Choose from our curated designs for your next raised bed or planter.

The first time we used our raised garden beds, we planted our seeds too densely. The resulting vegetables grew, but underproduced due to a lack of soil nutrients for such an intensive crop. Having learned from our mistakes, we enriched our soil, but we still weren’t making use of companion planting for even better harvests.

After many years of experimenting, we’re happy to see so many plants thriving. With the right spacing, sun requirements, soil nutrients, and planting companions, we’ve found bed combinations that make gardening easier and more enjoyable–year after year.

Below, we’ve put together some of our favorite designs to make your attempts more successful, too. Whether you’re cultivating classic vegetables, creating a berry haven, or growing herbal teas, these raised garden planting plans offer unique and efficient ways to nurture your green thumb.

A few considerations before getting started

These garden plans are designed for full-sun conditions unless otherwise noted. Raised beds have open bottoms to enable plants to access the soil below. Elevated planters and planter boxes have closed bottoms, making them ideal for patios, porches, and balconies. Be sure to check planting depths if you want to substitute plants or if you’re simply unsure, using our soil depth requirements guide.

1. Classic vegetable garden

Where better to start than with the classic vegetable bed, a harmonious blend of traditional garden favorites? Anchored by two tomato plants, this bed showcases mainstays like carrots and beets while maximizing space with a vertical wall of peas and beans climbing a sturdy trellis. Two broccoli plants add vitamin richness, while below the surface, potatoes thrive. A lush carpet of salad greens planted in the semi-shade of your taller plants ensures a continuous harvest of fresh, crisp leaves.

What you’ll need

vegetable garden raised bed planting plan

Planting guide

  1. Potatoes: Plant at opposite front corners of bed when soil is above 44°F (7°C), about two weeks before the last frost.
  2. Beets: Sow seeds 1 to 2 inches apart as soon as the soil can be worked. Thin to 3 to 4 inches.
  3. Lettuce: Scatter seeds in a wide row. Leave in place for looseleaf or thin to 6 to 12 inches for head lettuce.
  4. Tomatoes: Plant starts outdoors as soon as nighttime temperatures reach 50°F (10°C).
  5. Peas: Plant along half the trellis in early spring.
  6. Beans: Plant along remaining half of trellis once the soil warms to 70°F (21°C)
  7. Carrots: Broadcast seed, thinning to 2 to 3 inches apart.
  8. Broccoli: Plant starts outdoors in early spring, after the last frost date. Locate behind tomatoes.

2. Berry heaven

Nestled within this fruit-lover’s design are three, acid-loving blueberry plants selected for their preference for high-and-dry gardening. From the sweet flavors of highbush cultivars to the compact charm of patio varieties, blueberries will provide a bountiful harvest. Surrounding the blueberry trio, a perimeter of lingonberries adds Scandinavian allure. These evergreens prefer a similar soil pH and, although slow-growing, will form a lush carpet for years to come that won’t outcompete your blueberry plants.

What you’ll need

  • 1 natural cedar raised garden bed size 4’ x 8’ x 22”
  • 2.2 cubic yards of acidic soil mix (with an approximate pH of 5)
  • 3 blueberry plants (at least two years old) of at least two different varieties
  • 8 lingonberry plants of at least two different varieties

berry raised bed

Planting guide

  1. Blueberries: For earliest fruiting, plant compact-variety blueberry plants that are at least two years old. Choose varieties that flower at the same time for the best results. While patio cultivars (e.g., Top Hat, Pink Icing) are designed for small-space growing, some highbush or half-high varieties can grow in containers as well (e.g. Patriot, Dixie).
  2. Lingonberries: Lingonberries will also do best if more than one variety is planted together for cross-pollination. Purchase plants and stagger around the raised bed perimeter. Adding an all purpose, organic fertilizer several times in their first growing season will help them establish strong roots.

3. Culinary herbs elevated planter

This design features a curated selection of annual and perennial herbs perfect for culinary use. Each plant occupies its designated space thanks to dividers that prevent plants from overpowering their neighbors, promoting a harmonious coexistence within the planter. Ideal for seasoned chefs and food enthusiasts, this plan suits full sun and a wide variety of substitutions based on your location. Cultivate a herb garden where each plant thrives independently, ensuring a continuous supply of fresh herbs for your kitchen.

