Raised Bed Gardening- The Reason Why and the Best Kits to Have

Raised beds are a blessing
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In this article, we will be discussing why raised beds are becoming so popular and what kits are best to use in your garden. Raised beds are popular because you can get a decent crop or many plants into a very tight space, often with very little horizontal area.

You can double your yields of fruit and vegetables in a raised bed. They can also use to separate areas within your garden, so you can add different aspects and interest, as you walk around the garden.

Raised beds are a blessing
Raised beds are a blessing

You can use raised beds of any size or shape, but it is advised not to wider than 1.2m, otherwise you cannot reach the centre. It is not advised to make them too long either, otherwise, you will have a long way to walk around. Paths are also important, as you need to have access to the raised beds from all sides, especially when you are using a wheelbarrow. So gaps between beds are an important consideration.

Raised beds can be any shapes, as they do not have to be rectangular. They can be round, triangular, square or even hexagonal.

Triangular beds tend to have a lot of dead spaces, especially at the corner and therefore not recommended.

MATERIAL OF CONSTRUCTION

Raised beds can be made out of any material from metal, plastic, brick, stone or wood. Wood tends to be good value for money and will look attractive in the garden.

Stone make attractive raised bed
Stone makes attractive raised beds

When buying wooden raised beds, you need to make sure that the wood has been treated with preservative so that the wood does not rot, even when in contact with the ground. If this does not happen the raised bed will collapse. If you use a preservative make sure you use a good quality one.

Do not skimp on quality as you will soon regret it. The preservative that you use must be suitable for wood in contact with compost, as fence paint will not last. The good thing is you can paint wood any shade of colour you want, so you can blend or contrast your raised bed into your colour schemes. With raised beds, you have two options; to make your own or buy it in already made DIY kit form. Both will be discussed in this article.

BUILDING A RAISED BED

This type of raised bed is good for those who have time and are good at DIY. It will save you money but it can be very frustrating for others.

You can, of course, make a raised bed of any material that you have available, as long as it is strong, waterproof and long-lasting. Bricks are a good choice as you can make the raised bed any height and shape, especially good if you like curved beds, but you have to ensure that the bricks are well grouted, otherwise, they will provide a home for pests. For brick beds, it is best to use good quality bricks and those that are recommended for building walls.

Bricks make ideal raised beds
Bricks make ideal raised beds

You can also use stones as an edging for raised beds, but this can provide a home for many critters, who will eat your crops in a blink of an eye.

Most often you see raised beds made out of wood. Any hardwood can be used and as long as a preservative has been applied, you will be okay. Scaffolding boards are often ideal for this, as they are 20cm wide and 2.5cm thick. They can be cut to size and used to make the raised bed sides. You can use pressure injected fence posts to make your corners and you can use internal bracket to attach the boards together at the corner.

This is great as you can make the bed any height that you want. To stop you dragging your hosepipe around by using corner post slightly raised above the bed. Finial balls (those found on indoor staircases) are often good for this. You can also use railway sleeper as these have greater thickness and strength. The only problem is that you will need to find a supplier.

HOW TO CONSTRUCTED THE RAISED BED

No matter what you use to make the raised bed from. The underline construction method is the same.

Make sure that D1 is equal to D2 ro make sure the bed is at 90 degrees
Make sure that D1 is equal to D2 to make sure the bed is at 90 degrees

Mark the area you wish the bed to be placed with string or spray chalk. Strings are easier to use as you can make sure your beds are straight and can be raised as you build the bed, Check to see if it is square by measuring one diagonal (D1) from one opposite corner to the other. Use this measurement to see if the distance between the other opposite corner diagonal (D2) is the same. If the distance is the same then each corner will be at 90 degrees. Once you have measured then you can place a post at each corner and attach the wood to them.

It is best to have the raised bed in direct contact with the soil, as this will attract beneficial worms to the compost in the bed. If the bed is closed at the bottom this will be harder but not impossible.

