What are some of the best vegetables for raised beds? You can grow many different things in above ground gardens, but the two main points of concern here are: the size and amount of space required by some veggies; and what vegetable and herbs should be planted next to one another, and which ones should be kept apart.
For instance, you can grow corn in raised beds, but it’s a pretty tall plant, and requires sufficient spacing in-between its sprouts. Other vegetables that take up a lot of room are pumpkins and watermelons – they sprawl quite a bit and end up using a lot of room. Better options here may be to plant smaller varieties of watermelon, or even honeydew and regular melons; and instead of pumpkins, acorn squash or other squash varieties will do great in raised gardening beds.
The two common vegetables that people like to grow (and eat) are cucumbers and tomatoes. These do well in raised beds, but need some additional support, as they will both need to be contained and helped to climb upward. Tomatoes can be planted next to a ground stake (wooden post, or just a long piece of rebar driven into the ground), or inside a tomato cage for support. That way when the plant grows, you can tie it to the stake and help it grow vertically.
To raise cucumbers, you may need to make a trellis, use chicken wire, or a tomato cage for support. Cucumbers in general take some care and attention, but there is nothing better than a fresh cucumber off your own garden patch! After you get the hang of it with the first round of cucumbers, you can improve your growing method to the point where it will take little maintenance to grow them in the next season.
You can also grow potatoes in raised beds by using seed potatoes (Yukon Gold, Irish Cobbler, Russet are popular varieties). There are so many different kinds of potatoes out there that you just have to figure out which kind you like, and plant those! You can actually split a seed potato tuber into a couple of pieces and plant each one individually. As long as each piece you plant has one or two “eyes” on it (little buds that look like tiny offshoots). Plant each piece with the cut side down and with the bud side up. Deeper planting will yield a higher number of potatoes, but generally you want them planted 3 to 8 inches deep.
Some of the most common vegetables for raised beds are: tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, radishes, carrots, peppers (hot peppers and bell peppers), beets, spinach, onions, chives, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, yellow wax beans, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, chard, kohlrabi, garlic, asparagus, artichokes, and various herbs.
A neat way to keep your garden pest-free and avoid using chemicals is by planting a few “companion plants.” For example, marigolds are beautiful, short flowers that are used to keep away snails, and at the same time attract pollinators to your raised beds with their bright vibrant colors. Alyssum flowers attract bees, but are also known to attract hoverflies which aid in keeping away aphids. These are examples of a natural way to control unwanted pests in your garden.
Many different herbs do wonderfully in raised garden beds. Some of them are also beneficial for the overall well-being of you vegetables. Terragon, for instance, is a nice smelling herb, but pests don’t like it. It does, however, enhance the flavor of many veggies. Another excellent companion herb is basil – plant it next to your tomatoes and see how much it improves their flavor. Other herbs to consider are mint, thyme, sage, rosemary, clover, dill, parsley, oregano, marjoram, lavender, and cilantro.
When choosing various herbs and vegetables for raised beds, be careful of what you plant next to each other; some of the plants don’t get along too well and may become a natural deterrent to one another. For example, onions shouldn’t be planted next to peas or asparagus, and hot peppers shouldn’t be placed next to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower or beans.
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