Top 10 raised bed plants
Raised garden beds can be found in many gardens. But which plants are best suited to be grown in raised beds? Find out more here.
Raised garden beds have been somewhat of a garden trend in recent years. Whether made of stone and permanently installed in the garden, or made of wood and mobile (especially if the container has wheels) they make great garden beds. This latest horticultural craze has a clear advantage: by elevating the roots, they heat up faster in summer and thus produce higher yields than with the ground cultivation. In winter, however, the cold is absorbed quicker as well and can therefore lead to frost damage more easily. But which plants are particularly suitable for cultivation in raised beds? We will get to the bottom of this question in this article.
Planting in raised beds: choosing the right plants
In order to achieve good results in a raised bed, the choice of plants (whether vegetables, herbs or fruit) can be made according to various criteria. Of course, the height of the plants is decisive. With tall-growing crops, maintenance and harvest can quickly become difficult. In addition, not all plants tolerate being confined in space. Also nutrient requirements of individual crops pose a factor for selection. It makes only sense for example to grow plants with a high nutrient requirement if the substrate was replaced recently.
In the first year of life of a raised bed, it is therefore recommended to grow so-called ‘heavy eaters’ such as cabbage, carrots or strawberries. In general, however, it is advisable to combine plants with lower nutrient requirements and plants with high nutrient demand. It is also advisable to change the substrate in a raised bed – at least in the upper 30 cm – at the beginning of every garden season. Moreover, some herbs such as hyssop or lavender are well suited for cultivation in raised beds, as they can counteract an infestation by plant pests due to their essential oils.
Criteria for the selection of suitable plants:
- Height of growth and space requirement
- Nutritional requirements
- Compatibility with other plants
- Positive effect on pest infestation (herbs)
- Winter resilience
Top 10 raised bed plants
From vegetables to herbs to fruit: these 10 plants are particularly suitable for cultivation in raised beds due to their specific characteristics. Which of them to combine and grow together is a topic of its own which we will discuss another time.
Regardless if we are talking lettuce, radicchio, red leaf or iceberg lettuce: this leafy green is particularly suitable for cultivation in raised beds as it grows quickly and is ready for harvest early on. What is more, lettuce does not require too many nutrients and thus does not soak up the very limited substrate in a raised bed. Lettuce is also highly compatible with other plants.
Tomatoes are another great plant for raised beds. They are particularly suitable for cultivation in the first years of cultivating in a raised bed. As they have a high nutrient requirement fresh soil is helpful. When selecting varieties, mind the growth height of some tomato varieties and choose tomatoes that do not grow too tall for you to still care for and harvest them comfortably.
Courgettes grow extensively and therefore need a lot of space in the bed. When planting in a raised bed, place courgette plants at the edge so that they hang down on the sides. The rapid warming of the soil in raised beds also promotes the wellbeing of the plants.
Hyssop is a Mediterranean herb with a particularly high content of essential oils. It can be used in the kitchen but is also perfect for keeping away unpleasant pests. Aphids or snails, for example, are driven away by the intense scent. So, growing hyssop is a great preventative measure against pests, which allows the use of pesticides.
In general, Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, basil, thyme or lavender can be cultivated in the raised beds. In summer they enjoy the additional warmth that raised beds provide. However, overwintering these plants, which are sensitive to cold, can be rather difficult. Just as the earth warms up more quickly in summer, the cold and frost in winter unfortunately also chills raised beds more easily.
Tip: For an optimal nutrient supply of your plants in the raised bed, best use a primarily organic slow-release fertiliser such as Plantura All Purpose Plant Food. This fertiliser gently releases its nutrients to the plants over a period of three months and sustainably stimulates the soil activity in your raised bed.
- Perfect for a variety of plants in the garden & on the balcony
- Promotes healthy plant growth & an active soil life
- Long-lasting fertiliser that is free from animal products - child & pet friendly
Strawberries can also be successfully cultivated in raised beds – over several years. Since they also form runners, they can be propagated without any effort. A small fun fact: from the botanical point of view, the strawberry is not a berry at all but an aggregate fruit. A berry in the botanical sense of the word, on the other hand, are tomatoes for example.
They make you cry when you peel them, but they are essential for so many dishes. Therefore, it is more than justified to plant onions in your raised bed. Put them into the soil early in the gardening season (March) and only harvest them in autumn when the leaves dry up. They take up space for a long time but are also a safe harvest to rely on.
At first glance, this ornamental plant is mere decoration in your garden bed. However, they are very helpful to reduce nematodes, which attack various plants and can lead to crop failures or reduced plant vitality. Marigolds discharge toxic substances which are only visible under the microscope but exterminate the small worms.
Although you use the leaves of Swiss chard, botanically it belongs to the beet group and is therefore related to sugar beet, beetroot and others. Swiss chard requires regular watering. However, since only individual leaves are removed during the harvest, it can remain planted throughout the summer and be harvested again and again. This will save you the hassle of having to plant new plants.
Of course, carrots are also suitable for growing in raised beds. In this case, too, the additional heat in the raised bed shortens the cultivation time and leads to quick harvest. However, care must be taken to ensure that the raised bed is deep enough and provides sufficient space for carrots to form.
With these 10 plants you can successfully plant your raised bed. Generally speaking, almost all plants are suitable for cultivation in a raised bed. Choosing the best plants for raised beds depends on your needs and intentions. However, do not forget to enjoy the process (in case of failure, you can easily fill the gaps with new plants ). In our experience, spontaneity and improvisation provide additional fun and unexpected success when gardening in a raised bed.