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Have you been thinking of planting a garden but your property terrain doesn’t allow it? You don’t have to give up on your dream of having a garden of your own.
You can still do it with raised garden beds. You heard that right! Raised garden beds are box-shaped units in which you can grow a small patch of any plant anywhere.
There are a ton of different types of elevated garden bed boxes available these days. But how do you choose one being a newbie? Well, we are here to pave the way for you.
Below is our extensive guide that will give you all the knowledge you need to pick the best raised garden bed.
We have also reviewed the top 20 raised garden bed kits available on the market to make the choice easier for you. Let’s check it out!
Types Of Raised Garden Beds
1. Raised Ground Bed
The raised ground bed is the simplest of all types. It is an elevated ground bed that is put into place by molding soil 6-8 inches high in the shape of a plateau.
You usually see pathways on the sides of these beds that are up to 25 inches wide. These beds are the most economical option since all you need to build them is soil.
However, since there are no boards to hold the soil at the edges, the soil tends to crumble away. This can happen in times of heavy rain. Therefore, this is not recommended for those who are serious about gardening and who are looking for long-term plant yields.
2. Supported Raised Beds
Supported raised beds provide solutions for all the problems that raised garden beds have. These are the best raised garden beds out there.
These have reinforced edges to mark the boundaries of the bed. This way weeds don’t penetrate into your little garden and the soil also stays in place and doesn’t erode.
These are generally made of steel, wood, or heavy plastic materials. They come in various colors and designs, so they tend to beautify your place greatly.
3. Containerized Raised Beds
These types of garden beds are used to plant flowers along areas where there is heavy footfall, like paved walkways. The walls of these beds are 10-12 inches high to maintain adequate protection for the plants.
These can be seen in various forms such as tubs, pots, half barrels, etc. They tend to add a lot of appeal to their ambiance due to their aesthetically appealing shapes and colors.
Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Raised Garden Bed
The size of the raised garden bed you choose is going to be the most significant factor in determining if you find your purchase satisfactory. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing between different sizes of beds.
These include the availability of space in your yard and the number of crops you want to plant. Other than that, you should also be clear about the amount of time you are going to invest in gardening.
If you are just starting out, it is recommended that you get a small-sized raised bed. This will make it easy for you to manage gardening, as you become more experienced.
Before buying a raised bed, analyze your backyard and pinpoint the location where you would like to place it. The ideal spot will be the one that gathers at least 6 hours of sunlight.
It is a good idea to flatten any uneven terrain in your yard so your garden box can be placed there properly. The drainage of the bed will also depend on the kind of spot it is fixated on, so pick carefully.
You also need to have enough space under the raised bed so the roots can push downwards with ease. This might not be possible for hard or rocky pavements. For that, you should go for elevated garden beds.
Traditional elevated garden beds are made of cedarwood. These days, you can find beds made of steel and high-grade plastic as well. Cedar is naturally rot-resistant and is an eco-friendly option.
However, you should avoid beds made of pressure-treated wood. That is because gardening in this can lead to leaching of heavy metals and toxins in your garden soil.
As for the steel, it tends to be more durable and weather-resistant than wood but can be heavy. If you are going for any stained or painted raised garden beds, make sure to check that they don’t contain any harmful chemicals.
Gardening is an ongoing process and to keep your crops healthy, there is a substantial amount of maintenance that needs to be done. This maintenance generally includes regular weeding and watering.
However, raised beds are designed in a way that they can hold water for longer than traditional options. There are also garden boxes that come with a self-watering system.
So, your raised bed purchase will also depend on the amount of time you can devote to its maintenance.
Top 20 Best Raised Garden Beds Of 2021
1. Lifetime 60069
In less than 150 dollars, Lifetime offers you a pack of three 4ft x 4ft raised garden kit. This kit has been constructed using HDPE material that is UV protected. This means that it is pretty weather-resistant and is less likely to crack peel or rot.
It is a stackable design so you can create 18-inch high walls with it for better root development. To top all this off, Lifetime provides a limited manufacturer warranty of 5 years on this product.
There is a total of 12 pieces in the package you receive which make for three garden boxes. The inter-locking assembly is extremely easy to carry out. And the simulated wood design of the product makes it look chic and modern.
2. Greenes Cedar
Greenes has rolled out this high-quality raised garden bed kit in the 100-dollar range that’s sure to win your heart. The 100% chemical-free cedar wood used in this bed is great for those planning to cultivate edible crops in it.
