Anxious, antsy and homebound, record numbers of Americans picked up trowels and sheers and started gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a wise move in more ways than one.
Gardening comes with a slew of benefits for the body and mind, helping to boost your mood, ease anxiety and give you a sense of empowerment. Shoveling, digging and raking is a CDC-sanctioned form of physical activity and one that gets you outside.
But what do you do if you want to reap the benefits of gardening, but you don’t have a backyard, front yard or any other type of stretch of arable property at your disposal? You can create your own little patch of tillable land with a raised garden bed kit.
What Is a Raised Garden Bed?
Also called a garden box, a raised garden bed is an elevated container that sits on top of your existing soil. Raised beds typically include frames made from anything from cedar or plastic to stones, cinder blocks or bricks. They’re available in an array of styles, including simple ground-level aluminum frames, multilevel stepladder structures and more.
Raised garden bed kits can come with special features like greenhouse covers, self-watering systems and shelves. Designed with tall sides and a base, many raised beds are set up on walkways, decks, patios, driveways and porches.
Besides enabling you to garden in almost any outdoor space, raised garden beds come with perks like less weeding, easier pest control monitoring, better drainage and easier access. Raised gardening beds also protect your garden from foot traffic, preventing soil compaction and plant damage. While garden beds can be pricey, there are definitely inexpensive garden beds if you know where to look.
One of the best parts of gardening in a raised bed? You don’t even have to do much in the way of building if you don’t want to, as raised beds come in kits — complete with easy-to-assemble containers and necessary hardware, as well as accessories like tags, gloves and even greenhouse canopies.
If this sounds like your jam, here are some raised garden bed ideas to get you going:
Best Amazon Raised Garden Beds
1. Raised Metal Plant Box With Legs
This cheerful green planter has thick galvanized steel panels with a sturdy iron pipe frame and reinforced corners. The design features two drainage holes that promote air circulation and prevent water-logging. The box comes in a choice of three sizes: 25 x 13 inches, measuring 18 inches tall or 31.5 inches tall, or 40 x 13 inches measuring 31.5 inches tall.
Why We Love It: Not only is this metal-raised garden bed sturdy, the bright lime green adds a pop of color to your garden, porch or patio.
Promising Review: “Love that it’s green, metal and simple looking. It’s a good size for herbs, etc., up on our deck. It was easy to assemble. The plastic was a little of a pain, but who cares? It’s not noticeable. It’s sturdy enough. I put some coco mats on the bottom to help keep moisture and prevent dirt from coming out of the big holes.” — M. Payne
Things To Consider: The components are wrapped in shrink wrap that are time-consuming to remove. In addition, some reviewers advise adding a lining or layer of stones, gravel or coconut fibers to keep soil from spilling out from the bottom drainage holes.
Price: $59.99 from Amazon.com
2. Best Choice Products Elevated Wood Planter Box Stand
Crafted from durable Chinese fir, this elevated wood garden bed is naturally water and weather-resistant. They designed the garden bed with a liner that separates the wood from the soil and a three-hole drainage system for excess water. It comes in a choice of three sizes — 2.8 x 1.5 feet, 4 x 2 feet or 6 x 2 feet — all three of which are 2.5 feet deep.
Why We Love It: Standing around two and a half feet tall, the planter makes caring for your plants less taxing on your back and knees.
Promising Review: “The planters are of really nice quality and went together quickly and easily. The first one took me about a half-hour, the second about 20 minutes. I am a 72-year-old female and had no help, so don’t worry about having to wrestle it together.” — Aiden Jael Temple Paige
Things To Consider: To ensure longevity, it’s recommended to weather-treat the wood with a water-resistant sealer. One customer advises treating the outside and inside, then stapling plastic sheeting with drain holes to the inside to keep the chemical in the sealer out of the soil. In addition, some users suggest reinforcing the corners with brackets.
Price: $84.99+ at Amazon.com
3. Victory 8 Fabric Raised Bed
This ultra-affordable garden cube is made from a durable UV-resistant AeroFlow fabric designed to promote airflow and drain excess moisture. It stands at 11.5 inches high and comes in a choice of six different widths, ranging from 2 x 2 feet to 4 x 8 feet.
Why We Love It: Besides being the most wallet-friendly option on this list, the Victory 8 fabric raised bed is the easiest to set up. Just unfold the cloth frame and fill it with soil. Set up the fabric planter on any surface, including grass, wood and concrete.
