Garden planter boxes: using your backyard as a garden for growing farm food is an amazing way to reduce one’s carbon footprint by keeping the production tailored to your consumption and transportation footprint near zero. Many factors might make it hard for homeowners who want to keep a garden. Some of these factors could be poor soil, unfavorable weather condition, or limited spaces. Thankfully, with the use of garden planter boxes, you can still have a beautiful food garden despite these limitations.
The benefits of using planter boxes are innumerable. One of these benefits is that planter boxes reduce energy and time for maintenance, such as weeding and watering. It also benefits people with back and knee problems as they tend to do less bending over when using planter boxes that are well raised off the ground.
Moreover, some people might have limited spaces for classic gardens, but the good news is that planter boxes require limited spaces and can be placed anywhere.
Therefore, if gardening is one of your hobbies, but you don’t have the luxury of time needed to tend to a garden, or maybe you have the time but not enough space for gardening. Whatever the limitation, reading the rest of this article will help you discover ten garden planter boxes that can make your gardening a lot easier.
1. Raised Bed Frame – Full
If you are looking for a creative way to beautify your garden without spending so much, then I have good news for you. Do you know that you can turn your old bed frame into an aesthetic piece of flower or vegetable garden? Yes, you read that right. If you have some old metallic or wooden bed frames together with their headboards and footboards, now is the time to get creative.
All you need to do is position the bed frame at a nice spot in your backyard, fill it with good soil and plant your favorite flowers or veggies. Consider planting climbing plants close to the head and foot boards for a more attractive look and plant support. There you have it, a garden bed literally
2. 3 x 6 Raised Garden Bed
As opposed to flat beds (the traditional method of gardening), raised beds are better for many reasons. For a start, raised garden beds require less bending over, making them terrific options for people with back and knee problems.
Raised beds afford greater care for plants. Because the garden beds are off the ground, you can control the soil quality you put into your bed frame. Basically, if you don’t have good soil, you can buy soil to fill the bed frame. Raised beds are also suitable for sloppy places. In such cases, you can create leveled garden using raised garden beds.
There are different shapes and sizes of raised garden beds, but here we will talk about one that is rectangular-shaped, 3 feet wide, and 6 feet long. A 3 x 6 raised garden bed will allow you to easily access all sides of the garden bed without having to climb into it. It also makes it easier for people in wheelchairs to tend to such gardens.
The best material for building a raised garden bed is wood. If you have some woodwork skills, you can make a raised bed frame as a DIY project. Otherwise, you can employ the service of a professional. When your raised bed frame is ready, you should place it where you want it to be in your backyard.
There are some controversies about whether raised garden beds should be lined underneath or left to sit directly on the ground. However, your choice is totally dependent on the result you would like to get from your garden. So, let’s talk about some advantages and disadvantages of lining your garden beds.
Advantages Of Lining Raised Garden Beds
- It will protect the soil in the raised bed frame from heating up very fast on sunny days. It will also help the soil retain more heat to prevent the plants from extreme cold at night.
- It will prevent the soil from drying too quickly during summer days.
- It will help retain the soil in the raised bed frame by preventing it from washing away during rainfall or watering.
- The liner between the raised bed frame and the ground will keep digging pests like moles and gophers away.
- If you use pressure-treated wood for building the raised bed frame, lining its interior will prevent chemicals from leaching into the soil. This is essential if your raised bed frame is used to grow edible plants.
- Lining the bottom of your raised bed frame will significantly reduce the growth of weeds.
Disadvantages Of Lining Raised Garden Beds
- If you use an impermeable liner such as plastic, it can inhibit proper drainage.
- In cases of poor drainage, the wood might get soggy and rot faster.
- The soil can also get waterlogged and make the plants’ roots rot.
- It can be challenging to replace worn-out lining as you would have to remove the plants and the soil from the raised garden bed.
Having talked about the advantages and disadvantages of lining a raised garden bed. The choice is yours whether to line yours or not. If you decide to line your raised garden bed, there are a few factors you need to consider to determine the type of liner to use. These factors are:
- The type of soil you will use in the raised garden bed.
- The climatic condition of your state.
- The kind of material the raised garden bed is made of.
- The pest you are likely up against.
- Your budget.
Materials that can be used as garden bed liners include thin plastic, cardboard, fabric, or metal wire.
4. Triangular Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden beds don’t have to be rectangular shaped only, they can have distinctive shapes like triangles as well. Arguably, triangular raised garden beds are easier to make than rectangular ones.
Meanwhile, you can have an aesthetic garden by arranging several triangular raised garden beds artistically. Also, if you want a garden for your children, a triangular raised garden bed could be the ideal choice.
Just like rectangular and other shaped garden beds, you can also line the interior and bottom of your triangular raised garden beds if you wish.