If you use a patio then it is better to lift some slabs up and place the bed on the soil that is exposed. In the decking area, the wood panel will provide the bottom, of the raised bed adequately. In this case, it is best to add a layer of gravel and sharp sand to help with drainage. If you make a bed on top of hard surface, you need the bed to be as deep as possible to allow the plant roots to develop. It is important if you are growing vegetables with long taproots- I would recommend a depth greater than 30cm in height.

You will need the leave the bed as long as possible for the compost to settle, a whole winter is ideal. You will now have a very productive growing area, so you plant as close as possible, increasing your yields.

For people who have a problem with a disability, a waist height raised bed is ideal, especially for those in a wheelchair. More can be found in my article on container gardening for those with disabilities.

The problem with deep beds is that the weight of the bed can cause the sides to bulge and warp. You will need to brick the bed in by creating retaining walls, so you may need to get a good bricklayer to do this. It is quite simple you build retaining walls all around and then cover it with a wooden frame around it. This can be difficult for those not comfortable in this and I recommend you get the experts in.

BUILDING A VERY DEEP BED

There is an easier way to create a very deep bed.

First, you buy concrete fence posts that have grooves that will hold (fence) panels in. Fix these posts into the ground about 30cm deep, so that they will not move, even in a strong gale.

This will ensure that the posts will not move or give way when it is full of compost. You should leave enough post standing to slot your boards into and then slot in two concrete gravel boards that will fit into the fence panel, one above the other.

You can buy these gravel boards at special sizes or you can request to get them cut to size, so you can build your bed to your own specifications.

The concrete beds tend to look unattractive, you can hide them with willow hurdle or encourage lichens to grow on them by painting the concrete boards with milk and/or milk/yoghurt mixture. Once it is covered it will look much more natural.

If you use dep beds, the compost will become compacted and drainage can become a problem, as it can ‘sour’. The rule of thumb is to use the bare minimum level of compost for your needs, where 45cm is normally sufficient at the top of the bed. Anything below that can be filled with any rubble, sand and gravel to aid with drainage.

THE SECOND OPTION

An easier but more expensive way is to buy the raised bed in kit form. They come in all sizes and shapes and they can be either wooden, metal, or plastic. They tend to be easier for those who do not like to undertake the building of raised beds.

These are my recommendations of what raised beds kits to buy?

YORTAN

Name of Product: Yortan Garden Metal Planter.

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Package Dimensions: 100.5cm x 48.5cm x 48cm.

Shipping Weight: 4.3kg

This is a metal garden planter that would look great in gardens, balconies or patios. It is deep and wide enough to hold a large amount of compost to grow vegetables, herbs fruit and flowers in.

The planter itself is galvanized and so will offer good weather resistance. It has the right depth to grow your root vegetables in. This is one practical, large raised bed in which you can grow your plants in. The bed dimensions are 100cm long, 40cm wide and 45cm in depth.

PROS
  • An elegant metal garden planter that will look stunning in your garden.
  • Can grow a large number of vegetables from flowers, fruits, herbs, vegetables and shrubs.in such a small area.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Will last a long time.
  • Value for money.
CONS
  • Self-assembly required so not for those who hate doing this.

HERSHII

Name of Product: Hershii Plastic Rectangular Raised Garden Bed Planter.

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Package Dimensions: 195cm x 39cm x 0.2cm.

Shipping Weight: 14kg

This planter can be used indoors and outdoors, where it can be used to grow your vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowering plants. It can also be used to house your houseplant collection in. It is a space spacing device, where you can have it in your patio area, decking, backyard or in your conservatory and living room.

It is made of high resistant and sturdy polypropylene material that should last a long time. The design is well constructed to take the weight of the compost and the plants within them. It has a water barrier and board at the bottom, where water can be stored in the bottom boards.

What makes this ideal is that no tools are required in its installation. It comes in two shades, black or brown. It is a large bed, where you can grow more vegetable fruits or plants in a small area. A very useful raised bed planter.

PROS
  • This is one of the best looking plastic planters that I have ever seen.
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble.
  • Its size will allow a large number of plants to be grown in it.
  • Comes with a bottom panel.
CONS
  • Self-assembly is required, so if you are scared, do not buy it.
  • It can be buckle if the planter is overfilled, so be careful.

