Raised bed gardening is nothing new, but it never ceases to amaze us all. It’s a super easy way to garden and make the most of your space – there’s nothing else you could really ask for in a garden!
If you’re new to raised bed gardening, or gardening in general, you will probably want something easy to start with.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting your first gardening experience to be on the easy side – there’s so much to learn, anyway!
Maybe you aren’t even new. Sometimes we have busy lives, so why wouldn’t we want some easy options?
Whichever it is, you’re here for easy vegetables to grow in your raised beds, and that’s what we’re going to share with you today! If you’re interested in finding out a little more, all you need to do is keep reading – it’s that easy.
The 20 Easiest Vegetables to Grow Using a Raised Garden Bed or Containers
Please bear in mind that this is by no means a finite list of what you can grow in raised beds. There are thousands of plants that would thrive in raised beds, so why not go out and explore some? You don’t need to stop with the easiest plants!
The great thing about raised beds is that they are the perfect structures for all seasons. You can easily create cold frames to keep plants warm, and the soil will always warm up quicker in the spring. Because of this, you can realistically grow just about anything you want in them!
They’re also super easy for trellis to work with – so don’t forget to grow things like tomatoes and other plants that like to grow tall or creep a little.
When you have familiarized yourself with the basics of raised bed gardening, try something more challenging. You will be surprised by how much you can really do with these raised garden beds!
Carrots are not only super easy to grow, but delicious and easy to use. When you plant the tiny carrot seeds in the aerated soil, they grow very well and produce amazing crops. Each seed only needs to be planted around ¼ an inch deep and watered gently.
Generally, you may want to place double the number of seeds you intend to grow, since they don’t all make it. You can probably grow something like 18 carrots in a single square foot, so they’re great for space!
When the seeds start to grow, you will want to start thinning out the raised bed. Doing this will allow the strongest plants to grow and thrive.
If you really love carrots, you might want to succession sow. That way, you will have a steady stream of carrots throughout the year.
This popular leafy green needs around one square foot of space for every plant – it can get pretty big! Kale does well in cool temperatures, and afternoon shade is ideal for this plant. A good way to think of this placement is to think about tomatoes.
If you already have tomato plants, the perfect place for your kale to be planted would be where the tomato plants cast shade in the afternoon. That way, the k ale won’t get too much sun and warmth.
Already keep these plants at least a foot apart, whether you’re sowing seeds or transplanting. If you are sowing seeds, you can sprinkle a couple of seeds in the middle of each square foot area.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the sprouting seeds, and get rid of the weaker ones. That way, the strong plant will get all the nutrients it needs to grow.
Did you know that you get cucumbers that grow from bushes as well as vines? Take your pick and get growing! If you want to grow them on vines, be sure to sow the seeds near a trellis.
That way, you will easily be able to see how the fruit grows and see when you should pick them! Not to mention, the fruit will stay clean and be less likely to rot.
If you want to grow cucumber bushes, you might need a raised bed a little bigger. These plants can reach reasonable sizes and need enough space to flourish. The seeds should be planted around 6-inches apart, and you’ll need to keep an eye out for the strongest plants.
Lettuce loves cool weather, and it grows super quickly – one of the reasons why so many people love growing it! They do very well when planted near larger plants, such as peppers or tomatoes, as they will get some good shade from them.
They’re also great plants to sow in awkward spots around the raised bed, since they’re pretty small and take up minimal space.
These plants will mature much faster than the larger plants, so there won’t be a lot of waiting around once you sow the seeds. To do that, however, the seeds should be sprinkled in a line and covered with soil before being lightly watered.
If you want something that will be ready in 35-60 days, radishes are the perfect crop for you! These plants grow incredibly quickly and yield crops that you can do a lot with. They do well when planted near larger plants, and can be squeezed into lots of small spots and awkward spaces.
All you need to do is dig a tiny hole for the weeds, drop some seeds in, and cover them with a light layer of soil. Water them carefully, and wait for them to grow!
Try not to plant the seeds too thick, though, or else you will need to do a lot of thinning for the stronger plants to thrive.
Spinach is another plant that does best in cool weather. They can easily be grown beside other larger plants, and can be planted much like lettuce. These plants grow best when planted in the early fall or late summer, and should be replaced with something like radishes after being harvested.
If you want your spinach to germinate within a week, ensure that they get the correct lighting conditions. Growing them, you would do so much in the same way you would grow lettuce.
Start by digging a small trench, then sprinkle the slides in the before covering with soil.
Since spinach can be harvested and eaten at any point in its growth, there’s no waiting around! You can eat baby spinach leaves, or wait until it gets bigger. Either way, try to stagger harvesting, so you can enjoy this plant for a while.
There are so many tomato types to choose from, and they all go well with raised bed gardening! If you have a smaller space to work with, cherry tomatoes are a great option.
Any determinate tomato plant will need less space, while indeterminate plants will need plenty of space to grow. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for seeds or seedlings!
Using a trellis or cage might be a good idea for these plants, too. If you don’t feel like using either of them, you could always let the plants grow down and over the raised bed edge.
