Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden, According to a Seasoned Gardener

Discover raised-bed gardening tools that can improve soil quality, simplify maintenance, and increase yields.

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After gardening in the ground for over 19 years, I switched to raised-bed gardening. Raised-bed gardening offers numerous benefits that enhance the gardening experience and make it accessible to everyone. By elevating the garden beds above the ground level, gardeners can enjoy superior soil conditions with better drainage and reduced soil compaction. This setup allows for earlier planting in the season due to warmer soil and facilitates easier pest and weed management.

Moreover, raised beds are ideal for areas with poor native soil or limited space, such as urban environments. They provide a neat, contained area that is easier to maintain and can significantly increase yield per square foot. The elevated design also reduces physical strain, which is why I switched to raised-bed gardening. This type of gardening makes the experience more enjoyable and accessible for individuals with mobility issues. 

If you are ready to start with raised-bed gardening, check out these top-tested products for your garden.

1. Modular Metal Raised Garden Beds 

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Modular Metal Raised Garden Beds
Photo: amazon.com

The Vego Garden Modular Metal Raised Garden Bed Kit is an excellent choice for garden enthusiasts looking for a versatile and robust garden bed. The modular design of the kit provides multiple configuration options, making it a perfect fit for any garden space.

Vego Garden offers garden bed kits in different heights, but the 17-inch kit is perfect for gardeners who prefer to work while sitting on a stool. It significantly reduces the strain on their lower back and knees from bending and kneeling, allowing for a more comfortable gardening experience. Although the assembly process can be time-consuming, it is straightforward, and the end result is an attractive raised garden bed that is easy to maintain. The metal garden beds are available in several colors (British green is my favorite). They can be an investment, but the sturdy metal construction of the kit ensures longevity and protection against pests.

Get the Vego Garden raised garden bed kit at Amazon for $135.96.

2. Concrete Planter Wall Blocks

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Concrete Planter Wall Blocks
Photo: homedepot.com

Consider the Oldcastle Concrete Planter Wall Block if you’re looking for an affordable, durable solution to build your DIY raised garden bed. These blocks offer a sturdy and easy-to-assemble construction that allows flexibility in your garden bed’s design. Thanks to their robust concrete construction, these planter blocks can withstand various weather conditions, providing a reliable investment for year-round planting.

There are no special tools or skills required to get started. The blocks are designed so that boards slide easily into their slots. To create a raised bed garden with the blocks, all you need are four 2×6 wooden boards cut to fit your desired garden bed size. Place the blocks in your garden space and slide the boards in place—done!

Aside from its inexpensive price, this system is flexible because there’s room to stack two 2×6 boards on top of each other to increase the bed height. Moreover, you can stack an additional block on top of each block to increase the bed’s height to 2 feet! This simple process allows you to grow your plants at an elevated level without a significant investment. 

Get the Oldcastle concrete planter wall blocks at The Home Depot for $3.38 each.

3. Galvanized Steel Hardware Cloth

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Galvanized Steel Hardware Cloth
Photo: homedepot.com

Hardware cloth comes in various sizes, but the ½-inch mesh 19-Gauge Galvanized Steel Hardware Cloth is the most versatile option for raised- bed gardeners. At 2 feet wide and 5 feet long, the mesh is large enough to cover the base of many garden beds. Thanks to the fine mesh and durable galvanized steel construction, it provides a robust shield against burrowing pests and rodents. This cloth ensures long-lasting defense without compromising air and water flow. 

It’s very easy to cut this hardware cloth with a pair of heavy-duty shears, and it’s also easy to install. Mesh cloth is a great way to secure the bottom of raised garden beds from unwanted intruders, and using it will give you peace of mind that your plants are protected.

Get the Everbilt galvanized steel hardware cloth at The Home Depot for $11.91.

4. Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric
Photo: homedepot.com

Landscape fabric is a highly effective and long-lasting physical barrier that is a reliable solution to prevent weed growth in your garden. It blocks sunlight and prevents weed germination while remaining porous enough to allow air and water to penetrate and nourish the soil and plant roots. The Vigoro Medium Duty Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric is designed to be both durable and easy to install, making it an ideal option for your gardening needs. 

This fabric is crafted to enhance plant health by effectively preventing weed growth, which can compete with your plants for water and nutrients. By reducing weed growth and the need for constant weeding, you can significantly lower garden-maintenance time and effort. This makes landscape fabric an essential tool for any raised-bed gardener who wants to keep their garden healthy and attractive. The Vigoro landscape fabric is 4 feet wide and comes in a generous 100-foot length, providing ample coverage for many gardens. 