ROWLINSON PATIO PLANTER

Name of Product: Rowlinson Patio Planter

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Package Dimensions: 178cm x 38.1cm x 35.1cm.

Shipping Weight: unknown.

This is an ideal patio planter that can be used to grow vegetables, fruits, flowers in, as it is a stylish, modern raised bed. The wood that it is made out of has been pressure treated so that it will not rot. It uses natural wood that can be painted or stained to any colour you prefer to blend or contrast your colour schemes. It is a self-assembly planter and so will require some DIY. It can hold 168 litres of compost.

PROS
  • This is a beautiful looking and stunning wooden planter that will grace anybody’s home.
  • Can be painted or stained to your own preference.
  • Can grow a wide range of plants in such a small area.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Value for money.
CONS
  • As ever will require self-assembly, so not for those who are scared of screws, it is not for you.
  • No liner is given.

CATRAL JARDINIERE RECTANGULAR

Name of Product: Catral Jardinière Rectangular

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Package Dimensions: 100.cm x 30cm x 40cm.

Shipping Weight: 25kg

This is an elegant wooden raised planter that is made from pinewood that has been triple treated with an autoclave. This will make the wood highly durable and will make it resistant to rain and sun-exposed. It will look stunning in the garden, patio, balcony or decking area. The planter comes with a liner, so will last much longer. Can be used to grow a vast array of plants from vegetables, fruits, herbs and bedding flowering plants.

PROS
  • This is an elegant looking wooden planter that has been triple treated for longer life.
  • Comes with a liner.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Can grow a large number of plants in a small area.
CONS
  • Will need self-assembly, so not for those who do not know the right end of a hammer.
  • Costly but worthwhile.

FESTNIGHT GARDEN PLANTER METAL RAISED TROUGH

Name of Product: Festnight Garden Planter Metal Raised Trough

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Package Dimensions: 100 cm x 44cm x 77cm.

Shipping Weight: 4.54kg

This is a galvanized steel pated planter that is anthracite in colour. Its construction is robust and is weather-resistant, making it excellent for outdoor use. It has enough depth to grow root vegetables or any kind of vegetables in, herbs, fruits, and other bedding flowering plants,

It has an open bottom but it can be used around the garden from patios, decking and balconies.

With great care, this stunning looking raised bed can give you many years of service.

PROS
  • An elegant looking galvanized steel planter.
  • Can grow a wide range of plants in it.
  • Will not need to be painted.
  • Steel will give a more metallic look for those who desire this type of look.
  • Value for money.
CONS
  • Will need self-assembly, so not for DIY phobic.
  • As it is open-ended at the bottom, it will be difficult to move around.
  • Will be very heavy when full.

TIDYARD PLANTER FLOWER RAISED BED

Name of Product: Tidyard Planter Flower Raised Bed

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Package Dimensions: 150cm x 150cm x 80cm.

Shipping Weight: unknown

This is a large wooden raised planter in term of width, length and in height. This is one of the deepest planters that you can buy. You can grow a wide range of vegetable, fruits, herbs, flowers and shrubs in it. It is easy to construct and is made of solid, robust, kiln-dried pinewood.

The treatment makes the wood weather-resistant and therefore suitable for outdoor use. It has a rustic design that will not look out of place in most garden. A product that will fit into most people’s homes and gardens.

PROS
  • A large and deep raised planter where a number of vegetable, fruits or plants can be raised.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • A rustic design to fit in a wide range of gardens.
  • A robust design that will last a long time.

CONS

  • Will need some self-assembly, so not for those who hate this.
  • Will need a lot of compost so will not be cheap to fill.
  • The planter is not the cheapest on the market, but far from the worst.
  • No bottom panel, so making moving it impossible.

ROWLINSON MARBERRY RECTANGULAR PLANTER

Name of Product: Rowlinson Marberry Rectangular Planter.

The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Package Dimensions: 100.5cm x 50cm x 30.1cm.

