The 10 Best Raised Garden Kits
This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If you've always dreamed of planting your own vegetables, herbs, or flowers, but don't have a very big yard, take a look at these raised garden kits, which will help you make the most of your growing space and minimize time spent pulling weeds. Some are small enough to fit on a deck, patio, or balcony, and they're made from durable materials that won't rot or crack. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best raised garden kit on Amazon.
September 26, 2019:
When choosing a raised garden kit, you'll want to consider not only how much space you have, but also what you plan to grow. Many herbs and flowers can thrive in shallow soil, as can some fruits and vegetables, like broccoli, strawberries, and leafy greens. But others, like tomatoes, watermelon, and asparagus, have root systems that can grow several feet deep. Be sure to find out the soil depth your plants require and choose a bed that can accommodate them.
Perfect for patios and balconies, the Keter Urban Bloomer is just 14.7 inches wide and 32.3 inches long, so it won't take up too much space. It has a self-watering system that regulates moisture levels to prevent root rot, and a convenient gauge on the top makes it easy to see when you need to add more water or drain some away. The Gronomics Rustic has a similar design and is slightly taller with a height of 32 inches, minimizing the amount of bending you'll need to do while tending to your garden. It's handmade from western red cedar and comes with a fabric liner, but note that some units tend to be a bit wobbly, which can be annoying when you're trimming or watering plants.
The Lifetime 60053 is a simple, 4' x 4' polyethylene bed that's available as a single unit or as a set of two or three. It includes a vinyl enclosure that holds in warmth, allowing you to plant your garden earlier in the season. The Vita Gardens 4x4 comes in 7.38- and 11-inch heights, and its PVC frame is coated to protect it against rotting, peeling, cracking, and fading for up to 20 years. The included grid makes it easy to keep plants neat and separated and can be removed if you prefer a different configuration.
If you need lots of growing space, the Greenes Fence Premium is a durable and attractive option that comes as a set of five beds, measuring 8' x 8' when assembled in a U shape, or a set of seven, which measures 8' x 12'. The beds are made from untreated cedar with 3/4-inch-thick boards, and you can also choose to add CritterGuard fencing to the tops to keep deer, rabbits, and other animals from making your garden their dinner.
The Best Uses For Raised Garden Kits
Gardens near heavily wooded areas are more protected in a raised environment.
Raised garden kits are useful for most people's growing needs, though there are a few especially ideal situations in which to use them. Using a raised garden kit is perfect for people with limited space. It provides the easiest way to maximize growing space in a small area. Multi-layered options take this one step further, allowing the user to grow plants at varying heights to avoid crowding. Raised garden kits are great for keeping everyday plants like kitchen herbs within reach. The feeling of pulling fresh herbs from a garden and dropping them right into the mortar and pestle for use in a dish is second to none. Those who rent their house or move often may also find raised garden kits particularly useful. You can easily easily transport them to a new home, without having to dig up anything, thereby minimizing the possibility of damaging the plants.
Gardens near heavily wooded areas are more protected in a raised environment. Trees are very likely to extend their roots towards the nutrients and water found in a garden bed. This can starve the roots of many plants. Raised beds are the best way to avoid this headache, removing external roots from the equation entirely. Raised garden kits are also beneficial for people who live in areas of the world that tend to frost heavily. Raised beds will actually defrost faster than garden beds dug in the ground, making for a longer growing season.
Gardening may have some health benefits for older adults, as well. The problem with gardening in the ground, though, is that the constant bending and stooping may put extra stress on the back. Kneeling while working in the garden can also cause inflammatory pains like prepatellar bursitis to flare up in older people, requiring lengthy or complicated treatments. Raised garden kits bring the garden to a higher level, making working in them much more comfortable. There are even raised garden kits that raise the bed up even higher by using stands, which can eliminate kneeling altogether. Anyone with chronic back or knee pain who loves gardening may find raised garden kits are the perfect solution.
Caring For A Raised Garden Kit
Caring for a raised garden kit starts from the planning stage. If you are going to set the raised garden bed close to ground level, it is a good idea to put it in a place where water can drain out and away from the base. While the frames of many raised garden kits are are resistant to molds and other bacteria, it is still best to provide the ideal environment for the plants to thrive.
If you are going to set the raised garden bed close to ground level, it is a good idea to put it in a place where water can drain out and away from the base.
Preventing invading pests is a huge part of garden care. Mice, gophers, and other rodents enjoy eating the vegetation and roots of many plants, and even one rodent can spell disaster for an entire garden. While there are some plants that naturally resist attacks by herbivores, taking care to start the raised garden off right can increase the odds of having a pest-free environment. Lining the inside of the box with mesh wire is one more step you can take to keep rodents out. Likewise, adding a plastic lining to the inside of the box can help avoid soil contamination from parasites like nematodes.
Raised garden kits also allow for an easier plant care routine all on their own. Weeding is a vital aspect of garden care, but it can be a chore. In the ground, weeds are difficult to contain and can cause havoc in a garden. Wind can blow seeds from surrounding areas into your garden bed. As the weeds grow, they, can choke out other plants in search for nutrients and sunlight. Luckily, caring for the plants in a raised garden kit is a bit easier, as weeds are less likely to invade. Nothing can entirely keep weeds out of a garden area, though, so you will still have to pull some weeds. It is best and easiest to do this as soon as you notice them sprouting. Regular cleaning around the raised garden kit is an important aspect of plant care, too. Cleaning the walls and inner rims of the box can help control pests lurking in untouched corners of the garden, and cleaning underneath the unit itself helps avoid standing water and mineral deposits.
Are Raised Garden Kits The Best Way To Garden?
Raised garden kits provide the gardener with an aesthetically pleasing way to garden. Yet there are many more benefits you can enjoy by simply making the switch from a traditional garden bed to a raised one. Proper drainage is a distinct advantage found in raised garden kits. Too much water in the soil affects plants' ability to absorb nutrients and grow properly. Common garden plants, like beans and tomatoes, can be devastated by soaked soil. Extra moisture underground can also promote bacterial and fungal growth. Having any kind of raised bed garden allows the water to seep deeply to the lower layers of the root system while also allowing for proper drainage.
In compacted soil, nitrogen rich air pockets are very sparse.
Using new soil in a raised garden kit also provides some of the best possible aeration, which is vital for the health of the roots. Roots breathe just like other parts of plants; they take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Good aeration allows the roots to properly absorb water and other essential nutrients. In compacted soil, nitrogen rich air pockets are very sparse. Nitrogen deficiency can stunt the growth of plants and lead to a terrible harvest. Luckily, this is not an issue with a raised garden kit, as even the deeper layers of soil are well-aerated.
This aerated soil is also looser and more easily workable. This allows the roots to spread much easier. In most situations, growing roots mean growing plants. This is because deeper roots allow the plant to reach more nutrients and moisture at the deeper levels of soil. This is harder to achieve in the ground, as lower levels of earth are often more compacted. Therefore, growing plants like vegetables in a raised garden can generate a large harvest in a shorter period of time than other methods.
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