The Best Raised Beds And Above Ground Boxes For Gardening

Best Raised Beds And Above Ground Boxes For Gardening

Nothing adds curb appeal to your home like fresh, colorful flowers and bushes. Yet, traditional flower beds can pose risks to your home if they are too close to your home's foundation, siding or other key exterior areas.

Annual flowers typically require one inch of water per week at a minimum. Other bushes, vegetables, herbs or fruits could require significantly more water than that. This water can accumulate in the soil and, if your flower bed is too close to your home, can contribute to water damage in your basement or other low-lying areas.

Fortunately, raised garden beds and boxes can provide that pop of color around your home while also providing protection for your home. Unlike traditional flower beds, raised options have walls that not only keep the soil and plants neatly contained but also prevent water from coming into direct contact with your house.

These boxes can be made from wood, galvanized steel or other metals or vinyl and offer superior rain, snow and weather resistance. As another benefit, many of these beds come with liners that will help to block weeds and help prevent animals from digging into your garden.

A quick search for raised garden beds or boxes can be overwhelming. There are literally thousands of products made from different materials, with single, double or triple, tiers, wall-climbing options or other specially designed options. If you love fresh herbs, then there are boxes specifically constructed with smaller boxes to hold these plants.

Fortunately, we have prepared a list of some of the best raised garden bed or garden box choices on the market today. We have not only prepared an overview of each product but also included pros and cons for each one to help you make your decision. We have also put together a frequently asked questions section to address common concerns about these garden boxes.

The Best Raised Beds & Above Ground Boxes


Best Choice Products Mobile Raised Garden Bed

Best Choice Products' Mobile Raised Garden Bed is an excellent choice if your property's sun exposure changes significantly during the day. This product comes with four lockable wheels so that you can move your plants throughout the day.

These wheels not only will help you ensure that your beloved flowers, herbs, vegetables or other plants right amount of sun, but also can help you get them out of severe winds, rain or other inclement weather. This raised planter also comes with a wooden shelf that you can use to store your watering can, gloves, bags of plant food or other critical tools.

Unlike some other options, this garden box comes with a bed liner that you can use to keep your plants' root system away from the structural wooden slats. This liner will not only help prevent rot but also will reduce the number of weeds and other undesirable pests in your garden.

The raised box also has four built-in drainage holes to ensure that excess water does not overwhelm your flowers or other plants. It also includes crossbeams that can help you keep your plants separated and organized. These separators can help ensure that certain plants receive the correct nutrients while keeping them away from your other greenery.

The box is 48 inches long by 23.25 inches wide and 32 inches high. It also has a maximum weight capacity of 100 pounds. This combination of size and strength will allow you to hold a wide variety of flowers, vegetables, fruits or herbs in one easily maneuverable box.

If you are tired of bending over for hours while gardening, then this box may be a great choice for you. The 32-inch standard height means that you can easily stand while you do your gardening and avoid a stiff back or sore knees. The wheels will also allow you to move the box in case you need more space to effectively water all of your plants.

Pros

  • Lockable wheels allow you to move the planter into position to maximize sun exposure throughout the day.
  • Ergonomic design with a 30-inch height to minimize bending and eliminate kneeling while gardening.
  • Comes with a bed liner to keep soil and water away from the wood box.

Cons

  • Can weigh over 130 pounds when fully loaded with soil and plants, which may be hard to move alone.

Keter Easy Grow Raised Garden Bed

Keter's easy grow raised garden bed has an attractive wicker look but is constructed from resin and plastic for ease of maintenance. These materials are not only easy to clean but are also weather resistant and less likely to fade, even in extreme sunlight.

It has a 31.7-gallon capacity that is about the size of two large round planters. The box measures 44.9 inches ide by 19.4 inches deep and 29.8 inches high. Despite its generous size, it only weighs 18.5 pounds. As a result, you could easily move this product out to your deck, over by your pool or any other area around your property before adding soil and plants.

Ensuring that your prized flowers and plants receive the proper amount of water is one of the most challenging aspects of gardening. As noted above, many annual flowers need only one inch of water per week, including natural rainfall. Too much water can damage the plants and cause their roots to rot.

