How To Grow Vegetables With Raised Beds


A raised bed is a good way to grow vegetables in cooler climates, or in areas where the soil is contaminated. The soil in raised beds warms more quickly than soil in the ground. Raised beds are also more accessible to disabled gardeners and gardeners who cannot stoop or bend easily. Vegetables in a raised bed system can be spaced more closely together, which will allow them to crowd out weeds.

Step 1

Create a raised bed by constructing a wall around your proposed bed area. You can build a raised bed out of woven sticks, landscaping timbers, 2-by-4 boards, bricks, landscaping stone or river rock. Your raised bed should receive at least six hours of sunlight daily. Make your bed no more than 4 feet wide so that it is easy for you to bend and stretch across the bed to work.

Step 2

Fill your raised bed with a potting mix made of one part sand, one part peat moss and one part compost. Test the soil's pH and add lime or sulfur to make the pH neutral. Many garden centers and pool supply centers sell pH testing kits.

Step 3

Plant vegetable plants equidistant from one another instead of in rows. Or plant more vegetable seeds than you need to and thin the plants as they grow. When the vegetable plants mature, they should just touch and should form a shady canopy over soil that will crowd out weeds. You can plant small plants such as radishes between large plants that are tied upright such as tomatoes.

Step 4

Check your vegetables daily and water them to keep the soil as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Soil in a raised bed warms quicker and dries more easily than soil in the ground.

Step 5

Apply a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer at a rate of 1 lb. per 100 square feet of soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Sticks
  • Landscape timbers
  • 2x4 boards
  • Nails
  • Landscaping stone
  • River rock
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Vegetable plants
  • Vegetable seeds
  • Garden hose
  • Balanced, (10-10-10) fertilizer


  • University of Tennessee Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
  • Iowa State University Extension: Creating Raised Bed Planters
  • Ohio State University Extension: Raised Bed Gardening

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
Keywords: growing vegetables, raising vegetables, raised bed vegetables

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."