Summer Raised Bed Garden

I decided to shake things up with this year’s summer raised bed garden design! I always used to put my tomatoes in the back of my 4×8′ bed but since my incredible Peggy Martin rose has really taken off on the fence behind my vegetable garden, I wanted to do things differently so the tomatoes don’t cover the rose in a month.

Summer Raised Bed Garden DesignSummer Raised Bed Garden Design

Summer Raised Bed Garden Design


This year I planted two rows of three on the two short sides to bookend the garden. On the left, from front to back, I planted Watermelon Cherry (could this be a cuter cherry tomato!?), Cherokee Purple – my favorite!, and Old German, a big yellow and orange striped heirloom tomato.

Tomato RapunzelTomato Rapunzel

Read my article about how to grow tomatoes here!

On the right side from front to back, I planted Tomato Rapunzel, Yellow Pear, and Husky Red Cherry – all cherry tomatoes. I do prefer to grow cherry tomatoes because you just get such a high yield! Plus I buy and use cherry tomatoes the most often in my kitchen.

Growing Tomatoes

Tomato Rapunzel

Tomato Rapunzel


I always plant basil near my tomatoes. I bought four standard sweet basil plants to plant im the four spaces between my six tomato plants. I also couldn’t resist a basil variety called Spicy Globe. When I smelled it at the nursery, I just had to have it. It smells intoxicating! What fun that jar of pesto will be.

Basil Spicy Globe

Summer Raised Bed Garden Design

Basil Spicy Globe


I was so hoping to find Golden Griller Squash again but sadly I did not. I grabbed and Aristocrat Zucchini and what was marked as “Culinary collection Zucchini.” I’ve grown Aristocrat before and it did quite well in my garden. We have a horrendous squash vine borer problem here in Texas with not one, not two, but three rounds of the pests but I can usually get a fantastic amount of squash blossoms and two harvests of zucchini before the SVB take them out mid-summer. Since you really can’t buy squash blossoms anywhere here, it’s still worth it to me to plant squash!

Growing Zucchini


The very best thing I grew last year was okra and I didn’t even write about it. Crazy, I know! I am vowing to write about growing okra this year. It’s so incredibly easy and satisfying to grow. I actually froze most of my okra last year to use in gumbo all winter long and it was absolutely delicious. 

Growing Okra


Behind the squash and okra, I planted Black Beauty Eggplant and Fairytale Eggplant. Eggplant is one of my favorite things to grow. Unfortunately, last year the bastards – I mean squirrels – that live in my tree decided that the plants were a delicacy. They ate all of my eggplant plants down to the dirt I think five or six times. It kept growing back but we had an insanely hot summer last year and it didn’t really recover after the last attack. This year, I have rigged a temporary fortress around the cages using chicken wire and a garden cover. I’m going to have my dad build something to protect them from the squirrels. I’ll keep y’all posted!

Growing Fairytale Eggplant


I love growing peppers because peppers are so damn expensive at the grocery store. If you get a single pepper from a plant, you’ve already gotten your money’s worth! I planted four peppers this year: Better Belle, Pepper Snacks Belle, Valencia Orange, and Red Beauty. I’ll attach them to stake when they get bigger to help stabilize them.

Growing PeppersGrowing Peppers


For the first time ever, I decided to grow little cucumbers for pickles! I planted a Bush Pickle variety of cucumber that’s specifically for pickling. I thought that would be a fun new experiment for us all!


As always, I also planted half a dozen marigolds around the garden. Marigolds are fantastic for any vegetable garden because they ward off pests. Plus, they look so cute!

Marigolds Raised Bed Garden Design

Marigolds Raised Bed Garden Design

Fertilizer & More

I’ll sprinkle some vegetable garden fertilizer (I’ve been using Miracle Gro Shake n Feed the last few years and it’s worked great!) later this week and again halfway through the summer. I talk about this in every garden article, but I also feed Sea Magic seaweed fertilizer every month. It makes vegetables sweeter and more delicious. I highly recommend it! You’ll find it in my Amazon store. A $10 packet diluted per instructions last me all season.

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Happy planting,

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