Fortunately, Keter's easy grow garden box has a built-in water management system. This product includes a floating water gauge that will display a red line if there is too much moisture in the box. A handy water tap in the side will allow you to drain excess water from the reservoir at the bottom of the flower bed.

If you occasionally forget to water your plants or if your area goes through a dry spell, then the integrated water reservoir can help to keep your plants properly hydrated. This approach is especially effective if you do not install a plastic or other liner in the box before adding soil and plants.

The plastic legs and resin sides will keep your flowers neat and organized. This planter can sit safely next to your home's siding without fear that water or other undesirable materials will damage your exterior walls. The raised legs also prevent moisture from accumulating near your foundation.

While not as tall as our top pick, its 29.8-inch height will still reduce the amount of bending, lifting and straining that you need to do to care for your plants. The rattan design will also fit in with many popular décor styles at your apartment complex, condo. Townhouse or single-family home.

Pros

  • Includes an integrated water gauge to let you know if there is too much moisture in the planter.
  • Water reservoir at the bottom of the bed reduces the risk of over-watering and subsequent root decay.
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Cons

  • Plastic construction can crack over time if exposed to extreme weather year-round.

Vita VT17108 Vinyl Raised, Modular Garden Bed

Do you have grand visions of an expansive, but well-maintained garden in your back yard? Vita's vinyl raised garden bed has a unique modular design that will allow you to create a variety of layouts to suit your needs. The sides quickly slide into the posts to create an expandable rectangle with no tools necessary.

Each Vita garden box measures four feet long by four feet wide and 11 inches tall. If you buy more than one then you can rapidly connect the side boards to create flower or plant beds that are eight feet by eight feet or larger, in increments of four feet. Imagine being able to have one section for vegetables, another for roses or other flowers and still a third to help keep watermelons or other fruits contained.

Each bed requires 13.5 cubic feet of potting soil to provide enough nutrients and soil for your flowers or other plants to take root. Due to the amount of dirt involved, we recommend that you reinforce the boxes with rebar or other sturdy materials if you plan to connect multiple beds together.

Ease of maintenance is another benefit of Vita's modular design. The vinyl material is rated to provide 20 years or more of low maintenance use, even in areas that get intense sun exposure. While the rails and posts do have a wood look and texture, the vinyl material will not need to be painted, primed, stained or sanded.

Periodic rinsing with your garden hose should be all that you need to remove excess dirt and keep your bed looking neat and tidy. The 11-inch height will also help to keep your garden contained and help to prevent roots or other growth from taking over other areas of your property.

However, this bed may not be the best choice for people with back issues, knee and joint pain or other mobility limitations. This bed does not include a bottom or legs. As a result, it is only a total of 11 inches off the ground. You will have to be able to bend down and possibly kneel to take care of your plants in this box.

Pros

  • Modular design means you can connect or stack multiple beds together.
  • Wood-look vinyl will last for decades without the need to paint, stain or sand your flower beds.
  • Easy assembly with no tools required.

Cons

  • Only 11 inches high, which means you may need to kneel or bed while you plant and tend to your garden.

Greenes Cedar Raised Garden Bed

Greenes' raised garden bed is made from natural cedar wood. This material is not only attractive to the eye but also gives off fragrances that can help to ward off moths, bugs and other pests from your garden. Cedar wood also has natural weather resistant properties and can resist rot better than some other woods with proper maintenance.

Each bed measures four feet wide by eight feet long and 10.5 inches high. The boards and corner posts have notches and grooves to make assembly a breeze. The boards simply slide and lock into the posts to create a secure rectangle. Center crossmembers enhance this product's stability and durability.

Best of all, you can combine multiple beds into larger rectangles, "U" shapes, "L" layouts or any other number of designs to create the perfect look for your property. If 10.5 inches is too low, then you can stack multiple boxes to create beds that are 21 inches, 31.5 inches or taller, in increments of 10.5 inches. You can even create a tiered approach by having extra boxes in some areas but not others.

Once you have finalized your garden bed's design and height, then the boxes come with decorative caps to create a more finished look on the posts. You can easily affix these tops to the box's corner posts with a screwdriver and the six included wood screws.

