Projects & Inspiration

Raised Garden Beds vs. Elevated Garden Planters

Updated March 2, 2020

Posted by Ashley VanderWall

Raised garden beds and elevated garden planters are often both referred to as "planter boxes". They serve similar purposes, so it's easy to get them confused. But, they are unique products with different applications. Knowing their shared benefits along with their differences will help you choose which is the best product for you.

Shared Benefits of Raised Garden Beds and Elevated Garden Planters

  1. You can fill them with the soil of your choice.
  2. Since you don’t walk on the soil, it doesn’t get compacted, and the roots have an easier time growing.
  3. They drain better than conventional garden beds.
  4. When designed properly, they have fewer weeds than conventional garden beds.

Differences Between Raised Garden Beds and Elevated Garden Planters

Elevated Garden Planters

An elevated garden planter is a planting box with legs. With it, you can comfortably garden standing up. There’s no need to bend or kneel to tend to your plants. This is especially helpful for those who want to minimize back strain.

Rustic Gray Elevated Garden Planter

Elevated garden planters have a wooden or plastic bottom to hold the soil. Because the soil is contained in it, you can place the planter in an area you couldn’t usually have plants. Popular spots are patios, decks, porches and balconies. Because elevated planters have bottoms, you are limited in the types of plants you can grow in them. When choosing plants for an elevated garden planter, be conscious of how much space and depth a plant needs.

Choose an elevated garden planter if:

  • You want to add gardening space to a deck, patio, balcony or porch.
  • You want to garden without bending or kneeling.
  • Your plants won't need a lot of soil depth.

Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds, on the other hand, are designed to be built on the ground. They are raised high enough to fill with the proper depth of soil, but not high enough to eliminate bending or kneeling. If you have yard space for a garden but don’t have good soil for planting, a raised garden bed is a good option.

outdoor essentials 3x3 cedar raised garden bed with plants

Unlike elevated garden planters, raised garden beds do not have bottoms. What’s good about that? You can choose the size and shape of your garden. Also, you’re not limited to the types of plants you can grow. Raised garden beds are better for larger plants that need more planting depth.

Choose a raised garden bed if:

  • You have yard space for a garden but don't have good soil.
  • You want to reduce weeds.
  • Your plants require more soil depth.

Ready to build one?

You can build either one from scratch or check out our DIY-friendly, easy-to-assemble raised garden bed and elevated garden planter kits.

Happy gardening!