Are you thinking of creating a raised garden bed but not sure which plants to choose? Raised beds are a great way to maximize your gardening space and improve drainage, but the key to success is selecting the right plants.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best plants for raised garden beds, along with tips on how to care for them. But before we dive into the list, let me ask you this: Are you curious to know which plant yields continuously even during winter? Keep reading to find out!
– Raised garden beds are a style of gardening that can be used over several acres or in a small corner of your backyard. – — The shape of each raised garden bed can also vary. However, they are usually squares or rectangles and are most often made from wood or plastic.
– But, a raised bed can be created from stone as well. Because the garden is above ground level, it is a convenient, and sometimes necessary, manner of gardening if you have a disability such as the use of a wheelchair or an affliction that makes it difficult to bend over.
A raised garden not only makes it easier for the gardener to plant, weed, and harvest the garden, but it makes for a neater, more organized area to plant your best vegetables. When planting at ground level your delicious vegetables you generally use the loose soil already available, even though you may need to adjust the nutritional value with compost, organic matter or fertilizer.
With a raised bed you will be adding nutrient-rich soil into the frame. This gives you the opportunity to use the finest garden soil that is already premixed. This saves time and you are assured of quality sandy soil that will result in healthier young plants and higher yields.
Raised beds also keep pathway weeds from your garden bed, as well as such pests as snails and slugs, while also keeping the soil well drained of excess water.
The most traditional type of raised bed frame is made from wood. Wood is probably the most economical building material to use, especially if you are planning a larger garden; 2-by-6-inch cedar is a good size wood to use for these wooden beds. The boards can be stacked to create a higher bed.
The boards can be nailed together in a square or rectangular shape, however, metal corner brackets that are screwed in at the inside or outside of the frame corners increase strength and durability. 4-by-4-inch stakes galvanized spikes, or anchor joints can be used at the inside corners of the raised bed frames to keep them in place.
Although less used, raised garden beds can be made from stone, brick, or paving blocks. Giving the beds a more decorative appearance, you might use this method for a flower garden or other landscaping plants.
Plastic kits for raised beds are also now available. They make the job simple with a snap-together method that creates a frame for your raised garden quickly. Put your garden frames in the sunniest part of the yard for the best growing season conditions.
Consider drawing a map of your raised bed garden as the first step of your gardening plan. Graph paper works well for this purpose. Measure the garden area you have available and decide how large and what shape the frames will be.
Paths between raised beds must be wide enough for your garden cart or wheelbarrow. If your raised garden beds are rectangular, they should run east to west so that all your plants get adequate sunshine.
Plant your tallest perennial plants at the north end and the shortest ones at the south end of the garden. With your plants in these locations, the taller ones will not shade the shorter ones.
When choosing boards for your raised garden frames you may be tempted to purchase treated lumber because the wood will not rot. This may not be the best choice for a vegetable garden if the wood is treated with CCA (chromated copper arsenate), acid copper arsenate, or ammonical copper arsenate.
The arsenic from these products could get on your hands or leach into the soil and into your vegetables. Wood treated with an organic compound is a safer choice. The best choice, however, is to choose a wood that is naturally rot-resistant such as red cedar, Port Orford cedar, redwood, or black locust.
A raised bed frame built from any of these woods should last 10 to 20 years. A more recent option that might be considered is recycled plastic composite lumber. It is insect and rot-resistant.
Many new gardeners think once they’ve picked their last cucumbers the job is done. Although raised garden beds make gardening easier, in many respects there is still much to consider for next year’s garden. If you live in a location that has a short gardening season, you may want to consider starting seeds indoors. Tomato plants, peppers, beans, and peas are good choices for this companion plantings.
You also may want to purchase hoops and black plastic to cover your raised garden beds to heat the soil. Reconsider if using cocoa mulch is right for your garden (although it does give off a wonderful aroma).
If you have dogs and there is a chance they might get into your garden, cocoa mulch is poisonous to them. Also, this mulch has a tendency to mold, so if you decide to use cocoa mulch, make sure it is as fresh as possible and that it is stored in a cool, dry location with less water.
Vegetables Suitable For Container Gardens And Raised-Bed Gardening
If you don’t have land for a vegetable garden or outdoor space, you can do like many other urban farmers do and plant your garden in garden beds. You can grow any vegetable plant you want, but some — such as pumpkins, fast-growing greens and corn — require so much space that they may not be worth the trouble.
Growing in garden beds allows you to include vegetables in your garden that might not otherwise make it in your locale because you can always move pots indoors when cold weather comes. Grow vegetables in garden beds and enjoy a year-round harvest.