What you’ll need

  • 1 divided cedar elevated herb planter. (For a non-divided bed, try this natural cedar option).
  • 2 cubic feet of garden soil mix
  • 1 starter plant of each of the following herbs: curley-leaf parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, purple sage, chives, culinary thyme and golden oregano.

    kitchen herb planter

    Planting guide

    1. Insert 8 starter plants into herbal planter according to the diagram numbers: 1) cilantro, 2) oregano, 3) mint, 4) basil, 5) parsley, 6) chives, 7) thyme and 8) sage.
    2. Keep soil evenly moist, but do not overwater. If permitted to dry out, herb plants may go to seed prematurely.
    3. When several sets of leaves appear, pinch back basil, cilantro, sage, mint and parsley for a bushier plant. This involves removing the tender new growth at the stem’s end, just above a leaf node.
    4. Mid-season, trim oregano and thyme about halfway back to increase growth.
    5. When harvesting herbs, choose older sets of leaves and stems to encourage new growth.

  • 4. Salad greens elevated planter

    Who doesn’t love a fresh salad right off the kitchen? Basking in full sun or partial shade, this elevated planter hosts a rotating cast of leafy delights, adapting seamlessly to seasonal changes. At the forefront are three varieties of lettuce. As the seasons evolve, the planter transitions from spring spinach and peppery arugula to a selection of Asian greens and hardy kale. This thoughtful arrangement not only provides variety but also maximizes the planter’s potential for year-round cultivation.

    What you’ll need

    • 1 natural cedar elevated planter size 26” x 60” x 11”
    • 10 cubic feet of rich garden soil mix
    • 3 starter plants of butterhead lettuce
    • 2 starter plants oak leaf lettuce. Red varieties add colour and interest to your planter.
    • 2 starter plants of romaine lettuce that is slow to bolt (e.g. Green Towers or Paris Island)
    • 1 seed packet each of rocket arugula, spinach, and mixed Asian greens

    salad greens planter design

    Planting guide

    1. Butterhead lettuce: Begin hardening off starts outdoors 3 to 4 days before planting out. On planting day, insert in soil at the same level as the plant pot. Harvest heads when 6 to 8 inches in diameter.
    2. Red oak leaf lettuce: Plant as above, but harvest outer leaves as soon as they reach desired size.
    3. Romaine lettuce: Follow instructions for planting butterhead lettuce, harvesting individual leaves or full heads.
    4. Asian or mesclun greens: Sow a row as soon as the soil can be worked in springtime. If frost threatens, protect with a floating row cover.
    5. Arugula: Sow every month from early spring, removing plants when they start to go to seed.
    6. Spinach: Sow in the four weeks before the last frost. If they start to go to seed within a month of your last spring frost, remove and sow a second crop.

    5. Three sisters raised bed

    In this planter, the classic trio of corn, pole beans and squash work together in perfect synergy. The bed accommodates eight corn plants while providing support for twelve pole bean plants. Completing the trio are four squash plants, sprawling and weaving around the base and over the edge, creating a living ground cover that conserves moisture and suppresses weeds. This design maximizes space while celebrating the timeless collaboration of the Three Sisters, ensuring a thriving and interdependent garden.

    What you’ll need

    • 1 natural cedar raised garden bed size 4’ x 8’ x 22”
    • 2.2 cubic yards of rich garden soil mix (ensure plenty of nitrogen by integrating compost where available)
    • 1 seed package of tall-variety corn (e.g. Bloody Butcher)
    • 1 seed package of pole beans (e.g. Blue Lake Pole, Scarlet Runner)
    • 1-2 seed varieties of vining squash (e.g., Delicata, Sugar pumpkin)
    • 2 bags concentrated compost

    three sisters raised bed design

    Planting guide

    1. Corn: Plant two to three weeks before beans once temperatures have reached 55°F (13°C). Thin to eight plants, 10 to 12 inches apart. Top dress with concentrated compost every two weeks during the growing season.
    2. Beans: Two to three weeks later, plant 1-2 beans per corn plant when corn is about six inches high. If needed, reposition young bean vines towards corn for trellising as they grow.
    3. Squash: At the same time that you sow your beans, make four low hills along the length of the bed, sowing three seeds per hill. Thin to the strongest seedling at two to three weeks.

