Are Raised Beds Better Than Ground Beds?

Are Raised Beds Better Than Ground Beds?

May 6th 2024

Raised beds vs in-ground beds: which is the best choice for your garden? Both are popular and different gardening methods, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right method for you and your space depends on multiple factors. Both are effective in growing crops, but one might be better than the other, depending on your gardening needs.

In this post, we will compare both gardening methods and share the key aspects you should consider before deciding so you can grow the healthiest crops.

Raised Garden Beds vs in Ground Garden Beds

Let's first discover the difference between both types of gardens.

Raised Beds

A raised bed garden is a garden in which plants are grown in a raised structure above ground level. The structure has four walls made of wood, metal, bricks, or stone. It is filled with high-quality soil and compost to ensure optimal plant growth. Most raised beds are bottomless, and some are enclosed so that you can add wheels for higher mobility and accessibility. Raised beds allow gardeners better control over soil quality, yields, drainage, and weed suppression.

Read More: Everything You Need to Know about Raised Bed Gardening

In Ground Beds

An in-ground garden is a traditional method of gardening in which a garden is formed directly in the ground by tilling and amending the soil. Rocks, weeds, and roots are removed from that area, and then plants are grown in the soil. Depending on the soil conditions, in-ground gardens provide a larger planting area and a more realistic gardening experience.

Pros and Cons of Raised Beds


More Accessible: Raised beds make gardening more accessible for anyone, especially to elders, children, or people with disabilities who have difficulty reaching ground beds.

Better Control: Raised beds provide better control over soil quality, fertilizer, and watering. You can fill the bed with ideal soil rather than working on native soil for successful growth.

Aesthetically Pleasing: Wooden or metal raised beds look neat, tidy, and picturesque, adding charm to your garden.

Fewer Weeds: Raised beds reduce weeds and invasive spreading. Add a weed blocker or barrier at the bottom of the bed before adding soil. You can also easily pull weeds from raised beds without straining your body.

Longer Growing Season: Raised garden beds warm up quickly in spring, extending the growing season so you can start planting and growing earlier.


High Upfront Cost: Raised beds can be expensive if you need many for your garden. They require upfront costs for materials and high-quality soil. If you use wood, they'll also require upkeep down the road.

Limited Space: Raised beds may not work well for creating a large-scale garden. If you want to grow a big garden, then it is not affordable to have many raised beds. Some crops, such as sweet corn, berry bushes, and watermelon, require significant growing space.

Related Post: How to Build a Raised Garden Bed for Beginners

Why are Raised Beds Better for Gardening Than Ground Beds?

Raised beds are an excellent choice for many people. You can build your own or buy a raised bed kit to start your garden. If your native soil is not suitable for growing plants, a raised bed is a better option. You can fill the bed with a high-quality soil mixture and customize it to suit your plant's growing needs. In-ground beds require much extra work to ensure the soil is ideal for planting.

The choice of garden bed depends on multiple factors such as the soil quality, crops you want to grow, climate, type of garden you want, and the pros and cons of each garden bed. Here is how raised beds are better than in-ground beds for gardening.

Raised Beds Provide Better Drainage

If a raised bed is filled with good-quality soil, it can drain more quickly than a ground bed. This is useful in rainy areas or if your garden has drainage issues. Many edible plants prefer frequent watering but prefer to avoid having their roots wet for a long time. Plants grown in in-ground beds are likely to sit in water because you can't control drainage, which increases the risk of rot, mildew, and mold. The elevation of raised beds promotes faster draining.

Raised Beds are more Versatile than Ground Beds

Raised garden beds can be placed on paved patios, balconies, and decks. If you have limited growing space, you can grow your favorite plants in a raised bed. You can create a moveable raised bed by installing wheels on the bed with a closed bottom. This allows you to move the beds according to the plants' needs, which is impossible with plants grown in the ground. When you choose a location for an in-ground garden, you are only limited to a location that has good sunlight and soil.

Raised Garden Beds are Easier to Tend than Ground Beds

Tending in-ground plants is a difficult task. Comfort, accessibility, and ease are important for enjoying your garden regularly. Unlike in-ground gardens, raised beds are much easier for older gardeners and children to tend and harvest without bending, stepping on things, or falling. These elevated garden beds can save your back and knees.

Raised Beds Deter Pests

Raised beds make it more difficult for garden pests like slugs, snails, and rabbits to reach your garden. Adding a row cover or garden mesh over the bed can deter other pests, such as squirrels, cats, and birds. These barriers are easier to install in raised garden beds than in-ground beds. If there is a risk of burrowing pests attacking from below, block them by lining the bottom of your bed with metal chicken wire or mesh.

When Should I Consider Choosing In-Ground Beds for Gardening?

If you have a large yard with decent sunlight and good native soil, it is a great idea to build in-ground beds. In-ground gardens eliminate the need to fill the raised beds. If your soil is suitable for plant growth, you can start planting. You may have to spend time preparing the soil, removing grass, and loosening it.

In-ground beds are cheaper and faster to set up. You can plant in the entire garden instead of being limited to a specific area. Also, irrigation systems such as drip irrigation or sprinklers are easier to install on in-ground beds.

The Bottom Line

Both raised and in-ground beds are great for creating a beautiful garden in your yard. Each style of gardening has potential benefits and drawbacks. Deciding which is best depends on what you want to achieve from your garden. If you are a seasonal gardener and plan to grow multiple rows of crops, in-ground beds might be the best choice. A raised bed is ideal if you're looking for a garden bed that requires lower maintenance. Whichever garden bed you choose, your garden will thrive with love and care.

If you are looking for durable and affordable raised beds, we have a range of best quality metal raised beds. Our raised garden beds are made of sturdy material that will outlast wooden beds. Browse our collection of raised garden beds and drip irrigation kits for raised beds!