Garden / January 27, 2018 / .
A raised bed is ideally 18 - 24 inches deep, but if you are building your raised beds on top of existing earth you wilI have some leeway here. I have successfully gardened in boxes built over earth with only one foot of soil depth. You can find both detailed instructions for building a raised beds and multiple choices for buying raised beds here.
Companion planting is often touted for the benefit of cutting down on pest infestations, but it also serves well to conserve space. Shade tolerant plants will benefit from being planted next to taller crops. Basil likes a respite from hot sun and does well next to tomatoes. Lettuce will keep producing all summer if shaded by almost any taller plant. Early harvested vegetables, like spinach, radishes and peas, can be planted with slower growing crops like broccoli or peppers, which will not take over the space until the spring harvested vegetables are gone.
Most seeds and seedlings will tell you the mature size of the plants you are selecting. Knowing that, you can space things out and see just how much you can fit into your space. More likely however, you will do what most gardeners do and squeeze in as many seedlings as you can fit into your garden, then deal with the crowding later.
Upcycling can lead to some very interesting containers - steel pasta strainers are great for kitchen herbs, reclaimed vintage boxes will add flair to your vegetative stylings and even upcycled plastic totes can make great planters if you are more concerned with utility than style. You are limited only by your imagination and preferences. You will want to remember to allow for drainage, so if necessary drill holes or otherwise puncture the bottom of your chosen containers.