Raised garden beds are on an upwards trend in the UK, with more and more people keen to give home growing a try. By raising your bed above ground level, you're suddenly not limited by the less-than-desirable soil in your garden – or its lack of it. You can even grow your own fruit, veg and flowers on a patio or balcony depending on the size of the planter. A planter offers your plants a huge range of benefits, ensuring a better chance at survival.
We have narrowed down the massive range of planters on offer, and there is sure to be one to suit every budget, garden and style. From raised garden beds on legs, that are ideal for those with bad backs, to large low-level raised beds perfect for growing delicious root vegetables we have the best of the bunch from VegTrug, Vegepod and more.
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One of the most influential aspects when it comes to a raised bed is the material that it's constructed from. Wood is widely considered the best material for beds as it's incredibly durable, looks great and suits the natural vibe of a garden perfectly. Look for sustainable timber that has been treated and is thick enough (at least 3 cm thick) to withstand the pressure that your plants and soil will put on it.
Plastic beds are very versatile pieces of kit; self-watering planters, beds with legs and just about every other variation has been created in plastic. Metal beds are the least popular of the three materials for their unnatural look and lack of flair in design. Although with zero chance of rotting or breaking, there's no denying metal takes the cake on longevity.
Choosing how high you want your bed to be is an important decision to make. Higher beds give people who struggle to work at floor level the chance to garden without fear of putting their back out. Having your plants on legs also helps to minimise the chance of any pesky slugs. Their downside is they're often smaller when compared to the sizes that ground-level raised beds can be produced at.
Ground-level raised beds give maximum growing potential. Due to their often basic designs, you'll often be able to choose from a wide range of sizes, but more on that soon. If your garden's soil is already workable, then a ground-level bed could be a good idea as your deeply-rooted winter veg will benefit from it, lining your ground-level bed is a good idea to prevent unwanted weeds.
Without an adequate height, your veg will struggle to receive the full benefits such as promoting warmer soil in spring, which in turn, encourages your plants to grow. The expert-recommended height for raised beds grown on soil is at least 15 cm but preferably around 20-30 cm. If you're looking to place a ground-level bed over a hard surface, you'll need 45 cm to ensure your plants' roots have enough room to grow.
For beds with legs, a height of 15 cm is essential for short-root plants like strawberries, while other plants like asparagus, beans and parsnips will require a height of 60 cm. So, be sure to factor in where your bed will go and the plants you intend to grow in it and then shop the height accordingly.
Pertaining toward raised beds with legs specifically, a dedicated storage shelf and/or wheels are two features that make your growing experience easier. Often included along the entire width of the bed and sitting just below it, shelves can provide easy access to gardening essentials like spades, forks, gloves and watering cans.
Wheels, meanwhile, allow people with awkward sunlight times to swiftly wheel their planter around to the other side of the patio for an afternoon of sun-basking. Wheels are always featured in a pair on one side, so you should check for a sturdy handle on the opposite side to make it easy to lift and wheel along.
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Heavy-Duty Wooden Planter
Heavy-Duty and Hand-Made Sustainably-Sourced Wooden Raised Bed
Grey Raised Bed
A Raised Bed With Legs and Ample Height, Saving You From Back Problems
Clever Self-Watering System to Promote Rapid Growth With Plenty of Useful Features
Garden Store Direct
Mobile Raised Bed
A Charming Mobile Planter Featuring Wheels and Drainage Holes for On-The-Go Growing
Galvanised Steel Garden Planter
Sturdy and Durable Galvanised Steel Planter in Silver or Grey, Available in 10 Sizes
Stackable Wooden Beds
Stackable Beds With a Foolproof Assembly System and a Choice of 1, 2 or 3 Tiers
6-Piece Raised Garden Bed
A Modern Option of Six Individual Planters With Legs, Providing a Versatile Grow
3-Tier Raised Garden Bed
A Versatile Trio of Wooden Tiered Beds With the Option to Stack or Place Ground Level
Plastic Raised Bed
Easy-To-Assemble Plastic Ground-Level Beds in 14 Different Sizes
Metal Raised Bed
An Inconspicuous Buy in Green Powder-Coated Steel That Sits at 30 cm Tall
British owned and operated Ruddings Wood are all about producing quality wood products that don't cost an arm and a leg. This is their raised bed that's constructed from sustainably sourced wood that has been treated with a beautiful tan-coloured stain.