While this bed is extremely versatile, you should keep in mind that unfinished and untreated cedar wood will require periodic maintenance to keep it in top condition. You may need to apply stain on a yearly basis to prevent weather damage or rot. If you like the look of the natural wood, then you can apply linseed oil to keep your garden bed moisturized and increase its resistance to the elements.

Pros

  • Natural cedar wood construction will resist weather damage and rot when exposed to water and the elements.
  • Can be stacked with additional units to make your beds taller.
  • Comes with decorative tops for a more finished look in your garden.

Cons

  • Untreated and unfinished boards mean that you will likely have to paint, stain or otherwise maintain this bed to keep it looking its best over time.

Giantex Free-Standing Raised Planter Bed with Trellis

Do you love the look of climbing roses, wisteria, honeysuckle or star jasmine plants? While these flowers can add a unique layer of depth to your garden, climbing vines, ivies or other plants can potentially grow behind your home's siding and cause damage.

Fortunately, Giantex has developed a raised planter bed connected to a trellis that can keep your favorite climbing flora contained and away from your home's exterior walls. These raised planters come with two trellis options, one that is 30 inches tall and another that is 48 inches tall. Shorter trellis's may be ideal for balconies, decks or other smaller areas. The taller option may be ideal for multi-story single family homes or townhouses.

The solid fir wood construction provides some stability and strength even before you add soil, pea rocks or plants to the raised bed at the bottom. The trellis can support even large climbing plants year-after-year. Best of all, a simple four step construction process is all you need to get this planter ready to go.

The box comes with pre-drilled drainage holes to help prevent over-watering or oversaturation in your soil. This feature is critical to reduce the risk of root rot or other negative effects on your plants after heavy rains.

However, at only 25 inches long and 11 inches wide, this planter is smaller than many of the other options on our list. While this size may be ideal for balconies or small yards, you would need several of them to cover the side of a single-family home.

Each box typically holds up to two cubic feet of potting soil for your plants. As a result, it would be a good choice for an herb garden, a small number of vegetable plants or a few select climbing vines.

The planter and trellis only weigh10.5 pounds before adding any dirt or plants. You may want to add pea rocks or other materials to the corners and sides of the box to provide additional weight and stability. Alternatively, you could anchor or tie down the planter to the side of your home for additional security.

Pros

  • Integrated trellis will allow climbing plants to grow without damaging your home's exterior walls.
  • Natural fir wood construction for increased durability and stability.
  • 30-inch and 48-inch height options are available to suit your specific design needs.

Cons

  • Weighs only 10.5 pounds without soil and plants; you may need to weigh it down with rocks or anchor it to your home to keep it upright and secure.

Best Choice Products Raised Wooden Garden Bed

This raised wooden garden bed measures 48.5 inches long by 24.5 inches wide. Its legs put the bed at a comfortable 30 inches high for more comfortable gardening without having to kneel, bend or strain your back. The interior depth is 9.5 inches, which means that this product offers 7.5 cubic feet of space, which is enough for you to space out your flowers, fruits or vegetables while keeping them contained.

This planter also comes with an included liner that you can use to keep soil, water and plant roots away from the garden bed's base. This liner can also help prevent weeds or other undesirable pests from growing in your garden and from restricting your plants' growth. The natural cedar wood may also help to discourage certain insects from taking up residence in your flower bed.

The bed also includes drainage holes at each end. This feature is critical for eliminating excess water from severe rainstorms or from inadvertent over-watering. Other key design features include crossmembers that increase strength and durability. This bed weighs a solid 34 pounds but can hold up to 100 pounds of soil. Fruits, vegetables, flowers or other greenery.

Pros

  • Large bed measures 48.5 inches long by 23 inches wide, which provides enough room for your plants to grow and thrive.
  • Drainage holes at each end allow excess water to exit the box away from your plants' roots.
  • Constructed from 34 pounds of solid cedar wood, which provides increased stability and durability before adding soil and plants.

Cons

  • Untreated cedar will warp or show weather damage over time.

YAHEETECH 3 Tier Elevated Wooden Garden Bed

Unlike some lower-quality boxes, YAHEETECH's garden bed is constructed from solid fir side boards. The solid wood design reduces the risk of leaks or dirt escaping from around your plants. The boards are 0.6 inches thick and the posts measure two inches by two inches, which add to the product's overall stability.

