Planting in Raised Beds

Dear Jo

We are considering constructing a few raised beds in our garden so that I can grow a few vegetables.    There is just the two of us so I hope to grow small quantities of different types.  When I have looked at images of vegetables growing in raised beds, they appear to be slightly closer together than traditionally grown vegetables - is this just the way I am seeing them, or is it that the deeper the raised bed the closer they are planted? 


As I am planning this for next year, would it be a good idea to construct them now and use them as composters for the rest of this year, and then fill them with soil in the Spring?


Kind regards

Sue Kimber

Dear Sue

I grow vegetables both in the ground and in raised beds and plant them at similar distances in both.  I generally squeeze my plants a bit closer together than they are supposed to be simply because I am greedy and want to make the most of every inch of space!  As a general guide, the closer you plant your veg, the smaller your crop will be.  Vegetables  that are going to be in the soil for a long period of time, such as potatoes and brassicas really need to have plenty of room and shouldn’t be squeezed in.  But
short term crops such as salads, carrots, beetroot, can be sown close together.  You can then thin out later and eat the thinnings as baby veg.  The depth of the beds will affect vegetables such as parsnips and carrots where root space is beneficial.


You can certainly use your beds as composters whilst waiting to grow vegetables in them, if you have small deep raised beds.  A shallow raised bed may not rot down your material as it needs to get nice and hot in
the middle to aid the composting process.  You may also want to get growing straight away.  There are plenty of winter salads and veg that can be sown in the Autumn -  mustard greens, winter lettuce, garlic, onions and spinach to name just a few.


Good luck with your new raised bed project.  Please let me know if I can be of any further help.


Kindest Regards




Jo Blackwell

Kitchen Gardener

Harrod Horticultural