Nothing tastes better than fresh veg straight from the garden. Whether you’re on the first steps towards self-sufficiency, or just interested in growing a few of your own vegetables for the kitchen table, using a raised planter to create a vegetable garden is a great way to get started.

Gardening is good for us, so read on for our top tips on how to make a plentiful, beautiful vegetable garden using a raised planter.

Why are raised planters good for creating a vegetable garden?

A raised planter provides the perfect environment to grow vegetables for several reasons.

  • Improved drainage: Because the soil is raised, planters provide better drainage than planting straight into the ground.
  • More control over soil: Rather than being hindered by whatever quality soil you have in your garden, you can choose the specific soil to put into your raised planter that’s best suited for the vegetables you want to grow.
  • Easier to manage: Raised vegetable beds need watering less often than smaller containers. The soil also won’t be getting trodden on, preventing it from compacting.
  • Warmer soil: The soil in raised beds warms up quickly in spring, so your vegetables will be ready for harvesting (and eating!) earlier.
  • Easier to protect: Protecting your raised beds in winter is as simple as covering the planter with fleece or netting.

Which raised planter should you choose for your vegetable garden?

There are a few things to consider when selecting your raised planter:

  • Size: Your planter should be big enough to give all your vegetables enough room, but not so big that you have to walk on the soil to tend to your plants. Also, ensure you get a planter that won’t take up your entire available garden – you need space to walk around it and access your plants from all sides.
  • Height: Choose a planter at a height that makes it easy to work on. Raised planters are ideal, because you won’t even need to bend over to water and tend your plants – much easier on the back than a regular flowerbed.
  • Depth: Determine the depth of your planter based on which vegetables you want to grow. Root vegetable, for example, need deeper soil, so you’ll want to get a planter with plenty of depth. Many of Somerlap’s garden planters can be made to design – just let our team know if you need a specific depth or size.

What should you grow in your vegetable garden?

If it’s your first time growing your own vegetables, the simplest option is to choose vegetables that will grow from seeds outside. This means you don’t need a greenhouse and you won't need to worry about moving your budding plants around.

The following vegetables are easy to cultivate and can all be grown outside from seeds, making them perfect for veg growing novices:

  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli

Lettuce and radishes are fast growing, so they can be sown in small amounts throughout the summer months, to deliver a constant supply of fresh, tasty veg.

Carrots, beetroot, and broccoli grow more slowly, but don't require too much maintenance – making them good choices for beginner gardeners. Before you know it, you’ll have grown your own salad right in your back garden.

How should you organise your vegetable garden?

Traditionally, vegetable gardens are planned in rows, but you can also divide your garden into squares. There are many guidelines for arranging and pairing vegetable gardens, such as:

  • Planting root vegetables like carrots and beetroots together.
  • Planting salad vegetables like lettuce and radish together.
  • Complimenting broccoli with herbs such as mint and dill, which help repel common pests.

Follow the specific spacing guidelines for the seeds you’re sowing, as each plant requires a different amount of space. For example, sixteen radishes require about the same space as one broccoli.

When should you plant your vegetable garden?

Different seeds will grow better at different times of the year, so always check the guidelines for the plants you want to show. To get you started, here’s a guide for the simple plants we suggested above:

  • Sow carrot seeds between March and June.
  • Sow lettuce seeds between March and August.
  • Sow radish seeds between March and July.
  • Sow beetroot and broccoli seeds between April and July.

Feast on fresh grown vegetables using a raised planter from Somerlap

For all your vegetable garden needs, we’ve got it all here at Somerlap. From Compost Bins ideal for growing your own compost, to our beautiful selection of planters, we’ve got it all in our broad range of Gardening products.

Pay us a visit at our Somerset site to see our products in person, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any enquiries.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 8.00am – 4.30pm | Saturday: 8.00am – 12.30pm | Closed all bank holidays