Keeping your plants up will keep them cleaner and more likely to be free of disease, but all the options work well!
If you want things to be a little easier, get your plants from the nursery. Make sure to space them around two feet apart from each other. That way, they will have plenty of space to grow and produce delicious fruit.
We know – what the heck is a cucamelon? These fruits look like mini watermelons, but taste completely different. You might recognize a lemony, sweet cucumber-like taste if you took a bite out of one! These adorable little fruits grow on vines, and require a trellis to thrive.
To grow these plants, it’s best to start them indoors. Grow them in small compostable pots for the first weeks before you expect to see your last frost.
Allow them to harden off for one or two weeks, then simply plant the whole compostable pot in the raised bed! By using a compostable pot and potting the whole thing, you are reducing the transplant shock that the plant would experience.
Summer squash is an umbrella term, but they’re all great options for raised bed gardening. From yellow squash to patty pan, for small spaces, and spaghetti squash for larger spaces, you can have a lot of fun with these.
Whether you have a lot of space or not, it’s important to remember to leave plenty of space around the plants, so they can get enough circulation. If they don’t downy mildew can become a real issue when the humid weather hits.
If you decide to grow larger squash, bear in mind that they might need a little extra support as the fruit grows. Growing these plants on a trellis is beneficial for space, and you can use items such as pantyhose to create little hammocks for the growing fruit. That way, the weight won’t damage the vines.
If you don’t have anything lying around that you could use to support the fruit, try sticking to smaller fruits. No matter what you go with, you will have plenty of fruit to work with and use!
Mint is a great plant to have anywhere, but especially in raised beds. These plants can be harvested constantly once they become established, and grow nicely. Give them enough time, and they will thrive in a corner of the raised bed. All you need to do is make sure it gets enough sun and water, and you will have mint for years to come!
Since these plants are notoriously difficult to grow from a seed, you might want to pick some up from the nursery. Ever better, you could get some from someone you know, since they are likely to have plants in similar soil and the same climate.
Those factors will help ensure that the plant will take well and be healthy as it grows.
Make sure there’s plenty of space for roots, and dig roughly a square foot of space. Transplant the mint into its new spot and give it a long soak.
After the plant establishes, you won’t have to do very much to keep it going! It’s a hardy plant, and won’t need a lot of maintenance.
Peas are another quick crop that you can enjoy. In 45 days, you will have some new crops to enjoy! If you don’t have a trellis, the best option would be to choose a dwarf variety of pea. Alternatively, you could simply allow the pea vine to go over the sides of the raised bed.
To plant, all you need to do is sow the seeds while it’s still cool and early in the season. The peas will be one of the first plants to be harvested, and they grow nice and quickly.
Don’t worry too much about spacing these plants. Even placing them close together is fine, and they will thrive. Just make sure that you harvest them frequently to ensure that the plants keep producing fruit.
You can plant bush beans, which require no trellis, or pole beans, which will need something to grow on. For bush beans, these plants are super easy to grow and can be planted in succession every two weeks in the summer. That way, you will have a constant flow of beans to enjoy!
For pole beans, you will need either a trellis or some kind of wire for the plants to grow on. These types of beans will produce fruit for a longer period of time than bush beans, but can be a little more difficult to grow.
Whichever bean you want to grow, it’s best to plant them in a nice sunny area. Ensure that the seeds are around seven-inches apart from each other.
If you go with bush beans, you will need to thin out the plants once they get growing. The bean poles, on the other hand, should do well as long as they have their trellis to grow up.
Celery plants are great for raised bed gardening because of their shallow root systems. They are incredibly easy to grow, even from seeds! You can also grow them from starter plants, though, so anything goes.
Since these plants prefer cool weather, they should be started indoors for anywhere between eight and ten weeks before you’re expected to see your last frost. After that, the seedlings should be hardened off, then planted in the raised bed.
In order to thrive, these plants require a lot of compost and water. Water them frequently, but make sure the soil is never soggy, or else root rot can occur. When the plant establishes, you can start to continuously harvest them!
Plant some onions if you want to make the most out of your raised bed! Just be sure to keep them away from beans and peas! If you want to grow onions the easy way, buy them in sets and simply plant the bulbs when early spring comes along.
Alternatively, you can start growing onions indoors around eight or ten weeks before you predict your final frost to come.
It’s a good idea to plant your onions around other plants such as tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, or kale. Why? Onions deter a lot of pests!
They can help protect your other plants and their crops, and they don’t take up a lot of space, either. It’s easy enough to plant some onions between other plants, using up that awkward and otherwise unused space.
Peppers do well in warm, sunny climates, and require very little maintenance. To grow your peppers from seeds, you should keep them indoors for the first eight to ten weeks before you predict the last frost.
Since these plants aren’t the easiest to grow from seed, you might want to consider buying some from a nursery for ease. If you do this, you can plant them in your raised beds as soon as you think the threat of frost has passed.