Promising Review: “I have two zucchini and one yellow squash in this 2 x 2 and it couldn’t be easier. Fill it and plant. I’ve already picked a bunch of squash and have many more coming. I have all of them on tables on my deck, so no bending over, no weeding and no bugs so far.” — Wimbles
Things To Consider: The easy-to-tear-through cloth construction may make the plants more vulnerable to critters and insects.
Price: $22.97+ at Amazon.com
4. Raised Planter Box With Legs on Wheels
This cart-style garden bed features wheels and a shelf for accessories or tools. The cart is made from galvanized steel with an anti-rust coating and a drainage hole. The planting box is around eight inches deep and 37.5 inches wide x 15 inches long.
Why We Love It: Not only does the cart-style design look great, it makes it easy to wheel the garden bed to different areas of your property.
Promising Review: “I LOVE this planter! It was larger than I expected and is of excellent quality. I put it together by myself — it probably took 30 minutes, but you only need a screwdriver. Pretty easy! It doesn’t look cheap, and it functions exactly as intended. The storage rack is heavy duty.” — Adrienne
Things To Consider: If you plan on adding soil directly into the bed, users say you should add a plastic soil liner to prevent water leakage.
Price: $95.82 at Amazon.com
5. Vertical Garden Freestanding Elevated Planter
This multilevel garden bed stand is six feet tall and features four hanging boxes, each 26.5 x 9.5 inches and 8 inches tall. The frame and boxes are weather-resistant and suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Why We Love It: The ultimate small-space solution, this free-standing vertical garden takes up only six square feet but offers 10 lineal feet of gardening area.
Promising Review: “I bought this planter to house my herbs. They fit perfectly. It takes up less space than a typical planter. Great for a patio. Easy to assemble and sturdy. We have had some high winds, and the planter still stands.”
Things To Consider: It’s advisable to add an inch of gravel to the bottom to prevent root rot.
Price: $173.41 at Amazon.com
6. Vita Gardens Gro-grid Garden Bed
Measuring 4 x 4 feet and standing 11 inches tall, this Gro-Grid garden bed can be divided into compartments. Since you can choose the number of dividers, the size and number of compartments are up to you.
What We Love: The Gro-Grid raised garden bed kit can be assembled without tools in a few minutes — simply slide the vinyl boards into the posts.
Promising Review: “The product is sturdy, well built, and it went together in a matter of minutes.” — Greg L.
Things To Consider: The planters do not include a base, so place a weed-control fabric or other kinds of liner beneath.
Price: $80.64 at Amazon.com
7. Yaheetech 3-tier Raised Garden Bed
This three-tiered fir wood planter features three growing areas:
- Top: 47.2 x 17.3 x 21 inches
- Middle: 47.2 x 33.9 x 15 inches
- Bottom: 47.2 x 47.2 x 8 inches
Each level connects with wooden plugs and can separate to use as three separate beds.
Why We Love It: This multilevel planter is huge, letting you grow a variety of veggies — reviewers report successful carrots, radishes, okra, pumpkins and flowers.
Promising Review: “This planter came quickly and was SO easy to assemble. I was skeptical of the purchase but was very satisfied with what I received. I can’t wait until my garden yields its first crop. Sturdier than I imagined. I wish it would have come with a weed liner for the bottom and sides. Overall, I’m happy with this purchase.” — Elisabeth Schneider
Things To Consider: A power drill is recommended for assembly. In addition, like the above model, this planter doesn’t include a base or dividers between the levels, so consider lining with a weed barrier. Finally, seal the wood with a weather-resistant coat to ensure longevity.
Price: $69.99 from Amazon.com
8. Galvanized Steel Raised Garden Bed Planter Kit Box With Greenhouse
This nifty greenhouse garden bed comes with a plastic canopy designed to help shield plants from cold weather, harsh elements and critters. The see-through plastic cover features a zipper window on each side to allow airflow and direct sunlight. The container features a galvanized steel frame that measures 47 x 35.5 x 11.8 inches.
Why We Love It: This solid product is backed by an equally solid company with great customer service, which reviewers rave about across the board. The company even throws in plant tags and a pair of gardening gloves.
Promising Review: “I have to say I am VERY impressed with this business’ customer service! We received our bed, minus the screws and gloves. Yes, a bummer, but these things happen sometimes. It’s how they handle it that makes the difference. Not only did they respond promptly, but offered to ship an entirely new bed. AND to keep the previous one! Not only did they win my appreciation, but all of my future business! As far as reviewing the bed and greenhouse, both are of excellent quality. I even love the T-tags they sent.” — Kathy Lee
Things To Consider: The plastic greenhouse cover rips easily, though the vendor is quick to send replacements.
