Best Raised Planter Boxes for a Small Garden

Updated: Mar 16

Creating a garden in areas with hard or clay-like soil can be challenging because it’s difficult to dig it up and it’s lacking in nutrients. You could say the same for very sandy soil. Raised planter boxes give you the chance to have the garden you want without having to dig up the yard. They’re also a great choice for people who don’t have the space for a traditional garden but have a small patio or balcony to put these raised planter boxes on. You can plant one vegetable or flower per box, or you can mix it up and have several species.


Picking out a raised planter box takes some consideration. Most of them are made out of wood, so they most likely won’t last for more than a few seasons before you need to replace them. However, they’re nice while they last, and they improve your flexibility while fulfilling your want to have at least a small garden. I’ve picked out 10 options for you and provided mini reviews on each. There is also a small buying guide on the end that will help you choose the best raised planter box for your needs.


A raised bed for your flowers creates an attractive area to garden. It helps prevent weed growth and it keeps pests away to keep your more sensitive flowers and plants healthy and thriving.


1. Vita Raised Garden Bed – Top Pick





The first pick on the list for the best raised planter box is a C-shaped product that is spacious enough to pack in veggies or climate-compatible flowers to get a lush and full setting, and it comes made out of durable vinyl materials that offer a huge edge of more traditional wood materials. It won’t require much maintenance to keep it looking nice, and it won’t degrade over time to outlast wooden planter boxes while looking as nice as it did the first season you put it out in the yard. You’ll get a centralized compost basket to put your daily kitchen scraps and build up a nutritious compost heap to feed your plants.


You should consider adding some plain cardboard that is dye-free or straw to help give the compost some structure and help it heat up so it breaks down quicker. It’s a nice project to use when your kids have a sleepover. The boards on this raised planter box slide into the posts conveniently and easily, and you won’t need any screws or tools to assemble it. The posts allow you to make modular garden beds, and you can configure and design your own size and unique layout when you put it together to help it fit your space.


Benefits:

  • C-shaped product

  • Can plant flowers and vegetables in it

  • Has a small compost bin

  • No tools required to put it together

  • Can modify the size and shape

  • Made out of vinyl

  • Very long-lasting

Drawbacks:

  • Corner post caps are easy to damage


2. Cedar Raised Garden Bed Kit – Step-Up Pick






Unlike some planters that will crack apart after a few months of constant use, this solid planter box comes designed to last an impressive five+ years without showing any signs of damage, wear, tear, mold, or rot. It features ¾-inch tongue-and-groove boards that get sanded very smooth during production, and this set is apart from most planter boxes that use dovetail joints with ½-inch boards because they’re prone to separating and cracking in short order. You get untreated, raw cedar for the body of this box, and it has a natural resistance to rot while not being overly heavy or difficult to move around your yard as you need.


The cedar material on this raised planter box will slowly develop a pretty rustic gray patina if you don’t treat it that looks like old-school barn wood. You get a very quick and easy five-minute assembly process that requires no cutting, measuring, or sanding. All you’ll need is a screwdriver. It has an 11-inch height to it that gives you more than enough planting depth for most flowers or vegetables, and it measures 47-inches long on each side to give you plenty of space. Also, you get a one-year no-fail guarantee from the date of purchase. Should the raised planter box break down inside of a year, you’ll get a full refund.


Benefits:

  • Features solid cedar wood

  • Assemble in five minutes

  • 11-inches high

  • Naturally mold and rot-resistant

  • One-year guarantee

  • Easy to reach customer service

  • Designed to last over five years

Drawbacks:

  • Bracing can fall apart relatively easy


3. VegTrug 1.8 Meter Raised Bed – Mid-End Budget Pick






You can use this fun raised planter box to help curtail the weeds once and for all, and it’s a great pick for a rooftop garden in your apartment building due to the design. You can use it to house deep-rooted plants because it has a unique V-shaped design to it, and the cedar wood comes pretreated with a food-safe stain to help seal out moisture while allowing you to grow any plants or vegetables you like. It’s a great height for elderly or disabled people who can’t do the traditional bending that comes with regular gardening, and you won’t have to kneel to reach each portion of it easily.