This ensures that nothing harmful seeps into the roots of your plants at all. The boards are designed to slide into the corner posts easily without the use of any tools. This gives you a secure garden frame.
Having two of these kits stacked on top of each other will make a 21 inches tall garden. The unfinished and rough sawn cedar wood gives you little garden a lovely look.
In the package, you receive 21 boards, 6 decorative tops, 6 corner posts, and an instruction guide. Customers have noted that there aren’t any holes in the boards.
So, if you want to net some kind of animal barrier along the sides of the garden, you will have to drill holes manually.
3. Best Choice Products
This product is 30 inches tall and has a compact construction, making it great for patios, lawns, etc.
The base material of this garden box is 0.75-inch thick solid Cedarwood which is pest-resistant and hence quite durable. You get all this in less than 100 dollars, which is amazing.
You can put this together very easily, since absolutely no tools are required to build it. The 4ft long bed gives you substantial space to plant vegetables.
The ergonomic design of this product is there to make your gardening experience as comfortable as possible. This is a great addition to your gardening routine, whether you prefer keeping it indoors or outdoors.
4. Giantex Raised Garden Bed Kit
This raised garden box that’s available for less than 100 dollars is made of 100% Cedarwood. And that means it is environmentally well-aligned and there will be no chemicals leaching into the soil.
You can use it all-year-around both indoors and outdoors since it has a sturdy, weather-resistant construction.
The box is 18.5-inches tall which allows you to do gardening without breaking your back too much. The overall dimensions of the product are 47.2″ X 21.6″ X 10.8″.
With a box depth of 9.2 inches, it makes for quite a spacious bed for your dear plants. As for the assembly, you get an instruction manual with the product which is pretty straight-forward.
The rough-sawn look of this planting box is sure to add some glamour to your patio, deck, or garden.
5. Best Choice Products
It is split across the center with a wooden board. This 2-in-1 structure of this product allows you to easily separate and sort different types of plants.
The main material used in its construction is the Chinese Fir wood that is going to stay strong every season.
Also, the wood is not pressure treated and is chemical-free, which is good for the health of your plants. The overall dimensions of the product are 96″ x 24″ x 10″.
It is fairly easy to assemble this garden bed since it uses minimal tools. So it will ready for gardening within minutes.
The product has been given a natural wood finish, so you can decorate it as per your liking.
6. Rhino Garden Supply Cedar
It is 100% rot-resistant, which means the durability is top-notch. This might come out as a little too expensive for some, but the price is totally justified by its quality.
The design is such that there is an excellent flow of air and water drainage through the soil. With this product, you also get a weed barrier that you can lay down in bed before assembling it.
This is meant to prevent any existing grasses or weeds from flourishing. You don’t need any tools to put it together. Who doesn’t like that?
You just have to stack the boards, line up the corner holes, and slide the steel rods provided. This has been rated as one of the best raised garden beds by various happy customers.
7. Outland Living Vertical Bed
They provide you a vertical garden with five free-standing elevated planters. In a 150-dollar price range, you get five hanging plastic box containers, each one 24 inches in size.
Worried about the plastic? Well, these containers are made of 100% food-safe polypropylene material that is free of lead, BPA, and mercury.
You don’t require any power tools to assemble this vertical garden. The garden also allows for a Cascading Drainage System that you can add to it by following the instruction manual.
This ensures that there remains no stagnant water in any of the planters. The vertical design is also great for people who have back and knee problems and have difficulty bending for too long.
The product has been marked weather-resistant, so you can keep it in your balcony or backyard without issues.
8. NuVue Products Extra Tall
This product comes with a Snap Lock System which makes it easy for you to assemble it without any tools. It is constructed using HD vinyl which is known for its high resistance to weather.
With the heavy-duty tongue-in-groove locking on the sides, it is sure to power through all the seasons without falling apart.
One thing to note is that you cannot put two of these beds side-by-side to make a larger bed. The product design does not allow for that.
Other than that, several customers have reported that the white color of the material holds up great.
9. Mr. Stacky Metal Bed
If you are tired of your wooden garden boxes getting rotten, this one will make for a worthy replacement. You are not going to need anything other than a simple screwdriver to put this one together.
Some customers have stated that this product might look a little flimsy before putting the soil. However, as soon as you fill it up, it takes its shape well.
The product comes with a plastic liner that has 12 holes at the bottom of it. This liner has been described as low-quality and might not last you for more than a season.
10. Mr. Stacky High-Grade Metal
The product is very lightweight, making it easily portable if you like to move your plants around in the house.