Get the Vigoro landscape fabric at The Home Depot for $36.98.

5. Raised Bed Growing Medium 

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Raised Bed Growing Medium
Photo: homedepot.com

Filling your raised beds with container soil can be costly. However, less expensive options like garden soil or topsoil aren’t recommended. Garden soil and topsoil can compact in raised beds and introduce weeds and pests into your raised garden bed. Instead, it’s wise to opt for a well-draining, soilless growing medium like the Kellogg Garden Organics All Natural Raised Bed and Potting Mix Premium Outdoor Container Mix.

This mix offers a nutrient-rich, well-draining formula that supports healthy plant growth and robust yields. Its all-natural composition ensures a safe growing environment for vegetables and flowers alike. This mix is cost-effective and efficient, and it provides excellent value by reducing the need for frequent soil amendments.

Get the Kellogg Garden Organics raised bed “soil” at The Home Depot for $9.97.

6. Organic Fertilizer

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Organic Fertilizer
Photo: amazon.com

Using a high-quality growing medium enriched regularly with compost can significantly reduce the need for additional fertilizers. However, it won’t hurt to boost your seedlings at planting time with Espoma Organic Bio-Tone Starter.

This organic fertilizer is enriched with beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae, which ensure a robust foundation for new plantings. It promotes quicker establishment and healthier growth, reducing transplant shock and boosting nutrient uptake. Bio-Tone Starter is an excellent choice for raised-bed gardening, enhancing plant vigor and root development from the start. 

Get the Espoma Organic starter plant food at Amazon for $26.30.

7. Heavy-Duty Plant and Garden Stakes

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Heavy-Duty Plant and Garden Stakes
Photo: homedepot.com

When it comes to raised-bed gardening, maximizing the growing space is key. Instead of purchasing different plant supports for climbing plants like tomatoes and cucumbers, the 8-foot Vigoro Heavy-Duty Plant and Garden Stake is all you need. Its robust design is built to last, supporting even the heaviest plants and protecting them from drooping or wind damage.

Even though 8 feet of height may seem like a lot, you will need the extra length to secure the stake into the bed at least 1 foot deep to support your plants. These stakes are easy to install and made from durable materials, ensuring their reliability season after season. They are perfect for managing vertical growth in compact spaces, helping you maximize the yield and health of plants in a raised garden setup.

Get the Vigoro ​​plant and garden stake at The Home Depot for $9.47.

8. Galvanized Cattle Fence Panel

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Galvanized Cattle Fence Panel
Photo: tractorsupply.com

If you want to add height to your garden and maximize your available space without breaking the bank, the 16-foot by 50-inch Galvanized Cattle Fence Panel from Tractor Supply is what you need. This sturdy panel can be used as a DIY trellis to support heavy vine crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans.

Its galvanized finish ensures it will withstand the elements and resist rust and corrosion, making it a durable and long-lasting addition to your garden. With its generous size, you can easily adapt it to various garden layouts and configurations. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this fence panel’s easy installation and cost-effective price point make it an excellent value for anyone looking to make the most of their garden space.

Get the 16-foot galvanized cattle fence panel at Tractor Supply Co. for $24.99.

9. TPR Garden Ties

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden TPR Garden Ties
Photo: amazon.com

The TPR Garden Ties are an excellent solution for gardeners who need to support their plants. These ties are made of thermoplastic rubber (TPR) wrapped around a metal wire, combining flexibility with durability. This design lets you fasten plants easily and securely while avoiding damage. They are rust-resistant, making them a reliable choice for indoor and outdoor gardening applications, and they can withstand different weather conditions.

The garden ties are convenient and user-friendly. Soft TPR material prevents harm to the plant stems, while the strength of the internal wire effectively holds plants upright. These ties are also reusable, which adds great value. Their green color blends seamlessly with the garden environment to maintain a natural aesthetic. 

Get the TPR garden ties at Amazon for $7.99.

10. Seeding Square 

Everything You Need to Start a Raised-Bed Garden Seeding Square
Photo: amazon.com

The Seeding Square is essential for gardeners who use raised garden beds. It is a color-coded seed spacer that optimizes plant spacing and maximizes harvest from a small area. It is particularly effective for square-foot gardening. The tool simplifies the planting process by allowing gardeners to perfectly place seeds the ideal distance apart. 

The Seeding Square creates a visually appealing garden layout in raised beds with limited space. It also conserves water and reduces weed growth by promoting optimal spacing. The tool is durable and has an easy-to-follow color-coded system that makes it accessible for gardeners of all skill levels, from beginners to the more experienced.

Get the Seeding Square at Amazon for $29.95.