Raised-bed gardening allows gardeners to grow vegetables in beds of soil raised from the ground by either a few inches to waist-height. These beds are boxed in using wooden, concrete or block frames. Raised-bed gardens grow the same vegetables as in-ground gardens but without large garden space. The advantages of raised bed-gardens include earlier warming, easier maintenance and efficient watering. Disadvantages include cost of development and the inability to use mechanical gardening equipment in the beds.
Root vegetables are good for raised beds, as the bed offers the depth and space root vegetables require. Root vegetables are easy to harvest in raised beds due to the added height of the bed. Suitable root vegetables include both small and large varieties of onions, beets, turnips, radishes, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams.
Vining vegetables grow nicely in raised beds, but different types require different growing methods. Tomatoes and eggplants need stakes or trellises for support when they grow taller and heavier. Zucchini, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins spread out as they grow, quickly covering any surrounding ground surface. Allow plenty of room for these types of vining plants so that they do not take over other plants in your beds.
Incorporate stalk vegetables in raised-bed gardens. Examples of stalk-type vegetables are rhubarb, celery, asparagus, okra and corn. Rhubarb may grow to be bushy, while celery and asparagus grow lower to the ground and are easily overtaken by larger plants. Okra pods form on tall stalks, and corn requires plenty of space to grow tall and spread out.
Greens and Heads
All varieties of greens and head vegetables are conveniently grown in raised beds. Allow the leafy greens or heads plenty of sunlight and do not let them be overtaken by larger plants. Vegetables in this category include arugula, lettuce, cabbage, chard, spinach, mustard, kale and collard. Other vegetables to include in this category include broccoli and cauliflower.
Bush vegetables grow well in raised beds. Many beans and peas are examples of these plants. Other examples include peppers. Allow for enough room between rows in your bed for the bushes to grow fuller as they mature. Do not plant bushy vegetables where they will cover other, low-growing vegetables.