Written by Terry Smith
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Best wooden planters [UK] for the best raised garden beds: troughs, and square wooden planters reviewed and compared
This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 1:35 am
Nothing will stop us in the quest for a perfectly organised garden, and what better way to add structure to your garden than the best wooden planters available in the UK right now! There are still tonnes of things which can be planted throughout the summer season, such as sweet peas, lettuce, perennial wallflowers, radishes, spring onions, summer squash, sprouting broccoli, and even potatoes – giving you more than enough time to get prepared for your Christmas roast!
Still, summer can be a rough ride for new vegetation, so you’re going to want to help out your seedlings in whatever way you can. This leads us nicely to our topic of conversation today, drumroll for…raised wooden planters! I guarantee that, if you go to any serious gardener’s plot, you will come across at least a few raised wooden planters. This is simply due to the fact that raised garden planters are an absolute essential when it comes to plant cultivation.
Top picks for the best raised wooden planters:
- Best raised wooden planter: Vegtrug RHP6002N Herb Garden planter
- Best wooden trough planters: Ruddings Wood Set of 2 x 90cm Wooden Trough Planters
- Best value wooden planters: WoodShed Ltd Corner Garden Wooden Decking Planter Plant Pot
What is great about raised wooden planters
Here’s a couple of reasons why but before I go into the obvious, the main thing for me is they just look GREAT 🙂
- Raised beds will give your soil better drainage. This means less water logging and more nutrients being delivered straight to your plants (which then means faster and better growth – duh!)
- It is easier to keep nasty bugs and critters away from your crops with raised planters. This is especially pertinent when it comes to slugs, as they struggle to climb up the sides of planters, especially when you lay out copper flashing which, trust me, they hate.
- Your soil is less likely to be contaminated with raised beds. If you live in a high-density urban area, like a city, you run the risk of having soil which is contaminated by various toxins which will do nothing to help your plants to grow. Using a raised planter will keep your precious plants away from the contaminated soil and safe in their box.
- On a similar note, you are less likely to have weeds to deal with if you use raised planters, as any weeds which do pop up are contained in one place, therefore easier to get rid of.
- Raised beds save you an awful lot of trouble when it comes to bending over. Do you have a bad back? Well, if you do – you don’t want to be spending all summer bending over to tend to your ground-based plants. Investing in a raised bed will save you from back-breaking work on the floor, plus – having raised beds adds an extra layer of height to your garden, so they are functional and aesthetically pleasing – win, win!
What is a raised wooden planter?
But what exactly is a raised planter? Well, they are actually incredibly simple garden accessories and every bit as nice as my favourite half barrel planters. Essentially, they are just a raised structure, built like a box with no top, typically somewhere between 5 and 25 inches deep. Some are fancy, and are built with extra added features, like standing legs, raised levels and even trestle walls. But some are exactly what they say on the tin; simply boxes built to bed plants. Likewise, there are options when it comes to building and buying raised planters. If you are an experienced DIY gardener, then building your own raised bed should be a walk in the park; it’s only a matter of slapping together a couple of planks of wood after all. However, considering the time spent on construction, in addition to the money spent on gathering materials, you might even be better off just buying a planter online. The market for raised planters has really grown in the past few years, so there is a huge variety of choice, most of which is high quality and competitively priced.
What are the problems with raised wooden planters?
One of the problems is you’ll need to oil your planters or they will fade:
I feel that’s a small price to pay though for such a nice accompaniment to the garden!
\You may be dismayed to hear that planting season has technically already come and gone! This is because springtime tends to have the perfect conditions to assist the vital first few weeks of a seedling’s life. In spring, the longer days mean that the seedlings get more sunlight and warmth, and the rainy weather provides them with a generous showering of water to promote growth. Once summertime rolls around, the weather tends to dry up. In these conditions, tiny seedlings would struggle to get a foot on the ladder of growth, as the lack of water and intense sunshine (which we are crossing our fingers for this summer – we all know how the British summertime can turn out) are more likely to dry the seedlings out than help them grow.
