Pros and Cons of Metal Raised Garden Beds [Our Recommendations!]

pros and cons of metal raised garden beds

It’s no surprise that metal raised garden beds have had a massive spike in interest over the last few years. They’ve got a modern look about them; the popularity of urban gardening is spiking and let’s be honest, they’re incredibly easy to install.

We’re going to get into the nitty-gritty, what’s good, what’s bad, why you should invest in metal raised beds and why they potentially might not be for you.

In short, the pros of metal raised garden beds are they’re easy to setup, you can control the quality of soil and they’re less prone to weeds and pests. When it comes to cons, they’re more expensive than wooden raised beds and they can overheat.

It all comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking to achieve in your garden.

Let’s take a deeper look into these metal raised garden beds.

Metal Raised Garden Beds: The Pros

Easy Installation

One of the main draws to metal raised garden beds is the fact they’re easy to install. They’re more modern than wooden beds, which has meant the design process has improved.

You can have metal beds delivered pre-built or more commonly, flat packed.

Although they’re metal, they’re incredibly lightweight and even for one person, they’re easy to setup with the recommended tools.

Improved Soil Quality

Without doubt one of the more difficult things to get right when gardening is getting the soil right, the variation in soil quality, nutrients, etc. plays a massive part in the health of your plants.

What’s fantastic about metal raised garden beds is the fact you’re in complete control of the soil quality. You can decide which type of soil you put in, how much, you can add, or takeaway nutrients and you can tailor the soil to the specific types of plants you’re looking to grow.

Outstanding Durability

Now, these things are robust!

They’re built to last, most metal beds are zinc-coated, what that does is act as a layer of protection against the elements.

If you maintain metal beds correctly, you’re looking at getting roughly 20 years of use out of a metal raised garden bed before rust can start to become an issue.

Metal Raised Garden Beds: The Cons

An Expensive Option

As with anything in life of significant quality, you’re going to have to pay a premium. That good old saying of “you get what you pay for” does stand true when it comes to garden beds.

Any type of raised garden bed is more expensive than just using your garden soil or cheap plant pots, but metal ones are even more – we’re not talking an obscene amount of money, here’s one of my favourites on Amazon (click here to take a peek) which at the time of writing this is only about $60-$70.

Not Ideal for Acid Based Soil

Whilst these metal beds are great for 99% of plants, there is always going to be an exception.

There’s a selection of plants that thrive in an acid-based soil, blueberries as an example. As you can imagine, an acid-based soil will gradually eat away at the metal beds and they simply won’t last as long.

Prone to Overheating

This last con is a tricky one, seeing as these beds are made of metal, and they’re outside all day, like all metal, they will obviously heat up from the sun which can potentially harm your plants.

Also, once you’ve chosen the location of your garden bed and filled it up with soil, you’re not going to be able to move it.

So be aware to avoid heat-sensitive plants or look to place your bed in a partially shaded area to cool it down, should it have a few hours of constant, direct sunlight.

Metal Raised Garden Beds: The Conclusion

As with anything in life, there’s pros and cons, we’ve created a small visual for your below for a quick comparison.

Pros
  • Easy Installation
  • Improved Soil Quality
  • Outstanding Durability (for 20 years)
Cons
  • An Expensive Option (when compared to wooden beds)
  • Not Ideal for Acid Based Soil
  • Prone to Overheating

3 Bonus Tips

  1. Although not as customizable as wood garden beds, metal beds do come in all shapes and sizes, and there is the option for DIY metal beds, if you know what you’re doing!
  2. If you’re going to invest in a metal raised garden bed, it’s important the product you’re opting for has been zinc-coated, the treatment is vital for the longevity of your raised bed.
  3. There are so many products to choose from, but from our experience you should avoid any metal raised beds with plastic fittings, they’ll degrade far quicker than you’re raised bed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do metal raised garden beds get too hot?

Yes, metal raised garden beds can get too hot. Make sure not to plant heat-sensitive plants and be selective with the location of your garden bed, ideally allowing for some shade during the day.

Is wood or metal better for raised garden beds?

Depending on your requirements, wood garden beds are cheaper and easily customizable due to wood being easy to work with. Raised metal beds are durable, easy to install and allow you to prepare soil exactly how you need.

How long do galvanized steel garden beds last?

Galvanized steel garden beds, if maintained properly, can last up to 20 years before rust can become an issue.

Final Thoughts

We think metal raised garden beds are great. They’re the way forward, they’re visually beautiful and being able to control the soil and environment your plants grow in is essential, we’ve seen so much more success in the yard since we’ve been using metal beds.

You just need to be selective with the plants you grow and pick the right location initially! Get those right, and you’re set.

 

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