15 Best Vegetable Combinations to Plant in Raised Beds

Having a hard time figuring out which veggies grow well together? Join farmer Briana Yablonski to learn which vegetables make great pairings and which are best grown apart.

A brick raised bed filled with vibrant vegetables, soaking up the warm sunlight.

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Fitting everything you want to grow in a raised bed can be challenging. While buying another raised bed will undoubtedly allow you to grow more vegetables, carefully choosing where you plant your crops can also help you make the most of your space. Haphazardly packing your plants into a small space will likely lead to disease, nutrient deficiencies, pests, and other problems, but utilizing companion planting and intercropping increases the odds of healthy plants.

Before you lay out your garden, take a minute to learn which veggies grow well together. I’ll cover 15 tried and true duos that you can try yourself. Couple this information with plant combinations you should avoid, and you’ll be well on your way to designing a raised bed full of happy plants.

Lettuce and Tomatoes

Lettuce leaves contrast against deep green tomato foliage, both flourishing in a wooden raised bed.
Plant lettuce in spring before the last frost and tomatoes a few weeks after.

This combination is one of my favorites for raised beds. It allows you to grow two of the most popular vegetables while saving precious garden space. If you’re thinking that lettuce and tomatoes thrive in different growing seasons, you’re right! However, you can take advantage of the plants’ overlapping late spring season to plant them together.

Since lettuce grows best in cool weather, you should plant it in your raised bed sometime in spring. The plants can tolerate light frosts, so planting a few weeks before your last frost date is just fine. Since tomatoes will become stressed at temperatures below 50°F (10°C), you shouldn’t transplant them into your garden until a few weeks after your last frost. At this point, your lettuce plants will be almost ready to harvest, so you can tuck your tomato seedlings between your rows of lettuce plants.

Another option is to plant heat-tolerant lettuce plants beside your tomatoes. The growing tomatoes will provide a bit of shade for the lettuce plants, and the lettuce will help suppress weeds. And since lettuce plants require fewer nutrients than tomatoes, you won’t have to worry about the leafy greens robbing your precious tomato plants of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Carrots and Radishes

Carrots sprout from rich brown soil, basking in sunlight as their lush green leaves absorb nutrients.
Harvest radishes before they crowd out the slower-growing carrots.

While carrots and radishes are both root crops, they belong to different plant families. Since they share few pests and diseases, it’s fine to plant them right next to each other without worrying about a problem jumping from one crop to the next. Both of these crops thrive in cool weather, so you can plant them in the spring and again in the fall.

My favorite way to grow carrots and radishes together is to plant alternating rows of the two crops. Carrots are slow to germinate and grow, but radishes are ready to harvest in as little as three weeks after you plant the seeds. By the time the radishes start crowding out the carrots, they’ll be ready to pick.

This differing growth rate means you can plant radishes and carrots pretty close together. Planting the rows two to three inches apart is just fine. The radishes will help shade out weeds while the carrots grow, limiting the amount of weeding you need to complete. And since carrots prefer low soil nitrogen levels, you don’t have to worry about the heavy-feeder radishes robbing the carrots of their nutrients.

Beets and Cabbage

Heads of fresh, green lettuces thrive under the bright sunlight, growing in a neatly arranged white raised bed.
Ensure there is sufficient spacing of 18-24 inches between the seeds.

Beets and cabbage are both cool-weather crops, which is one reason they grow well together. You can plant them in the spring or fall and harvest both crops a few months after planting. And because the crops are in different plant families, you don’t have to worry about the spread of diseases like Cercospora leaf spot and black rot.

One thing to keep in mind when planting beets and cabbage together is the size of cabbage plants. While the mature size depends on variety, you can expect most plants to be 18-24 inches wide at maturity. Therefore, you should leave adequate space between your cabbage seedlings and beet seeds. If you’re planting multiple cabbages in a row, plant a line of beet seeds two feet away from the cabbages.

Another great thing about planting these two crops together is that they can both tolerate light frosts. Therefore, you don’t have to cover them with row cover if you’re expecting temperatures to drop into the high 20s Fahrenheit (~-7°C).

Peppers and Endive

Red peppers hang from lush green stems and leaves, flourishing within a wooden raised bed.
Harvest endive once pepper plants overshadow greens.

Much like with lettuce and tomatoes, peppers and endive grow best in different seasons. Endive thrives in cool spring weather and becomes stressed when hot weather arrives, while peppers thrive in the heat of summer. However, since endive isn’t quite ready to harvest by the time you’re ready to plant your peppers, you can tuck your pepper plants in with your greens to save space.

By the time your pepper plants are large enough to crowd out your greens, you can go ahead and harvest your endive. The endive will have shaded out the area and prevented weeds from growing, but you can mulch the area if you wish. Since peppers are such heavy feeders, you should apply additional fertilizer after you remove the endive. 

Scallions and Kale

A large raised wooden bed filled with rich soil, and green scallions stretching toward the sky.
Space these vegetables apart adequately to prevent overcrowding.

