The Top 15 Vegetables to Grow in Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds are becoming increasingly popular for growing vegetables. They let you control the quality of the soil, help get rid of weeds, drain better, and are easier on your back than traditional gardening at ground level.

If you want to start a raised bed vegetable garden, you may be wondering what vegetables do best in raised beds. Most vegetables do well in raised beds because the soil is just right for them, but some do especially well.

In this article, we’ll share the top 15 vegetables to grow in raised garden beds. We’ll cover the benefits, considerations, and tips for getting the most out of these veggie crops. Let’s dive right in!

1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like lettuce kale spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard are excellent choices for raised beds. As their name implies, leafy greens are grown for their nutrient-packed leaves.

The loose, fertile soil in raised beds helps these quick-growing veggies get established and produce abundantly in a short period. Leafy greens prefer nutrient-rich, well-draining soil and consistent moisture – exactly what a raised bed provides.

Lettuce, in particular, thrives in the protected environment of a raised bed. The increased drainage prevents fungal diseases, while the warmth allows for longer harvests into the fall.

2. Radishes

Radishes are another excellent veggie for raised beds. Their shallow roots develop quickly in loose, rock-free soil. Plus successive planting ensures a steady supply.

Go for quick-maturing varieties like ‘Cherry Belle’ and ‘Champion’ Mixing radish seeds with slower-growing carrots and beets maximizes space,

Radishes also make great companion plants. Their spicy scent deters pests like cabbage moths, aphids, and squash bugs.

3. Green Beans

Green beans love the nurturing confines of a raised bed. Bush varieties, like ‘Provider’ and ‘Contender,’ bear prolifically but don’t take up too much horizontal space.

Meanwhile, pole bean varieties, like ‘Blue Lake’ and ‘Kentucky Wonder,’ produce higher yields but require trellising.

Raised beds allow you to customize the soil composition to suit beans. They need a steady supply of nutrients and consistent moisture. Aim for at least 8 hours of full sunlight.

4. Peas

Sweet, crisp peas are anothersatisfying veggie to grow in a raised bed. As a legume, peas help enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen.

While dwarf varieties can be grown without support, opt for climbing types like ‘Sugar Snap’ and ‘Oregon Giant’. Use trellises to save space and make harvesting easier.

Sow seeds directly in the raised bed as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Place them 1-2” deep and 2” apart in rows. Cool weather favors pea germination and growth.

5. Tomatoes

No veggie garden is complete without tomatoes! These heat-loving beauties thrive in raised beds. The warmer, well-draining soil allows the extensive root system to flourish.

Determinate tomatoes, like ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Park’s Whopper’, are compact and suited for raised beds. Or try indeterminate cherries like ‘Sungold’ with cages or trellises.

Ensure your raised bed gets at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Amend the soil with compost or fertilizer to provide sufficient nutrients.

6. Peppers

Raised beds also provide ideal conditions for peppers. They can be grown from transplants or seeds. Popular varieties include ‘California Wonder’, ‘King Arthur’, and ‘Gypsy’.

Like tomatoes, peppers need consistently warm soil and temperatures. Mix in compost or fertilizer to supply key nutrients. Include supportive cages or stakes too.

7. Eggplant

Eggplants are another heat-loving veggie that thrives in raised beds. The dark, fertile soil warms up quickly, promoting vigorous growth and abundant fruit.

Try fast-maturing, cold-tolerant varieties like ‘Fairy Tale’ and ‘Ichiban’. Stake or cage eggplants to support their heavy yields.

8. Carrots

Who can resist homegrown carrots plucked fresh from the garden? Their long roots require loose, rock-free soil that raised beds provide.

Good choices include ‘Danvers Half Long’, ‘Scarlet Nantes’, and ‘Cosmic Purple.’ Sow seeds directly. Keep the beds moist for quick germination.

Thin seedlings to 2-4” apart. Mixing carrots with quicker growing radishes or lettuce makes the most of space.

