Growing tomatoes in a raised bed – practical tips with instructions for hobby gardeners

Growing tomatoes in the raised bed is one of the easiest and most practical approaches to gardening. You don’t have to be a builder or know how to use tools to complete a DIY project like this. Reliable vendors can also provide you with inexpensive components, simple setup instructions, and expertise. However, if you want to know how to build a raised bed for tomatoes yourself, you can simply follow these basic tips and you will be able to enjoy an abundance of your own fresh and juicy organic vegetables in the summer.

Benefits of tomatoes in the raised bed

finished raised bed from the hardware store with ripe tomatoes and leafy vegetables on a terrace

Although raised gardening is a little different from the usual methods, you can get a bountiful harvest by growing your tomato plants in raised beds. Simply give your plants what they need. The main advantage is that the beds are set higher, which makes it easier for the vegetables to drain off. In a raised bed, you can also let your plants grow closer together and thus produce more tomatoes in a smaller space. However, higher beds also mean that you don’t have to bend down so much to work the soil.

Ripe and green tomatoes ready for picking under the sun in the vegetable garden

Adding compost, topsoil, and fertilizer to the garden bed allows for a nutrient-rich home for your tomatoes. This saves resources and concentrates them where they can best be used. They also walk on paths between the beds and prevent the garden soil from compacting. If a fungus or other disease affects your tomatoes, you can replace the soil the following year. This is a step that would be inconvenient and costly in a normal garden. For example, snails have a harder time infecting tomato plants that grow in raised beds. This makes it easier to look after and maintain these areas and vegetable gardens laid out in this way.

Before you start

Seedlings of tomatoes growing in small garden beds under the sun

The best locations for tomatoes in raised beds are level, well-drained and near a water source. It is therefore best to choose a location that is exposed to direct sunlight for at least eight hours a day. Draw an outline of your raised bed using string, garden hose, or even flour, then measure the area. First, edit the floor. Tomatoes need a lot of water and the plant roots in a raised bed need to be able to penetrate the soil. Most of the vegetables, including tomatoes and cucumbers in the raised bed, grow beautifully in about 30 cm deep soil.

care and cultivation of vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes in raised beds

If you are doing the project in the garden, you should also prepare the site by removing the lawn first. For example, use a spade or pitchfork to twist and loosen the soil at least 30 cm deep. Choose a durable material for the edging so that you can grow tomatoes in the raised bed without a roof year after year. Choose from all types of materials for making raised beds, such as plastic, recycled composite, galvanized steel or wood. Also, make sure that you can reach the center of the bed from both sides. Normally the bed should not be wider than 1.2 meters. This way you can easily work and cultivate the plants. A common mistake is building raised beds too narrow.

Grow tomatoes in the raised bed and demarcate between them with a garden path

If you’re building more than one vegetable patch, adjust it enough for your wheelbarrow to get through. Usually about 80 centimeters, but measure your wheelbarrow first to be sure. After installing the edging material, line the bottom of the raised bed with chicken wire to keep pests such as rodents away. To determine the volume of soil needed to fill your raised bed, measure its length, width and height in meters and multiply these numbers together. The result is the number of cubic meters required. Combine soil and organic matter (crushed leaves, compost, well-rotten manure, seaweed) in the raised bed. Use a spade to mix the components well. Finally, rake the surface smooth.

When can you plant tomatoes in the raised bed?

suitable season for growing tomato plants in the garden

Where you live is the most important factor in deciding what time of year to plant the tomatoes in a raised bed with or without a roof. In general, you can plant these once the threat of frost has passed. Lots of people wait a little longer and honestly it won’t make much difference in the time it takes you get your harvest. It doesn’t matter whether you plant as soon as possible or wait an additional week or two. Your local gardening store can help determine the right time to plant for your location. If unexpected frost occurs late in the season, simply cover your plants in the early evening before the expected event. Instead of a roof, you can also use plastic bottles, leftover bubble wrap from packaging material or even a tent roof.

