Martha Stewart Ditched Her Traditional Veggie Gardening Method (& You'll Want To, Too)

In the past, Martha Stewart advocated for growing vegetables in the ground, but has recently realized that a different method has immense benefits. "Last year, I changed my whole attitude towards vegetable gardening," Stewart said at a 2024 Miracle-Gro event, explaining that raised garden beds are a game-changer when growing vegetables (via Martha Stewart). Not only did she find that this method kept her from planting more than she could eat and made her garden neat and organized, but that it increased the produce yield.

Additionally, Stewart discovered that the veggies in raised beds grew quickly. "We had artichokes in a month and a half. We had 10-pound cabbages within two months. I couldn't believe what was happening in this garden," she said. While raised garden beds can be a lot of work and somewhat costly to construct and get started, they are also a great way to create a flourishing vegetable garden in a small space. Using raised beds as opposed to growing your plants directly in the ground can help make gardening easier, keep out weeds, and help your vegetables thrive.

Benefits of veggie gardening in raised beds

Because you won't have to walk through your garden to care for your vegetables, raised beds won't have issues with compacted soil. This will help to keep the integrity of your soil structure and will also protect your plants from getting damaged as you work. Since the soil isn't touching the ground, it will defrost faster in the spring, allowing you to start growing your vegetables sooner. You'll also be able to have your plants a little closer together, so that you can plant more with less space. These types of gardens generally have good drainage, and it's easier to control the qualities of the soil, such as the pH and nutrient levels.

Though starting a raised garden bed may take a bit of time and effort, it will make working in your garden easier in the end. If you struggle to kneel, bend, and reach to care for plants in the ground, a raised bed is a great way to make this area more accessible. You could prop the raised beds up so that you can easily work while standing or sitting in a chair.

What you'll want to know for this veggie gardening method

Despite the many benefits of growing vegetables in raised beds, there are a few cons. Because the soil is separated from the ground, it will dry out more quickly, which means you'll need to water your plants more often. Additionally, they may make it harder to overwinter your plants. Though these are some challenges, using mulch and implementing an irrigation system can help improve the raised plant bed in your garden.

Though Martha Stewart constructed her raised garden beds from white oak, you could make yours out of any wood that's rot-resistant and not treated. Alternatively, you might use cinder blocks or bricks to build your vegetable garden. A variety of vegetables will do well in these gardens, including radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, and more. Once your raised beds are set up and your vegetables start growing, you'll love how easy they are to work with, just like Martha Stewart. "I vowed I would never ever, ever plant any way else than in raised beds for vegetables," she gushed at the Miracle-Gro event, per Martha Stewart.