It’s time to think outside of the garden box!

Dark Raised Bed
Thomas J. Story

The growing season might be in full swing, but there are still ways to upgrade your garden game. From keeping out unwanted pests (or pets) to building your own customized trellising and irrigation—it’s time to make your beds work smarter, not harder. We’ve got five ways to customize your planters this summer that will not only make things look fantastic, but will take your growing capabilities to the next level. Whether you choose to tackle them all or just add one to your list of weekend to-dos, I promise it will be a noticeable refresh with rewarding results. 

Want to see these steps in action? Check out our latest video on Instagram where I glam up a handful of beds in gorgeous Santa Ynez, California for an upcoming home feature. Let us know in the comments which one you will take on first—let’s grow!

1. Critter Cages

Critter Cages
Some invaders are cuter than others, but none belong in our raised beds.

Thomas J. Story

Intruders are inevitable, be they your own pets or other curious creatures. Keep plantings safe from digging by adding customizable toppers to raised beds. Depending on your space, styles can vary from lids that lift using door hinges to sliding screen doors for gardens with less girth. Use ½-inch, 19-gauge wire screens to allow precious pollinators entrance, while keeping mischievous mice out.

2. Styling with Stain

Boldly Colored Raised Beds

Thomas J. Story

Add a little glam to your garden by staining your beds to match your home style. There are a number of non-toxic, eco-friendly stains on the market that can quickly transform the look of your garden by using a power sprayer, which gets the job done quickly and evenly. Go bold with black or emerald green, which really allows your plants’ greenery and blooms to pop.

3. Tailor-Made Trellising 

Vertical Gardening Trellis

Kristin Guy

Ditch the dumpy store-bought plastic trellises and custom-make your own with a few bamboo poles and lashing cord. The sky’s the limit, literally! Growing up is the best way to maximize garden space and you can create a number of styles ranging from A-frame to panel cages—just be sure to master the square lashing knot for extra-sturdy support. 

4. Planting with Purpose

Companion Planting

Kristin Guy

Companion planting is nothing new, but by plotting out your plant selections you can increase harvests while deterring pests and disease. Use low-growing herbs or tender greens with shallow roots below taller plantings to aid in soil coverage and water retention. Try experimenting with alliums and marigolds, which can be tucked in tightly between other vegetables to keep bad bugs at bay. 

5. Smarter Sprays

Irrigation Micro Spray

Kristin Guy

Move over traditional drip; we’ve got an extension pack that will water plants more efficiently and allow you to customize planting areas each season. Micro sprays can be attached to traditional drip lines by puncturing a hole in the main line and running a smaller tube out to where water is needed most—the plant’s roots. Heads can be adjusted for larger spray patterns or turned off completely, allowing you to increase watering to specific areas or seasons when needed.