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Looking for vegetable garden inspiration? These vegetable garden ideas are sure to grow (pun intended!) your creativity.
There has never been a better year to invest in a vegetable garden in your outdoor space.
I don’t know about you, friend, but after being cooped up all winter in Boston, Massachusetts (my hometown!), as well as the rising prices of produce at the grocery store….
I’m ready to deep dive and learn even MORE about ideas for starting a vegetable garden.
Picturing hanging out in the vegetable garden with a cool glass of lemonade (or wine at night!) with your friends and loved ones sounds quite fun, but first you’ll need to configure a vegetable garden to fit your space! Maybe they’ll help with the weeding (probably not!), but vegetable gardens can be a great source of joy and conversation. There’s nothing quite like telling a guest to go “Snag some tomatoes from the garden!” for the salad you’re about to prepare!
These are the wonderful memories we deserve to make, and the perfect vegetable garden can make it happen!
We’ve rounded up the best vegetable garden inspiration no matter what your approach (raised beds, no dig beds, etc.)
Get inspired to make some special memories around stunning vegetable gardens.
This post is all about vegetable garden ideas.
How to Choose the Right Type of Vegetable Garden for You
Before we get going with the cute vegetable garden pics, we’ll need to cover the different types of vegetable gardens and which one may be best for you and your outdoor space.
Container Vegetable Gardens
Container vegetable gardens are quite popular with the apartment, townhome and condominium crowd! A container vegetable garden uses large pots, self watering planters, and other containers to grow vegetables on an apartment balcony, townhome patio, etc.
No Dig Vegetable Beds
A “No Dig” vegetable bed is where you apply compost on TOP of your existing soil (see my guide to kitchen compost caddies), at regular intervals. Many “No Dig” gardeners liken this type of vegetable garden to building a sort of lasagna of compost, layering different types of organic matter (manure, wood chips, dead leaves from the fall, etc) on top of each other. The helpful organisms and critters in the soil do the rest.
This is a great option for most gardeners with access to their own patch of soil, but won’t protect you from contaminants in your soil. This is why I recommend that everyone doing an in-ground vegetable garden get a soil test!
Raised Vegetable Gardening
A raised vegetable garden is one of the most popular choices, as you can use cedar wood or stone to build up a “bed” for your garden, and fill it with rich soil and compost. A raised vegetable garden makes care a bit easier (a taller garden is easier on your back!), and combines the pros of the two types of gardens above!
Must Haves for a Vegetable Garden in 2023
- Vegetable Gardeners Toolkit (with garden apron!)
- Gardening Clippers
- Hori Hori Gardening Knife
- Knee Mat
- Tomato Cage (provides support for growing tomatoes)
- Garden Stakes (for “crawlers” like beans, some cucumber varieties, etc.)
- 20-Gallon Grow Bags (these are perfect small-space containers for tomatoes, etc.)
- Coast of Maine Organic Compost (best store-bought compost)
- Coast of Maine Organic Raised Bed Mix (best raised bed soil mix)
Here are more more of my must-have gardening tools.
Below, I’ve shared vegetable garden ideas from gardeners around the world (literally!), who have generously shared their garden pics and tips with us!
Let’s get to it!
Vegetable Garden Ideas
When it comes to vegetable garden ideas, many people are looking for ideas around layout and design. I find it SUPER helpful to scroll through social media to get ideas for vegetable garden layout and design ideas.
Because I’m an urban homesteader here in Boston, I don’t have a ton of space (like my friends over at @.buttenshawbackyardfarm below)! But I love to plan and sketch out vegetable garden layout ideas for an eventual larger space.
And, @.buttershawbackyard farm has vegetable garden ideas for folks with limited space! From Nat: “If you have a steep garden, then terracing is a great solution to increase your growing space. Adding arbors and arches really helps maximize space by growing vertically. I also use our fire-pit area over the summer months as extra growing space.”
Grow Into Your Vegetable Garden Design!
Here, Tania of @.countree_life is seen building out more raised beds for her vegetable garden. In the post, Tania shares that they’ve been adding to their garden and adding gravel to the footpaths to make it look more formal, which I think is so smart!
A common mistake I see for beginner gardeners is taking too much on early on. It’s much better to design your garden over a few years or seasons, and see how things go!
Beautiful Aerial Shots – Rows of Lettuce
We just had to include this image from our friends at @.hovelsrudhagen! BRB, gonna go find a drone to take an aerial shot of my garden! Those neat little rows are #VegetableGardenGoals!