Create a raised bed for tomatoes with concrete bricks

Build a raised bed for tomatoes yourself with concrete bricks and plant seeds

You can use the following guide to create a small backyard vegetable garden in under an hour. For this you need simple cardboard or cardboard, 8 concrete bricks, topsoil, tomato seeds or tomato plants and water. You may also need a shovel. You can find these in the hardware store. First, choose an area and measure the space. Make sure the location is exposed to direct sunlight 6 to 8 hours a day. If you are using soil from the ground, you will need to add compost and appropriate fertilizer. With a tomato plant already grown, the likelihood is that it will grow faster and taller. In this tutorial, seeds from large red cherry tomatoes have been used.


garden accessories like shovel and gloves for planting

  • First lay out the box. Either variety will work for this project. Unfold the box and place it in the selected area. The cardboard box will be the base of your vegetable garden. It prevents weeds and grass from growing under the tomatoes and feeds the plants.

Reuse old cardboard or cardboard as a basis for creating a vegetable garden

  • Then arrange the concrete bricks with 2 on each side. While doing this, make sure that the blocks overlap the edges of the cardboard and weigh down that way.
  • Spread the soil in the shaped basin on the cardboard. As already mentioned above, this can come directly from the garden or be bought. A sack of topsoil is sufficient for this size of a raised bed. Once the soil has filled the raised bed, flatten it to evenly distribute the base.
  • If you plant the seeds about 13 cm apart, the tomatoes will grow tall and not on top of each other. The main goal is for lots of healthy plants to grow. If they are too close together, the tomato plants will become less vigorous and unhealthy.

Concrete bricks as a border for cucumbers and tomatoes in the raised bed

  • Then cover the seeds with soil. Planting the seeds 3 cm deep in the ground will help with growth as the water will be better stored there to feed the roots.
  • Water the soil until the soil is evenly moist. Watering the seeds after planting will help them decompose and grow in moist soil. Gently spray the soil with a hose. However, DO NOT pour in extra water or apply great pressure.

Irrigation and maintenance

check from moist soil for planted tomato seeds

Check daily if the soil is damp. You have to keep this moist until all the seedlings appear on the surface of the earth. This allows the plants to grow tall and strong to produce large tomatoes. Note: Test the moisture of the soil by pressing a finger into it. It is best to water the tomatoes in the raised bed in the evening. Water on the tomato leaves in the hot sun can damage the plant by scorching it. Once the plants are at least five inches, it can help to lay out straw to keep the soil moist and reduce the need for watering.

Watering growing plants in the garden bed with a water can

So tomatoes and other similar vegetables need a lot of water. A long, slow trickle is perfect for it to seep into your plants’ deep root system. If you haven’t set this up, try watering the plants multiple times within a few hours. Then the moisture can also settle deep in the soil. It’s also good to water near the ground, especially if you do it in the evening so that the leaves don’t stay moist all night. Wet leaves are more likely to get sick.

Tomatoes grown in a raised bed with a roof and straw for better watering

The straw helps maintain essential moisture for the root system and the warmth of the soil, as well as reducing the incidence of weeds. Make sure to leave a few inches around the base of each plant to allow water to penetrate and give the plant room to breathe. As mentioned above, you shouldn’t promote disease in your plants. Raised beds are a little less prone to problems than regular gardens, but the following tips will help you avoid potential problems.

Tips and tricks for planting tomatoes in the raised bed

pests like squirrels stealing tomatoes from a garden

An easy way to avoid potential pests in your raised bed is to replace the vegetables in the beds with unrelated vegetables every year. This way, any remaining pests from the year before will not lie in wait. Peppers and tomatoes in the raised bed are nightshade plants, as are potatoes and aubergines. For this reason, we suggest replacing them with cruciferous vegetables such as lettuce, peas, carrots, beets or beans. Although groundworms are less of a problem in a raised bed than when planting in the ground, these little pests can still find their way into them. This is especially true if you are adding regular garden soil or if your bed is older. Therefore, as mentioned in the instructions, laying out cardboard can protect your young tomato plants.

man checks harvest of tomatoes in raised bed growing protection against pests and tips for watering

For most other pests, your best defense is to keep a close eye on them. If you notice that some parts of the plant are discolored or withered, check immediately whether there is an infestation. Many home remedies are easy to make and suitable organic pesticides for vegetable gardens are easy to find these days. So, like dealing with insects, your raised bed requires your vigilance. Remove ripe fruits immediately, as they attract not only insects but animals as well. If you have problems with flower end rot, add calcium to the bed. Fungal diseases can often be avoided by properly supporting the tomatoes.