This raised planter box also comes outfitted with fittings that make it easy to attach fleece or netting to protect your crops from pests or frosts to help extend your planting season. You get easy-to-follow instructions with it that makes it a fast project to assemble. There is a replaceable fitted membrane liner that keeps the soil and wood frame separate to prevent issues with deterioration to help it last longer, but it has decent perforations to allow water to pass through so it doesn’t stand around your plants’ roots and cause rot.


Benefits:

  • Small footprint

  • Don’t have to bend or kneel to reach it

  • V-shaped design is deeper

  • Fittings to attach netting or fleece

  • Has a protective, removable membrane

  • Video instructions to assemble it

  • Uses pure cedar

Drawbacks:

  • Wood can be prone to splitting


4. Viagrow Root Aeration Pot – Bargain Budget Pick






This is a very affordable raised planter box that works well for a single plant. It’s a five-gallon fabric pot with handles that makes it very portable and easy to transport when you plant your items, and you can set it on anything once you get your plants in. It currently offers 12 sizes ranging from a single gallon up to 200 gallons, and you can choose from 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 packs when you order to get enough containers for all of your plants or vegetables. This is a very breathable product that is ideal for anyone who has issues with mold growth or drainage in other types of planters, and it also works for people who have limited space.


The fabric pots on this raised planter box allows you to monitor the soil in real-time to decide if it’s time to water it or if it’s too wet, and it’s also easy to pick them up and move them to a sunnier spot. You can use it indoors or outdoors, and it folds flat to make storage very convenient and easy. You’ll get less heat buildup when the hot days come around, and it also provides thermal insulation on cold days. It prevents your roots from getting root bound, and it promotes the development of a thicker secondary root for better nutrient intake.


Benefits:

  • 12 sizes available

  • 5 pack sizes available

  • Easy to store

  • Has durable handles

  • Offers excellent drainage

  • Easy to move to sunnier locations

  • Great for people with limited space

Drawbacks:

  • Can only have one plant per container


5. Three-Tier Raised Garden Bed – Best For Growing More Aggressive Plants






If you’re someone that is into container gardening and you want to grow more aggressive plants like mint that tend to take over, this raised planter box can help you keep them apart so all of your plants thrive. You can have flowers, vegetables, and herbs right in your yard, patio, garden, or greenhouse while making them easier to manage, and you get three different growing areas for different planting methods or types of plants to help them thrive without taking over and smothering out the plants in the box below it. Each tier has wood plug connections, and you can easily turn it into different growing areas in different sizes if need be.


When you order this raised planter box, you’ll get a very low-maintenance option that comes designed to last for years. You get a very stable but simple structure when you order this raised planter box that is very easy to assemble, and you’ll get all of the necessary hardware when you order. The decorative end caps on this product on the corner posts with the wood grain texture on the sides make this a rustic and natural look for your home. You’ll get a three by three-foot size on one level with two levels measuring three-feet by four-feet.


Benefits:

  • Allows you to plant a range of items in one space

  • Three tiers

  • Can adjust the sizes of each tier

  • Very easy to assemble

  • Rustic look with decorative end caps

  • Low-maintenance

  • All assembly tools are included in the purchase

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t have a base

6. Metal Raised Garden Bed – Best For Rainy Environments






You can easily screw the beveled edges into the sides of this raised planter box when you assemble it using a Phillips screwdriver. You also get screws and wingnuts in the box when you order it to make the assembly process quick and painless to allow you to get planting much sooner. This product features powder-coated steel plates to make it very durable, and they’re also outfitted with an anti-corrosion finish to keep it looking nice while avoiding rust and corrosion for years at a time. There is an open-base design on this garden bed that prevents water from building up and causing root rot, and this also gives the roots easy nutrient access.


The steel panels on this raised garden bed also work to prevent excessive nitrates or soil leaching from happening, and this helps you maintain the ideal environment for your plants to grow without a lot of soil maintenance. You can choose from 12 or 18-foot frames when you order this product, and this allows you to tailor your purchase to suit your intended space without taking it over. The frames come nearly a full foot off the ground, and this makes them ideal for succulents, flowers, vegetables, or herbs.