    6. Tomato & basil raised garden

    This sanctuary was designed to cultivate juicy and flavorful tomatoes among fragrant herbs and blooms. At its heart, four determinate tomato plants offer controlled growth that simplifies maintenance and harvesting. Surrounding these plants, a perimeter of Genovese basil adds culinary delight and visual appeal. Farther out, sweet alyssum is a magnet for bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects that contribute to the overall health of your plants.

    What you’ll need

    • 1 natural cedar raised garden bed size 4’ x 8’ x 16.5”
    • 1.6 cubic yards of rich garden soil mix
    • 3 determinate starter tomato plants
    • 1 packet Genovese classic basil seed or 8 starter bundles (there may be more than one plant per starter cell)
    • 1 packet sweet alyssum seed or a dozen starter plants
    • 1 pouch soluble plant fertilizer

    tomato and basil raised garden bed

    Planting guide

    1. Tomatoes: We’ve focussed on determinate (bush) tomatoes for a concentrated harvest, but adding a trellis and opting for indeterminate is another option. Plant starts outdoors as soon as nighttime temperatures reach 50°F (10°C). Once established, watering in soluble plant fertilizer every two weeks will increase tomato yield.
    2. Basil: Sow basil seed directly in the soil, making a frame approximately one foot away from tomato plants. Pinch growing tips back when second set of true leaves appear.
    3. Sweet alyssum: Alyssum does well from seed, but adding starter plants will hasten blooming. Sow or plant around the outside bed perimeter.

    7. Herbal tea oasis

    Step into the aromatic world of our herbal tea garden, a raised bed dedicated to cultivating soothing and flavorful teas. This design features a selection of lemon balm, three varieties of mint, lemon verbena, calendula, bee balm, chamomile and fennel. The compact arrangement allows for easy access while isolating vigorous mint far from the rest of your garden. The design pairs herbs with similar requirements, with most thriving in average soil.

    What you’ll need

    • 1 natural cedar raised bed size 3′ x 6′ x 16.5″
    • 0.9 cubic yards of soil
    • 1 plant each of pineapple mint, chocolate mint, and spearmint
    • 1 lemon balm starter
    • 1 established lemon verbena plant
    • 1 seed packet each of calendula, chamomile, fennel and bee balm

    herbal tea garden bed design

    Planting guide

    1. Chocolate mint: Remove plant from pot and place in corner of bed. Once established, pinch back growing tips for bushier growing habit.
    2. Lemon balm: Plant as for mint above.
    3. Lemon verbena: Plant in spring when the weather has warmed. Depending on your location, lemon verbena may die off in the winter (it prefers zones 8 to 11).
    4. Calendula: Sow seeds in a cluster, thinning to 2 to 3 inches apart. Harvest blossoms regularly to prolong bloom time.
    5. Chamomile: Sow seeds as for calendula above, harvesting blossoms and leaves when mature.
    6. Pineapple mint: Plant as for mint above. Pineapple mint works well in hot and iced teas.
    7. Spearmint: Plant as for mint above. Use spearmint for culinary purposes as well as teas.
    8. Fennel: Sow as for calendula above. Harvest leaves and seeds for tea and culinary uses.
    9. Bee balm: Also known as wild bergamot, this perennial plant produces leaves and blossoms perfect for hot and iced teas. Cut back stems mid-season to encourage new growth.

    8. Pickling garden

    Introducing a raised bed for those who relish the taste of pickles. At the heart of this layout is a patch of pickling cucumbers supported by an A-frame trellis that maximizes space, enhances flavor, and ensures everything sits within easy reach. Next to the cucumber vines, dill adds an aromatic touch, while deep in the ground, garlic bulbs lay ready to lend savory depth to your pickles. The only thing missing is a grapevine–Grandma always told us to include a grape leaf in every pickle jar for their alum content.

