20 Easiest Vegetables That Grow Well in Raised Beds
Raised beds are a good way to grow veggies. They’re easy to build, and they give you a lot of options when it comes to growing vegetables.
Raised beds allow you to grow vegetables and fruits with greater ease, and they save space, too.
Raised beds give you more space, allowing you to grow a larger variety of vegetables. But you’ll need to be careful choosing which plants will grow best in your area, and what varieties will thrive best in your particular environment.
You can grow just about anything in your raised beds. Here are 20 of the easiest vegetables to grow in your raised beds.
Why Grow Vegetables In a Raised Garden Bed?
Raised beds give you control over the soil in which you are growing your plants. Growing veggies is easier and more rewarding than ever before.
A raised garden bed is simply a container of soil that has been raised above the level of the surrounding ground. This allows for easier planting and irrigation.
The goal is to establish a planting bed that will allow you to have a wide, deep growing area, encouraging your plants to grow outward and downward as well as in all directions.
20 Easiest Vegetables To Grow In Raised Beds
Below we have listed the 20 Easiest Vegetables to Grow in Raised Beds and containers and give you tips and tricks to get the most out of your space.
Here are 20 of the Easiest Vegetables you may want to grow in your own raised beds.
Carrots are simple to grow in a raised bed and are easy to plant. A raised bed’s loose, aerated soil allows them to grow freely, which is especially crucial for root vegetables like carrots.
Raised beds make the perfect spot for growing carrots. The best part about carrots is that they can be planted year-round and can grow in almost any type of soil. They’re a low-maintenance vegetable and require very little attention.
Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables that are eaten raw, grated into salads, or cooked as part of other dishes. Growing carrots from seed are relatively straightforward, but you should start with seedlings to avoid wasting money on transplants.
Tomatoes are easy to grow and are available in many varieties. The choice of variety depends on the size of your raised bed. Smaller varieties like cherry tomatoes will take up less space, while larger varieties require more room.
Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. In fact, they are almost always easy to grow. You can grow tomatoes in raised beds, containers, bags, or even in your own pots.
You can start from seed or you can also buy tomato plants from a nursery and start them indoors. Space them two feet apart to give them enough growing room. Then once tall enough you can transplant them to your raised bed or container outside
Kale is the ultimate leafy vegetable to grow in your raised beds. When planting, make sure you allow enough room between each plant. Kale also prefers cool weather so you might want to plant your kale in areas where it will get some afternoon shade.
For example, if you want to grow a mix of tomatoes and kale in a raised bed, you could plant the tomatoes closer to the fence than the kale.
This will shield the kale from the sun in the morning hours and the tomatoes will keep the kale from shading out during the afternoon.
If you decide to grow kale from seed, plant the seedlings at least a foot away from each other. Kale is a hearty vegetable that will grow fast and be ready for harvest within 4 to 5 weeks.
If you’re transplanting kale plants use a trowel to dig out the soil and plant them roughly one foot apart from each other
Cucumbers are available in two varieties, bush and vining. Vines are better suited for small spaces as they grow upwards instead of outwards. If you’re growing the vining variety and are growing them in a small space, you’ll probably want to use a trellis.
by using using a trellis, you will have control over the direction your cucumbers grow. Making it easier and more enjoyable to pick off the cucumbers.
Spinach is easy to grow in any garden, but it does best in cooler weather. In warmer weather, it is susceptible to wilting and fading, so if you want a steady supply of this leafy green, you may want to plant spinach in the spring or fall.
When it is harvested, you can use that space for another crop, such as radishes, and then plant more spinach again in late summer or early fall when the weather begins to cool off again.
Spinach is also an excellent plant that does well being planted near other crops, such as radishes and lettuce.
Raised beds are great for growing radishes. You can plant radish seeds alongside other garden vegetables or herbs, such as lettuce, spinach, parsley, or broccoli. The radishes will be ready to harvest within 35 to 60 days, while the other plants might take much longer.
