If you are interested in fresh homegrown vegetables using raised beds will make your garden more productive and keep it weed-free. I have 5 basic steps to planting a vegetable garden in a raised bed for seedling plants from the store or from seed.
Vegetable gardens are an excellent source of food for the family providing fresh local food right in your own backyard garden. Using a raised bed will help you limit the amount of watering and weeding and produce a plentiful amount of vegetables.
The Buonpane Family Gardners
My husband comes from a long line of Italian home vegetable gardeners. He learned as a small child from his father who learned from my husband’s grandfather who came from Italy in the 1880s. We still propagate seeds from the Roma tomato seed he brought with him from his home village.
When we first got married I thought my husband overdid it a little with the gardening each year but as I learned how important homegrown vegetables are for us and our children I am so glad we never stopped carrying on the family tradition.
If You Missed it: How to Prepare the Soil for a Raised Bed
Before you are ready to plant your raised bed you will need to prepare the soil. You can read my post 5 Steps to Prepare your Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Soil before planting. And if you like to watch videos check out my Pinterest idea pin link below
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Steps for Planting a Vegetable Garden in Raised Beds
- Step 1: Layer over the soil 1/4 inch irrigation hose. We use Galvanized Steel Garden Stakes
- Step 2: Layer over the soil and hose Garden Plastic to keep the weeds down & hold in the heat.
- Step 3: Dig holes for your plants using a bulb planter. This one looks better and easier than mine.
- Step 4: Insert the vegetable plants in the prepared hole, fertilize, and water.
- Step 5: Plant any seeds 1 inch down and cover lightly with soil.
Step 1 – Lay 1/4 inch Irrigation Hose
Lay the 1/4 inch irrigation hose over the prepared soil in a zig-zag pattern or an “S” shape. The hose should be laid out so that it is approximately where you will be planting your plants. As you can see in the photo above we have three rows that will have four plants in each row and the plants will be placed after the plastic is laid close to the hose. This way the plant gets plenty of water during the growing season.
To hold the hose in place use the galvanized steel garden stakes. We also use these stakes when laying the plastic. Before we purchased the galvanized stakes we purchased extra large paper clips and opened them to form an upside-down U to hold the hose to the soil.
The hose will help keep the plants evenly watered and prevent water from leaking out of your raised bed. You can water the beds with a hand hose but the water tends to run off the plastic and collect on the sides of the beds not next to the plants as with the drip irrigation system.
Step 2 – Layer Garden Plastic
After the hose is securely laid over the garden soil layer garden plastic on top. Make sure there are no holes or tears in the plastic, as this can allow weeds to grow through them or water to leak out. For our bed, we layer two strips of plastic and overlap the edges in the middle. Again this helps keeps the weeds from growing up in any open areas.
We have found that it is easiest to cut the plastic to the length needed for each bed on the driveway. That way you are on even ground and you do not have to move the roll from bed to bed. After all the lengths are cut then move them to the raised bed.
Make sure that you do not cover the treated wood with plastic. The heat from the plastic will quickly over the years deteriorate the treated lumber and will need to be replaced.
Lay the plastic down and secure at the ends of the beds with the galvanized stakes as well as secure the overlap in the middle.
Step 3 – Dig Holes with Bulb Planter
After you have all the plastic laid and secured it is time to plant your plants or seeds. For an easy uniform hole for planting use a garden bulb planter.
While you can do this by yourself we have found working as a team the planting goes faster. One person digs the hole while the first person finds the hose for proper placement and secures the plant and covers it with the dirt removed from the blob digger.
Step 4 -Insert Vegetable Plants in Hole, Fertilize & Water
After the planets are in the ground your last step is the give each plant a little granulated fertilizer.
The fertilizer will help the plants grow strong and healthy. You can find granulated fertilizer at most nurseries or garden centers. This is the brand that we are using. It is easy to use and will help the plants grow strong and produce.
Right after you have planted and fertilized you need to give each plant some water. You will be using the drip irrigation but transplanting will stress the plant you want to make sure they have water at the ready to maintain their strength and green color.
Step 5 – Plant Seeds
Seeds need to be planted in loose soil in order to sprout easily. For seeds dig a hole with the bulb planted only halfway down. Seeds do not need to be planted as deep as the plants.
Add some of the soil back in so that the seed is only about 1/2 below the surface. Lay the seeds in the hole and cover lightly with soil so that they sprout that can easily reach sunlight.
Keeping Plants from Laying on the Ground
This does not need to be done right after planting but will help you get more production from your garden. You can use tomato cages over the tomatoes so they have a sturdy place to grow up on and keep their fruit off the ground, where it can be damaged by pests or rot from over watering.
For smaller plants, you can stick a stake next to the plant and tie the stock of the plant with small strips of fabric. I have used fabric as it is less damaging to the plant than a twist tie or zip tie.
Whether you just want to enjoy fresh homegrown produce or you want to teach your kids about the natural world, planting a vegetable garden in raised beds is a great way to bring the natural beauty and benefits of gardening directly into your home. So grab a shovel and get ready to dig—and enjoy!