Raised garden bed designs offer great flexibility in your landscape, making them very appealing to many gardeners. As a bonus, raised beds are more accessible, removing strain on your back and joints from bending down to care for your plants; they also reduce fewer pests and weeds! Your raised beds can be flashy and fancy, designed for convenience to ease your gardening routine, or both—it’s totally up to you.
Designing Your Raised Garden Beds
The layout you choose primarily depends on your plants! There are a few factors to consider to ensure that your plants grow happy and healthy in their space:
- Determine the mature sizes of your plants before designing your raised bed
- Use complementary colors to spruce up the aesthetic
- Draw a diagram before planting to ensure everything is logically and aesthetically arranged
- Plant your tall plants furthest from the sun, so they do not cast shadows on the plants behind them
- Note which of your plants will need support structures and include that in your design
- Ensure all of your plants with similar care requirements are grouped together
With these concepts in mind, you can successfully build any of the following raised planters.
Spice Up Your Planter with a Mixed Herb Garden Bed
The first step to building an herb garden is to choose what herbs to plant alongside each other. You can save water by grouping herbs with similar care needs in the same beds or by planting with drought-tolerant herbs. Below are some themed herb garden ideas for you to consider! Whether you dedicate one bed to a theme or have small sections for each one, you’ll have a fun raised garden that’s enjoyable to design and bountiful to harvest.
Planting medicinal herbs in your raised garden is a great option if you want aromatherapy or tea-making herbs on hand. Try growing lavender and chamomile, and mix it up with some echinacea for good measure.
Classic Culinary Herbs
Keep it classic with iconic herbs for your kitchen, such as mint, basil, and parsley. These all love moisture and a decent amount of sun.
Lemon on Lemon
Nothing screams Southern Florida like some fresh citrus, and your garden herbs are no exception. Lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon basil… the list goes on!
Herbs like lavender, basil, rosemary, cilantro, dill, and fennel all love a good full-sun environment. By grouping your herbs according to their sun requirements, you can ensure that your plants receive all the sun they need while preventing others from burning.
Grow a “Best Buddies” Companion Garden
Companion planting may seem like it’s done solely for convenience, but that doesn’t mean your inner creative side can’t come out to play! The concept of companion planting explains the grouping of different crops in proximity for a variety of reasons, including:
- Pest control
- Habitats for beneficial insects
- Maximizing space utilization
- Replenishing soil nutrients
Here are some common veggies and what you can pair with them:
Tomatoes pair well with basil, garlic, chives, and parsley. Basil is an extremely beneficial herb to plant with your tomatoes because it repels whiteflies—a common tomato pest.
Peppers pair well with companion plants like carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and squash. Peppers thrive in the company of carrot-family flowering herbs like celery, parsnip, fennel, cumin, anise, parsley, caraway, and dill.
The Three Sisters
Corn, beans, and squash are all excellent crops to grow together. These are larger crops, but if you have a big enough raised garden bed, it’s no problem. The corn stalks provide a support structure for the beans, the beans add nitrogen to the soil, and the squash leaves protect the roots. A master companionship!
Broccoli’s companion plants include rosemary, potatoes, lettuce, and rhubarb, to name a few. As broccoli is a calcium-hungry plant, beets and flowers make good companion plants because they won’t compete for the calcium available.
Asparagus likes to grow with herbs such as parsley, thyme, and sage. They also grow well when asters and marigolds are around!
Veggies and Flowers Are Better Together
Speaking of asters and marigolds, did you know that vegetables and flowers can grow hand in hand? Flowers elevate your raised vegetable gardens with their beauty, but they can also complement the health of your edible crops by repelling pests and attracting pollinators. Here are some common flowers that complement vegetable crops:
For help designing prosperous and unique raised gardens, visit us at Living Color Garden Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida! We have all you need to get your garden started.