Shipping Weight: 24.5kg

This is a planter for those who hate self-assembly as it comes already constructed. It is a contemporary designed planter that is made out of a solid timber, which has been treated to preserve the wood.

It comes with a bottom panel made out of wooden slats, allowing it to drain water easily.

This planter also comes with a black liner and therefore will protect the wooden frame.

The growing area allows you to grow a large number of vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, shrubs and any other that takes your heart desires.

A planter that can be painted or stained to match your background.

PROS
  • A contemporary looking planter.
  • No self-assembly needed.
  • Comes with a bottom and liner.
  • Can be painted or stained to any colour.
  • Sturdy and long-lasting product.
CONS
  • Some people have complained that this product has sheared screws or has damaged parts. If this happens, I would raise a complaint with the seller.
  • Not one of the cheapest.

WHAT TO FILL YOUR RAISED BED WITH?

Fill the bottom of the raised bed with a mixture of sharp sand and gravel to a minimum depth of 15cm. On top of this fill with a good quality multipurpose compost if the plant likes that type of compost. At the end of each year spread around 3cm of new compost on top of the old compost and then lightly fork into the top 12cm. You can use spent compost from pots, other containers or grow bags. You can use homemade compost, or you can use fresh compost bought from the store.

In spring, add 100g per square metre of a general fertiliser such as fish, blood and bone or growmore to provide a good fertilizer for the plants that you wish to grow in the raised bed.

Every fourth year, I would add 200g per square metre of garden lime and let it wash into the compost. This will slightly raise the pH and sweeten the bed.

CONCLUSIONS

In this article, we have discussed why raised bed gardening is important to the container gardener. It is a popular choice as you can grow a lot more in a smaller area.

You have two options; to buy in kit form or to create and make your own. Both have been covered in this article.

Kit forms are easier and will take less time, but for the more adventurous amongst us, you can make your own. For those who want to but your raised bed in kit form, I have come up with 7 great suggestions to which you can use in the garden.

Finally, I have come up with the ideal growing media to have in your raised bed that can be used to grow your vegetable, fruits, flowers, shrubs and bedding plants in. You have no reason why not to start a raised bed garden now.

If you have a question or comments that you wish to make, please do so in the comment box below.

Rise to the occasion in your garden.

14 thoughts on “Raised Bed Gardening- The Reason Why and the Best Kits to Have”

  1. I really like this Rowlinson Patio Planter because spring is almost here and I would like to make a change in my garden. 

    I always liked wood and that’s why I chose Rowlinson’s product. I’m amazed that the price is only  £120.54. I made a calculation if I should build such a thing, and the materials and time lost for construction would make me exceed £300. The capacity of 166 liters is more than perfect and a great advantage is that it can be painted or stained. Thank you very much for these recommendations.

    1. Hi Nimrodngy 

      Thank you once again for stopping  by and commenting. Rowlinsons tend to make good quality products and that  is why I recommend there products to anybody. As I said in the article, if you are good at DIY then you can make your own using material that you have salvaged. This involves tools such as drills, hammers and saws and will take a lot of time, which costs a lot of money, especially  if you hire  someone else to do it.

      To many wood is still king in terms of raised beds.

      Kind regards 

      Antonio 

  2. I must commend you for the site which I find easy to navigate. I also want to commend you on your article and how you were able to explain  why raised bed gardening is important to the container gardener. The detailing in the article shows you really know what you’re talking about. I believe this will be a good article for everyone who wants to do some gardening to go through. Thanks 

    1. Hi Juliet

      Thank you for those kind words. I try to be as helpful as possible and give people as much options as possible. Raised bed gardening is  very important  for people  who do not have much space to grow in. You can have abundant vegetables, flowers and fruit in compost made to your own specification. Why don’t  you try one today?

      Kind regards 

      Antonio

  3. We are increasingly being faced with shortage of space so vertical options are always encouraged. Combined with that, the ability to grow a variety of crops within a small area is an advantage, especially for the backyard or recreational gardeners. Thanks for the various options of raised beds Antonio. It now just comes down to personal preference. Thanks too for the cons. It’s important to have those for a balanced perspective.

