The best veg to grow in raised beds

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With raised beds, it’s never been easier to plant delicious vegetables. Whether you’re growing them for your own plate, or a community/school veg sale, check out the top 5 veg to grow in your raised beds. 

1. Carrots

carrots in soil Sweet, tasty, and vitamin-rich, carrots are sure-fire grow-your-own-favourite. And, they can add an extra splash of colour to your community garden, with varieties in red, purple, and yellow.

Short or round-rooted varieties are best for raised beds and grow best in deep, multi-purpose compost. They need full sun and regular watering. They should be ready about 12-16 weeks from sowing.

Make sure you sow them when they’re large enough to use. If you’re aiming for the largest root, you’ll sacrifice flavour.

2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes on a leafy vine

Growing your own tomatoes is simple. And just a couple of plants will reward you with plenty of delicious tomatoes for the whole community to enjoy.

Tomatoes need a warm, sunny location, so a south-facing raised bed is best. Sow your seeds with around 50-70cm distance between them. Water them well, and, if necessary, offer young plants a short, sturdy support.


3. Onions

Onions in the ground Onions grow best when sets are planted in loose soil, with garden compost. Simply make a small hole in the soil with your fingers, and place the onion set inside.

Re-cover with soil, but make sure the tip remains peeking out. They don’t need much water.

When the tip begins to yellow, you know your crop is reaching maturity. Make sure you harvest before this dies down completely. Use a fork to lift the onions out the ground. But be careful, any damage can cause them to rot in storage!

4. Spinach

Spinach in the ground

Spinach is a superfood. Full of nutrients and low in calories, growing Spinach in your garden will help keep your community happy and healthy.

Sow a thin layer of seeds directly where you want them to grow, in a raised bed filled with moist, nutrient-rich soil. Thin out the seedlings when large enough to handle, and a few weeks later, harvest every other plant for the kitchen. This gives the rest room to grow!

To avoid a bitter taste, enrich the soil with lots of organic matter, like garden compost, before sowing.

5. Garlic

Garlic, growing in the ground.

This staple of Mediterranean cooking is great to grow in raised beds. Garlic is generally trouble-free and needs little maintenance. Just make sure it’s watered during dry spells! Plant individual cloves of garlic in autumn.

They like sunny, well-drained sites, with organic matter dug in. Carefully break up the bulbs into cloves, and plant with the flat, basal plate facing down. Make sure cloves are planted just below the soil’s surface, and space them around 15 cm apart.

A word of warning, birds are notorious for uprooting newly planted cloves. So, cover with horticultural fleece until well rooted in.

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