This Viral Gardening Trend is Loved by Experts — "It's the Best-Looking Idea for Growing Vegetables"

I've spotted this way of growing vegetables in your yard all over social media — and I think it might be the most stylish way to make a vegetable garden

a raised container garden with vegetables planted in metal troughs
(Image credit: Harlow and May. Design: Garden Girls)

I'm calling it — this year is the year I finally start my vegetable garden. In the lead-up to the new growing season, I've been obsessively researching the sort of crops I want to plant this year — but there's one thing I haven't thought about as much. That is where I'm actually going to plant these vegetables.

However, a new trend has caught my attention in some of the coolest-looking modern vegetable gardens for a specific type of planter. Metal raised garden beds. These industrial-looking planters tend to come in easy-to-construct kits, and many modern versions feel more finished and elevated than you'd expect.

For those who want to live the good life, whether you've got a sprawling yard or a small courtyard, this idea might be the easiest (and best looking) way to start a vegetable garden this year.

a raised container garden with vegetables planted in metal troughs

(Image credit: Harlow and May. Design: Garden Girls)

And professional gardeners love this style of planter, too. 'Adding metal garden beds to a front yard landscape is like adding a cherry to the top of a sundae,' says Jen McDonald, a professional gardener and landscape designer, co-founder of the Garden Girls. 'The visual impact of rolled steel or Corten is especially striking. Galvanized stock tanks are warm and inviting when filled with seasonal flowers, herbs and vegetables.'

These vegetable container gardening planters are easy to construct, too, especially compared to some of the more "finished" looking wooden raised garden kits. There are some great modern brands offering this sort of design in a range of colors, so you can make them more of a feature in your backyard.

Plus, they need far less upkeep. According to Olle, one such brand making elevated metal raised beds, these metal beds can last up to 30 years, where cheaper wood will last 4-5, and more durable woods like cedar up to 10. What you need to double-check is the acidity level in your soil. High acidity can damage the zinc around the planter, which may mean your metal planters don't last as long. You can do this with a soil pH tester, like this one from Amazon.


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What should you look for in a metal raised garden bed?

'When choosing metal beds, quality is of utmost importance,' Jen McDonal explains. 'Rolled steel in 3/16th guage or Corten steel, a designer brand of steel, will last a lifetime. Galvanized stock tanks or farm troughs also last 15+ years,' she says .

'For vegetable gardens, steel is a gold standard,' she adds. 'I love a 2’ high garden bed because it’s not only beautiful but much more comfortable to tend. The width should be no more than 4’ feet. Anything more than that becomes difficult to tend and harvest.'

9 of the best raised metal garden beds

Hugh Metcalf
Editor of

Hugh is the  Editor of From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2024.