Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

Well it seems like overnight our part of the world has come to life. It’s still chilly with a constant threat of rain, snow and frost, but it’s slowly turning to summer. And I’m so relieved.  So, so relieved! And it also means that it’s time to get the vegetable garden growing!

I waited to get my garden in the ground until after I completed an Organic Gardening course at our local university.  After I took this class I felt so inspired by all the amazing tips for growing all different kinds of vegetables for our region.  It’s a bit tricky here with our very short gardening season, but with the right care and attention, it is possible to grow a lot! So I’m being brave this year, stepping outside of my comfort zone, and I’m trying a lot of new things.  So exciting!

Come for a little tour of my garden in it’s beginning stages, and see some of the things I learned in my class! Let’s start here, my raised bed:

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

This raised bed is where most of my vegetables are going. I have had some trouble with this garden, and I really think it’s the soil.  This bed was filled with a bagged soil from Costco, and while my flower pots loved it, my veggie garden did not.

Here are some tips I was given that I have implemented:

I had to amend my soil by adding some organic matter:  compost or some other organic matter. My teacher suggested I try a sea soil which apparently vegetables thrive in!  I used a 40 L bag of sea soil called Ocean Plus Earth.  I was told to just sprinkle it on top of my existing soil (top dress), not to mix it in, then plant my seeds.

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

For backyard gardening, raised beds planted full of vegetables is the way to go.  My instructor recommended that the gardens should be filled, with the idea that little to no soil be showing once the plants have all grown.  Fill ‘er up I did!

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

In my raised garden this year I am growing a lot of veggies!  And I’m really focusing on companion planting.  The idea being to plant vegetables that like each other close together.  Just makes sense if you ask me!

Here’s what I am companion planting:

    • Garlic and onions – I planted these close together, and next to the radishes, carrots and parsnips.
    • Radishes and carrots.  I combined the radish and carrot seeds together and sprinkled them into a row.  The idea here is that the radish seeds grow quickly, breaking the soil surface for the delicate carrot plants to come through.  Then I’ll thin the seedlings as I need to as the season progresses.  (see the picture below)
    • Radishes and parsnips.  Same idea here as the carrots.
    • Beets
    • Green Beans

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

And just to show you how the radish/carrot/parsnip seed arrangement works, here is what has come up in the garden 1 week later!  The radish seeds are paving the way for the carrots & parsnips!

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

In the back part of my yard I have arranged 4 big planters for another series of gardens. Back here I am growing quite a few things: I’ve got 3 veggie planters, and one planter full of geraniums just because they’re pretty!

Here is what’s growing:

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

Planter #1: 

I have put together another companion planter: Tomatoes, peppers and basil all love to grow together!   

For those of us who have short growing seasons, it is recommended to plant these as seedlings, and not to try to grow them from seed.  I found these lovelies at our local greenhouse all ready to go!

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

Planter #2

One other idea that fascinated me was to grow squashes or pumpkins in a container. I have never ever entertained the idea of growing any type of squash in my garden because I just didn’t think I had the room for them!  But my instructor has a friend who grows perfect pumpkins in containers on her apartment balcony!  Amazing!  And so worth trying out!  So this year I am growing zucchini!  (and same idea here to plant them as seedlings, not from seed) (I have too many plants in this pot, so I’m going to move a couple into another pot later)

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

Planter #3

This container is full of a mesclun mix.  If harvested properly, we should have salad all summer long!

Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds & Containers

Look how much has grown in 1 week! 

Well, that’s what is happening now! I’m very excited to see how everything grows this season…I’m very determined to have a fabulous harvest! I’ll keep you posted throughout the season!

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  1. Hey! Looking good! I love your planter with tomatoes, basil and peppers. Will you be harvesting a pizza in a few months?? : )
    I love my raised veggie beds. It’s so much easier to keep the soil lush and full of nutrients. I planted my plants and seeds yesterday. Hopefully a week from now my little seedlings will look as good as yours!

  2. your garden looks great! I bought some sea soil this year and so far my lettuce has loved it even though we have had lousy weather this spring. I remember a picture of you with your harvest from a few years back, if you had that much success with regular soil I can only imagine what the sea soil will do. I saw a companion planter at a garden centre here and it had rhubarb and strawberries in it. If I got a little more sun on my patio it would have come home with me.

  3. The raised beds look wonderful hon and I just know you will get so much enjoyment and pleasure (plus good healthy veggies) from them 🙂 We put some in a few years ago and I love them. Its coming into winter here now, but I can still race outside to pick some spinach, herbs or broccoli, which is bliss! Becks xxx

  4. That looks so nice. Can’t wait till the plants start filling in! I’m in Florida and the summers are so hot that I don’t even bother but come fall when everyone else is packing in their garden I am just getting started. Till then I struggle to keep my rosemary and basil alive.

    1. Thanks! I’ve never been to Florida in the summer – we don’t get much heat like you do I imagine…I wish we had a hotter and longer summer! Never enough time to garden, and too much time to shovel snow, lol!

  5. I like to see all your great photos! That makes a nice blog in my opinion.

    I enjoyed this post about using containers. I have raised beds now, out of necessity (clay soil) but have been reading a lot about container gardening with vegetables. How did the squash do? I didn’t see a link to a later post. Did you trellis them, or let them crawl out, or get a bush variety?
    My cherry tomatoes and bell peppers love containers. I am even putting boysenberries in large post this year, with trellises.

  6. Beautiful setup! I especially LOVE your fence, do you know what brand or where its from? We desperately need a fence but I haven’t found any that I like & yours looks like it’d be perfect for our yard!

  7. I didn’t know that these can be plant together! That’s great! My garden is not big at all and this idea will help me a lot to make it more useful.