acquired knowledge. This article will focus on Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Beds. In the following paragraphs, you will learn about the vegetables that will give your efforts the greatest success. This will include tips on how to be successful with the growing of vegetables.

Raised Garden Beds

Two 4' x 8' x 24" Raised Beds

Two 4' x 8' x 24" Raised Beds

Why Raised Beds?

There are many variations to the concept of the raised bed for growing vegetables. The top three materials used for enclosed vegetables are:
• Metal
• Wood
• Stone

I choose to use varying lengths and widths of pressure-treated lumber for my raised beds. They are relatively easy to work with and last for years.
While these containers are somewhat easy to work with, let’s understand why the raised bed is the way to garden.
• The raised bed elevates the garden surface for easy access.
• Raised beds give the gardener a variety of design possibilities.
• Multiple raised beds will give your garden area a clean and decorative look.
• Controlled environment of the soil for raised beds.
• Raised beds allow the gardener to grow more selected vegetables in a limited space.

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Grow What You Know!

The old saying: “Keep It Simple Stupid” or K.I.S.S. applies here. If you are a beginning gardener, you will find success if you think small. Don’t try to grow every vegetable that you like to eat. This will turn into a disaster for you, and you will ultimately get discouraged and quit. I love to eat asparagus but don’t know enough about it to grow it yet. On the other hand, I know a great deal about tomatoes and have great success growing them in my raised beds.

The best advice at this point is to tell you to grow what you know. Your knowledge of each vegetable you want to grow is paramount. Along with each new season comes more knowledge to add to your gardening skills. This is when you expand and make your garden larger.

In the following sections, you will pick up some knowledge about certain vegetables. This being a good first step, don't stop here. Investigate further, visit friends and relatives that have great gardens, and pick their brains. Not only will they appreciate your interest in their growing techniques, but you will probably walk away with some complimentary veggies.

What Are Companion Vegetables?

Not all vegetables grow well next to each other. On the other hand, each vegetable grows best with what is called a companion vegetable.
Companion vegetables contribute to each other's nutrient requirements, growing habits, and helps with repelling certain pests.

This is a fantastic system that nature provides for us and important for the gardener to use. In each of the charts below will list the best companions for that vegetable.

Below you will find a chart for each vegetable in this article. In each chart will be a list of companion vegetables.

Best Vegetables to Grow

As we continue with the best vegetables to grow in raised beds, let’s explore the vegetables that will give you the most success. I find that the shortlist below meets that goal.


This selection of the vegetable list below is based on four simple criteria:
1. How easy is it to grow
2. The health benefits
3. How much you can harvest
4. How they taste


The list serves for you to pick from and not to suggest that you grow all of them. Along with the list is a chart for each vegetable outlining their requirements.

  • Green Beans
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes


best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Green Beans

Green beans are a great choice for the beginning gardener. They are easy to grow and require little maintenance. There are two types of beans that want to become familiar with. The bush bean and the pole bean.

Bush beans are the easiest to grow but the pole bean will produce more product. The pole bean is disease-resistant compared to the bush bean. Pole beans need a trellis or teepee type support for their vines. My recommendation is to try both to see which type you prefer.

When to plant in raised bed?

April - May

Sunlight Requirements

Full Sun

Watering Requirements

Approx. 1" of water per week.

Grow from Seed or Young Plant

Grow pole beans from seed directly in the raised bed after the last frost. 48 degrees F. Do not start seeds indoors. Plant some seeds every two weeks for continuous growth cycle.

Companion Vegetables

cabbage, radishes, peas, potato

Spacing

1" deep and 3" apart - Use a trellis type support for this vining plant.

Harvest Time

Approximately 50 - 55 days

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Bell Peppers

Growing peppers in the home garden are amongst the easiest. With the many varieties of peppers, the beginning gardener should start with the bell pepper.

If you have space and time, it is a good strategy to start your bell peppers inside from seed. One of the advantages to this is growing a few varieties: Canary Bell, Big Red, Coral Bell, California Wonder.

Fertilize after the first-formed leaves grow. Water-soluble fertilizer. Plant young plants in a raised bed when the soil reaches 65 to 70 degrees (F). Plants should be 8” tall when transplanting in your raised bed.

When to plant in raised bed?

Two weeks after last frost.

Sunlight Requirements

Full Sun

Watering Requirements

1" of water per week

Grow from Seed or Young Plant

Start from seeds or young plants when the soil is 60 degrees F

Companion Vegetables

basil, carrots, radishes, onions, tomatoes, beets, spinich

Spacing

18" - 24" apart

Harvest Time

65 - 75 days

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Cucumbers

Next to the tomato the cucumber is probably the second most popular veggie to grow. The basic growing standards for the cucumber is either vining or bush. I recommend the vining type for the fact that they produce more fruit.

Easy to grow with a little attention to the basics and you will have a great harvest.

  • Vining varieties require a trellis or cages for support.
  • Cucumbers don’t like crowds so give the plants plenty of room in the raised beds.
  • Fertilize regularly with a water soluble mix. First treatment after the first blossoms.
  • Provide thick layer of mulch to hold moisture.

When to plant in raised bed?

After the last frost

Sunlight Requirements

Full Sun

Watering Requirements

1" of water per week

Grow from Seed or Young Plant

Plant from seed in peat pots and plant directly into raised bed.

Companion Vegetables

Radishes, Beans, Carrots, Onions, Radish

Spacing

12" to 18" apart - vining plant. 36” apart - bush plant.