On average, you should plant peppers anywhere between 12 and 18 inches away from each other. For some extra support, you can use a stake. It’s important to keep an eye on the plants, especially when they begin to fruit, as some varieties, such as bell peppers, can be weighed down by the fruit.
These plants might try to flower early. If this is the case, pinch the flowers off until they fully mature.
Beets mature very quickly and are easy to grow. You can expect to have delicious food ready to eat in as little as two months! Plant seeds about an inch deep, and three inches apart, so they have enough space to grow.
For the plants to grow big enough, you just need to ensure that the raised bed is 12 inches deep, minimum. If it isn’t, the beets won’t get very large.
It’s important to make sure that beets remain well-watered, but never sit in soggy soil. If you want your beets to be a little sweet, harvest them when they’re relatively small.
You can expect to get three to five pounds of potatoes per potato plant you plant. Seeding potatoes should be planted at least a foot apart, and three inches deep. Soil or mulch should be added as the plant grows until the leaves brown and the potatoes can be harvested.
You should avoid planting potatoes near cucumbers, turnips, carrots, or squash. The best option is to give these plants their own raised bed. That way, they can grow as much as they like and won’t interfere with other plants.
Also known as rocket, this plant does well in cooler temperatures. The seeds should be sown in an area that will get some decent shade in the afternoon. When planting the seeds, be very careful with them, as they are tiny.
You should plan out where you would like the plant to grow, and keep it in that block. Soil should be smoothed, then the seeds should be sprinkled over it before being patted down into it. Water them very carefully, and wait for them to grow!
If you want your arugula a little sweeter, than spicy, harvest it a bit younger. You might notice that plants that are grown at the hottest point in summer turn bitter.
This plant should be grown in the early spring, as it does well in both cool and warm temperatures. When planting, ensure that Swiss chard plants are around 18 inches apart, and ensure that it gets plenty of water.
Once the leaves of this plant get big enough, you can harvest them and use them however you wish! If you’re looking for a better flavor and more tender leaves. The older leaves have a slightly less appealing taste to many, and are less tender.
If you have a lot of hot weather with full sun, why not grow zucchini? These should be planted as soon as the soil is warm, and they need a decent amount of aged compost.
Seeds should be around ½ an inch deep, and placed with four inches between them. Changes are, they will need thinning out once the plants start to establish themselves.
You can get either a vining or bush variety, depending on whether you have a trellis or not. If you go with a vining variety, however, you will probably be able to have more plants, which will produce more than enough zucchinis for you to enjoy!
Understanding the Basics of Raised bed Gardening
Before we get into the easiest vegetables (and fruits) to grow in raised beds, we should understand a little about raised beds first.
Raised beds can be made from anything you can think of, though they’re typically made from wooden planks nailed together.
Of course, these planks are treated to withstand nature and all it contains, but they can also be made from small swimming pools or bags. There are no rules, as long as it isn’t toxic!
It’s easy to buy raised beds, too, if that’s what you prefer. There are a number of kits you can check out and construct, which saves a lot of time, but not necessarily money.
We all know what they are, but there’s a specific key to success when it comes to this kind of gardening. That’s what we will go through in the section below.
Rich Soil Will Get the Best Results
It’s easy enough to get a great raised bed to grow your plants in, but the soil is the key component here. You can have the best or worst raised bed in the world, and it wouldn’t matter.
The soil you use will be the only thing that makes a real difference. Use great compost, good quality topsoil, and the needed perlite or potting soil, and you will have a great mix.
We can’t act like that isn’t expensive, though. If the cost of filling those raised beds seems a little too daunting, you can toss in some rotting logs at the bottom.
These logs will feed the plants as they gradually decompose (known as hügelkultur). Alternatively, you can dig a sizeable trench all the way down the middle of the raised beds. Add compost in there, along with vegetable scraps, old straw (one of many great uses), and aged manure.
When the trench is full of all the goodness for plants, just throw some topsoil on top. Doing this will ensure that the moisture is kept in there, and the nutrients will feed your plants.
If you’ve read our post on using straw in gardening, you will already know that you should be careful when doing this. A lot of straw has residual and long-lasting pesticides, so always do your research before using it with your plants.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Raised Garden Bed to Grow Vegetables?
There are a couple of great benefits to growing your plants in raised beds. Let’s take a look at them below:
- Fewer weeds – there won’t be so many weeds to deal with since the soil isn’t down on the ground. This makes the whole gardening process a lot easier and more enjoyable!
- Soil is aerated – aerated soil helps with draining and plant growth. This means that the plants are likely to grow very well in it!
- Soil is rich – soil that is rich in nutrients will help plants grow very well and be more fruitful!
- Looks neat – raised beds just look really neat and tidy – there’s little mess to deal with, and they are always nicely organized.
- Less strenuous on the body – you won’t have to be on your knees for hours every day, and your joins will thank you.
Using raised garden beds for growing vegetables and fruit is always a good idea. There are plenty of incredible plants that are super easy for you to grow and try out.
If you are new to gardening, why not try out some of the plants mentioned on this list? Once you have the hang of these, why not try something a little more challenging?