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Permaculture Garden
This next vegetable garden idea comes to us from Liz of Byther Farms, a pretty rad permaculture garden in Carmarthenshire, in Wales!
What is permaculture gardening?
Permaculture gardening focuses on keeping the ecosystem around your garden in mind as you build up the soil of your garden. I think of permaculture gardening as “playing the long game” in gardening. Here, Liz has her gorgeous beds in the ground, with various vegetables in early March.
If you’re looking into permaculture gardening, or growing vegetables in your garden all year (!!), then you may want to take a look at Liz’s book, The Seasoned Gardener: Exploring the rhythm of the gardening year!
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Gated Vegetable Gardens
When talking about vegetable garden ideas, you know I have to talk about gated vegetable gardens! If you’re in an area with a lot of wildlife (bunnies, deer, etc.), or your dog likes to sneak broccoli from your garden (this happens to a friend of mine!), then raised vegetable garden beds with a gate or door can be a great way to keep your plants (more) safe.
Plus, it gives a garden a sort of Secret Garden vibe!
Some folks choose to build their raised garden with a door completely from scratch (honestly, more power to you!), while others choose to use a kit!
My Tip: When looking for a vegetable garden with a gate or door, be sure to check on any treatments for the wood! Some folks who are DIY’ing a built garden can run into trouble repurposing materials. Using pallets from shipping or freight or chemically treated wood will likely impact your soil, and your veggies you worked so hard to grow! Please only get your wood or garden kits from trusted sources!
Reusing materials is so so important (I’m a big fan of this!), but when it comes to the chemicals used to preserve wood, we do NOT want those anywhere near our food!!
If you’re intrigued in this look, here are a few raised cedar garden kits with doors or gates:
- Outdoor Living Today Raised Cedar Garden Bed – 8 x 8 ft.
- Square Raised Garden with Deer Fence Kit
- Cedar Garden in a Box with Fence
- Garden in a Box with Deer Fence (Large)
Raised Vegetable Garden Ideas – 22” High (Deter Rabbits & Bunnies)
First up with vegetable garden ideas is this raised vegetable garden from our gardening pals over at @.BoerKitchenGarden! Notice how their raised beds are a bit higher than what we can typically see, and this is to prevent BUNNIES! Genius!
Taller beds like this can be very nice for folks out there who are on the taller side (I’m 5’7” and my husband is 6’3”), saving your back.
Similarly, our friends at @.wildhopegardens have done a taller raised bed here. Gorgeous! In this photo, they shared that they’re growing, “Lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, beets, some herbs and rhubarb!”
Having half a dozen raised vegetable gardens like this also means you can get creative with metal arbors, putting one end in a different bed. Growing vertically can add a LOT of space to your vegetable garden.
Raised Vegetable Garden Bed with Gate
How rad is this vegetable garden idea for an enclosed and gated raised bed garden? Below, I’ve shared an image of Lindsay’s garden (from @.garden_with_lindsay, a vegetable gardener in Zone 8B of Oregon). Here, Lindsay’s showing off some gorgeous peppers, Lindsay has so many great tips for vegetable gardeners in the PNW – I love her tips!
Vegetable Garden with Gate
Our friends over at @.sisters.inthe.garden, have a beautiful garden in 7A of Northern Utah! Their garden gives me serious nostalgia and gardencore vibes!
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Gravel Between Walkways
One of the best vegetable garden ideas out there (for folks with multiple beds) is using gravel between the beds! Some gardeners prefer to put raised beds in their garden, and then line the pathways with gravel. There are a few reasons for this, including:
- Gravel can keep the path more even, preventing ruts that trap wheelbarrows
- Gravel can drain better than soil, making it easy to water and plant at the same time
- Gravel can make it easier to spot weeds, providing more of a contrast
We thought this garden from our friends @.peonyandpotager is just simply gorgeous, with a beautiful layout! I love that there’s a center piece in the middle.
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Ground Beds with Domed Cage (Fencing)
Okay, let’s talk more practical vegetable garden ideas! If you live somewhere with really great soil (or you’re up to the challenge of making great soil over time!), then you can use fencing and protective cover to go *over* your vegetable garden, to protect it from predators (think birds, squirrels and other animals that aren’t going to be deterred by a fence!)
It’s also nice, because you can stand up in it! In my personal experience, you get a domed cage that’s a few feet (or meters!) high, then you’re going to be doing a lot of crouching and bending (no thanks!), or have to move the cage entirely to access your garden bed.
Tbh, this is a level up from what I’m currently doing to keep squirrels out of my urban garden (which is a battle!) I currently just throw aviary netting over my raised beds when they begin to fruit, but it can be a hassle!