Radishes are easy to grow and can be grown in almost any space with a little bit of care. Simply dig a shallow hole where you want the radishes to grow and then sow the seeds. Keep them watered and watch for signs of sprouting.
If you love cucumbers but have a small garden and are short of space, cucamelons could be a great addition to your garden. These little veggies look like watermelons, but they taste like a very sweet, lemony cucumber.
These deliciously tiny veggies grow quickly on small vines, so you’ll want to have a trellis for them to grow on.
Cucamelons don’t require a lot of space to grow, so it’s easy to start them indoors. Starting cucamelons indoors about 6 weeks before your last frost date is a great idea if you plan on moving them outside in containers or raised beds.
This will reduce transplant shock and give them a chance to get big and lush before they’re planted out. If you’re planning on going this route, make sure to use compostable pots!
8. Summer Squash
For those who have a limited garden space, but still want to grow their own vegetables, summer squashes are a great option. Squashes can vary in shape, size, and color. Bush varieties, like bush zucchini, yellow squash, and pattypan, are good choices for small spaces where you want to maximize your harvest.
When planting doesn’t plant them closer together, space between plants will allow for air circulation and help squash grow into healthy, productive plants.
If you have a large raised bed with extra room in your garden then you may try and grow a vining variety using a trellis.
Trellis gardening is an old-fashioned approach to growing vegetables that gives them the best chance to produce large crops with little effort. Squash is easy to grow in raised beds and trellises, but it’s hard to get a large crop out of a pumpkin.
So if you have an extra room, consider trellising squash instead.
Lettuce is a cool-weather crop and one of the first vegetables that people think of when they think of a garden. It grows quickly and is easy to maintain. You can plant it close to your other plants and have it produce for you all season long.
Lettuce needs cool weather to grow well. If you have a warm area in your garden, it may not do well.
However, if you have a cool spot in your garden, it can do well. You can also plant lettuce in the middle of other crops as long as you give it some extra care.
To grow lettuce from seed, sprinkle the seeds in a thin line or small block and gently cover them over with soil. When the seedlings have developed and are starting to grow, you can harvest the leaves from every other plant so that you are thinning out the lettuce as it grows.
Peas are a wonderful addition to raised beds because they can start producing in as little as 45 days. Dwarf varieties work best in this situation, as well as allowing the pea vines to trail over the sides of the raised bed.
Direct sow your seeds in the fall or winter while it is still cool. Peas will be one of the first plants you can put in your garden and one of the first to start producing.
You can plant them close together. Harvesting them often will help them produce more peas.
You can grow two different kinds of beans in your raised beds: bush beans and pole beans. When grown as bush beans, they don’t require any trellises, poles, or wires to support their growth.
This is the preferred growing technique for those who want to grow beans as quickly as possible, as it allows the beans to mature and ripen at the same time.
For the best harvest, you’ll want to succession plant your bush beans every two weeks or so throughout the summer. Pole beans, however, do require some kind of support.
Pole beans are typically spaced around one to two feet. They grow best in well-drained soil with plenty of sunshine and can grow up a stake and twine support.
Mint is a great choice for raised beds because it can grow quickly, needs little water, and provides lots of flowers and leaves for the plants you want to grow. Mint has become a popular choice for any outdoor raised bed.
When growing mint at home, make sure to dig out a square foot of dirt, or ideally a bigger area. This will allow you to get a good root system going before planting.
Mint needs a lot of sunlight to grow, so make sure your plants are located near a window. Water mint thoroughly keeps it healthy.
If you want to add some healthy vegetables to your raised bed garden, onions are a great option. Planting them together with your peas and beans will allow you to harvest both at once.
However, onions should not be planted in the same area as your peas and beans due to the fact they may cross-pollinate each other. You can also buy sets of small seedlings to get an early start on the season.
Onions are one of the best natural pest deterrents for some vegetables, so you may want to squeeze them around your kales, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers. Since they take up so little space, you can fit more in the spaces between your larger plants.