Although scallions can thrive year-round in many environments, they grow especially well in the spring and fall. And since kale also thrives in cool conditions, you can grow these two crops together in a raised bed at the same time of the year.

Kale plants tend to grow out as well as up, while scallions remain condensed and only grow upward. Therefore, you can tuck scallion plants along the edges of your kale rows or intersperse scallion plants amongst your kale. Scallion and kale plants grow at similar rates, so you’ll want to space the plants far enough apart that you avoid overcrowding. If you transplant both scallions and kale, keep the scallions a foot away from the kale plants.

Since scallions have small root systems, you don’t have to worry about the two plants competing for water and nutrients. This planting may also decrease pests on kale since members of the onion family have been shown to reduce brassica pests.

Lettuce and Okra

A close-up of green okra pod nestled among lush leaves, showcasing its textured surface.
Plant okra seedlings when temperatures are consistently above 55°F (18°C).

Since okra is a heat-loving crop that’s sensitive to cold, it’s one of the last veggies you should plant in your garden. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave your soil bare until okra planting time arrives! Instead, you can plant lettuce in the spring and then tuck your okra plants in between these tender greens.

If you want to try this method, leave a little bit of extra space between lettuce plants. While you can plant lettuces like romaine and buttercrunch a foot apart, space them 15 inches apart if you want to interplant okra. Once nighttime temperatures remain above 55°F (18°C), go ahead and plant okra seedlings between your lettuce plants.

By the time the okra plants begin to shade out your lettuce seedlings, the greens will be ready to harvest. Once the lettuce is gone, you can mulch the area under the okra plants or just keep an eye out for weeds.

Corn and Winter Squash

Lush corn stalks grow in a raised bed; their glossy leaves shimmering in the sunlight.
Allow 20-25 square feet for each winter squash plant.

These plants are two members of the classic ‘Three Sisters’ method of planting corn, beans, and squash together. The winter squash covers the ground, suppressing weeds that would otherwise take over the corn. Plus, the leaves shade the ground and limit the amount you need to water.

You can plant any type of corn and trailing winter squash for this pairing. Both sweet corn and popcorn work well, as do butternut squash and spaghetti squash. Although you may be used to eating winter squash during the cooler months, the plants need a long growing season to grow and set fruit. That means you should plant both squash and corn in the late spring or early summer.

When you’re planting your crops, keep the plants’ different growth forms in mind. Since corn grows tall and upright, you can space individual seeds 8-10 inches apart with 24-30 inches between rows. However, since winter squash has such a sprawling form, you should allow 20-25 square feet of space for each plant. In most cases, that means one winter squash plant per raised bed.

Tomato and Basil

Vibrant green basil leaves flourish in rich, dark soil, tucked within a raised garden bed.
Attract beneficial insects by growing basil near tomatoes.

Tomatoes and basil are great partners in the kitchen and garden. Both plants thrive in hot weather, and their different growth forms complement each other. While tomato plants grow tall and upright with the proper support, basil plants remain shorter and more compact. That means growing basil beside your tomato plants helps suppress weeds.

Basil plants also produce tiny flowers that attract beneficial insects, including ladybugs, green lacewings, and parasitic wasps. These good bugs feed on pests like aphids and tomato hornworms, which limits the need for chemical pest control.

Space your herbs 12-18 inches away from the base of your tomato plants to maintain proper airflow and ensure the basil receives enough light. If you find the tomato leaves are crowding out the tomato plants, you can prune off the lower leaves. This will limit the odds that your plants develop fungal diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew.

Dill and Cucumbers

A close-up of a young cucumber basking in sunlight, while it hangs from a vine within a wooden raised bed.
Encouraging natural predators like parasitic wasps can help control cucumber beetles.

That’s right; dill and cucumbers go well together in the garden and the kitchen! Planting dill alongside your cucumbers allows you to harvest dill leaves early in the season and pick flowers when your cucumbers are ready to harvest. The flowers also help bring in beneficial insects that help keep your cucumber plants healthy.

Cucumber beetles are notorious pests of cucumber plants—they can quickly turn previously healthy leaves to lacy shades of green, and they also transmit fatal bacterial wilt. Encouraging natural predators is one way to help keep cucumber beetles at bay. Good bugs like parasitic wasps and tachinid flies love feeding on the small flowers produced by dill plants. While the adults feed on pollen and nectar, the larvae feed on (and kill) cucumber beetles.

Since your dill will start to flower during the summer, go ahead and plant another succession of dill if you want continued access to the feathery leaves. You can plant this second round of dill near your cucumbers or plant them in another spot.

Bush Beans and Broccoli

A row of broccoli leaves, textured with veins, basking in the glow of radiant sunlight.
Grow beans in late spring or summer for nitrogen fixation.

Since broccoli and bush beans are both large plants that take up a good amount of space in the garden, you shouldn’t plant them closely together. But if you get your timing right, these plants complement each other!