9. Potatoes

Raised beds offer the perfect spot for growing potatoes. The loose soil is easy to hill up, allowing tubers to develop. Wire-lined beds also keep pests away.

‘Yukon Gold’, ‘Purple Majesty’, and ‘Red Pontiac’ are great varieties. Use disease-free seed potatoes. Harden sprouts before planting.

Place 4-6” of soil beneath the potatoes. Continue hilling up the soil as plants grow. Mound straw around the base to shield tubers from sunlight.

10. Beets

Another root veggie suited to raised beds is beets. Their edible tops and roots appreciate the rock-free, nutrient-rich soil. Popular varieties include ‘Bulls Blood’, ‘Detroit Dark Red’, and ‘Touchstone Gold.’

Direct sow beet seeds 1⁄2-1” deep, 2” apart in rows. Thin seedlings to 4-6” apart. Consistent moisture and side-dressing with compost midseason ensures a healthy harvest.

11. Cucumbers

Raised beds help cucumbers thrive by promoting proper drainage and soil warmth. Bush types like ‘Salad Bush’ take up minimal space. Meanwhile, vining cucumbers like ‘Lemon’ require trellising.

Direct sow seeds 1” deep and 6” apart after danger of frost. When plants are established, side dress with compost. Provide 1-2” of water weekly. Harvest often to encourage production.

12. Summer Squash

Summer squash varieties like zucchini, yellow squash, and patty pan also benefit from the favorable growing conditions in raised beds.

Quick-growing bush types like ‘Early Prolific Straightneck’ are compact. Meanwhile, vining varieties like ‘Tromboncino’ need room to sprawl or can be trellised.

Use transplants or direct sow seeds 1” deep, 6-12” apart. Provide 1-2” of water weekly and harvest regularly.

13. Brassicas

Brassicas, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts thrive in raised beds.

These heavy feeders appreciate the rich organic matter. And their shallow roots access nutrients and moisture easily. Popular easy-to-grow varieties include ‘Green Magic’ broccoli and ‘Stonehead’ cabbage.

Start transplants or direct sow seeds 1⁄4-1⁄2” deep. Space plants 12-24” apart. Use netting to keep pests away if needed.

14. Strawberries

Raised beds are the perfect environment for growing strawberries. The well-drained, nutrient-rich soil produces sweeter berries and prevents diseases.

Ever-bearing varieties like ‘Tribute’ and ‘Tristar’ yield berries spring through fall. Or try June-bearers like ‘Allstar’ for a single main harvest.

Plant dormant bare-root plants or potted transplants in spring, spaced 12-15” apart. Include organic matter when planting. Apply mulch to conserve moisture and deter weeds.

15. Herbs

No raised bed is complete without fresh herbs! Their shallow roots access nutrients easily in raised beds. Great options include basil, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, cilantro, chives, oregano, and dill.

Herbs also make great companion plants, repelling pests. Plus, they can be harvested all season long. Plant transplants or start from seed. Cut often to encourage new growth.

Benefits of Growing Vegetables in Raised Beds

Growing vegetables in raised beds provides many advantages:

  • Improved drainage – The loose, friable soil prevents waterlogging.

  • Warmer temperatures – The soil heats up quicker in spring, extending the growing season.

  • Weed control – Weeds are less likely to colonize the improved soil conditions.

  • Soil customization – You can enrich with compost and control pH and nutrients.

  • Accessibility – Standing height makes gardening easier on your back.

  • Space efficiency – Vertical gardening and square foot techniques maximize yields.

  • Pest control – Some pests are less able to access elevated beds.

Tips for Success with Raised Bed Vegetables

Follow these tips to ensure your raised bed veggie garden thrives:

  • Amend soil with compost or organic matter to provide nutrients.

  • Test and adjust pH to suit your chosen crops – most veggies prefer slightly acidic soil.

  • Water consistently, providing 1-2″ per week. Add soaker hoses or drip irrigation.

  • Fertilize 2-4 weeks after planting and again midseason if needed.