Benefits:

  • Quick assembly process

  • Open-base design

  • 12 or 18-foot frame choice

  • Powder-coated steel panels

  • Anti-corrosion finish

  • Raised nearly a foot off the ground

  • Ideal for a range of plants

Drawbacks:

  • Easy to scratch the panels

7. SOLAURA Wooden Frame Kit – Best For Areas with Pest Problems





This raised planter box is a nice choice if you want to start a Mediterranean garden but you have a problem with deer or rabbits eating your plants. It helps bring a little color and texture to your patio, deck, yard, or balcony, and the fence is 45-inches long with an 0.8-inch width that gives you plenty of space to lay your garden design out inside it. This product stands 23.5-inches high, and you won’t need any additional tools to put it together once you get it. You get everything you need to build it right out of the box, and it has a smaller frame that allows it to fit neatly in smaller areas without overtaking the space.


This raised planter box features 100% natural fir with no chemical additives, and this makes it a safe and environmentally-friendly choice. You can divide the interior up to suit different types of plants, and it stops you from having to lean down and kneel to tend to the garden. You get a wire mesh with a wooden frame that makes this product unique, and each end of the wooden pieces have points to make them easy to drive down into the ground.


Benefits:

  • Wire mesh and wood design

  • No additional tools required for assemble

  • Great for areas with pest problems

  • 100% natural fir wood

  • Sleek design

  • Easy to install

  • Smaller footprint

Drawbacks:

  • Mesh can eventually rust or corrode

8. Raised Garden Bed – Best For Creating Small Gardens






If you’re someone who wants to create a private garden, you’ll like this larger raised planter box. It helps to ensure that you get healthy growth for all of your vegetables or other plants while protecting them from any pets that wander by. The walls of this setup are a very high-quality polyethylene that resists different weather conditions very well without breaking down, and it’s a very rugged piece for outdoor use in all climates. It uses a slot connection to assemble it, and this ensures that you get tighter connections while being easy to put together straight out of the box.


The corner brackets with the ground stakes on this raised planter box ensure that the product doesn’t move once you get it in place and start adding your soil and plants. You can pick from two colors and two sizes when you order this product to tailor it to suit your intended use, and the 12-inch depth allows your plants to grow deeper and stronger roots to reach the nutrients. You get graphic-style instructions that make it easy to put it together, and the box gets formed using a blow molding process that makes it more stable and durable.


Benefits:

  • High-quality polyethylene material

  • Very rugged design

  • Uses slot connections for assembly

  • 12-inch depth

  • Has graphic-style instructions

  • Uses a blow molding process during production

  • Two sizes and colors available

Drawbacks:

  • Can crack in below zero temperatures


9. Patiomore Raised Garden Bed – Best For Balconies




If you want to install a self-watering system with your raised planter box, this is a solid choice. It features 100% chemical-free fir wood, and it only takes up an area that measures four-feet by four-feet. This makes it great for a smaller yard or balcony to allow you to have a garden without losing all of your space. Each tier features wood plug connections that allows you to turn this planter into a triple-tier system to grow different items in each tier. You can also stack the tiers to create a stair-step planter. It has a very simple dovetail design to it that lets you slide the boards together without using any special tools to make the assembly process easy and quick.


You get different soil depths with each tier, and this allows you to plant more items in this raised garden box. This product is durable enough to support the weight of the soil and plants without a problem, and it measures 49-inches long by 49-inches wide by 22-inches high. It looks decorative while serving a practical purpose, and it’ll make a nice addition to virtually any decor scheme. You get all of the hardware with an assembly manual included in the purchase, and the customer service team is very responsive to questions or concerns.


Benefits:

  • 100% chemical-free fir wood

  • Smaller footprint

  • Dovetail design

  • Has step-by-step instructions

  • Can have different soil depths

  • Decorative look

  • Can use it as a stair-step or flat planter

Drawbacks:

  • Wood isn’t sealed


10. Vegepod Raised Garden Bed – Best For Herbs or Smaller Vegetable Crops






The final raised planter box on the list is a self-watering option that has an attached cover to help protect whatever you plant in it from strong winds, frost, harsh sun rays, and a variety of pests to ensure you get a nice crop. It comes made from polypropylene plastic, and this makes it durable and resistant to rot, mildew, cracking, or splitting. In turn, this product can last longer than other options, and this includes a range of environmental conditions. There is a wicking system on this raised planter box that helps keep the soil moist without overloading it, and this helps your plants last weeks between watering sessions once you establish them.


