Are you looking for a top-notch wooden raised bed kit? If so, I highly recommend the fine products made by Infinite Cedar.
Infinite Cedar’s American-made kits top all others, thanks to premium materials, ease of assembly, durability, and rustic charm.
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There are several perks to this product in comparison to other wooden ones that you simply can’t overlook.
It has a simple square or rectangular shape made from sleek, elegant cedar, and comes in two different sizes that can stack one on top of the other, if you’ve got basic handyman (or handywoman) skills.
This is a huge plus for those who can’t risk back strain, or elderly gardeners as well as those with limited mobility.
3-by-3-foot and longer 3-by-6-foot sizes are available, and both create a planting space that is 11 inches in height. Total weight is 22 pounds for the smaller model and 32 pounds for the larger option, which is certainly not too difficult to lug around, especially if you have a buddy to help you.
What You’ll Learn
Wooden, Rustic Appearance
This is a detail that appeals to many people. While plastic (and other synthetics) have been the standard in planters for years, the natural look is currently all the rage. If you’re dead-set on that trendy country style, then this kit will really deliver.
Other attractive details that I’ll describe below also contribute to its top-choice status.
Made with Western Red Cedar
A material that really beautifies the bed’s appearance, the wood chosen here is western red cedar. This lumber is not only downright gorgeous, it’s soothingly aromatic, and also incredibly durable.
Western red cedar is a very high quality lumber that’s rot resistant, and insect repellent to boot.
Topping it all off, Infinite Cedar gives you boards for assembly that are nice and thick: the standard 1.25-inch width is an ideal wood thickness for decking that guarantees your wood won’t warp.
If you take a look at the other wooden options that are out there, problems with bending or bowing of boards are definitely something you’ll hear about – but you don’t get those reports from Infinite Cedar customers as often as you do with other wooden box containers.
Reinforcing Rods at Corners
These help to keep corners tight and together, an area that leaves much to be desired with some models. When soil is filled into the containers, corners can work themselves loose and effectively disassemble the kit.
This model is constructed well. Rods made of aluminum ensure not only that corners cannot work themselves loose over time, but also that the kit will remain anchored securely in the same spot for a long period.
This addition also makes the whole kit easy to assemble.
No Tools Necessary
No power drills or hammers are needed, there are no screws or nails that may rust over time. A high level of skill is not required for assembly.
The only hardware items needed to construct these beds are the special aluminum metal pins (completely rust free) that are included in each kit, and they are very easy to use.
These are inserted through the ends of the boards to secure them for years to come. They are also easy to take out, in the case of a move.
However, if you stack two kits to make a taller bed, you’ll need to source longer pins at the hardware store.
No Chemicals Applied
The wood is not pressure treated or finished, though buyers may certainly add finish themselves if they want even longer-lasting wood.
While you DO want to get the most mileage out of your wooden planter, eventually – as is nature’s way – any type of wood (cedar, finished, etc.) will one day rot and need replacement.
What matters most is that you find a bed that lasts as long as possible in spite of this inevitability – and Infinite Cedar beats the rest in this category.
Since no chemicals are used, this a great option for the organic and health-conscious gardener!
If you do want to apply a finish, I would only recommend something like boiled linseed oil, which penetrates to wood and is made from natural materials, aka flax.
5-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
You can’t complain about 5 years of guaranteed quality. Infinite Cedar ensures protection against any manufacturing defects AND premature rot due to climatic conditions for half a decade!
Price fluctuations have been noted, but generally speaking, this model tends to be moderately more expensive than most other wooden models – likely due to its use of high quality cedar, and the inclusion of added assembly elements.
As a side note, you can definitely get your hands on much cheaper alternatives. We’ll take a look at some of these in other reviews – but as we have noted in our exploration of other wood models, you’ll realize that the extra cost of this top pick contributes quite a bit to the product’s longevity.
Things to Consider
These tend to be pricier than other raised bed models like those from Greenes – a fencing company that has the market largely cornered for these products, with many different models, sizes, and styles available, and a fair reputation.
On the other hand, in spite of Greenes’ comparative popularity, reviews are mixed with more problems reported – you can check out our review on a wood Greenes’ model here (coming soon!).
Another important detail: these kits do not include a bottom. There is no base to go underneath it when you set it on the ground, which is an issue for some customers who are trying to grow on concrete or contaminated soil.
If this is something that you require, you’ll have to purchase and install it separately. But I’m in the camp that planters without bottoms are the better option.
They give more room for roots to spread and break up any earth underneath the planters, which also allows more access to nutrition and soil microbes than if the soil in the container was completely cut off.
Further, allowing water to drain into the soil below rather than puddling in an impermeable base can prevent moisture and disease issues, without compromising that weed-free bed you’re after. (That is, if you add a soil mix that’s free of weed seeds!)
It may also help with the long-term integrity of your wooden planters by preventing rot and waterlogging – think about it! Makes sense, right?
Some people will place landscaping cloth down, but I wouldn’t suggest this either. Though it is permeable, it tends to break up into nasty little pieces over the years, and really just pollutes the soil.
I would recommend laying down rabbit wire fencing if you have moles, voles, or shrews. Rabbit fencing is like the stonger, more durable cousin of chicken wire and can defeat sharp mole teeth.
However, for those who want to keep the soil in their yards pristine and unbroken – or who want to set up garden boxes on top of surfaces like concrete, decking, or patios they don’t want to get sopping wet or cracked via root growth – getting a planter with a bottom separator is absolutely essential.
Having separation from yard soil is also important if you are concerned about toxic elements or heavy metal buildup, especially in urban areas.
Infinite Cedar also states that you can stack two different kits one on top of the other for a taller, deeper bed that prevents back strain from stooping (a common feature among varying models) – though it should be noted that there are no secure groove joints for attaching separate kits to one another. This is a DIY upgrade that you’ll need to design and construct yourself, by making adaptations to the kit.
Instability and soil leakage are possibilities if you try stacking. If you’re looking for size-customizable planters, you may want to look elsewhere – though this isn’t a problem that a little advance planning and some basic carpentry skills couldn’t fix.
What Others Are Saying
Some customers have directly compared their purchases to Greenes, saying that the wood is clearly of a higher quality with thicker, more durable boards that do not bend or warp.
Want some more options? Check out some of our other raised bed guides and reviews, and growing guides:
- Make These Easy DIY Raised Beds
- The Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening
- Get Started with No-Till Gardening
- How to Be Successful with Your Lettuce Patch
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos courtesy of Infinite Cedar.
About Adrian White
Adrian White is a certified herbalist, organic farmer, and health/food writer and expert. She aims to bridge the world of natural, holistic health and nutrition to the realm of organic foods, herbalism, gardening, and sustainability - or "Food as Medicine" - throughout her writing.