The bed's overall dimensions are 47.24 inches long by 47.24 inches wide by 22.05 inches tall. This model comes with three individual squares that can be stacked on top of each other to create a three-tiered elevated garden.

The wooden panels in this product are untreated and unstained, but YAHEETECH's assemblers do fully sand and finish each board and post. This extra attention to detail not only creates a professional look but also reduces the risk of splinters or rough edges when its time for you to assemble the flower bed.

This design gives you the freedom to plant flowers on one level, vegetables on another and small shrubs or trees in the third area. Segregating different types of plants also means that you can provide specific soil formulations or feed specialized nutrients on each tier so that your plants get exactly what they need to thrive.

Yet, this bed also offers you exceptional flexibility. Easily removable wooden dowels connect the tiers. If you decide that you only want a single-tier layout, then you can separate the layers and have three raised boxes that you can use on the ground. The only downside is that you cannot rearrange the side slats between the boxes to create unique shapes.

Pros

  • Solid wood side panels help reduce leaks or lost soil.
  • Three-tier design allows you to separate different plants that may need unique soil types or nutrients.
  • Wooden dowels connect the tiers, but they can be removed to create a single-tiered garden bed with three separate areas.

Cons

  • Side slats cannot be removed to change the box dimensions if you choose to create a single-tiered flower bed.

FOYUEE Galvanized Raised Garden Bed

FOYUEE's galvanized metal garden box is ideal for plants, herbs and other greenery. The company offers options with lengths between two and six feet. Yet, the consistent three-foot width means that you can easily reach to water and feed all of your plants, no matter what length you choose.

The galvanized metal is treated with a non-toxic coating to prevent rust while remaining eco-friendly. The box does not have a bottom, which will allow you to dig down to plant your flowers, fruits or vegetables. This feature is important because the side walls are only one-foot high.

Many flowers need at least 12 inches of depth to establish their root systems. Certain vegetables, fruits and small trees or bushes need 18 inches or more. As a result, it is likely that you will need to dig down into the ground to effectively plant your greenery.

It is also important to note that, while you can certainly use multiple boxes next to each other, FOYUEE's product does not have a modular design. It is not possible to combine several beds together without providing your own internal brackets or supports. Similarly, it is not possible to stack the walls and posts to create a deeper bed from what the manufacturer provides. You could drill your own holes and add in structural support brackets, but that will increase the time and complexity of your project.

Pros

  • Four- and six-foot-long models provide additional design flexibility for your property.
  • Easily assembles in less than ten minutes.
  • Galvanized metal resists rusting while remaining eco-friendly.

Cons

  • The walls are only one foot tall and you cannot stack multiple slats to create a deeper bed.

Buying Guide

As you can tell from our list, raised flower beds come in a variety of materials, sizes and shapes. There are versions that are specifically intended for a small indoor herb garden while others are expandable to create a large, multi-tiered garden or elaborate landscape in your backyard. Please read on for some of the most critical aspects to consider when selecting a raised garden box.

Materials

Elevated flower beds can be made from a wide range of materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few examples:

  • Wood: For example, some people like beds constructed from fir or cedar. These natural materials fit well in almost any décor and can be stained to match your home's specific style. Furthermore, certain woods have natural properties that repel moths, insects and other pests from your garden. However, these beds often require periodic staining or other maintenance to keep them in top condition and to prevent rot or cracking.
  • Vinyl: Many companies are making raised flower beds out of vinyl or other composite plastics. New manufacturing techniques can add texture to the slats and posts so that they look like painted or stained wood. Unlike natural wood, many vinyl materials are rated not to fade for up to 20 years or more.

These options are often lower maintenance compared to masonry or wood choices. Typically, a quick spray with your garden hose is all that is needed to keep your boxes looking neat and clean.

Vinyl boxes can also be combined to create larger shapes or stacked to create different layers within your garden. However, given the weight of the soil, water and other plants in the beds, we highly recommend that you reinforce beds made from composites with steel rebar or other metals to reinforce the structure. These reinforcements can be important if you plan to have beds that are eight or more feet long or more than 24 inches high.

