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12 Must-Have Vegetables for Your Raised Bed Garden

12 Must-Have Vegetables for Your Raised Bed Garden

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Thinking about getting into raised bed gardening but don’t know where to start? I’m here to help!

Aesthetic, practical, and productive, these elevated landscapes are a terrific haven for growing veggies in your backyard.

That said, some vegetables are more suitable than others for cultivation in raised beds. These are typically lower maintenance, more resistant to pests, and grow over shorter periods.

In this guide, I’m sharing my go-to list of must-have veggies in a raised garden that’ll ensure successful sustainability whether you’re a newbie or a veteran gardener.

Roll your sleeves and let’s jump in!

1. Tomatoes

Whether you choose cherry, paste, or beefsteak tomatoes, higher temperatures and nutrient-rich soil are a staple for this veggie (yes, it’s technically a fruit, but we all know it’s a vegetable at heart!)

Directly sowing these seeds in your raised garden bed makes for a strong root system, but it’s easier to use a nursery starter plant.

2. Carrots

A fantastic addition to any raised garden, carrots are hassle-free to grow as long as you give them well-aerated, loose soil.

A square foot area can generally house about 18 carrots, even if you choose a non-orange variety. Their growing season is during the cooler seasons; fall and spring.

3. Spinach

Cool temperatures are the ideal chance for you to start spinach in a raised bed. So when spring or fall rolls in, sprinkle those seeds, cover them with a thin layer of soil, and water lightly.

A week or so later, you’ll notice germination. Oh and there’s no need for thinning, you can munch on spinach leaves at any point of growth!

4. Kale

This cruciferous veggie is a close relative of cabbage and broccoli that performs great in raised beds. Cool temperatures, some shade, and around 1 square foot per plant are what kale needs to sprout.

Once it’s established, kale becomes hardy and can handle both heat and frost waves.

5. Lettuce

One of the absolute easiest veggies to grow in a raised garden is lettuce.

This leafy green vegetable grows quickly and is pretty flexible about where you plant its seeds; it’s equally happy in awkward corners and close to larger plants as it’s alone.

Sprinkle the seeds and top with a loose layer of soil then water lightly until the lettuce establishes.

6. Cucumbers

A personal favorite of mine for raised gardens is cucumbers. Before you plant these though, be sure to enhance your soil with potassium and nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Use a trellis or plant next to a fence if your bed is small and you’re growing vining varieties. Bush varieties will keep to soil level, and like vining cucumbers, thrive in warm weather.

7. Radishes

When growth speed is in question, radishes will probably top the charts. That’s one of the main reasons they’re a great choice for a raised garden.

Radishes are fine being planted next to larger crops or in tiny spots that need filling as they don’t require much space. Within a month or two, they’ll be ready for harvesting.

8. Beets

Only a few plants can beat beets (I had to!) when it comes to maturation time. In just 2 months, you’ll be enjoying these tasty, sweet veggies from your raised garden, especially if you pick them on the smaller side.

Make sure to space the seeds 2 to 3 inches from one another and water frequently (no soggy soil though!).

9. Celery

This aromatic veggie grows shallow, making raised beds a great environment to plant it. Start your celery in cooler temperatures and water heavily in well-draining, composted soil.

10. Potatoes

It may be hard to imagine, but yes, you can easily grow potatoes in raised beds and harvest them with less hassle.

You just need mulched loose soil and about a foot of space between each plant. Learn the approximate harvest period of your chosen potato variety to dig these veggies up when the time is right.

11. Zucchini/Summer Squash

Hot weather and plenty of sunlight are common requirements whether you’re growing zucchini or summer squash. They also like soil mixed with aged compost for aeration and need enough room between one another to breathe.

When watering, avoid the leaves as they’re vulnerable to mildew caused by humidity.

Bush varieties of both veggies are generous yielders in less horizontal space, but they won’t take advantage of vertical space as vining varieties would.

12. Peas

Last but not least, peas will start yielding in less than 2 months from planting.

Start sowing in early spring while the weather is still cool. You can go for a dwarf variety if you don’t want to deal with pea vines.

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