Harvest Time

50 - 60 days

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Onions

Onions grow very well in raised beds because the soil is prepared for what the onion needs. We do recognize onions in the supermarket as yellow, white, red, and even shallots, scallions, and chives. Therefore we want to choose what type or types to grow.

Although onions can be grown from seeds, sets, or transplants I find growing from sets to be the easiest. Visiting a nursery and you will mostly find them in bags of white, yellow, and red.

Examine the bulbs before setting them in the ground. Discard any that feel soft or squishy. Plant the bulbs in the raised bed deep enough to allow the top to show through.

When to plant in raised bed?

As soon as the soil can be worked

Sunlight Requirements

Full Sun

Watering Requirements

1" per week

Plant from Seed or Young Plant

Start from sets directly into the raised bed.

Companion Vegetables

carrots, tomatoes, beets, peppers

Spacing

4 to 6" apart

Harvest Time

90 to 110 days

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Beets

The beet is another root crop that is very easy to grow. When your raised bed reaches 50 degrees F you can plant your seeds directly in the soil. They will germinate in about one week.

There are a few varieties you can try - Avalanche, Bolder, Detroit Dark Red. Pick one and try another one next year.

Beets don't like crowds or busy streets. Plant your seeds 1/2" deep and 4" apart. If another row is planted make it about a foot apart.

When to plant in raised bed?

Two weeks before the last frost.

Sunlight Requirements

Full sun or part shade

Watering Requirements

1" of water per week

Plant from Seed or Young Plants

Grow from seeds directly in raised bed

Companion Vegetables

onions, broccoli, cabbage

Spacing

1/2 inch deep, 4" apart, in rows 12 to 15" apart.

Harvest

55 to 80 days

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Squash

Here is a great vegetable to grow in your garden. The requisite for this veggie is that you need to keep up with its growing appetite. Squash comes in many varieties and basically two types. Summer squash and Winter squash. The main differences between them are that summer squash produces thin skin and short storage life. Winter squash has a thick skin and can be stored for months.

I prefer summer squash and grow two varieties: zucchini and yellow neck. They grow quickly; we eat them all summer.

Both of these varieties of summer squash can be sown directly into the soil of your raised bed. Squash loves to wander and spread out. Install a trellis and train your plants to grow vertically will save valuable space in the raised bed.


When to plant in raised bed?

After last frost - soil needs to be about 70 degrees

Sunlight Requirements

Full sun

Watering Requirements

1" - 2" of water per week

Grow from Seed or Young Plant

Grow from seed directly in the raised bed. Or, purchase young plants from a nursery.

Companion Vegetables

beans, peppers, cucumbers,

Spacing

Growing from seed -1/2" deep and 3" to 4" apart . Young plants - transplant 12" to 15" apart.

Harvest Time

45 -60 days

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Carrots

The carrot is a root crop that needs minimal attention. They taste great raw or cooked and a favorite vegetable to grow.

Carrots require loose well-drained soil. A perfect setting for the raised bed. A few types you might look for are Chantenay, Danvers, and Imperator.

Carrots will take their time to germinate. You may want to lightly water daily to help the process.

Plant your seeds early in the spring to get a good jump on the growing season. Thin the seedlings to 1- 4" spacing.

A good layer of mulch is important.

When to plant in raised bed?

2 - 4 weeks before the last frost. March

Sunlight Requirements

Full Sun

Watering Requirements

1" per week

Plant From Seed or Young Plant

Plant seeds directly into soil

Companion Vegetables

tomatoes, peas, radishes, onions

Spacing

1/4 inch deep, 1/2 inch apart, in rows 12 to 24 inches apart.

Harvest Time

75 days - Bolero Hybrid

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

Tomatoes

I saved the best for last. The tomato is the king of the garden. Everyone wants to grow this veggie - which is actually a fruit. Because of this, make sure that you learn as much as possible. Below are some important facts about this perennial favorite that will help you grow a good crop.

there are two growth types of tomatoes.

  1. Determinate - sometimes called a bush tomato grows to a certain height, produces a certain amount of fruit, and stops.
  2. Indeterminate - grows much larger and produces fruit all summer and early fall.

I prefer the indeterminate type. With the many varieties the yield more tomatoes throughout the summer especially if I stagger the planting.

I recommend purchasing a few different indeterminate varieties from a nursery. Plant them 18 inches to 24 inches apart in your raised bed. plant them deeply removing a few of the lower leaves.

Tomatoes need lots of sun, scheduled watering, and scheduled fertilizing.


When to plant in raised bed?

After the last frost

Sunlight Requirements

6 - 8 hours of full sun.

Watering Requirements

Daily in the morning. Water at the bottom. Not on the leaves. 1” of water per week

Grow from Seed or Young Plants

Grow from seed in a good controlled setting or purchase young plants from nursery.

Companion Vegetables

Peppers, Cucumbers, Asparagas

Spacing

1 1/2 ' to 2' apart

Harvest Time

45 - 60 days

best-vegetables-to-grow-in-raised-beds

In Conclusion

As you prepare for this fun activity remember that the more planning you do will raise your success percentage. The most important thing is to have fun with your vegetable gardening. If this becomes a chore you may find it difficult to keep up with.

Starting with a few of these best vegetables to grow in your raised beds will start you to growing a green thumb. You will soon be sharing your harvest prizes with family and friends. Happy Gardening!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Reginald Thomas

Comments

Reginald Thomas (author) from Connecticut on February 02, 2021:

You are absolutely correct Louise. Thank you for reading.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 02, 2021:

I love home grown vegetables. They always taste much better.