Make The Most Of A Small Space And Your Ideal Growing Environment
Garden bed size and soil depth are prime determinants when choosing suitable containers for potting vegetables; root varieties, such as carrots, need depth, and some plants, such as tomatoes, spread out to such an extent that each one requires an entire pot.
A pot with a fertile soil depth of 18 inches and a rim radius of 12 inches can accommodate most vegetables and native plants, even if they aren’t dwarf varieties bred specifically for patio growing. The vegetables most likely to succeed, however, are the ones that can adapt to limited space by growing smaller than they would in the ground. If vegetables are suitable for container gardening, this information is usually specified on the seed package.
The “A” List Of The Easiest Vegetables To Grow
Although there’s nothing to prevent you from experimenting with any vegetable you choose, some are known performers. These include:
Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) — These different types of beans require moderately deep soil and relatively small pots, and because they’re hardy in United States Department of Agriculture zones 2 to 11, they’ll grow anywhere with a good soil. Be prepared to construct a trellis system for climbing varieties.
Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) — Tomatoes are perennials in USDA zones 10 and 11, but they’re easy to grow for the novice gardener in other zones in full sun during the summer months. They’ll produce during the winter if you move them indoors and place them in a sunny window. Each type of plants requires its own pot and a 5-foot cage to support its branches. This is great for your kitchen garden.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) — Cucumbers are perennial in USDA zones 2 to 11. Bush varieties take up less space than trailing varieties and, although you may need to build a trellis, are probably better suited for a raised bed planter.
Peppers (Capsicum annuum) — Hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11, peppers demand sun and warm temperatures and often are a great addition in a raised container garden. You can choose from a large number of cultivars, some sweet, some hot, and all ornamental.
Eggplants (Solanum melongena) — Another vegetable better suited for growing, eggplants are hardy in USDA zones 9 through 12. They require lots of sun and space — one or two plants per bed– and they are as ornamental as they are delicious.
Carrots (Daucus carota var. sativus) — Carrots are hardy in USDA zones 2 through 11. The depth of soil you need depends on the different varieties– some shorter ones work well in shallow beds with only 9 inches of soil. You can plant carrots close together, spacing seeds by as little as an inch for easy access.
Complement And Combine
Complement your garden bed with a variety of leafy vegetables, root vegetables, salad greens and herbs. For example, lettuce (Lactuca sativa), hardy in USDA zones 2 to 11, grows well in containers and garden beds, and if you keep a small garden close to the kitchen, you can trim leaves as needed to provide fresh salad for every meal.
When planting your garden, it’s also wise to consider combining compatible vegetables and herbs in the same pot or placing them close to each other. The combination actually may actually help each plant to grow more vigorously. An example of such a combination — seen frequently in vegetable gardens — is tomatoes, basil, and onions.
What Else You Can Plant In A Bed Frame Garden Bed?
A bed frame garden bed is a large, shallow container garden; plants herbs, vegetables, and flowers with a root system that does not require deep root infiltration. Plants with shallow root systems may require more frequent watering than those with deep root systems.
Most herbs require only 4 inches of soil to thrive; fill the bed frame garden with a variety of perennial and annual herbs for culinary, medicinal and aromatherapy uses. Types of perennial herbs include lavender, rosemary, sage, mint, thyme, and tarragon. Suitable annual herbs include basil, anise, dill, coriander, chervil, and summer savory.
Vegetables And Fruits
The types of vegetables that grow best in a bed frame garden include those with and without above-ground vines. Onions, lettuces, radishes, beets, and spinach all grow best in soils with a depth of 4 to 8 inches. Vegetables with above-ground vines, such as cucumbers, also have shallow root systems but need plenty of space above ground for the vines to spread. Strawberries and pineapples are fruit plants with shallow roots.
Flowers And Greenery
Certain perennial and annual flowers have shallow root systems and should grow well in a bedframe garden. Shallow-rooted perennials that bloom include passion fruit, chrysanthemums, coral bells, African lily, yarrow, and hosta. Many annual flowers have shallow root systems, including petunias, impatiens, zinnias, geraniums, and begonias.
Raised garden beds are an excellent way to maximize your gardening space and improve drainage. By selecting the right plants, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest and create a beautiful outdoor space.
The plants we’ve mentioned in this article are a great place to start, but don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Remember to consider factors such as sunlight and water requirements when selecting plants for your raised bed.
As a next step, we suggest that you make a plan for your raised garden bed, taking into account the space you have available, the amount of sunlight and the type of soil.
Create a layout of what you want to plant and where, it will help you to visualize the final result, and also it will serve as a guide for when you start to plant.
Also, don’t forget to research the specific care instructions for the plants you choose, so you can ensure they thrive in your garden. Happy Gardening!