  • Mulch beds with straw, leaves or grass clippings to retain moisture and reduce weeds.

  • Rotate crops each year to prevent disease buildup and improve soil health.

  • Control pests with floating row covers, companion planting or organic treatments.

  • Harvest crops like lettuce, greens, and beans often to maximize yields.

  • Succession plant – replant beds as soon as one crop finishes.

10 More Vegetables to Consider

While the vegetables listed above are prime candidates, most veggies can be grown successfully in raised beds. Here are 10 more great options to consider:

  • Sweet corn – Requires lots of space, so best for larger raised beds. Needs fertile, well-drained soil.

  • Garlic – Plant cloves in fall for an early summer harvest. Prefers loose, fertile soil.

  • Onions – Grow from seeds, sets or transplants. Need consistent watering and full sun.

  • Asparagus – A perennial requiring well-draining soil. Refrain from harvesting the first year.

  • Celery – Needs constant moisture and cool weather. Start transplants 10-12 weeks before planting.

  • Cabbage – A heavy feeder that favors nutrient-rich soil. Use transplants for earlier harvests.

  • Sweet potatoes – Require warm soil and a long growing season. Use disease-free slips or cuttings.

  • Pumpkins – Need lots of space to sprawl. Amend soil and supply consistent water.

  • Okra – A heat-loving veggie. Soak seeds before planting and provide warm soil.

  • Swiss chard – Thrives in cool weather and fertile soil. Cut outer leaves to encourage growth.

The beauty of raised beds is you can customize the environment to suit the needs of the veggies you want to grow. Focus on selecting plants suited to your climate and making the most of your growing space for maximum rewards.

With the right care and maintenance, a raised bed veggie garden will yield an abundance of fresh, home-grown produce to enjoy all season long. Just be sure to follow best practices for building, filling, and caring for your raised garden beds.

Crucial Planting Tips for a Successful Raised Bed Garden!


What vegetables grow best in raised beds?

Carrots, beets, and radishes are some of the root vegetables that will really benefit from the improved soil. Spinach, chard, arugula, kale, and lettuce are some leafy greens to plant in raised beds. These quick-growing greens can be planted together or interplanted with other vegetables.

How deep should a raised bed be for vegetables?

The minimum depth for raised beds is 20cm (8in) however some plants need 45-60cm (18-24in). Most root vegetables need around 60cm (24in) of soil depth to root deeply. If you plan to build on a hard surface make sure that a depth of at least 40cm (16in) is allowed for.

What should I put in my raised garden beds?

Plant Waste or Compost This scoop of “stuff” is a lot of things together. We have a huge pile in the back of our property where we burn leaves, large pieces of wood that we don’t want to split, twigs, etc. It’s really good to layer all of that stuff in your raised beds as it will break down even more.

What vegetables can you grow in a raised garden bed?

And which should you avoid? The best vegetables to grow in raised garden beds include beans, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce, peppers, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, and turnips. These plants thrive in well-drained soil and full sun and add a variety of flavors, colors, and textures to your meals.

Are root vegetables good for raised beds?

Root vegetables are a great choice for raised beds. As anyone who has struggled to grow carrots to any decent size will tell you, root vegetables are notoriously finicky. Radishes will remain spindly if they feel even the teensiest bit cramped. Stunted by rocks or overly compact soil, root crops can prove difficult to grow directly in the ground.

Can you grow carrots in a raised bed?

Carrots are easy to plant, easy to grow, and thrive in a raised bed. The loose, aerated soil of a raised bed gives them lots of room to grow, which is especially important for root vegetables like carrots. Different varieties have different needs, but you can plant around 18 carrots in a square foot of space.

Why are raised beds a good way to grow vegetables?

Raised beds are a popular way to grow vegetables in home gardens and for good reason. They warm up earlier in spring extending the growing season, drain well, and allow you to control the soil. These advantages make it easier to grow crops like tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and melons which benefit from the warm loose soil.

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