    We are Blessed.

    1. Hi Mark

      Thank you very much for commenting. Raised bed gardening is so important for many who wish to grow vegetables  in such a small area, along with beautiful flowers can bring beauty to the eyes and fill your belly up. I try to be as helpful as possible to give as many options as possible,so you can make your own or you can build up with these raised bed kits.

      Kind regards 

      Antonio 

  4. I have little experience with raised bed gardening and I must say it’s one of the best type of gardening…there were some factors that made me consider changing form Normal level gardening. And they were,More food in less space,Better soil and could Plant earlier.

    MORE FOOD IN LESS SPACE;Youcan set plants closer together so every square inch is productive. And small-space gardening techniques, such as succession planting and vertical supports, ensure that every square inch of space is used……..BETTER SOIL;As we all know a vegetable garden depends on good soil. With a raised bed, you start fresh with the ideal soil blend — even if the soil on your site is poor…….PLANT EARLIER;Excess water drains better and soil warms up faster in spring compared to in-ground beds. Specialized covers and garden fabric help you get started even earlier.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome article I know it would help a lot people.

    Regards,

    David.

    1. Hi David

      Thank you very much for providing  this useful information  that adds to what I have written. You have raised important issues as raised bed gardening  will increase your productivity  and you can tailor the compost to meet your own growing conditions,  and the drainage will be better. Containers will definitely warm up quicker and so you can sow earlier.

      Thank you for these useful comment.

      Antonio 

  5. First of all thank you so much for sharing us with us and I love gardening .Raised beds are popular because I’ve got a decent crop or many plants in a very tight place and have doubled my fruit and vegetables. Raised beds can be made to any size so I greatly benefit .

    My new raised bed is the one I did with wood because I got good value for money and the garden looks attractive .Your article on how to create a raised bid is very helpful to me and I have gained a lot of knowledge .Personally I purchased the Hershii Plastic Rectangular Raised Garden Bed given in your article and it looks very interesting to me .I planted this plant indoors and in the meantime I planted vegetables, fruit trees. It seems to me to be the best and it is very convenient in combining everything .I will definitely convey my article to my girlfriend and ask her to follow the tips given in your article. And of course I would like to buy the best Raised Garden Bed and I will definitely share with you his new experience. Can I share your article on my social media?

    1. Hi Shanta

      Thank you for once again for stopping  by and commenting. I am glad you got a lot from this article and that you have made yours from wood, which is an attractive  material  in itself. Of course, you can share my article with anybody who is interested. The raised beds that I have reviewed are the best  for those who want it in kit for and I commend your choice.

      Build one from scratch or buy it in kit form the result will be the same.

      Thanks

      Antonio 

  6. Hello there, thanks so much for taking out your time to share this helpful guide on why raised bed gardening is important to the container gardener. This post is very informative and educating too regarding preparing raised bed gardening. I find these kit methods helpful in determining my garden bed for my in-ground garden but my liked is YORTAN kit form. Thanks for sharing a useful and informative post.

    1. Hi sabrinamou

      It is always good to get such positive feedback when you write an article. With raised beds you are trying to create a large growing area, so you can have more plants in them. Some like to make their own using whatever materials they can get their hands on and hence why two options  was given. I commend your choice.

      Kind regards 

      Antonio 

  7. You have kindled the gardener in me with your in-depth article on raised bed gardening. I would prefer to go with the kit options you have showcased here. The wood structured beds look awesome. I will follow your tips on filling the bed with the right sand and compost and set it up to grow my favorite vegetables. Can I have a combination of vegetables and flowers?

    1. Hi Srinivasan

      Thank you  very much for stopping  by and commenting. Raised bed gardening is, let us say easier on the back and you can grow a variety of flowers, vegetables  and other plants. Yes you can grow vegetables and flowers in the same bed, so you can have a feast for my eyes and for your belly. Wood is an excellent  material to work with in kit form, as long as you look after the wood properly.

      Kind regards

      Antonio 

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