Last Updated on January 23, 2022 by Fabiola L.
The application of the correct spacing for vegetables in raised beds is one of the ways of maximizing available space and retaining effective results. Raised bed garden can be classified as condensed gardening, as it allows more plants to be planted closely together.
Where condensed gardening is however being adopted for the growing of vegetables, care must be taken to ensure that they are properly spaced. Proper spacing will allow for the best possible results. Where there is no adequate spacing, the vegetables will most likely struggle for scarce resources.
This article gives a guide on the proper spacing that is required for vegetables in raised beds. Also, the ideal spacing for some other plants in raised beds is considered.
Before we delve into spacing for plants generally, let’s consider the appropriate spacing for vegetables in raised beds.
Vegetable Spacing In Raised Beds
Where the block-style layout is being used for raised vegetable beds, the vegetables should be planted in a grid pattern on the beds.
While the space requirements are recommended, the plants may be grown even closer as the soil improves in nutrient content.
So, the following spacing should be adopted for the following vegetables:
- Carrots, Peas, Mustard, and radishes: For these vegetables, allow a 2-3 inch space.
- Beets, Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Turnips, and Spinach: For these vegetables, about 4 to 6 inches of space should be provided between them on every side.
- Potatoes, Okra, Lettuce, Bulb: For these vegetables, ensure to leave about 10 to 12 inches between plants.
- Asparagus, Basil, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Peppers, Sage: These vegetables require no less than a 12 to 18 inches space between them for the best possible result.
- Tomatoes, Squash: No less than about 18 to 24 inches should be provided between these plants in raised beds.
- Winter, Pumpkins: A spacing of about 24 to 36 inches ought to be provided for these plants.
Factors That Affect Raised Garden Bed Spacing
There are a few factors that affect plant spacing in raised beds for vegetables and other plants generally. So, some of the major spacing for vegetables in raised bed factors is:
- Ease of passage: one of the major determining factors for bed spacing is to allow for maneuverability between the rows. The plants ought to be spaced far enough to allow for ease of passage without compacting the soil or squashing the tender roots of plants.
- To allow plants to sprawl the required distance: another factor that influences the spacing allowed between plants is the space needed for plants to sprawl. Plants like cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins must be planted several feet apart. This is to provide sufficient space for the plants to sprawl the required distance.
- To allow for the minimum standard distance: low-growing vegetables and crops like beans usually require a minimum standard distance to prevent excessive crowding. Also, overcrowding usually results in the quick depletion of soil nutrients.
The Use Of broadcast Method In Raised Beds
While it is very important to adopt specific spacing guidelines when planting on raised beds, the broadcast seeding method may also be used. This method works well for vegetables that are meant to be harvested before they grow too large.
Thus, vegetables like onions, radishes, beets, springs, etc may be planted using the broadcast method on raised beds. Although broadcast seeds are scattered across the raised beds, it should be done with caution so as to avoid unnecessary crowding.
When this seeding method is used, the vegetables should be thinned as they begin to reach harvestable sizes. This is to ensure more space is given for the continued growth of the plant. This method is fantastic when growing spinach and green.
Other Mechanisms For Improved Harvest In Raised Beds
1. Succession Planting for Raised Beds
One planting method that may be adopted when using a raised bed is known as succession planting. This technique allows you to increase plant productivity. So, it allows you to maximize space and at the same time get more vegetables planted.
So, the use of succession planting basically involves you planting vegetables with varieties that mature quickly such as radishes or beans. So, when one set is getting matured, new ones are planted and the old ones harvested.
2. Creating trellises
This is another mechanism that may be adopted to increase productivity when using a raised bed. The use of trellises allows for a more growing surface area. This process involves training plants to grow vertically instead of growing along the ground.
This approach comes with a lot of advantages including firstly the provision of space for other vegetables to grow. In addition, this approach helps to prevent soil-borne diseases from getting on the leaves and fruits. In addition, this approach helps to improve the overall air circulation.
Vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes among others are particularly suitable for this growth pattern. This planting approach is very effective in the overall growth of the plants. The fact that it creates a canopy that cast shade over the vegetables makes it very appealing also.
3. Companion Planting
Another planting system that may be adopted to fully utilize the soil potential is companion panting. This involves growing multiple plants side by side in a bid to improve harvest, utilize space and manage pests. This planting system can also be used to add aesthetic value to the land.
When this style is adopted, plants that are companions and can aid the growth of each other should be combined. A good example is planting tomatoes next to marigolds. The advantage of this is that marigolds can help deter root-knot nematodes and a host of other green pests.
Similarly, pungent vegetables such as onions and chives can be planted in companion with other vegetables to mask their smell from garden pests. Also, the use of a companion planting system can help utilize more space in raised bed garden.
Conclusion on Spacing for Vegetables in Raised Beds
If you are interested in planting vegetables in raised beds, then this article must be of great use to you. The reason for this is quite obvious, as you may not be able to get the best yield without proper spacing.
The above is merely a guide on the most appropriate spacing to be adopted when planting vegetables in raised beds. Ensure not to give excessive spacing so as not to give room to weeds in your garden.
The above spacing for different vegetables in raised beds may be altered in instances where you think less space should be given. This may be as a result of the high soil nutrients. This should be carried on with, where you think the plant growth will in no way be negatively affected.