The no-tool assembly of the product is an impressive advantage. The high-grade metal used to make it ensures that it does chip or crack with time.
Also, the color of the product is there to stay since it was baked into the metal during its construction.
The design is appropriate for all kinds of plants, be it greens, flowers, herbs, or vegetables. At a size of 46″ X 35″ X 12,” it is spacious enough to hold around 11 cubic feet of soil.
A few customers have stated that the edges of the box are quite sharp. So, it is recommended that you put on gloves when working with it.
11. The Lakeside Collection Bed Set
In the package, you receive 8 side panels, each measuring 4″ X 4″ X 2″ in size. You can arrange these panels to either make one large raised garden box or two smaller raised beds.
You can also stack them vertically if you prefer a higher planting box. This variable configuration allows you to fit this product in smaller spaces around the house.
The product is made of polypropylene material that is weather-resistant and durable. It is great for both vegetables as well as flower gardening in any kind of outdoor space.
Various customers have appreciated the flexible design of the product. This definitely tops the list of best raised garden beds for this price range.
12. Watex Urban Farming WX038
This sits on a more costly side of the price spectrum, but the modular design is worth paying for. The design is customizable and you can add as many beds to it as you like, meaning an endless expansion.
The termites and rust-resistant wood composite material are unlikely to give up in changing seasons. You get this product in a stone grey color, so you can always decorate it as you like.
The tool-free assembly is entirely DIY and takes just about 5 minutes. With this, you get all the benefits of in-ground gardening like soil compaction and control over weeds and pets.
This product has an in-built Micro Irrigation System that lets you connect the hose to the S-shaped pipe. This pipe has an inlet and a transparent filter to clean out any debris in the water.
You also get an attached water regulator to control the water pressure to your garden bed. Additionally, there is a sprinkler attached to the S-shaped pipe which frees you from the task of regular watering.
13. Vita Gardens 4×4 Garden Bed
Gardening is more of an art than a task, and having pre-existing grids creates so many more possibilities for making your little garden look heavenly.
In an affordable price range Vita Gardens offer you a classic white 4ft x 4ft raised a garden. The best thing is that it requires no tools for assembly.
The PVC material used in the construction is of premium grade and resistant to rotting, peeling, or warping for years.
Their grid system allows for the plants to be placed closer together because of the square configuration of each grid.
The reduced distance between plants works to keep the moisture locked in and reduces the growth of weeds. This ultimately gives you a better yield than the old-school planting system that uses rows.
Also, as the yield finishes, all you have to do is replant that particular square. That’s gardening made simple!
14. Foyuee Metal Garden Bed Kit
The metal frame of the planting box has an anti-rust coating, which adds to its longevity. This garden bed is made to sit on the ground, so it might not suit those who like taller beds.
The bottomless design, however, is great for improving drainage and keeping weeds from growing. The coating on the metal is eco-friendly, so there is no chance of your soil getting contaminated.
Foyuee has made this garden bed extra deep to cater to your long-rooted plants. The assembly of the whole kit takes less than 10 minutes. This product has passed the FDA/CA Prop 65 test, which makes it safe for plants as well as humans.
15. Yaheetech 3 Tier Kit
This garden bed kit is made of 100% firwood which provides excellent dimensional stability. The product is completely non-toxic and naturally resistant to pests and rot.
The beautiful 3-tier design offers you three separate growing areas for pursuing different planting methods.
Not only that, but you can also convert it into three separate growing beds since each tier is only connected by wood plugs.
It is a DIY assembly and all the necessary hardware for its assembly is provided with the product. You can use it both indoors as well as outdoors because of its aesthetic subtlety.
The solid wood boards of the bed are only sanded to prevent any wood splinter injuries from happening.
16. White Vinyl Garden Bed 2-Pack
Using the boards provided, you can either make one garden box of size 4ft X 8ft, or you can put together two smaller ones of 4ft X 4ft each. This one is made using high-grade vinyl polymers, hence it is free from phthalate and BPA.
You can assemble the slats into different shapes using the instruction manual provided in the package. Your garden doesn’t necessarily have to be square or rectangular in shape.
That’s because the corner pieces accept slats on all four sides. This will interest people who like to get creative with their gardens.
One thing to note is that they cannot be stacked on top of each other. Also, you cannot cut them in order to customize the size since each corner post has ridges.
