Backyard gardens are taking off as more people become aware of the benefits of growing their own food. Raised bed gardening is a popular alternative to traditional gardening, although the initial investment is higher when compared to gardening directly in the ground. Raised beds are also a great option for rocky areas with poor, clay, or waterlogged soil, since you can fill them with high-quality growing medium. Although you can build your own raised beds if you like, many people find it more convenient to build their beds from prefabricated kits that provide the additional benefits of quick assembly and uniformity.
Raised Bed Kits for Gardeners
A wide variety of ready-to-install kits are available to gardeners who want to try their hand at raised bed gardening. These kits come in different designs, so you can choose the style that you think will work best for you. In addition to looking good, choosing a uniform bed style can help you make the most of the space you have available. Since raised beds are a long term investment, it is always preferable to select the best your money can buy. The following kits will give you a good idea of what's available.
Natural Cedar Kits
The natural oils in this fragrant wood protect it from insects and rot. Cedar can last up to 15 years and weathers beautifully, which adds to its esthetic appeal. Natural, untreated wood is the best choice, especially if you plan to grow vegetables.
- Eartheasy has 4-feet-wide stackable beds made from Oregon cedar, and their kits come with a 30-day refund guarantee and s 15-year limited warranty. Length options range from 4 feet to 12 feet, and the kits come in heights that range from 11 to 33 inches tall. Prices for these kits range from just around $175 to $1,000. Customer reviews are positive with an average 5/5 star rating. Customers praised these kits as easy to assemble and durable.
- Home Depot offers Greenes Fences ready-to-assemble cedar kits with dovetailed corners. Each bed is 4 x 4 feet, but you can create five beds with just four kits by sharing their sides and using the three extra rails to make an extra bed on one end. That adds up to a combined length of 20 feet. The price of these beds is just over $30, which makes them an economical choice if you need several for your garden. The reviews for this raised bed kit are excellent, and customers report that the kit was easy to assemble and all boards were straight.
- Raised Beds advertises a wide selection of cedar bed kits in sizes that range from 2 to 4 feet wide. They also carry a style of raised bed that requires no tools for assembly. Kits start at just under $50 and are delivered at a very low shipping cost of just $5 to $10 per order.
Natural Pine Kits
If you choose to go with an untreated pine or another softwood, be sure to treat your boards with beeswax before planting. This will help increase their lifespan, and beeswax is nontoxic.
- Good Wood has raised bed kits made from white pine or larch. Eastern white pine is lightweight and durable, which makes it a practical wood to use for raised bed frames. Kits start at around $65 and go all the way up to about $640, depending on size. There is one major drawback to purchasing bed kits from this company; they don't sell online or ship their product so it's really most advantageous to purchase from them if you happen to live in the region. The company is located in Vermont and will deliver within 25 miles of Chester, Vermont for an additional charge, or you can pick up your raised beds at their location. A 10% discount is offered when you order three or more kits.
- Raised Beds.com has the perfect raised bed for gardeners who may have trouble bending over. The elevated raised bed is made from white pine and has a handy greenhouse attachment that is perfect for starting plants early or extending growing time at the end of the season. Free shipping is offered on this elevated pine bed, and prices range from just over $200 to about $240.
Planter beds can be fashioned out of iron sheet metal, galvanized iron, copper, or aluminum. The rust on iron and the patina on copper can both be appealing in certain settings.
- Corrugated Garden Beds offers raised garden beds made from recycled steel materials. Ideal for the square foot garden, these modern-looking raised beds are durable and attractive, and they are sized about 3 1/2 x 2 x 1 1/2 feet. Reviews for this product are excellent, and satisfied customers love the look and durability of this raised bed. The price per kit is about $55 for one to three kits, but the price drops to about $50 each if you buy four or more kits.
- metal raised beds. The beds can be fashioned in four different shapes depending on your specific needs, and these galvanized kits require no tools to assemble. The price for this raised bed about $200 each with free shipping. There was only one customer comment for the product at the time this article was written, but it was favorable and stated that the service was wonderful, and the product was sturdy.
Plastic bed kits can last quite a long time since they won't rot and they're impervious to insects.
- Lowes has several options to choose from, including a 96 x 48 x 12 inch kit that runs about $175.00 and is made from a blend of recycled plastic and natural fibers. Customers reviews averaged 4/5 stars, and reviewers seemed to like the durability of the product, but also appeared to feel that it is a bit high priced. Prices for other kits range from $45 for a small kit and go all the way to $250 for a large kit.
- Best Nest.com makes a vinyl raised bed that can also be used as a sandbox. The large bed is 8 x 4 feet and is guaranteed last without deteriorating or fading over time. Priced around $240 with free shipping, this is a good option for gardeners that want a maintenance-free raised bed.
Frame It All.com has a raised garden kit that is made from recycled high-density polyethylene plastic. This kit is waterproof and is completely resistant to mold, mildew and insects. Numerous color choices and easy assembly make this kit a popular option. The 4 x 8 x 1 1/2 foot bed runs just under $365, which makes it a little on the high end, but the product does have durability on its side.
Give Raised Bed Gardening a Try
For a relatively small investment, you can try out a single raised bed and see how well you like this style of gardening. If you like the results, you can gradually purchase more kits and convert your traditional garden to all raised beds and reap the rewards year after year.