Celery has long been considered an easy plant to grow in home gardeners’ gardens and is perfect for raised beds. Celery grows best in cool weather, and can be started indoors from seed or transplanted outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
The only thing you need to make sure you do is to harden off your seedlings before they go outside.
Celery requires plenty of water and compost to grow. To grow a good crop of celery you will need to be able to provide a steady supply of nutrients and water.
However, It’s important that the Celery roots do not o become soft and soggy. If you do this, your celery plant will eventually die.
Peppers like warm weather and can be grown together with tomatoes in your raised bed. They’re easy to grow, don’t require much attention, and can be started indoors to grow ahead of the frost.
The only challenge they present is that they can take a while to get going, but once you do they’re worth the wait.
The average pepper plant should be planted 12 to 18 inches apart. If you plan to harvest your pepper crop at a young age, you may want to stake your plants to give them a little extra support.
As your peppers get heavier and heavier, you’ll need to ensure that your pepper plants have plenty of space. You may want to pinch off the flowers as they appear.
Beetroot is another perfect vegetable for growing in raised beds if you have little space.
They are a fast-maturing vegetable and can be ready to eat in as little as 60 days.
Beets should be harvested when they are still small, for a sweeter taste. Beets need to be well watered, without sitting in soggy soil. For a sweeter taste, harvest them when they are still slightly smaller than golf balls.
In order to grow your own potatoes, you’ll first need to plant your seed potatoes. Potato plants should yield anywhere from three to five pounds of potatoes, though you may find that your yields are better in areas with warmer climates.
You’ll want to start with your potato bed half full, and plant your seed potatoes three inches deep and one foot apart. You need to add soil or mulch to your raised bed as the potato plants grow.
Potatoes don’t do well alongside cucumbers, squash, turnips, and brassicas. One reason is that they tend to compete with each other for nutrients and water. If you’ve got room for only one raised bed, put your potatoes in their own raised bed.
Arugula is a leafy green that grows well in a variety of conditions. Arugula likes cool temperatures and is best grown in a raised bed. It is easy to grow and starts easily from seed.
Arugala seeds are small and lightweight, which makes them easy to lose in the planting process. If you plan a small block of space to plant your arugula, make sure the soil is nice and smooth, then sprinkle the seeds evenly across the top of the soil. You should use your hand to gently pat them in, then water very lightly.
If you harvest a bunch of arugula before it has matured, you’ll get a sweeter-tasting green. But if you harvest the same plant after it’s been through its growing season, you might have a bit more of a spicy flavor.
That’s just part of the reason why harvesting arugula can be tricky. The problem is that it’s difficult to know exactly how mature your arugula is until it’s actually been harvested.
19. Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard, like kale, can be started as early as the end of February. You can grow it in containers and raised beds, and even in window boxes. It can tolerate both cold and heat and does best in fertile soil.
It can be harvested at any time from the size of the leaf until it starts to yellow.
Zucchini is a warm-season crop, meaning that you can direct seed in the spring and expect a harvest in the summer. You’ll want to plant the seeds a little deeper than usual so they don’t dry out before they germinate.
Mix lots of aged compost into the soil to keep it aerated and loose. Make sure to plant the seeds about half an inch deep and three to four inches apart. Once your plants are established, you may need to thin them to at least six inches apart.
Ensure your plants are evenly watered to prevent blossom end rot.
If you grow bush varieties in your raised bed garden, you’ll have room to grow more vegetables. Vining varieties can grow up the sides of your bed, making more room for other vegetables.
Vining varieties can also help make a more interesting design in your garden. For example, you can plant cucumbers, melons, and peppers among the tomato vines, or you can plant carrots alongside your herbs.
Benefits Of Growing Vegetables in a Raised Beds
Raised beds are great for growing vegetables and can be built using simple materials. They are a good option for beginners as they can be made with cheap, easy-to-find materials and tools.
Raised beds are also more efficient at keeping pests out as well as providing better air circulation.
Below we have provided a list of both the pros and cons of growing vegetables in a raised bed.
