What can I plant in my raised garden and grow it successfully?
My wife and I are putting in 4 raised beds that are 4 foot by 8 foot and roughly 8 inches deep. We know we want tomatoes and green beans. What we are wondering is there any other veggies that we can plant in the same bed and basically used the same bed for two different veggies?
I personally would love to plant corn but not sure how it will do in a raised bed. Thoughts?
You need to research your zone/area/altitude to see what specifically grows. Do you have a long or short growing season? You will have to get starts/seeds that will reflect this. Like tomatoes, different kinds have different maturity times.
Did you loosen the soil under your beds? If you have a clay type soil, sometimes the water puddles rather than becomes absorbed quickly enough for the roots.
The best thing for someone starting out is to grow what you really like, that's easy like tomatoes. Figure out the weather, watering, the time you want to expend gardening.
Corn needs to be planted in a rectangle of at least 4 rows to polinate. Look up Three Sisters for companion planting.
Begin by getting a few good books or lurk & read here.
If you'd put the area you live in, the answers would be more specific.
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Over a 20 year period, I successfully raised corn of several varieties (Hopi blue, sweet, various popcorns) in a 4x6 bed--not all in the same year! My beds were heavily "leaf mulched" to about 18" so I planted very tightly and my yields didn't match big row crop results but definitely worth it to me. If you want to grow corn, set aside one bed and do it! (If you want to be really creative, grow some beans with the corn--pole is standard but bush works in a smaller area where you can watch them--I did it in the city.)
In a hot dry climate, raised beds aren't advised. In a climate like mine? They are the best option for gardening (increased heat and better drainage). You do water them more, but we also get plenty of rain here. I have successfully grown corn, but it is a heavy feeder, so amended more. Also, if you are in a wet climate, you don't mulch heavily (slug city). I am in Zone 8b, PNW.
I teach a class on all the things you can grow in ONE 4x8 bed. Start with lettuces and peas, spinach and carrots. maybe a couple of broccoli. As you harvest, replace with the warmer season crops. while that tomato is still small, it can nestle nicely between two broccolis on in the middle of the peas. Just pull a couple pea plants to make room. Use vertical space to your advantage - cucumbers do well that way. If you have a long enough season, plant pole beans. Tomatoes love to be planted near beans. Herbs can be tucked here and there.
As you try a few things in your own garden, you will learn quite a bit. Don't be afraid to stretch and bend the "rules". If you water and regularly feed your plants, you can plant them a lot closer together than recommended.
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My raised beds are 3X12. With the wind here in Kansas they are blown over year after year , so I no longer plant sweet corn. I love my raised bed garden and have no intentions going to a treadition garden
there is nothing you cannot plant in raised bed gardens..and just about every plant will do well with other plants..there are a few that don't like each other but most can work well together.
one way to look at planting is the french intensive garden..they plant root crops close to shallow root crops..like carrots and onions and beets next to beans and lettuce and peas..etc..plant your plants so close that when they are adult plants the leaves will just barely touch..you can go by the spacing on the packets and then go slightly closer..not leaving bare ground between..use a little light mulch like say grass clippings (if you haven't used chemicals on the grass).
also remember some things will grow vertically so along the center maybe, put two posts with wire between them, or fencing or trellis, an put some plants up them, like vine peas or beans, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, etc.
i only grow what i would noromally buy in the grocery store- lettuce, peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, dried beans, various fruits.
corn is a very heavy feeder that takes up a LOT of room then only produces one ear per plant, which when cut off the cob yeilds rougly a handful. not worth it, imo. when it's in season i buy from the farmers market. we don't eat much of it as it has little nutritional value and is high in sugar.
Last year I grew garlic, peas, brocolli then carrots and napa cabbage in the fall. All in the same 4x12 raised bed. Its about 1' or more deep, compost and leaves. The garlic grows much better in a raised bed for me.