ISSUE 45  |  Materials

5 Favorites: Raised Beds for the Garden

October 22, 2013 7:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

The geometry of raised beds in a garden is enough to win me over. Here’s a collection of pre-made (for us hammer-shy types) raised garden beds, all made of long-wearing, mold-resistant cedar. Best of all, they all come fully assembled or in easy-to-assemble kits.

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Why use raised garden beds?

First, the growing season is longer as the soil stays warmer. It is also easy to extend its growing time by placing a cold frame over the raised garden bed (see Cold Frames in the Garden). Second, raised beds offer healthy and easily controlled soil conditions with better aeration and drainage.

Many gardeners claim that raised garden beds produce up to two times as much as ground beds– what’s your experience?

It’s easier to control both weeds and pests (see The Ultimate Kitchen Garden for tips for keeping slugs out of your raised beds) in raised beds. And, last, they’re a great choice for the urban farmer. Most raised beds are no more than 4 feet wide, a good choice for small spaces and a size you can reach into without stepping in.

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Above: Made from FSC-certified cedar by a Los Angeles-based company, the MinifarmBox 4-foot Square Raised Bed Kit and the MinifarmBox 4-by-8-foot Raised Garden Kit are $158 and $378 respectively at Grow Organic. Height and length extenders are also available.

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Above: Farmer D Organics Rectangular Raised Garden Bed Kit is made of FSC-certified red cedar and measures 3 by 6 feet; $199.95 at Williams Sonoma. Two smaller sized square kits are also available.

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Above: Here’s a partial-DIY solution. Designed to simplify the process of assembling a raised bed garden, the Scout Regalia Raised Bed Garden Kit includes all the hardware needed to build a raised bed. You supply the wood, plants, and labor. The kit includes powder coated heavy gauge steel corner and center brackets, screws and instructions; $95.

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Above: Built in Vermont of cedar with aluminum corners, Gardener’s Supply Cedar Raised Garden Beds come in many sizes ranging from 4-by-4 foot up to 4-by-12 feet; $89.95 to $190 depending on size.

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Above: The 3-by-8-foot Cedarbrook Cedar Raised Garden Bed Kit includes interlocking red cedar boards with pre-drilled holes to accommodate easy-to-insert aluminum rods at the corners; $210 at Cedarbrook.

For more inspiration see Steal This Look: Michelle Obama’s White House Garden.

N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published on Nov. 9, 2012.