How cool is this vegetable garden from @.allotmentplot.54 on Instagram?! I love the neat little rows of plants, and the arched fence over the garden does double duty – it protects the plants inside, and allows for vine or “crawler” vegetables to use it as a sort of trellis. Genius!
(FYI, in the UK, an ”allotment plot” is similar to a community garden here in the US. This is a great system for folks who live in apartments or don’t have their own space to garden!)
There are a variety of these domed cages, and I’ve shared links to a few options below!
- @.allotmentplot54 got their domed cage from Gardening Naturally, here’s a link to their domed cages for folks in the UK!
For folks in the US, here are some domed cage options:
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Domed Caged Arches for Greenhouse
Some gardeners swap out their fencing and put over special plastic, making their domed cage a greenhouse!
This can be a great idea if you’re short on space, and want to use a greenhouse for seed starts or other growing projects that need warmer temperatures. Here, our friends at @.gratefulgardeningcompany have 230 tomato seedlings (35 varieties), plus a bunch of other vegetables! Genius!
If you’re a crafty DIY person you could totally built a custom greenhouse, but for those that want an easy greenhouse-in-a-box here are some options, with price ranging low to high:
- Ohuhu 4.8 x 2.5 x 6.4’ Greenhouse for Outdoors with Mesh Side Windows, 3 Tiers 4 Shelves Small Walk-In Greenhouse
- 6.4’ Tall Walk-In Greenhouse with 8 Sturdy Shelves
- Outsunny 8′ x 6′ Walk-in Polycarbonate Greenhouse with Roof Vent for Ventilation & Rain Gutter
- July’s Song 6 Ft. W X 10 Ft. D Hobby Greenhouse
- Mt. Hood 6 Ft. W x 8 Ft. D Greenhouse
- Sunshine Gardenhouse 8 Ft. W x 12 Ft. D Greenhouse
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Raised Bed Hoop House
I think this next vegetable garden idea is super practical! If you love the idea of having a dome over your vegetable garden, but you don’t want to set up a whole contraption, then a raised bed hoop house can be a stellar idea!
A hoop house is super useful. Some folks, like @.the_vegproject below) use netting over their hoops to protect the plants from wildlife, while still allowing airflow. If you decide to garden in the colder months, then you can trade out the netting for frost blanket, using the hoop structure to support it. Genius! Here at PunkMed, we love solutions that work for different seasons!
Similarly, we love how our friend Karolina of @.karolinalansmansgarden used BRICKS to weigh down her hoop houses. So smart! Makes it a bit harder for small creatures to nudge the hoop house around (or the wind to carry it away).
Hoop house supplies:
- 10pcs Garden Greenhouse Hoops, 19.7″x19.7″
- Tierra Garden 50-5000 Haxnicks Easy Poly Tunnel Garden Cloche
- Tierra Garden 50-5010 Haxnicks Easy Fleece Tunnel Garden Cloche
- Lanmont Plant Covers Freeze Protection, 7ft x 50ft
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Galvanized Raised Garden Beds
I love the look of this next vegetable garden idea! Galvanized steel raised beds can be an option if you’re looking for vegetable garden ideas, as they do pretty well in outdoor weather! Their round edges can also be nice, especially for people who are tired of hitting their shins on the corner of their raised beds made out of cedar (it me).
I love these small round galvanized steel garden beds for folks looking to test using galvanized raised beds in their vegetable garden, but here are some options:
- 10 inch tall galvanized steel vegetable garden idea
- 1 ft high galvanized steel vegetable garden beds
- 2 ft tall galvanized steel vegetable garden bed idea
- 2 ft 10 inches tall (almost 3 ft) galvanized steel vegetable garden beds
Vegetable Garden Ideas: Raised Vegetable Gardens in Steel Beds
Next up on my list of vegetable garden ideas, I was so excited to see Alayna of Standing Pine Acres. Here, Alayna is caring for her vegetable garden in New Jersey, and I love the rich colors of her garden (look at that gorgeous soil!).
Alayna is also using a foldable garden bench, which is so smart! These garden benches can make it much easier to garden! You can flip it over to use as a sort of knee pad! So smart!
Heart Shaped Galvanized Steel Garden Bed
How fun is this heart shaped garden bed from @.conmanosverdes on Instagram! This is such a fun new idea for folks who love raised garden beds made out of galvanized steel.
Notice how the gardener put in the plant tags (that come with the plants) to label each one? So smart! You can hand write the tags on blank ones you start from seed, or just slide in the ones from the nursery!