  • Masonry: Nothing adds a sense of sophistication and permanence to your garden quite like a raised bed made from field stone, bricks or other natural stone materials. If constructed property these beds can typically support more weight and will resist damage from ground water, sunlight, wind or other natural elements. However, these types of beds will require significantly more investment in terms of material costs, construction time and effort.
  • Metal: Galvanized steel is becoming an increasingly popular material for raised gardening beds. Unlike wood, properly treated steel will not rot out when exposed to water and the other elements in nature. These beds are exceptionally durable and have enhanced stability compared to other, lighter weight options.

While vinyl beds can last for 20 years or more, most galvanized steel beds, i.e., those treated with a zinc coating, are rated for at least 30 years. This coating will also not break down if your soil remains neutral and does not become acidic. In fact, zinc is a natural metal found in the soil. Many plants use this mineral as nutrients to help themselves grow.

Dimensions

Raised flower beds come in a variety of lengths, widths and heights depending upon their intended usage. Please see below for the most common measurements.

  • Length: The most frequent lengths range from two feet to four feet. Options that are two feet long are ideal for small patios, apartment balconies and other, more confined spaces. Four-foot boxes provide more space to spread out your plants and give them room to breathe and grow.

If you would like a longer garden box, then many two- and four-foot products allow you to combine multiple boxes into larger designs. This modular approach can also be ideal for creating "L" shapes around the corner of your house or other unique options.

However, beds that are too long can make it difficult to weed, feed and water around each of your plants. We recommend four to eight-foot lengths with at least three feet between each group of boxes. This extra space will give you room to push a wheelbarrow with soil, plant food or other materials between your garden beds.

  • Width: Most wooden, vinyl or steel garden boxes come in widths between two and four feet. Two feet widths can be a great choice for smaller spaces or if you want a small indoor herb or vegetable garden.

We recommend three-foot widths for boxes that you intend to place against an exterior wall or in other areas where you will not be able to walk around the box. At only three feet across, most people will be able to reach all the plants to water and care for them. Boxes wider than four feet may require you to step into the box to evenly water your flowers.

  • Height: Raised flower beds that are primarily set on the ground typically have a height of at least ten inches. This height allows you to get your plants up and away from your foundation but may still require you to dig down into the ground to plant your flora.

Many flowers require at least 12 inches of soil to effectively establish their root systems and begin to grow. Vegetables, some fruits and bushes or small trees may need at least 18 inches of soil to establish themselves in your garden. As a result, if you choose a bed with a ten-inch wall, then you will likely need to dig down another 8 to 10 inches or more into the ground when planting.

Ten-inch-high walls may help protect your foundation, but it will likely not prevent you from having to bend and kneel while you are planting. Fortunately, quite a few garden boxes allow you to stack multiple units to increase their total depth.

Furthermore, there are boxes on legs with solid bottoms that can raise the total bed height to as much as 32 inches. These taller boxes eliminate the need to bend and strain to plant your flowers, vegetables or other greenery. They could be an excellent choice for older people who want to keep up with their favorite hobby but who suffer from back and knee pain.

For people who prefer to sit while gardening or for those people who are in a wheelchair, we would recommend a box height of 24 inches. At that height, you should be able to easily reach most plants and areas in the flower bed to evenly distribute water and food.

Single-Tier or Multi-Tier Options

Most raised flower beds are sold in a single-level design. However, the modular wood and vinyl products described above have interlocking slats and posts that can easily be stacked. This feature means that you could easily add some character to your landscaping by changing your garden's visual focal point in different areas. In fact, there are beds that have two, three or even four or more tiers.

Drainage Holes and Reservoirs

Ensuring that your plants receive enough water but do not become oversaturated can be a challenge. In fact, many flowers need only one inch of water per week. A heavy rainstorm can wreak havoc on your prized flowers, fruits or vegetables.

If your raised garden bed has a bottom, then the issue of trapped or pooling water can be particularly serious. The good news is that many of the high-quality choices on our list come with integrated drainage holes on each side and throughout the bed. These holes allow excess water to escape and reduce the risk for root rot in your garden.

Some of the products on our list also include advanced water management features including reservoirs, drainage taps and gauges. It is important to note that the gauges will tell you when there is too much water in the bed, generally by displaying a red line. However, they will not tell you if you need to water your plants.

