Looking for a raised bed vegetable garden design? Read this!
I finally got my summer vegetable garden going! We had some bad weather at the end of March and April has been a bit of a whirlwind with back-to-back business trips (I’m a publicist, if you didn’t know!) so this is a later start for me than usual. I’ve done the same sort of design for many years, with a back of tomatoes along the fence, peppers and basil in front, and lower vines (such as zucchini, squash, and cantaloupe) in the front but this spring I was inspired by my friend Cheryl to hack my climbing rose and attach the vines to chicken wire to train it along the fence. Wow, is it ever happy! I can’t even wait for it to start blooming. Last year many of my tomato plants grew 6-7 feet tall and I didn’t want them to block the rose from the sun so I totally switched up my garden design.
This year I planted two rows of three tomatoes on the right side of my vegetable garden:
- Box Car Willie
- Tomato Sun Sugar – yellow cherry
- Mr Stripey – heirloom
- Super sweet 100 – red cherry
- Cherokee Purple – heirloom
- Golden Jubilee – heirloom yellow tomato
Whoever said gardening was expensive has never bought heirloom tomato plants for $2.99 at Covington’s. You can’t buy heirloom tomatoes at a grocery store for that price! I planted three heirloom varieties this year, since I loved my Cherokee Purple tomato plant so much. There’s four standard sized tomatoes, one of which is yellow, and two cherry tomato plants. Aren’t the color varieties in tomatoes fabulous? So fun!
I get an insane yield of tomatoes every year. For months I bet I harvest at least a pound of tomatoes every day, which suits me just fine because tomatoes are one of my absolute favorite things to eat! Read my tomato growing article here.
This year, I finally, FINALLY filmed a video for you about how I plant tomatoes, which involves plucking off all but the top part of the plant (hard to do, I know) and then burying the plant DEEPLY in the soil. The reason for doing this is because tomato plants will root all along the stem, which helps them grow big and strong. It also help the plants be more drought tolerant, which is helpful if you’re a southern gardener like me, because the roots are deeper in the soil where it’s less likely to dry out. Here’s how to do it:
As always, I planted basil (okay okay a lot basil – five plants to be exact) with the tomatoes. Not only is basil a good companion plants for tomatoes, but also perfumes them, which is why I have two tucked between all of the tomatoes. I also have marigolds in the garden to help ward off pests.
In the back of the garden along the fence, I now have a row of three peppers (yellow, orange, and red – an ombre effect!) and two more (red and black) in front. Pepper don’t get tall enough to block my rose so they should be just fine!
Closest to the dining table are eggplants: fairytale and black beauty. If you haven’t read my article about how to grow eggplant, you can read that here. Eggplant, I think, is one of the most satisfying vegetables to grow! The plants are so tall and showy, it’s honestly worth it even if you don’t like eating eggplant.
In between the eggplants is okra. I don’t know the first thing about growing okra except that someone told me once that it does well in Texas. We shall see! If you have any okra-growing tips, I’m all ears. I saw on the tag that it has beautiful, hibiscus like flowers, so I think it will be especially pretty to have in the garden.
Last but not least, I have a “golden griller” and aristocrat zucchini. I have them in the front area with lots of space, but honestly they won’t get too huge before the squash vine borers get to them. I learned after my pumpkin growing experience that apparently Texas has the worst squash vine borer problem in the country. We have three rounds of the devastating pests, where as most states only have one round. I want this space for cantaloupe later in the summer but I still wanted that first crop – not to mention all of the delicious squash flowers! So I figured, I’ll plant some and after the SVB inevitably take them out, I’ll replace them with cantaloupe, which honestly didn’t see any SVB damage last year. Besides, I honestly get a ton of squash/zucchini before the first SVBs start buzzing around. Worth it!
So there you have it! This year’s summer vegetable garden. I hope this inspired your raised bed vegetable garden design! I’ll keep you posted as the garden grows.