5. Redwood Raised Garden Bed
Wooden raised garden beds are pretty easy to make, but you need to make the right choice of wood. We recommend the use of rot and pest-resistant woods like redwood. Although redwoods are more expensive than other wood alternatives like cedar or pine, they are highly durable and will last you for a more extended period.
As their name suggests, redwoods have a natural red color that gives them an attractive look. Another perk of using redwoods for your raised garden beds is that they are naturally fire-resistant.
However, redwoods are believed to contain natural chemicals that are considered toxic to many plants. Therefore, it is recommended to line your redwood raised garden beds properly to avoid leaching these poisonous chemicals into the soil.
6. 48-inch Garden Planter Box
Unlike garden beds that have no bottom and are usually in direct contact with the ground or lined with a liner, planter boxes have bottoms. Planter boxes come in different shapes and sizes, but here we will talk about a 48-inch (4 feet) planter box.
A 48-inch planter box is an ideal size of a planter box. It ensures that every part of the garden is within arms-length. Hence, you won’t have to overstretch your arms when tending to your garden.
7. Black Garden Planter Box
Black planter boxes absorb heat very fast, making the soil very hot and consequently damaging your plants. Hence, black planter boxes are not suitable for use in summer and for those that live in tropical regions. Therefore, you should consider using light-colored planter boxes instead of black.
However, if you have to use black planter boxes in these situations, you can do a few things to increase the chances of survival of your plants. The first thing you can do is to line the black planter box’s interior with a light-colored liner.
The liner will help disperse some of the heat absorbed by the black box and keep the soil cooler. Another thing you can do is to put your black planter box under a shade away from extreme temperatures.
8. Composite Garden Planter Box
Composite decking – a blend of plastics and wood fibers, make up some planter boxes. The great advantage is that you never have to seal or stain it.
If you need alternatives to wood planter boxes, composite planter boxes are ideal choices. They are more durable, and they do not crack or rot. They are also splinter-free, fire-resistant, and pest-resistant. Moreover, manufacturers make composite planters in different colors, which means you don’t have to paint them yourself, unlike wooden planter boxes.
However, composite planter boxes are usually more expensive than wooden ones. Also, they have texture like wood, but lack the natural rustic look and feel of real wood.
9. Lattice Garden Planter Boxes
Lattice planter boxes are most suitable for growing climbing plants. They create support for these plants and protect them from getting knocked out by the wind. The lattice structure also makes for a good privacy screen.
You can build your lattice planter boxes from pressure-treated woods such as cedar, and you can paint or stain them as you like.
10. Planter Box Around Tree
If you have a tree in the backyard of your house and you are looking for ways to make its base more visually appealing, one good idea is to grow a garden. To achieve this, you will need a planter box around the tree’s base.
Planter boxes are ideal in this situation because, unlike garden beds, they are off the ground. Hence, this ensures that the tree’s roots get enough oxygen needed. In addition, the plants in your planter box will also have better chances of thriving.
You should also prevent your planter box from snugging up to the tree’s bark. Hence, you should leave significant space between the tree and the garden.
For planter boxes around trees, it is best to choose a square shape box as it creates a nice contrast from the circular shape of the tree. Square planter boxes also create an even distribution of garden space around the tree instead of rectangular planter boxes.
Another thing you should consider while building a planter box around a tree is the plant to grow. Since the base of the tree is an area with insufficient sunlight and rain, you should only grow plants that can thrive in this condition.
11. Frost Resistant Planters
During winter, plants and planters are exposed to extremely cold temperatures and frost, which are capable of cracking planters and damaging plants. Hence, the importance of choosing frost-resistant planters such as wooden or glazed ceramics planters.
In addition to using frost-resistant planters, there are other things you should put in place for your plants and planters to survive the winter season. Don’t let it get waterlogged because it will freeze, expand, and crack.
To prevent waterlogging, you can move your planters out of the open to a shed. You should also ensure the planter’s drainage is good. You can raise the planters off the ground to allow better drainage.
Another way to protect plants and planters from the winter weather is to wrap them up in plastic wraps, but not for too long, so the root does not rot. You should also ensure that the soil in your planter drains well and won’t be waterlogged.
Gardening is more than just a hobby to some. It is a means of relieving stress as well as improving health and wellness. However, as much as botanical enthusiasts love gardening, sometimes there might be limitations that stop them from doing what they love.
Thankfully, planter boxes provide solutions to most of these setbacks. With planter boxes, you don’t have to worry about insufficient garden space or the time for garden maintenance. Instead, you will have all you need to take your deck, porch, or backyard patio from zero to a hundred in no time.
Anna Lauer is a writer, gardener, and homesteader living in rural Wisconsin. She has written for Mother Earth News, Grit, and Hobby Farms magazines. Anna is writing a new book about growing your food for free and an ultimate guide to producing food at little to no cost. When she’s not writing or gardening, Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.