    What you’ll need

    • 1 natural cedar raised garden bed size 4’ x 8’ x 16.5”
    • 1 natural cedar A-frame trellis size 42” x 48”
    • 1.6 cubic yards of rich garden soil mix
    • 1 seed packet each of pickling cucumbers (e.g. Kirby, Homemade Pickles) and dill (e.g. Bouquet)
    • 4 seed garlic bulbs broken into cloves (choose varieties suited to your region)

    pickling garden

    Planting guide

    1. Pickling cucumber: Follow garlic (see below) by planting cucumber seeds 4 to 6 inches apart along the trellis when the soil warms in spring. Pickling cucumbers don’t all reach maturity at the same time, but this design will provide enough for several batches throughout the growing season.
    2. Garlic: In late fall, place your seed garlic into the soil and cover with mulch for added protection. When they begin to sprout in the spring, remove the mulch and assemble your trellis for cucumber planting.
    3. Dill: Sow dill seed in the adjacent space, resowing every two weeks to ensure you’ll have mature plants when you need them.

    9. Fall and winter edible garden bed

    Have you ever wanted more crops in the fall and winter? This bed has been carefully designed to extend your harvest well into the cooler seasons in Zones 6-8. As autumn approaches, it provides the perfect space for cool-season vegetables that thrive in crisp air. To keep things diverse, we’ve selected a variety of cold-hardy crops that can withstand heavy frost and temperatures below 30 F. Kale plants, a row of carrots and beets, and cabbage promise a continuous harvest from late fall to early winter. The bed is also adorned with Swiss chard, both nutrient packed to ensure a healthy supply for your winter recipes.

    What you’ll need

    • 1 natural cedar raised garden bed size 4’ x 8’ x 16.5”
    • 1.6 cubic yards of rich garden soil mix
    • 1 packet each of kale, Swiss chard, carrot and beet seeds
    • 4 cabbage starter plants suitable for cold temperatures (e.g., Tundra)

    fall and winter edibles raised bed

    Planting guide

    1. Cabbage: Plant cabbage starts at one end of the raised bed in mid-June. Water with compost tea every two weeks for best results.
    2. Beets: Begin planting in July (for zone 6 and 7) or August (for zone 8). Thin to 3 inches apart.
    3. Carrots: Plant as above for beets.
    4. Swiss chard: Plant a row in early to mid July, thinning to 4 inches apart when a few inches tall.
    5. Kale: Plant as above for Swiss chard.

    10. Cut flower garden

    This raised bed is a tapestry of vibrant blooms, carefully selected for their beauty and versatility. From the elegance of zinnias to the classic charm of sunflowers and cosmos, the bed is a riot of color and fragrance throughout the blooming season. Pick fresh bouquets from a mixture of annuals and perennials for long lasting beauty.

    What you’ll need

    • 1 natural cedar raised bed size 3′ x 6′ x 16.5″
    • 0.9 cubic yards of soil mix
    • 1 gallon potted peony plant
    • 3 yarrow starter plants
    • 3 purple coneflower starter plants
    • 1 seed packet each of mixed color zinnias, pink and white cosmos, and mid-height sunflowers
    • 20 to 30 blazing star corms

    cut flower raised garden bed

    Planting guide

    1. Peony: Plant outdoors when all danger of frost has passed. Put a stake close to the plant for later supporting heavy blooms.
    2. Yarrow: Plant outdoors in a broad triangle when frost has passed. Yarrow is excellent in fresh and dried arrangements.
    3. Blazing star: Plant corms in spring when the soil warms. Flowers will emerge in up to three months the first season, growing more vigorous each year.
    4. Cosmos: For earliest blooms, sow cosmos seeds indoors six weeks before the last frost date. Transplant 5 of your sturdiest plants outdoors when weather warms, forming a loose circle.
    5. Zinnias: Plant as above for cosmos, but transplant 9 of your sturdiest plants.
    6. Sunflower: Plant as above for cosmos, transplanting out 3 to 4 sunflowers. Be sure to choose varieties that produce multiple blooms on one stem.
    7. Purple coneflower: Plant outdoors in a close triangle when danger of frost has passed.

    Taking the first step

    A good garden is in the planning. Deciding what you want to plant is the first step. Whether you use raised garden beds, elevated planters or planter boxes, you can maximize your space with careful forethought and a little background knowledge.

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