Designing an Exotic Vegetable Raised Bed

Go wild with your garden bed design by using these fun vegetable varieties.
Raised Vegetable Bed Filled with Variety of Plants

Raised Vegetable Bed Filled with Variety of Plants

Raised beds offer plenty of benefits for a garden. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, raised beds improve drainage, reduce the pain of bending down, and make it easier to control the soil.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

If you have a sheltered, sunny wall that absorbs the sun’s heat during the day and warms the surrounding air at night, take advantage of this microclimate to grow exotic crops. This raised bed has been filled with heat-loving tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and feathery-leaved garbanzo (chickpea) plants, as well as cucumbers and sweet potatoes that scramble up the wall. Some of these vegetables only crop well in hot summers, but they make attractive curiosities that are fun to try.

Border Basics

The bed for this garden should be about 6 x 3 feet (2 x 1 m) with fertile and moist, but free-draining, soil. Choose a site win front of a wall with full sun. These plants are most successful in warm regions.

Types of Plants to Consider

  • Eggplant ‘Moneymaker’
  • Cucumber ‘Carmen’
  • Sweet pepper ‘Gypsy’
  • Tomato ‘Summer Sweet’
  • Garbanzo ‘Principe’
  • Sweet potato ‘Beauregard’

Planting and Aftercare

Sow seeds of tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, and eggplants under cover in spring. Once the risk of frost has passed, harden the young plants off and plant them out in the raised bed. It is a good idea to soak the garbanzos in regularly changed water for a few days until they sprout before planting them in their final positions. Plant the sweet potato “slips” with about 2 inches (5 cm) of stem above the soil and, as with the other young plants, water well. Attach wire mesh to the wall and train the cucumber and sweet potato stems through it. Once the first fruits have set, fertilize weekly with a tomato fertilizer that is high in potash. Crops should be ready to harvest in late summer. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens

Make room on your fire escape or pot up some tomato plants—you can grow delicious fruits and veggies even if you don't have much space.

Garden Design: Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Let your indoor space inspire your landscape design plans.

Root Vegetables for Raised Beds

Root vegetables such as carrots and beets often have misshapen roots when grown in rocky soil. Since root crops prefer well-drained soil, they're ideal for growing in raised beds, where their roots can develop freely.

Should I Plant My Vegetable Garden in Raised Beds?

The pros and cons of raised bed gardening.

Ideas for Winter Beds and Borders

You won't want to ignore your garden during cool winter months after seeing these stunning flowers and plants.

How to Plant Bare-Root Vegetables

Discover the best way to plant asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries in your garden.

Vegetable Garden Design Ideas

Learn what you should consider before finalizing your vegetable garden plans.

Seasonal Guide to Vegetable Gardening

Keep your vegetable garden healthy and thriving with this year-long guide to preparation, planting and maintenance.

Raised Bed Garden Design

Give your garden a lift with raised beds. Learn how to design and use these elevated growing areas.

Ideas for Fall Beds and Borders

Let the vivid, rustic colors of fall add a splash of life to your garden.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.