But do not fear!
Enough chat, it’s time to jump straight into the best raised wooden planters on the market. Your dream garden just became one step closer to being a reality.
Best Raised Wooden Planters UK:
1. Ruddings Wood Set of 2 x 90cm Wooden Trough Planters
Specification: Material: Wood, Total Size: 90cm length x 22cm wide x 22cm high, Pre-drilled holes: No
We’ve all heard the saying ‘less is more’, but perhaps not Oscar Wilde’s beautiful assurance that ‘Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.’ But I know what you’re thinking – we’re talking about raised planters here, where does literature and philosophy come into it? Well, Wilde was spot on, the simple thing very often is the right thing, and for this very reason, he would have loved the Ruddings Wood set of 2 Wooden Trough Planters.
Simplicity in its finest form, these planters get the job done with no bells and whistles to distract you from the essence of a planter’s job – to hold plants. Measuring 90cm x 22cm x 22xm (Length x Width x Height), this product comes in a set of two planters, so the sky really is the limit with these planters, as each one provides you with tonnes of growing room, and the fact that you get two planters for the price of one doubles your growing potential! Speaking of price, this product is in the mid to high range of the typical price for a raised wooden planter. It won’t totally break the bank, but it likewise is not going to be appropriate for everybody’s budget. It’s an investment, but a high quality one at that, so I wouldn’t let the slightly higher price put you off – unless of course the price is a dealbreaker. One thing which may help to justify the price is the fact that, unlike many raised wooden planters on the market, the Ruddings planters come pre-assembled, which is a good send if you are a stranger to a screwdriver.
Made from sustainable and sturdy timber, you don’t have to worry about weather damage with this product, as the wood is pre-treated for ultimate protection from the elements. They also come with slats of wood along the bottom of the planters, to act as feet to raise the box off the ground. Whilst this does not give the planter much height, it does provide a little lift. However, if you are looking to add a serious level of height to your garden, you may want to look for a planter with taller feet, or even legs.
Another issue I have come across with the Ruddings planter is the fact that it does not come fit with pre-drilled drainage holes, meaning you will either have to drill them yourself or put up with the fact that your soil may need changing on a seasonal basis. However, there are small gaps between the planks of wood on the bottom of the box so, permitting you do not overwater your plants, a level of drainage should be possible with this product.
2. WoodShed Ltd Corner Garden Wooden Decking Planter Plant Pot
Specification: Material Wood ,Total Size: 60 cm wide x 60 cm deep x 25cm high, Pre-drilled holes: Yes
The next planter is a little different to the products that we have been looking at so far. The WoodShed Ltd Corner Garden Wooden Decking Planter Pot sets itself aside from its competition largely due to its super interesting design. It is as if the planter thought to itself ‘In a world where you can be anything, be different’, and different is certainly a good way of describing it.
Essentially, the product is made up of three different pieces; a long rectangular planter, a mid-size rectangular planter and a small box planter. The small box planter comes pre-attached to the top of the long rectangular planter, and WoodShed pre-drilled pilot holes into the side of the separate planter to make assembling it simpler for the customer. So, sure, you could say that this product requires assembly, but most of the hard work has already been done by WoodShed, so they won’t be losing any points on assembly.
This interesting design means that you have the opportunity to create a visually stunning display, as you have unlimited design options with the three separate compartments. I also love the way in which this product incorporates the use of levels, to make this planter (and your garden) all the more visually interesting.
Aesthetics aside, this planter is also really well made. Constructed from Tanalith E Treated, PEFC and FSC certified wood, this planter is not only made to last but sourced responsibly, causing minimal damage to the environment. In addition to this, even the screws are weather resistant, made to be protected from rust, adding years onto the lifespan of the product. That gets a big tick from me.
With its unique design and sturdy and responsible use of materials, you would expect the WoodShed planter to cost you an arm and a leg, but no! Sure, it will cost you more than the GEEZY planter, but considerably less than the Ruddings planter, so it’s high quality and relatively low priced.