Update on my heart garden bed. It’s now housing a few varieties of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, radicchio, Swiss chard, spinach, kohlrabi and kale.
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Trellis Frames for Squash, Peas & Cucumbers
Friends, I had SUCH a fun time looking for photos to share some of the very best vegetable garden ideas out there, and I am SO excited to share these photos from @.newenglandhomegardens!
Judi (the gardener), is a garden designer and coach, and her IG feed is just gorgeous. I loved how she shares snapshots from her garden. Here, she came home to find acorn squash ready to eat, right from her garden!
Here, Judi created a sort of triangle, or a-frame, using (what I think) is galvanized steel materials, allowing plants to grow up and over. I thought this was such a smart vegetable gardening idea, because Judi can also go *underneath* the plants, making them easier to harvest! Genius!
- Vegetable A-Frame (6 feet tall)
- 57.9 Inch Tall Vegetable A-frame (just under 5 feet tall)
- 34 Inch Tall Vegetable A-frame (just under 3 feet)
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Fencing & Chicken Wire for Plants
Here you can see that My Little Hobby Farm (@.mylittlehobbyfarm on Instagram) has used chicken wire-like caging to border their raised beds. That is so smart! Acts as a bit of a barrier (and deterrent), while also being a possible support for plants. What a gorgeous garden!
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Weed Barrier & Plant Cages
Weed barrier can be SUPER helpful, especially if you’re a new gardener. Some folks like to use recycled cardboard as a recycled weed cover option (straw and mulch can also work.)
Here, our friends over at @.acergardens use a weed cover that has helpful little holes for vegetable plants to grow through, and they’ve added cages to help the plant grow.
Now, I know that the word “cage” can seem weird for gardening. But a cage is really just a helpful mini-trellis, meant to help support the plant as it grows. I use cages to grow tomatoes at my urban homestead in Boston!
A tomato or vegetable plant cage can last you for YEARS, as long as you remember to take care of it! Cages can rust easily in the snow over the winter, so I always make sure to bring mine in.
When it comes to choosing the right height of cage for your plant, check the seed packet or the tag in your plant that comes from the nursery. I like to be safe when purchasing a vegetable cage, and get one that’s a minimum of 4 feet (unless you’re growing on a patio or growing smaller varieties!) as plants often grow LARGE here at my place, lol. I don’t want them to run out of space!
Historically, I’ve used metal cages (with no coating), which have worked well! I’m intrigued by the new vegetable cages that have coating, helping to prevent the cage from the elements.
Here are a few plant cages to check out for your vegetable garden:
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Raised Beds with Bricks!
While I think that raised cedar garden beds are gorgeous, the wood DOES breakdown over time. If you plan on using your beds for years (decades!) to come, then doing raised beds with brick can be a great option. In the photo below, Nicole (of @.our_1_acre_life) beautifully shows the fun (and muddy!) process of building a raised vegetable garden bed using bricks.
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Backyard Greenhouse
Okay, what gardener *hasn’t* dreamed of having their own greenhouse?! I stumbled across @.my_allotment_story on Instagram, and oh my gosh her garden is so inspiring! I love this image of her greenhouse where she grows tomatoes.
In the post, Charlotte shares that she made it a point that year of planting tomatoes she actually wanted to eat (a super helpful gardening tip), saying, “I don’t like cherry tomatoes and it’s the variety I have grown the most since I got the allotment. This year I decided to grow varieties of tomatoes that are best for cooking with, which has turned out to be a very good decision for me as I have actually eaten them!”
Vegetable Garden Ideas – Bug Hotels
Next up, we have this pretty rad vegetable garden idea, from @.StephenHisted on Instagram! Many new vegetable gardeners may be a bit horrified at the idea of drawing in bugs to their garden, but “bug hotels” like this one can create little habitats for the “good bugs” and pollinators that are needed to make your garden grow.
If you decide to undertake a “Bug Hotel” for your garden, be sure to schedule reminders (I like to use my Google Calendar!) to check them, as pests can take up residence as well!
You can DIY your “bug hotels” like Stephen has done here, or check out these places to snag a bug hotel:
This post was all about vegetable garden ideas.
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Hi, I’m Leslie, the founder of PunkMed
Hey friend! I’m so glad that you stopped by today. I had a blast sharing over 20 (!!) vegetable garden ideas with you today, from gardeners around the world. If you’re into vegetable gardening, urban homesteading, or living a more sustainable life–stick around! There are a good number of resources on my blog, and I always love to hear from my readers (that’s you!) Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram or chat with me on TikTok!