Vertical vs Raised Bed Gardening

Everyone, rise up for raised gardening! Offering plenty of advantages over traditional ground gardening, vertical gardening and raised bed gardening are unbeleafably effective at growing healthy plants. But which of these elevated gardening methods truly reaches new heights?

Raised Bed vs Vertical Gardening — Which is Better?

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised bed gardens are horizontally aligned garden beds raised above ground level. Compared to ground beds, raised beds:

  • Allow for deep-root plants like cucumbers to thrive.
  • Are easier for some people with back problems to tend.
  • Lower the chances of compacted roots compared to other gardening methods, such as using pots.
  • Warm up faster.
  • Usually have fewer weeds.
  • Offer better drainage.
  • Can make it easier to have a garden when soil quality is otherwise too low or hostile to support plant life at ground level.

Vertical Gardening

Small Space Vegetable GardenVertical gardens grow—you guessed it—vertically rather than horizontally. Vertical gardening is growing in popularity every year, and it’s easy to see why.

Our vertical gardening systems:

  • Offer easy access to plants.
  • Are good for plant roots, giving them plenty of room to spread out.
  • Use a drip irrigation system to conserve water.
  • Can easily thrive indoors, so you can grow food all year compared to a single growing season with outdoor gardens.
  • Make it harder for critters to snack on your greenery.
  • Offer the same planting area (in terms of square feet) as traditional gardening, all the while taking up less horizontal room in small spaces.
  • Can move about, unlike a stationary trellis (if you opt for one of our leaning frames or A-frames).
  • Are made with durable, rot-resistant materials.
  • Mean you don’t have to worry about topsoil loss, and it’s easy enough to replace the soil inside our Vardensoks, Gardensoxx, and Ellepots with your own favorite commercial garden soil or potting soil or even local compost!

And the Winner Is…

DIY Trellis

Both raised bed and vertical gardening offer clear advantages over traditional ground gardening. However, we think that vertical gardening comes out on top—especially when you use our Varden™ vertical garden kits—for the following reasons:

  • Setting up your own raised bed can be difficult and time-consuming, whereas our Varden™ system has an easy, quick setup.
  • Raised beds require lots of water. Our Varden™ system helps you conserve water with an eco-friendly drip irrigation system.
  • Because they can dry out quickly, raised beds need lots of mulch. Our Vardesoks don’t require mulch, just our own healthy soil mix made with organic matter, composted right here in St. Louis.
  • Our vertical growing systems take up much less space than traditional or raised garden beds.
  • Our vertical systems are often much less messy than traditional gardening methods.

No matter which way you stack it, we think our Varden™ vertical gardening system is unbeetable. Whether you want an indoor kitchen garden or a gorgeous outdoor vegetable garden, our systems can help you achieve your #GardenGoals.

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About the Author: Mark Woolbright

Mark Woolbright is an inventor and innovator of living walls with over 30 years in design, manufacture, marketing, and installation of plantable, living wall systems. Mark graduated from Eastern Illinois University and is currently Managing Member of Greenwall Ventures, LLC, and most recently, CEO/Founder of Verdtech, Inc. Throughout his career, he has been awarded twelve patents, with more applications pending. Mark has served on the Board of the St. Louis USGBC, as a member of the Green Wall Committee of GRHC which develops course curriculum for its Green Walls 101 course and is a certified Biophilic Design trainer through GPGB. He is passionate about educating the building community on the environmental benefits of Living Walls and best practices for their use. If you have questions on living walls, contact Mark at (314) 279-8905 or View his creations and services at