If your bed does have too much moisture in it, then boxes with drainage taps can make it much easier to release the excess water. Conversely, if you experience frequent dry spells in your area, then a raised garden bed with a reservoir can store excess water for your plants to use if you forget to water them or if it does not rain for a while.

Our Favourite

Overall, we really like Best Choice Product's Mobile Raised Garden Bed. The box itself is large enough to hold up to 100 pounds of soil, flowers, vegetables or other plants. The lockable wheels mean that you can safely move the planter to get it inside during windstorms or other inclement weather. The fact that the planter is moveable means that you can also ensure that your plants get the right amount of sun exposure throughout the day.

Best Choice Products Mobile Raised Garden Bed

We also really like that Best Choice Products' engineers designed the raised garden bed with ease of maintenance in mind. The fir wood construction has properties that will naturally resist rot and other weather damage. The team also included four strategic holes in the box for drainage. They also included a liner in the box to help prevent weeds and keep the soil and moisture away from the bottom and sides of the box.

The 32-inch height is also great for older people or folks with mobility and flexibility issues who still want to keep up with their gardening. With this product, you will no longer need to bend down or spend hours on your knees pulling weeds, feeding and watering your plants or digging holes for new plantings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you grow in a raised garden bed?

You can grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs in a raised bed. It is also possible to cultivate small bushes or trees if they are well-maintained and pruned to prevent overgrowth.

What material is best for a raised garden box?

Gardening beds are typically constructed from natural woods, vinyl or other plastic-based resins, galvanized metals and other materials. Which option will be best for you depends upon your intended use, your preferred style and your available space.

For example, wood provides a more natural look and may contain natural oils or fragrances that can keep insects or other pests away from your flowers, vegetables or other plants. Vinyl beds are typically lower maintenance and provide increased resistance to sun, rain or other inclement weather. Galvanized metals offer enhanced stability, durability and water resistance compared to other materials.

For a more permanent, but natural look, you could also construct a raised bed from field stones or bricks. However, this approach will require significantly more time, effort and materials than many of the available wooden, vinyl or metal kits.

What Sizes and Shapes are Available?

Gardening boxes normally come in square or rectangular shapes of varying sizes. They can be as small as one foot long by one foot wide and ten inches high or can be large enough to contain your entire garden. The most common sizes are two to four feet long and two to four feet wide. Some products are modular and can be combined to add additional length or height to your flower bed.

Are there indoor and outdoor options?

Yes! There are raised flower beds on wheels that you can easily move inside or outside as needed. This flexibility can be useful if you live in an area that has extreme weather in the winter or summer. Now you can continue to grow your favorite herbs, flowers or plants year-round if they can still get exposure to sunlight inside.

I love climbing plants like wisteria or star jasmine. Are there raised planters that I can use for these types of plants?

Yes! We would recommend that you look at a planter box with a trellis attached to it. A trellis is a lattice framework of wood that will support climbing plants as they grow up and out of the box. Some products have trellises that are between 30 and 48 inches, which will give your ivy, climbing roses or other vines plenty of room to spread out.

How can I protect my wooden garden box?

Perhaps nothing is as beautiful as untreated, fresh cut wood. However, wind weather and dirt can cause your wooden garden bed to crack or rot. We recommend that you stain your box as needed to protect it from sun and the other elements. For cedar beds, linseed oil can help to naturally repel water and keep the wood moisturized, which reduces cracking and warping.

How easy is it to build or assemble a raised garden bed?

Many of the kits on our list can be constructed in as few as four steps. The slats and posts included in the box often already have tongues and grooves that will allow you to rapidly connect the side planks to the posts. Resin or vinyl boxes often snap together and may not even require tools to assemble.

In contrast, if you opt to build a wooden box from scratch, then it could take several hours to cut the wood and assemble the boxes. Masonry beds will require significant labor to lay the bricks or stones and to apply the mortar. Depending upon your desired total length, width and height for the box, you may need to spend several days to complete the project.

Conclusion

Place your order for the Best Choice Products' mobile raised garden bed today. Do you still have questions? Please see our frequently asked questions section below. Have we missed one of your favorite raised garden bed designs? Please feel free to include your comments below.