Garden boxes are the ideal choice to manage the space if you have a cozy garden. Garden beds are raised platforms that are used to grow flowers and plants inside them. Wood is the most common material used in making garden beds.

The wood used in garden boxes is veneered with polythene sheets and often chemically treated to withstand the adverse effects of climate.

In the article below we have made a list of the 5 best wood for raised garden beds after considering all the necessary checks.

Best wood for raised garden beds

Advantages of Raised Garden Beds

  1. Garden beds prevent plants from getting damaged by foot traffic.
  2. Absence of foot traffic results in non-compacted soil which is ideal for vegetation growth. Non-compacted soils also save tilling time.
  3. Garden beds have better drainage capability as compared to normal fields which result in more yield.
  4. In slopped terrains, garden beds can help create a leveled surface for plant growth.
  5. Garden beds give an excellent aesthetic appearance to the garden and help in dividing the garden into different dedicated fields for multiple plants.

Things To Consider When Picking The Best Wood For Raised Garden Beds

There are mainly Four things to consider when you’re planning to get the best wood for a garden bed:

Choose Properly Treated Wood

The wood used in garden boxes will constantly be exposed to harsh weather conditions and termites present in the soil.

So, it becomes crucial to choose the wood that is resistant to termite attacks and provides good resistance to water. Other than just choosing the wood species, one should choose properly treated wood.

Price and Maintenance Cost

Choosing the cheapest wood is not going to check this point. One should also consider the maintenance cost that will be borne over the period.


Choose a wood that’s sustainable and goes well with nature. Since you’re on a mission that involves nature, it’d be better to get timber that is sourced from well-managed forests. Try to get the wood purchased from the certified vendor by Forest Department


The look of the wood to be used should match the overall aesthetic view of your garden. The option of staining is not recommended for garden beds as these can interrupt the organic nature of your garden bed.

List of Best Wood For Raised Garden Beds

Let’s walk you through all your options so you can make an informed decision. Ultimately, you can select the suitable wood depending on your specific needs, budget, and other preferences.

1. Cedar Wood (Best Wood For Raised Garden Beds)

best wood for garden beds

Cedar is a popular domestic hardwood that can be found growing on both the East and West coasts of the United States. There are various types of cedar trees, but the most commonly utilized for their lumber are Eastern and Western Red Cedar.

Cedar wood is considered a naturally water-resistant wood and is mainly used in fencing. Also, this is the safest material for raised garden beds as it does not need to treat with chemicals.

It also possesses other properties like Rot-resistant, decay-resistant, and the ability to withstand humid environments that make it a great choice for raised bed gardens.

The color of red cedar wood starts as a rich reddish brown, which is slightly redder than cherry wood but can vary depending on the growth conditions of the tree. Over time, exposure to sunlight and oxygen can cause the color to change.

  • Durable (Last up to ten years)
  • Naturally rot-resistant 
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to work with
  • A bit expensive
  • Needs maintenance 

2. Redwood (Highly Durable Option For Garden Beds)

best wood for garden beds

Redwood is an evergreen species. There are over 30 lumber grades for redwood lumber. The wood has several unique characteristics that make it highly sought after for a variety of applications. 

One of the primary characteristics of redwood is its durability. Redwood is known for its ability to last for decades, even in harsh weather conditions.

Redwood is extensively used in outdoor applications including garden beds and field edging due to its water-resistance properties.

The natural oils and tannins present in the wood help in protecting it from rot, decay, and insect damage. These oils also give the wood a distinct aroma, often appreciated in outdoor applications.

  • Durable and Aesthetic
  • Naturally Water Resistant
  • Visually Appealing 
  • Resistance to warp and shrinkage
  • Limited Availability
  • May be difficult to to find sustainable resource 

3. Treated Pine (Affordable Wood For Garden Beds)

best wood for garden beds

Treated pine, as the name suggests, is chemically treated to increase its durability and decay resistance (Often called H3-treated pine). It is highly coveted by woodworkers and is one of the cheapest wood for raised garden beds.

The H-3-treated Pine is treated with two main chemicals namely fungicides and insecticides. Post-treatment with these chemicals the pine becomes resistant to moisture and termite attacks.

Another great thing about treated pine is its affordability. Compared to other types of wood, it’s less expensive, making it a practical choice for those who are looking for cheap wood for garden beds.

It’s also widely available at most home improvement stores and lumber yards, so it’s easy to find and purchase.

  • Affordable & Sustainable
  • Rot and Insect Resistant
  • Readily Available in markets
  • May prone to Shtinkage
  • Chemicals used in treatment may cause harm

4. Composite Wood (Low Maintenance Wood For Garden Beds)

best wood for garden beds

Composite wood, like Trex, is popular for outdoor applications. Composite wood is made from the residual obtained after cutting the natural wood. Residual scrap is collected and mixed with thermoplastic resins and then molded into the desired shape.

One of the primary characteristics of composite wood is its durability. Unlike traditional lumber, composite wood doesn’t rot, warp, or splinter.

It’s also resistant to termites and other insects, which makes it an excellent choice for outdoor use. With proper care, composite wood can last for many years, even in harsh weather conditions.

Another great feature of composite wood is its low maintenance requirements. Composite wood only needs to be cleaned periodically. This is because it’s designed to resist fading, staining, and mold growth, which means it will maintain its appearance and color over time.

  • Requires Less Maintenance
  • Strong and durable
  • Highly Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Lacks Natural looks

5. Teak Wood (Durable & Great Appearance)

best wood for garden beds

When it comes to water resistance, Teak wood is considered the gold standard. Found radially in rainforests of Myanmar, Indonesia, and Southern India, Teak wood has natural oils which makes it an ideal choice for outdoor usage.

Teakwood is a type of hardwood that makes it an ideal choice for outdoor usage. The presence of natural mineral oil makes it Pest and Termite resistant.

Teakwood can last a lifetime even if left untreated. However, it is recommended to chemically treat teakwood in order to achieve the maximum efficiency

When teakwood is new it has a honey-brown color with straight grains which gives it a clean appearance.

Natural water resistance, resistance from termites, and good visual appearance make Teak wood an ideal choice to be used in garden beds.

  • Excellent water-resistant properties
  • Visually appealing
  • Resistant to termites 
  • Hard and Durable
  • High prices
  • Not easily available 


The right choice of wood for garden beds can make huge differences. The choice of wood can impact the health of your plants, the longevity of your garden bed, and the safety of your food if you plan on growing edibles.

It’s essential to consider the type of wood, its durability, and whether or not it’s been treated with harmful chemicals before making your decision.

By taking the time to choose the right wood, you can create a garden bed that’s healthy, long-lasting, and beautiful.

Frequently Asked Questions

These woods are resistant to rot and insects, and they hold up well in outdoor environments.

With proper care, garden boxes made of cedar, redwood, cypress, or pine can last for several years or more.

Using a sealant or stain can help extend the life of your garden boxes by protecting the wood from moisture and other environmental factors.

Regular maintenance such as cleaning and resealing can help extend the life of your garden boxes. You should also regularly check for signs of rot or insect damage.

Garden boxes should be at least 6-8 inches deep to accommodate most plants’ root systems.

The size of your garden boxes will depend on the space you have available and the types of plants you plan to grow.

As a general rule, a garden box should be no wider than 4 feet to ensure that you can reach all areas without stepping into the box.

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