Bush beans thrive in warm weather, so you should plant them in the late spring or summer. As the plants grow, their roots develop tiny nodules that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These microbes capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into a plant-available form. The nitrogen the bean plants don’t use is then held in the soil.

Since broccoli is a heavy feeder, planting beans either before or after you grow broccoli will replenish or boost with nitrogen. And since these plants are in different plant families, you don’t have to worry about diseases or pests jumping between the two crops.

Corn and Pole Beans

Tall green corn stalks, each crowned with golden seed heads, reaching towards the sky.
These thrive when planted together after the danger of frost has passed.

Another pairing from the Three Sisters method is corn and pole beans. The beans’ roots play host to nitrogen-fixing bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen into a plant-available form. This process benefits corn plants since they require a lot of nitrogen to remain healthy and produce full ears of corn. Meanwhile, the corn acts as a support for the trailing pole beans, eliminating the need to install a trellis.

Any type of corn and pole bean works for this pairing. You can choose fresh snap beans, greasy beans, or shelling beans. Popcorn, sweet corn, and milling corn all work well!

Since both of these crops thrive in warm weather, wait until the danger of frost has passed to plant them. Direct seeding works well since the large seeds are easy to plant and quick to germinate. Spacing the corn about 10 inches apart in a row with two feet between each row. Once the corn seedlings are six inches tall, plant one bean seed three inches away from each corn plant.

Onions and Carrots

Two wooden raised beds, one bursting with carrots, the other adorned with slender green onions.
Stagger planting dates to synchronize harvest times.

Onions and carrots are both slender plants that don’t take up much space in your garden. Therefore, you can plant these crops close to each other without worrying about one plant taking over the other. Planting alternating rows of onions and carrots works well as long as you leave six inches of space between the rows.

Planting these two crops together can limit pests on both plants. Onions help reduce the number of carrot flies that attack carrot plants, and the carrots limit thrips pressure on the onion’s leaves.

Since onions take a few weeks longer to mature than carrots, expect to harvest the carrots first. If you want to avoid disturbing your onions when you dig your carrots, you can plant your onions first, then plant your carrot seeds a few weeks later. This way, both crops will be ready to harvest at the same time.

Peas and Spinach

A close-up of green snap pea plants with their delicate leaves bathed in warm sunlight.
Trellising peas supports their growth and benefits nearby spinach.

These two popular spring crops pair well together in your raised bed gardens. They both thrive in cool weather and tolerate frost, so you can tuck them in the ground in the early spring. Warm weather will cause them to decline, so expect to remove both crops sometime in early summer.

Since peas have a sprawling and trailing form, trellising them is essential if you don’t want them to take over your entire raised bed. A metal fence panel or piece of plastic Hortonova trellis both work well as supports. Once your peas are climbing up the trellis, you can plant your spinach seeds six inches away from the peas.

As the peas grow, they host nitrogen-fixing bacteria that increase soil nitrogen levels. This is great for the spinach because it requires a lot of nitrogen to maintain its dark green color. The spinach covers the ground near the pea plants, shading out weeds and limiting competition for water and nutrients.

Zucchini and Radishes

A wooden raised bed filled with lush zucchini leaves spreading out expansively, surrounded by other green plants in the background.
Ensure radishes are ready to harvest in about three weeks.

If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know that a single plant takes up a lot of space! The plants’ large leaves cover the ground and shade out any plants you place within three feet. However, since zucchini seedlings take a few weeks to size up, you can sneak in some quick-growing radishes in the empty space around your zucchini plant.

Once your zucchini seedling is in the ground, it’s time to sow your radish seeds. Plant the seeds 12-18 inches away from your zucchini plants to ensure the roots receive enough light. In about three weeks, your radishes will be ready to harvest.

Since this pairing relies on the radishes’ quick-growing nature, make sure to choose smaller varieties that have a short time to maturity. Avoid larger daikon radishes and watermelon radishes since these plants take 50-60 days to grow before they’re ready to harvest.

Cauliflower and Beets

Vibrant beets grow in a wooden raised bed, with sunlight filtering through their lush green leaves.
These vegetables won’t be susceptible to shared pests and diseases.

These two cool-weather crops make an excellent pairing in any raised bed. They both thrive in the spring and fall, which means you can plant them at the same time. However, cauliflower grows best when transplanted, while beets prefer to be direct sown.

Since cauliflower plants can grow up to three feet wide, keep this in mind when you’re planting your beet seeds. If you’re growing a row of cauliflower plants, plant a row of beet seeds 18 inches away from your cauliflower plants. You can also plant beets in a circular pattern around a single cauliflower plant.

Beets and cauliflower are in different plant families, so you don’t have to worry about pests and diseases jumping between the plants. And since beets are light feeders and cauliflower plants are heavy feeders, you don’t have to worry about the plants robbing each other of nutrients.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know some of the best veggie pairings for raised beds, you can start planning your garden! Since different crops thrive at different times, don’t be afraid to utilize more than one of these pairings. Getting creative with space will not only allow you to fit more vegetables, but it can also lead to healthier plants and larger harvests.

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