17. Yaheetech Wood Garden Bed Kit
This one by Yaheetech measures 97 X 48.5 X 10 inches and can be bought in less than 80 dollars. This bed planter is divided into two with a baffle in between which can be removed if need be.
The 100% firwood product makes it non-toxic and eco-friendly. The solid wood boards are 0.6 inches in thickness and are joined by heavy-duty screws, making it stable and durable.
Therefore, you won’t need to pay much attention to its maintenance. The corners come sanded and free of wood splinters.
And the assembly is extremely easy and quick. The end caps of this raised bed are pretty decorative. And the wood grains on the boards imbibe this product with a chic rustic look.
18. Foyuee Galvanized Metal Plantar Box
The dimensions of the product are 6ft X 3ft X 1ft giving you ample space for your dear plants. The popular open-bottom design of this bed promises you with good drainage and defense from pests.
This product is made of galvanized steel and has reinforced corners. You need less than 10 minutes to set up this kit. There is a high-quality anti-rust coating on the frame of this planter box.
So you don’t have to worry about this product losing its charm with the passing years. The stable thickened metal construction offers durability like no other product in its class.
Customers have mentioned that it is not possible to stack two of these beds on top of each other to increase the depth.
19. Greenland Gardener Raised Bed
Measuring 42″ X 84″ X 8″, it can hold around 16 cubic feet of soil which is impressive. In less than 50 dollars, you get a raised bed that looks just like wood but doesn’t disintegrate or rot as wooden garden beds do.
This weather resistance, ultimately, makes this product long-lasting and worth its cost. The best part is that this product is made using recycled material. So if you would rather prefer an eco-friendly option, this is the one to go for.
With only a leveling tool and a shovel, you can install this product in minutes. However, some buyers have pointed out that this product does not come with an instruction manual.
So, the assembly might get difficult for those who have never done anything like this before.
20. Best Choice Products Metal Bed
We’ve only seen wooden raised garden beds by Best Choice Products so far. Here is the metal version that refrains from burning a hole through your pocket.
Are you tired of water buildup in your planter boxes? If yes, then this one with the bottomless base will win your heart in no time. This design also allows your plants to take deeper roots and grab more nutrients from the soil.
Its 47 X 35 X 11-inch frame is spacious enough to hold various types of plants like succulents, vegetables, herbs, etc. The base material used in this is galvanized steel that has a rust-resistant finish.
So, this product will neither lose its structure nor its appearance for years. For the assembly, you just need a screwdriver to screw the beveled edges into the sides.
All the wingnuts and screws are provided in the product package. The top and bottom edges of the panel sides are folded over smartly to avoid any injuries. Also, the corners are reinforced too.
Benefits Of Raised Bed Gardening
1. Gardening Comfort
Those who do gardening religiously know that it can be a back-breaking task. The exhaustion that you experience from planting and maintaining your crops soon starts to catch up with the pleasure that you get from it.
Raised garden beds are designed in a way that eliminates the need for you to bed over as much. And you can customize the sides of your raised bed garden as you like.
You can use building materials to make your garden sides several inches thick. That way you will have a place to sit when you are doing a time-consuming task like pulling out weeds. You might as well raise your garden beds to standing level and make it all the more comfortable.
2. No Warming-Up
In areas where winters are harsh, the ground tends to freeze up. You then wait for it to warm up, which shortens your growing season.
The raised bed gardening gives you the liberty to start gardening sooner. This is because the soil in the garden beds is warmer than that in the ground.
If you have filled up your elevated box with the right soil composition, it should drain efficiently. This, in turn, leads to better trapping of the sun’s heat and a rise in internal soil temperature.
You can enhance the warming up further by simply placing your garden bed where there is ample sunlight. Also, you can cover the beds with black plastic to help them absorb more heat and warm quicker.
3. Lesser Weeds
Weeds are the most annoying thing about gardening. And if there is a planting technique that can help with it then why not make use of it? Raised garden beds can surely help with this problem.
Before installing an elevated garden box, you have to clean the ground where it will be placed. This involves pulling out grasses and weeds and maybe tilling the ground in some cases.
Passionate gardeners also like to line the ground with landscape fabric, newspapers, or hardware cloth. It is then that soil is poured into the garden beds.
So basically start afresh with high-quality soil. Any weeds that grow in this soil will be new and easy to pull out.
4. Better Drainage
Poor drainage is one of the most common causes of low yields when it comes to planting crops. Ideally, the water should be allowed to drain freely through the soil.