The bed sits just off the ground with a set of mini legs, ensuring you can place this planter anywhere you see fit. This is a heavy-duty, hand-crafted British product that comes fully assembled so you can start growing straight after delivery. A real winner.
The VegTrug is a wooden bed with legs that is both treated and sustainably sourced. The grey gives a nice, neutral tone to the bed, suiting most modern outdoor spaces perfectly, and the height makes it easy for wheelchair users or the elderly to tend to.
Worked into the design, you'll find fittings included for the sole purpose of attaching netting and fleece to protect your plants from pesky pests and frost. With VegTrug proclaiming you could grow up to 30 salads and vegetables at any one time, this bed on legs is workable for anyone and any space and will go a long way in feeding the family.
The Vegepod is one of the most technically advanced growing systems on the market today. The list of features is endless but it includes a permeable mesh canopy, mist spray irrigator, overflow holes, and of course, the impressive self-watering system that it is known for.
Water is stored just below the soil line in a wicking reservoir. This reservoir allows your plants and soil to naturally soak up the water, and in turn, ensures that fully-fledged plants won't need watering for weeks. And in the cooler seasons, this could even turn into months!
Next up, an adorable raised bed for the many folk who enjoy growing plants when it's easy and controlled. Thanks to its wheels, this planter will be able to catch the morning and afternoon sun each and every day it's shining.
The shelf will help to keep all your gardening bits in one reachable and orderly place, while two drainage holes have also been included to prevent root rot and maintain a healthy amount of hydration for your soil and plants. A thoughtfully designed mobile planter to give everyone a go at growing their own.
If the idea of a metal raised bed has pricked your attention, then this immensely durable, galvanised steel bed has the kind of quality construction that should last a lifetime. Choose between a silver or dark grey finish, depending on your desired style.
VidaXL has also made sure that every avid plant grower can pick the perfect rounded metal bed for their particular garden or patio area. Ten sizes are on offer, ranging from small drum shapes to exceedingly long and deep beds to grow enough food to feed an army.
TecTake's raised bed offering is at once very clever and easy to get on board with. They've made it as foolproof as possible to assemble by using a hinged system that simply needs to be folded out and into place.
Choose between one, two or three stackable tiers that are very simply slotted into place, one on top of the next, for the kind of assembly that is both fun and astonishing. Again, with wooden beds at this price range, it's common for the wood to come untreated, but all things considered, this is a solid offering from a forward-thinking brand.
Outsunny are a popular online company that produce a wide range of garden and outdoor products for the modern home. Their 6-piece raised bed with legs is so unique in design, it even outdoes number 8 on the versatility scale.
The six individual beds can be transformed into one large row, doubled up to be wider or even turned into two tiers with three on ground level. It's a modern take on the raised bed that gives you plenty of choice, but ultimately it loses out on some of the charm of the more natural-looking wooden beds.
Certainly a versatile number, this 3-tiered raised garden bed offers you the ability to stack each tier onto the next or place them side by side on ground level. You could even spread them around the garden for a magnificent display of your plants.
Unfortunately, though, the wood comes untreated, which means you'll need to treat it yourself to prolong the life of the beds. If you're happy to put the effort into this task, then this raised bed set is an absolute steal for the price.
Although assembly is required with this ground-level bed, it's one of those modular designs that even a child could get involved with if you showed them the way. Simply slot the corner pieces into the sides and by pushing in four large connecting spikes into each corner, the assembly is finito.
GardenSkill have also given you 14 different sizing configurations to pick from. The only hitch is their lack of choice when it comes to height – all of the sizes are 15 cm, making for a shallow bed that needs good soil beneath it.
If you're looking for a bed to blend into all the lovely greenery in your garden, then this green powder-coated steel bed is a solid option. Sitting nice and high at 30 cm, it has a very commendable height for growing a tonne of veg.
The bed does come flat-packed, but on inspection, the assembly doesn't look too complicted with simple nuts and bolts holding it together. The only concern is that some reviewers pointed to the metal edging being quite sharp. Best to steer the kids clear from this one, then.
Written and researched by Connor Macanally
No. 1: Ruddings Wood｜Heavy-Duty Wooden Planter
No. 2: VegTrug｜Grey Raised Bed
No. 3: Vegepod｜Self-Watering Planter
No. 4: Garden Store Direct｜Mobile Raised Bed
No. 5: VidaXL｜Galvanised Steel Garden Planter
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