Protective covers for raised garden beds are a great idea for gardeners looking for a way to protect their plants from harsh temperatures, pests, and other environmental factors. There are a variety of garden bed cover ideas to choose from, ranging from plastic covers to mesh covers, depending on the needs of the gardener. Raised garden bed covers are a great way to ensure that your garden is healthy and thriving for years to come!
In fact, one of my post popular posts is about how to build a protective cover for raised garden beds. But overtime I also realized that not everyone has the power tools or skills to make it happen.
So in this post I’m sharing some of my favorite garden bed covers ideas that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. The goal is to find best protective covers for your raised garden beds so you can grow your plants and flowers without worry!
Why do you need a protective cover for your raised garden bed?
A protective cover for a raised garden bed has many benefits. It can help to keep the soil from drying out too quickly, protect plants from extreme weather conditions, keep out pests such as rabbits, and keep weeds from taking over the garden.
But most importantly, it protect your garden beds from small animals. Personally, I didn’t know I needed one until my precious vegetables and exotic fruits were all eaten up by the squirrels. Yes, I have a squirrel problem. I know it sounds cute, but it is not.
I was once a newbie gardener. When I first started my vegetable garden on raised beds, I didn’t know the importance of having a protective cover to prevent animals from attacking my crop.
Soon enough, I noticed a lot of my seedlings and vegetables got chewed up down to the ground. It took me a while to figure out it was the squirrels who ate up all of our vegetable crop.
At first, I was lazy and tried several ineffective ways to repel the squirrels, such as spraying chili water over my plants, and adding an owl statue. But none of them worked! So I was determined to get a garden bed cover to win this war with squirrels for good, and I built a DIY garden bed cover with hinged doors. And since then, I haven’t had to worry about any pesky animals in my garden again. Woohoo!
I had squirrel problems for my raised garden beds, a little bit of birds and mice problems, but you might have a deer problem, chipmunk, raccoons, even monkeys (believe me, I was surprised to hear that from one of my readers)!
The bottom line is: buying or building a protective garden bed cover is one of the most effective way to save your crops from small animals.
When do I need to cover my raised garden bed?
With the many benefits of garden bed covers, it is clear it can be a good investable for your gardening life.
But do you really need to cover your raised bed? The answer is two folds.
If you are not suffering from animal problems, then maybe you don’t need one. Most people who invested in raised garden bed covers are to keep the animals away from their vegetables.
If the nearby animal neighbors have been eyeing on your crop, I’d say take proactive measures and cover your raised garden bed.
In my personal experience, a lot of plants don’t bounce back after some severe animal munching. And that can cause you to miss the best gardening season of the year.
There are other situations you might want to consider to cover your garden, but with different materials as the cover.
Sometimes what you are growing doesn’t perfectly match your region, such as low temperature, too much sunlight, too much rain, etc. In those cases, you might want to invest some sort of tent or cover that can mitigate some of those situations.
What do you cover a garden bed with?
Luckily, there are many materials available on the market to fit your needs.
Fabrics / mesh / bird net
Very affordable and easy to use. They are generally great for frost protection, sun protection, and birds.
Makes a great greenhouse. It allows maximum sunlight to come in and is aesthetically pleasing. It also protects your garden from animals. But it can be fragile at the same time, and harder to install.
One of my favorite materials, because it is affordable and very malleable. It works great at stopping small animals to attack your garden.
Garden fencing is a great option as it is extra sturdy, so animals cannot chew it through. It is slightly harder to work with because it is made of thicker materials, but it really lasts.
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Best garden bed covers to protect your raised garden bed
As a decorator and a gardener, I’m very passionate at combining function with beauty.
So here are a few garden bed cover ideas listed in categories. The hope is to help you find bed covers work great at protecting your raised garden beds and will also add charm to your garden.
Note that some of the options are more “creative” than the others, meaning that those products were originally designed for different purposes, but they also work great at protecting your garden bed.
I have noticed a lot of ready-made garden bed covers are limited in styles, or too weak to really keep the animals away. So I’m trying to be creative to offer more solutions 🙂
Large protective covers for raised garden beds
1. Wooden Small Animal Hutch
This wooden cage was produced as a small animal hutch, but it can work fairly well to be placed on top of a garden bed.
What’s nice about it is that there are multiple doors you can open up, making it easier to take care of your garden while keeping them protected.
This cage is slightly less than 2 feet tall, so it works well for small or bush-like vegetables.
# Clevenger Chicken Run Cage
This outdoor cage works well for a 3’ by 5’ or 3’ by 6’ garden bed, where you place it on top of the soil within the bed area.
It does have a door on the top you can open it up, but because the size and weight are pretty manageable, it is easier to just lift it up when you need to take care of your vegetables.
# Chicken Wire Crop Coop
A charming raised garden bed cover. I love the pitched roof top.
The construction and materials are quite robust, but still lightweight enough so that it’s easy to remove when you need to care for your plants or harvest.
It does a great job at keeping wild bunnies, deer and other hungry critters from eating up your garden.
The size works well for a 2” by 4” raised bed. The height offers more flexibility to have slightly taller plants.
# Large Metal Walk-in Enclosure
This is a large galvanized metal cage. It works well if you have a large area of garden to protect. You can place your raised garden bed inside.
I love that it has a door so you can walk in and take care of your plants.
The spacing between the door and cage is quite large meaning it won’t do as a good job of keeping squirrels and mice out, but it will work for deer or racoons.
DIY protective covers for raised garden beds that fits perfectly
If you are handy and want to build a garden bed cover to fit your specific needs, it’s great to DIY yourself!
Last year, I designed and built a protective cover for my raised garden beds that will serve as a cage, in the effort to protect my vegetables from small animals.
It worked like a charm! The double hinged door allows me to easy check on my plants and harvest them. My vegetables are thriving, no more loss of leaves or seedlings!
Here’s a video I created so you can get a good idea of what the DIY process is like.
Small portable cover for your vegetable garden
Sometimes those wild lives are only interested in a few particular plants, and that’s where garden cloches come in handy. If you are able to keep your garden intact by protecting a few of your plants, then these are very economical options.
# Chicken wire cloche
This chicken wire cloche will protect your young pants or seedlings from small animals. It also has a vintage charm that I think will make your garden bed looks quite nice.
Use landscape staples to secure them to the ground so they won’t be knocked off by animals easily.
# 3-in-1 Chicken Wire Cloche
This garden cloche is slightly more economical because you can protect several plants in one go.
Just like the one above, it works great for smaller plants, and might need landscape staples to reinforce.
Greenhouse cover for your raised bed
If you are not experiencing any animal problems and simply want to protect your plants from wind, rain or cold weather, consider investing in a greenhouse cover.
# Mini Greenhouse for Raised Garden Bed
This greenhouse comes with clear PVC cover that can stop plant seeds or young plants from frost and keep internal moisture.
It also does a decent job at protecting your plants from birds.
It has two doors that can be tied on top to keep the door open, which makes it convenient for regular maintenance.
Best garden bed cover ideas summary
So there are a lot of ways to protect your raised garden bed, whether to protect by plants that are the most vulnerable, protect the entire raised bed, or even DIY your own protective cover to fit your specific raised garden bed sizes.
The possibilities are endless and I hope this post offered you some great ideas on where to start. From store bought protective covers for raised garden beds to custom-made garden bed cover ideas, you have a variety of options to choose from to keep your raised garden bed safe from the elements.