Planting plan for raised bed

A raised bed will revolutionise your gardening life! You can grow almost any vegetables, soft fruit and herbs regardless of your soil type, plus, raised beds warm-up quickly in spring and benefit from excellent drainage, too. Less bending down is needed, making gardening easier, while raised beds look highly ornamental in any setting. If you’ve not yet embraced the joys of gardening above ground level, check out our project Building a raised bed which is packed with handy hints and tips.

Example: Spring planting plan

Dates for sowing and planting in spring

Dates for sowing and planting are guidelines and can change depending on weather conditions and the type of crop being grown. Always follow guidance on the back of seed packets or plant labels. If you have little time to raise plants from seed, or space is limited, consider buying healthy young veg plants from garden centres in spring which will get your raised bed off to a flying start.

Type of vegetableDate for sowingDate for planting
Carrotsfrom March 
Onionsfrom MarchOnions sets from May
Radishesfrom March 
Cut-and-come-again lettucefrom March 
KohlrabiIndoors from FebruarySeedlings from April
Parsnipsfrom March 
Turnipsfrom March 
Wild rocketfrom April 
Beetrootfrom April 
Peasfrom April 

 

Example: Summer planting plan

Dates for sowing and planting in summer

As in spring, the dates for sowing and planting are guidelines and can change depending on the weather and crop to be grown. Always follow information on seed packets or plant labels. If time and space are in short supply, garden centres offer a wide range of young veg plants such as tomatoes, bell peppers, fennel and leeks. Choose young plants that are healthy and growing vigorously.

Type of vegetableDate for sowingDate for planting
NasturtiumsIn pots from March, in beds from mid-AprilFrom May
Lamb’s lettucefrom mid-July 
Tomatoes mid-May
French beansfrom mid-May 
Bell peppers mid-May
Fennel July

 

How to sow and plant in raised beds

Now that your seeds have germinated or you’ve bought young veg plants, it’s time to get cracking! To make the most of every inch of your raised bed, it pays to divide it up to maximise the use of space. We have chosen horizontal rows as it’s a fantastic way to accommodate a greater number of crops. Of course, you can also plant in vertical rows if you’re keen to harvest more from a single type of vegetable. To draw rows, either use your finger in the soil to mark out straight lines, or attach a piece of string between two canes as a guide. A dibber or small trowel are handy for making seed sowing or planting holes.

Sow seeds at the depth specified on the packet – a ruler or tape measure is handy for checking. Plant spacing is critical in raised beds, so always allow enough room for crops to mature, Sow seeds at the depth specified on the packet, cover with soil and gently firm down. Seeds will need to be watered after sowing – use a watering can fitted with a fine rose so that water is gently distributed on the seed bed without washing seeds away. It’s vital to ensure that seeds don’t dry out as they germinate and spring into life, so always keep young crops in raised beds moderately moist.

What do I do if too many seeds germinate?

With some types of vegetables such as carrots, seeds are tiny and cannot be sown individually. Once rows have germinated, they’ll need to be ‘thinned out’ – a process where excess seedlings are removed to ensure that remaining plants benefit from the correct spacing. Otherwise, plants will become too crowded and crops will be jeopardised.

 

An alternative method is to buy seed tapes – lengths of biodegradable tissue that are pre-sown with seeds that have been spaced at the correct distance.

How to plant seedlings in raised beds

To plant out seedlings that have been raised under cover, use a trowel to make a hole, remove the plant pot then carefully position the seedling and firm down the soil around it (make sure that seedlings have been watered before planting out). Unless specified on the instructions, always plant at the same depth so the rootball is level with the soil surface. Space seedlings at the correct distance so they have enough room to grow – crops that are crowded together will suffer from lower yields.

When watering established seedlings or young plants, it’s advisable to remove the rose from the end of your watering can. This ensures that the flow of water can be directed at the base of the seedling so it soaks down into the roots, while keeping leaves dry – a good way to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.

All that’s needed now is to keep plants watered and fed and look forward to a mouth-watering, bumper harvest!