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Whether you’re new to gardening or consider yourself an expert, a raised garden bed can make the process easier. “They’re especially useful in areas where you’re unsure of the type of soil you’re working with, or the soil isn’t in ideal conditions for what you’re growing,” shares Jaclyn Rutigliano, co-founder of Hometown Flower Co.
With a raised bed, you start out with fresh soil—meaning you know the exact conditions and how to adjust based on what crop you’re growing. Not only that, but Rutigliano says they’re better for weed maintenance, drainage, pest and disease management, and for people who don’t have a lot of space or live in a city. Oh, and they can also be easier for kids and the elderly.
The best part? Raised garden beds are designed for whatever you want to grow. “People usually think of raised beds only for vegetables, but they’re great for flowers as well,” Rutigliano adds. “You can grow your very own cut flower garden in your backyard!”
There are three basic types of raised beds to consider, Rutigliano explains:
- Raised ground beds, which require no additional materials other than soil and don’t include any type of building support frame.
- Supported raised beds consist of a mound of soil surrounded by a supportive frame low to the ground.
- Containerized raised beds are essentially elevated planters.
When bringing one of these beds into your outdoor space, grab a ready-made option or go the budget-friendly route by building one yourself. “You can easily customize them to your preferred dimensions and stain or paint the wood to match your outdoor decor,” according to Rutigliano.
If DIYing doesn’t appeal to you, Rutigliano emphasizes that simpler is better. Ahead, we’ve laid out her expert recommendations—and a few other highly-rated picks to consider.
Before you shop, read through and remember more of Rutigliano’s crucial tips:
- A common mistake is using the wrong soil. You have to use a light potting mix instead of ground or topsoil.
- When planting in the ground, always put a layer of mesh underneath so that you don’t have any problems with moles, bowls, or bugs.
- Add a strip of copper around your bed to keep slugs away.
- Never make your bed more than three or four feet wide, because you won’t be able to weed in the middle. However, you can make them as long as you’d like.
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Deep Root Raised Bed
If you want a classic model, buy a bed in cedar or cypress wood. It’s the perfect width at four inches, rot-resistant, and features industrial-style corners. “The 15-inch depth also allows for deep root planting,” Rutigliano says.
Elevated Planter Box With Trellis
“We like this option because it includes a trellis which is great for companion planting,” Rutigliano tells House Beautiful. “With something like this, you can maximize your bed to also include vines like peas.”
Veradek Corten Steel Raised Garden Bed
If you’re growing small plants or anything that’ll be exposed to a lot of sunlight, it’s best to avoid metal. “This is because the metal will get so hot that it’ll basically start to boil the roots,” Rutigliano mentions. “If you have the space to go with a larger option, though, weathered metal is a very attractive option and definitely one of our favorites from a decor point of view.”
Madge Raised Garden
For a woven, wicker-style display, consider Wayfair’s plastic-raised garden. Many reviewers say the water indicator and drainage holes are excellent for avoiding overwatering. One reviewer who gave it a five-star rating commented: “Have had them 2 years now, leaving them outside, unprotected from brutal winter weather. They still look brand new!”
Wooden Raised Garden Bed Planter
Raised Nest Indoor/Outdoor Planter
Suitable for both indoors and outdoors, this raised planter comes with a self-watering system for easy maintenance. It’s made of recyclable polyethylene and features steel legs for a more mid-century modern look. Plus, the color options include slate, white, and terracotta.
Best With Wheels
Raised Planter Box
Not only does an elevated planter box with wheels—which has more than 2,400 five-star ratings—eliminate the need to bend over as you garden, but it’s also portable. Bonus: It has a lower shelf for storing accessories and tools.
Best for Patios
Raised Bed With Base
Perfect for a patio or deck, our next raised bed boasts a durable coated steel construction. It has a protective thermoplastic base to protect any surface you place it on. “No worries of spills or deck rotting,” one shopper, who gave the bed a five-star rating, confirmed.
Best for Vegetables
For anyone growing veggies, consider Williams Sonoma’s best-seller. “The deep V-shaped bed provides a range of soil depths to suit the preferences of deep-rooted vegetables like tomatoes, ground-hugging herbs like thyme, and everything in between,” according to the product description.
Eco Raised Bed
Steer away from a typical rectangle shape with an octagon-shaped raised bed available on Etsy. Made from durable Western red cedar, it’s for planting vegetables, herbs, or flowers. “The wood is so beautifully fragrant, and the instructions were very precise,” one customer wrote in a comment.
Cedar U-Shaped Raised Garden Bed
For those looking to have a variety of plants, Wayfair’s U-shaped raised bed is an excellent choice for sectioning them off. “I am an older woman and was able to put it together without assistance,” a customer excitedly said. “I am delighted with this purchase.”
Best With Cover
Galvanized Steel Raised Garden Bed
Our final suggestion comes with a cover, so you can turn your raised bed into a mini greenhouse if needed. One first-time gardener recalled: “I am using the green house top as a barrier to help prevent animals from entering at night, and I keep them open during the day to allow for airflow.”
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