Pros Of Growing Vegetables in Raised Beds
- Improving Drainage: Improving drainage is essential to growing plants. Soil is often elevated above the surrounding ground level, allowing it to absorb more water and nutrients than the soil immediately below.
This can make more room for plants. Watering can then be less frequent and plants will grow faster.
- Increase Soil Temperature: Raised beds allow the soil to warm up faster in spring, which makes it easier to establish a strong root system.
- Enhance Root Health: Improve root health by adding lots of organic matter to your soil will help it to hold moisture better, making roots healthier.
- Improve Ease of Management: With raised beds, you have a bigger volume of soil, which makes it easier to water and maintain. This means fewer trips outside to check your plants, which leads to less work overall.
- Matching The Soil To The Plant: Another benefit of a raised bed is the ability to fill with soil that is best suited for the plants you want to grow. Ensuring maximum growth and overall a better harvest.
- Improve Ease of Access: For gardeners who have mobility issues or are elderly, raised beds to allow them to get closer to their plants for hands-on care. Raised beds are also easier to manage for those with mobility issues or arthritis.
Disadvantages Of Growing Vegetables in a Raised Beds
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits of using raised beds in your garden. however, there are disadvantages too. Raised beds can be expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to construct.
We’ve put together a list of the disadvantages of growing vegetables in raised beds and how to combat them.
Con’s Of Growing Vegetables in Raised Beds
- Costly: The average cost for a raised garden bed kit can range between $104.18 and $210.46. Plus, Raised beds require a good amount of soil to fill the bed before you get started planting.
- Requires More Watering: Raised beds can become drier quicker, especially in the summer, and will require additional watering more regularly.
- Difficult to Change Once Built: Once constructed and filled with soil, raised bed and a nightmare to relocate and would need to be completely emptied and deconstructed.
- Not Suitable for all Crops: Crops such as potatoes and cereals may require much more space than a raised bed can provide. Planting straight into the ground may be the better choice for a better harvest
- Harder To Use Tools and Machinery: This really depends on the size of your bed, however with a smaller sized raised bed you may be required to do everything by hand:
Choosing The Right Soil For Growing Vegetables In Raised Beds
Soil matters, especially if you’re going to grow vegetables. A mix of topsoil, compost, and peat will give your vegetables the best chance of success.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to fill your raised beds, you can consider using old, rotting logs. You can do this by digging out a hole, adding logs, and then covering them with soil. This is known as hügelkultur.
Another strategy would be to create a trench down the center of your bed and fill it with manure, straw, compost, and even vegetable scraps. Then lightly cover with soil to ensure that moisture is in.
This is a great way to add nutrients to your soil which will help the growth of your vegetable plants.
When choosing to use straw, be sure that it hasn’t been treated with pesticides or herbicides. This could prevent your plants from growing properly and will have a negative effect on the number of vegetables grown by each plant.
While there are certainly advantages to growing vegetables in a raised bed, you need to be smart about what you choose to plant.
You don’t want to waste time, energy, money, and space growing crops you don’t actually enjoy eating. If you’re going to do it, it makes sense to do it right. Choose your favorite vegetables and get growing!
Frequently asked questions Easiest Vegetables To Grow In Raised Garden Beds And Containers
What is the easiest and fastest vegetable to grow in raised beds?
Radishes are among the fastest vegetables reaching harvest in only 3-4 weeks. These tiny root vegetables are exceptionally easy to grow, especially in both raised beds and containers.
What is a good first vegetable to grow in raised beds?
There are many great vegetables to choose from when growing your first vegetable. These include beets, lettuce, kale, cucumbers, peas, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and green beans. Winter and summer squash are also easy to grow and are great options for beginners.
What do you put in the bottom of a raised garden bed?
Organic materials are the best choice for filling raised beds. You can use woodchips, straw, grass clippings, or other organic material, and use cardboard or any suitable weed barrier material to cover it.
Once your soil is prepared, you’ll want to place a brick or peg down on top of the material to prevent it from drying out.