Best Planter Boxes for Backyard Veggie Gardeners (2018 Update)
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Best Planter Boxes for Backyard Veggie Gardeners

Written by Joseph Biggs and updated on October 7, 2017
Planter boxes

Planter boxes are a fantastic way to neaten-up a messy garden. Everything is nice and organized in a planter box. Although many people think of planter boxes as housing flowers, deep enough planter boxes can grow vegetables with deeper roots. Ahead, we’ll look at some of the best planter boxes on the market to make sure you get the best option available.

Planter Boxes

Planter boxes excel when it comes to maintaining your plants. A raised planter box is a lot easier to get to; meaning taking care of pesky weeds doesn’t have to break your back. If you’re growing vegetables in your backyard, you’ll want to make sure you have a deep enough planter box with enough space. There are several characteristics you should consider before choosing your planter box, so think about the following before you buy.

What Are You Trying to Grow?

Size is an essential characteristic if you’re using planter boxes for vegetable growth. You’ll have to determine which vegetables you’re looking to grow and find a planter box that is deep enough to hold your plants. Most planter boxes don’t run deep enough for vegetables like beets and broccoli. If you’re looking for fresh lettuce, however, you’ll find one quite quickly.

Take a look at the watering needs of your plant as well. This factor will help you determine what type of material you’d need in a planter box. If you’re growing something that needs constant watering, you’ll probably want a planter box that will do a better job of holding the water. If you’re worried about drowning your plant, then it’s a better option to choose a box that will more efficiently drain the excess fluids.

Planter boxes aren’t ideal for all types of gardening. Make sure you’re growing a vegetable that will thrive in a planter box so that you’re not disappointed. There are also several informative planter boxes DIY YouTube videos that can teach you how to make a planter box for yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Which Material is Best?

Manufacturers make planter boxes out of plastic, wood or metal. Each brings its own characteristics to the table, and you should consider them before you make your decision. A wood planter box is probably the most popular material. These boxes drain water more efficiently than others since they soak up some of the water. They’re also more resistant than metal planter boxes to the weather. They won’t rust or become excessively hot like their metal counterparts.

The drawback to wood is that it’s susceptible to mildew. If you’re planting a vegetable that requires a lot of water, wood might not be the best choice. For these plants, it’s better to go with a metal or plastic planter box. They are much more efficient than wood with retaining water.

Plastic planter boxes are the cheapest option of the three. They retain the water like a metal planter box, but they won’t get rusted and need cleaning. That said, a plastic box won’t be near as durable as wood or metal planter boxes, making it one of the least useful materials for backyard gardening.

If you’re looking for window planter boxes, you don’t need to be as cautious as with outdoor planter boxes that will house vegetables. I tend to leave my planter boxes outside year-round, which is why I prefer wood over the other options. Wood won’t crack or once the winter is over. While it does take a bit more cleaning than some of the others, wood creates the best planter boxes for my needs.


Gronomics REGB

The Gronomics planter box is one of the best options I’ve found in the niche. It’s made of cedar, which is one of my favorite ingredients in a successful garden bed. It’s also extremely versatile. You could place this on your patio, in your apartment, or in your backyard garden. It’s big enough to house almost any vegetable you want as well.

Although the box is elevated, it isn’t as high as some others. I like this better, as I’ve found that longer legs tend to cause the planter box to become unstable over time. It isn’t the most beautiful box – the pictures look better than the actual product – but that doesn’t matter at all, as I’ll be using this as a compliment to my garden.

Pros:
  • Works in a garden or on a patio
  • Easy assembly
  • Made of cedar
  • Very durable
Cons:
  • Elevated, but you’ll still have to bend over
  • Not the most aesthetically appealing option

The Adams Manufacturing planter box is the value pick out of this list. It’s far cheaper than similar planter boxes and will serve the purpose of housing your herbs, flowers, and smaller vegetables. It’s not going to be big enough for your larger plants, but it should serve the purpose that most people are looking for in a rectangular planter box.