Once again, I know what you’re thinking – there must be some downsides to this product. And you would be right, of course there are – no one is perfect, after all. The primary downside with this product is its size. It may look deceptively roomy, but in reality, the approximate dimensions of the entire product are just 60cm x 60cm x 25cm (Width x Depth x Height). Yep – you heard me right, the entire product, not just the individual boxes. This may explain its low price, as this planter size does limit how much, and what type of vegetation, you can fit in the boxes. Still, for those who don’t care about size, this is pretty much the perfect planter.
3. Vegtrug RHP6002N Herb Garden planter
Specification: Material: Wood, Total Size: 80cm high x 78cm length x 58cm wide, Pre-drilled holes: No (base is slatted)
It is time now to take a look at the Vegtrug Herb Garden planter which, like WoodShed, throws a metaphorical curveball in the race to find the best raised wooden planter.
The Vegtrug planter takes ‘raised’ to a new level (pardon the pun), with its long 80cm legs towering above the competition when it comes to height – I challenge any slug to try and climb those legs! The actual box part of the planter measures 78cm x 58cm (Length x Width), but all is not as it seems. The box of the Vegtrug planter is in fact separated into 8 mini compartments, hence the ‘Herb Garden’ title. These little compartments are perfect for growing different varieties of herbs or flowers, making for a super useful, and gorgeous looking raised garden. The compartments come in especially handy if you need to care for each individual plant in a different manner, as you can separate the soil and give your plants the unique nutrients that they require. However, the separate compartments do limit you somewhat, in that you can only plant small batches of flowers or herbs. If you wanted to plant larger vegetation like, for example, potatoes or squash, you would struggle with this raised planter. Certainly something worth bearing in mind.
There are a couple of clever added features which really make me love the Vegtrug herb garden planter like, for example, the storage tray at the base of the planter. It’s a simple added feature, but it really sets the product apart from its competitors, showing that Vegtrug clearly has their customers at the centre of their ethos. Their focus is on usability and performance, and this is once again exemplified in the inclusion of a plastic liner, making potting and planting a walk in the park. Of course, this means that draining isn’t possible with this product, but you can’t win them all. Another simple but super successful added feature is the covers on each foot of the planter, designed to protect the wood from the ground up. It’s these small touches which seem inconsequential, but when used together make for a well-rounded and thoughtful product.
So, where is the catch? Well, as previously mentioned it’s the compartments which are my biggest gripe with this product. On the one hand they are a clever and unique feature, but on the other hand, they simply limit the usability and potential of the product. In addition to this, it is worth mentioning that the Vegtrug herb planter is on the expensive side and is actually one of the most expensive planters I have come across in my search for number one. Still, if your budget can stretch, satisfaction is guaranteed with this raised planter.
What about making your own raised wooden planters?
Did you know just how easy it would be to make your own wooden planters? From old pallets you could make raised wooden planters! Take a look at this video!
Ignore her timber. You could actually produce these from old wooden pallets that are normally available for free. You’ll only need a hammer and sander if you have time on your hands, if you don’t then you’ll want a cordless pin gun, cordless planer, cordless orbital sander, and a tape measure! You’ll probably want to finish the panels with a wood oil to get the same effect as the tutorial video. A decking oil as per the link will do the job lovely 😉 Here’s a look at some nice ones a chap made:
Another look at those:
Well, there you have it – the best raised wooden planters on the UK market, who would have thought that the planter industry would be so competitive? Which one is your favourite? As with many garden accessory comparisons, I think that the search for the perfect planter is a decision between style and substance or, in other words, aesthetics and functionality. If you can find a nice balance between the two, then you’re winning, and I believe that most of the products on this list successfully execute this balance. All that’s left to do is make your decision and get planting! Oh, and don’t forget to plant those Christmas potatoes – what’s a roast dinner without them?!