Price: $84.99 at Amazon.com
9. Aluzinc Metal Raised Garden Bed
The first and only round option on the list, this simple circular garden bed, comes with a diameter of 30 inches (depth of 9.5 inches) or 42 inches (depth of 17 inches). It’s made from a sturdy, rust-resistant combination of aluminum and galvanized steel.
What We Love: At 0.6 millimeters thick, the material of this metal raised garden bed is more resilient than that of many similar models.
Promising Review: “Very easy to put together and they’re very pretty.” — Annie9950.
Things To Consider: The panels have a protective peeling, which many reviewers find tricky to remove.
Price: $49.99+ at Amazon.com
10. Raised Garden Bed Planter Boxes with Trellis
With its buildable trellis frame, the Green Mount Planter box is a perfect home for climbing plants like tomatoes or peas. At full height, the trellis reaches 41.3 inches tall. The planter box, made from a fade-proof, food-grade-safe polypropylene, measures 9.84 x 9.84 inches.
What We Love: As your plant grows, you can add additional risers and rings. You can also purchase multiple planters to connect and stack as you please.
Promising Review: “Sturdy once filled with dirt, [and] well designed with drainage holes.” — Mother Nature.
Things To Consider: The box is made from lightweight plastic; customers report it may blow over in windy areas.
Price: $39.99 at Amazon.com
11. Aivituvin Raised Garden Bed
Another customizable option, this cedar raised garden bed comes with removable dividers so you can choose between a single open planter or an eight-section grow grid. The planter box measures 22 x 52.7 inches; at full height, the set stands at 30 inches tall.
What We Love: The cedar-raised garden bed features a spacious storage shelf and workstation for setting tools like trowels and gloves.
Promising Review: “Overall, it’s a fantastic little herb garden and is very sturdy. I love the shelves that they’ve added to the bottom and upper side. They are very functional and useful!” — R&R
Things To Consider: Assembly may require a drill.
Price: $99.99 at Amazon.com
12. Foreman Raised Garden Bed
The most expensive option on this list, the Foreman raised garden bed, has a premium high-pressure laminate plastic that is resistant to rot, stains and scratches. It comes with or without wheels, in a choice of six colors and two sizes: 36 x 24 inches or 48 x 24 inches.
What We Love: We love the choice of different finishes, which offer the rustic appearance of natural wood, but without the rotting and other problems associated with natural wood.
Promising Review: “It was SUPER easy to put together. It literally only has eight screws! Looks just stunning!” — Angel
Things To Consider: Assembly is recommended to be a two-person job, so you may need to find a helper.
Price: $269+ at Amazon.com
Raised Garden Bed Buying Guide
To help you choose the best product for your needs, we’ve created a quick raised gardening bed buyer’s guide. Read on for answers to common questions about shopping for raised garden beds, and to get raised garden bed ideas and inspiration.
How Deep Should a Raised Garden Bed Be?
Typically, somewhere between eight and 12 inches deep is sufficient for a raised garden bed. However, this may vary depending on the type of plant(s) you are growing. Here are the recommended garden bed depths for some common plants:
- Herbs: 6 inches.
- Root veggies (like carrots or beets): 12 inches.
- Cucumbers, squash and zucchini: 18 inches.
What To Put in the Bottom of a Raised Garden Bed
If you have an open-bottom garden bed, it’s advisable to put down a protective barrier between the garden soil and ground to smother weeds and grass and to prevent burrowing rodents from getting into your plants. You can line the bottom of a raised garden bed with layers of newspaper, cardboard, burlap, or landscape fabric.
What Is the Best Soil for Raised Garden Beds?
Regular soil is typically too dense to use in a raised bed. Look for soil specially formulated for raised beds, such as Miracle-Gro Raised Bed Soil.
How To Fill a Raised Garden Bed
Experts recommend filling raised garden beds with a blend of about 40% soil, 40% compost and 20% aeration (such as lava rock, pumice or rice hulls). Layer the different components one by one, starting with a few inches of soil, a few inches of compost, and then an inch or two aeration. Mix and repeat.
The post Cheap Raised Garden Beds: 12 Cute and Easy To Set Up Options appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.