By the pictures, I was sure that this product was wooden. I was excited to get my hands on a cheap, wooden planter box, and was disappointed when it came and I saw that it was made of plastic. For the price, a wooden planter box would probably have been too good to be true, but they had me fooled. The box is also a bit lower than I expected. I’m accustomed to having to bend over to do my gardening, but a lot of people prefer higher planter boxes for easier access. Still, I’d say this box is a quality bargain.

Pros:
  • Value for the price
  • Large enough for most vegetables
  • Easy to put together
  • Better for beginners
Cons:
  • Plastic and not as durable
  • Too low to comfortably care for

Keter Easy Grow Patio Garden is a plastic planter box that’s more durable than a lot of other plastic options on the market. This product is better for those who live in apartments, or otherwise, don’t have a ton of room in which to utilize a planter box. It’s a raised box, which means taking care of your plants doesn’t require you to get on ground-level.

Although the plastic is better quality than a lot of others, it still isn’t going to be as durable as plastic or metal boxes. It’s not too expensive, and it should last for a couple of years at least, but the one knock on this product would have to be its ability to hold-up in weather conditions. If you’re hurting for space, though, this planter box will fit nicely on a small patio. The same company also makes several hanging planter boxes for flowers, which all seem to have received positive user feedback as well.

Pros:
  • Raised, making it easier to weed and care for
  • Perfect for people with size constraints
  • Large enough for a variety of vegetables
Cons:
  • Isn’t as durable as some other options
  • Some users have reported broken or missing pieces on arrival

The Greenes Fence planter box is another raised planter box that can fit on your deck or patio. Unlike other plastic alternatives, though, this cedar planter box will do a better job draining any excess water. I’m a big fan of having a wood planter box, so I preferred this option to the Keter option that focuses more on saving space.

Assembly wasn’t too hard, though there is a fair amount of intuition involved since I did not receive a manual with my unit. Still, if you’re looking for a raised, wooden box for your vegetables, you could certainly do worse than the Greenes Fence Elevated Garden Bed.

Pros:
  • Made of cedar – safe for vegetables and quality draining
  • Raised, making it easier to tend
  • Durability
Cons:
  • No assembly manual
  • Better for patio than in-garden

The Best Choice Products garden bed looks like a decent product on its surface. The raised garden bed is made out of wood, which is usually more durable. This product, though, proves that the plastic/wood stereotype isn’t always true. The bottom of the box broke only a few months after I purchased it. The rain and soil were too much weight to handle, which should not be the case whatsoever.

Setting it up was as easy as the advertisements promised, but I was completely on my own. The setup instructions only provided pictures and were hard to follow along. For double the price of a plastic box, you’re getting about half the durability. I’d save your money and go with a cheaper or more durable option than this one.

Pros:
  • Easy to put together
  • Made from wood
  • Tall enough so you won’t have to bend over and strain your back
Cons:
  • Users have reported terrible durability, especially in the bottom
  • Confusing setup instructions
  • Bad value for the money, even when discounted

Results

Out of the five planter boxes we reviewed, the one that stands out is the Gronomics Rustic Elevated Garden Bed. It seems to be the most durable option thus far. Also, the wood helps to allow for drainage that other plastic options do not. It’s not high, but if bending over isn’t a problem; everything else appears to be up to par.

The Keter Easy Grow Patio Garden wasn’t too far behind, but Gronomics edged it out in quality and durability. These planter boxes are something you’ll want to have for years, not for months. Gronomics is among the best planter boxes because of composition and strength.

About the author

    Joseph Biggs

    Author and retired entrepreneur Joseph Biggs writes for Organic Daily Post exclusively, when he is not spending time outdoors with his family. He, his wife, and their children and grandchildren live on an extended mini-farm where they all practice conservationism and a whole-Earth approach to life.

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