You get a commercial-grade canopy on this setup that provides protection while allowing water and air to penetrate to reach your plants to reduce the chances of disease or fungal infections. There is a built-in mist sprayer in the canopy that uses a standard hose to run, and you can easily adjust the height to bring it up to your waist height to prevent bending or kneeling. You can assemble it in 20 to 30-minutes, and it has a 10-year warranty attached from the date of purchase. It also works well in smaller spaces.


Benefits:

  • Self-watering design

  • Has a commercial-grade cover

  • Modular look

  • Wicking system to keep the soil moist

  • Built-in mist sprayer

  • Easy to adjust the height

  • Assembled in 20 to 30 minutes

Drawbacks:

  • All plastic design


Raised Planter Boxes Buying Guide


When you start looking for a raised planter box, you’ll want to do your research and pick out one that will tick all of your boxes so you get the most use out of it as possible. This can take time, especially if you’ve never bought one before. I’ve picked out a few buying considerations you want to keep in mind when you start shopping. They can help you narrow down your choices to the best raised planter box available, and you can have it shipped straight to your door.


Size


One of the biggest considerations you have to look for is the size. Think about the length and width of the area you need, as well as the depth. The size will largely depend on which types of plants you want to grow and how many you want to grow. Peas will take up less room than hostas that like to spread out horizontally. If you only want one or two plants instead of several, you could get away with a smaller box. Also consider the height. You won’t want to do a lot of bending to plant and maintain your box.


Ideally, your box will be slightly larger than you need it. This gives your plants extra space to spread out and grow, and it helps prevent the roots from tangling and cutting off the nutrient supply to the rest of the plant.


Material


The boxes on the list feature plastic, wood, and combinations for the material. But there are also metal raised boxes that you could get. The material will dictate how long your box stands up to the varying weather conditions if you have it outside. If you get a wooden raised box, make sure that it has a liner on the inside to protect the wood from moisture and soil. The outside should have a finish on it to prevent water from seeping in. Metal and plastic can last longer, but metal can rust and plastic can weaken.


Design


What is your design aesthetic or style? You don’t necessarily want your new box to stand out in your garden. Instead, it should blend in well and flow with the space. Maybe you want something rustic or modern or chic, you’ll be able to match a box to your preferred design. Some have architectural designs on them to make them look more classic. Pick a design before you start shopping and match your design to the planter.


Pick a design that goes with your current aesthetic. If you don’t, you could end up with something that doesn’t flow with your garden, and it can throw off your entire space.

Assembly


Are you a DIYer or not? If not, you want to get a planter box that is very easy and quick to put together. If you are a DIYer, you can get a slightly more complicated planter and take the time to put it together. Do you have the tools you need to assemble it? Read the reviews and see what people who bought it say about the assembly process. Dovetail joints are very popular because all you have to do is pound each joint tightly together. However, some screw together and some come pre-assembled.



Self-Watering and Drainage Systems


You may not have time to water your planter box routinely, and a self-watering system can help solve this problem. Ideally, it’ll have a small reservoir to catch and hold the excess water, and this reduces the amount of times you have to water. You should have a water indicator available too. There should be a few drainage holes along the bottom of the box to prevent too much water from sitting in the soil and causing root rot.


Raised Planter Boxes FAQs


It’s not uncommon to have questions about these raised planter boxes, and this is especially true if this is your first growing season using them. We’ve picked out a few common questions and answered them for you in one convenient place below.

How deep should your raised planter box be?


The nice thing about these raised beds is that they don’t have to be extremely deep to give you great results. Generally speaking, most of them range between 8 and 12-inches for the depth. If you run into issues with drainage, or if the plants you pick out like drier soil, you want to fill the bed with porous growing medium and choose a taller model to encourage quick drainage.


2. What goes in the bottom of the raised planter box?


The bottom of this box should have a layer of leaves, grass clippings, straw, wood chips, or other organic material before you add the soil on top of it. You also want to put a layer of cardboard between these materials and the soil. Your organic layer will turn into compost, and the cardboard will work to prevent weed growth.


3. Should you line the interior of your raised planter box?


If the box doesn’t come with a liner included, yes. You want to line the planter box with plastic or landscape material. This liner helps to protect your box from rot or break