Stagnant water can clog up the soil and kill most of your plants. Garden beds allow for proper drainage since they are elevated and you can put rocks at the bottom for the water to flow.
Additionally, you have the liberty to choose the kind of soil you want to use in the beds. So, it is recommended that you choose nutrient and organic matter rich soil for best results. Potting soil should be avoided since it drains very quickly.
5. More Organization
Traditional gardening can get a little clumsy when you have too many different types of plants to grow. If you are creating your own raised garden bed, you can make little barriers in a larger bed to separate plants.
Otherwise, there are various garden boxes available on the market with such pre-existing barriers. These small boxes or cubicles allow you to organize your gardening better and care for every plant individually.
Not only that but also your whole yard looks pretty organized when you have beds placed in dedicated areas.
6. Rodent Prevention
Aren’t you tired of rodents ruining your beloved vegetables every so often? Voles, ground squirrels, moles, etc. can be quite detrimental to your yields.
With raised garden beds, you can easily prevent all this damage. One way to do this is to install chicken wire along the bottom of your elevated planter box.
This will keep away the burrowing rodents from showing up. It is recommended that you do it just as you are putting your garden bed in place for the first time.
7. No Soil Erosion
Those living in high precipitation areas understand the pain of having all your soil washed away in rain. Such accidents cause a lot of loss of time, money, and energy since you have to start it all over again every time.
However, with raised garden beds, you can completely eliminate this possibility. The sides of the garden box keep your garden soil from eroding or getting washed away.
Most garden beds available out there are designed keeping this in mind. If you are making your own garden bed using cement or concrete, make sure to check for any open spaces on the sides.
These should be covered with plastic sheets to keep the soil from escaping. It is also important to level your raised garden bed in all directions.
8. Loose Soil
Too compact a soil composition can make it difficult for the roots to penetrate deeper. This, in turn, gives rise to unhealthy and weak plants.
On the other hand, in loose soil, the roots can grow freely, which is what you want. You can put together your raised garden beds efficiently so they can accomplish this for your plants.
Walking or stepping on the light soil can make it compact which is not the desired outcome. So, for this reason, make sure your garden beds are not too wide in size.
9. Appealing Aesthetics
Raised garden beds don’t have to be limited to backyards and patios. There are a number of designer planter boxes available these days that can be put in balconies, decks or even indoors.
You can pick and choose the one that accents your space the best. You can even buy pastel-colored or single-colored elevated planter boxes and paint them yourself. There is really no limit to what you can achieve with raised garden beds creatively.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I Line My Raised Garden Bed?
Those who like their raised garden beds do it for two major reasons. The first reason is to make the structure more durable by protecting it from moisture and pests.
The other is to prevent the toxins coming from the bed material from leaching into the garden soil. So lining your garden bed is usually a good idea if you are passionate about gardening.
You can do so using landscape fabric that is easily available at garden supply stores. Make sure the cloth type you choose is not non-porous as that can lead to too much water retention.
2. What Is The Right Depth For A Raised Garden Bed?
The depth of your raised garden bed depends on the type of plants you are planning to grow. For example, for growing vegetable family of cabbage, collars, cauliflower, broccoli, etc., your bed should be 18 to 24 inches deep.
Determining the right depth is important so your plants can have healthy roots in order to facilitate proper growth. If your bed is too shallow, the plants won’t be able to spread their roots and would turn out stunted and low yielding.
3. Should I Put Rocks At The Bottom Of My Raised Garden Bed?
Putting rocks at the bottom of your raised garden bed is always a good idea. This small technique ensures that the excess water is drained off from the garden.
Too much moisture for too long can lead to root rots which are detrimental for your plants. You can use pea gravel or crushed rocks at the bottom of the bed to improve drainage. This is especially important for planting beds that are taller than 18 inches and have poor drainage.
4. Can I Do Worm-composting In A Raised Garden Bed?
No, worm-composting should not be done in a raised garden bed. There are highly durable containers available in the market, which are designed specifically for this purpose.
Worms need more darkness and depth than raised garden beds can usually produce. Also, raised garden beds are supposed to be open from the top and that doesn’t help with the smell develops with worm-composting.
The raised bed gardening beats the traditional gardening at various levels. If you have been thinking of giving it a try but didn’t know where to start, our detailed guide is here to help you.
This guide is brimming with information like the factors you need to be mindful of before buying raised garden beds.
There are frequently asked questions to remove all your doubts about this planting technique. We have also reviewed the top products on the market to help you choose the best raised garden beds for your needs. Happy gardening!