As a gardener, you are most likely very protective when it comes to your plants, and they need a lot of protection to thrive. Taking plants out of their native habitat allows them to grow dozens of fruits, vegetables, and herbs at your home, but new problems and issues cropped up because of it. Gardens face disease, pests, rain, heat, frost, and wind issues, and it’s enough to cause significant damage if you’re not careful. This is why raised bed covers can be invaluable to helping shield your plants.
Structured, tent, hinged, shading, or pop-up raised bed covers come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, and materials. Because of this, it can be difficult to pick out the best raised bed cover for your needs, so we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, you’ll find reviews for 10 excellent raised bed covers with reasons why you’d use them, how they work, and a short buying guide.
Protecting your plants when the temperatures drop is very important because you want them to live for as long as possible, and raised bed covers allow you to do just this.
Why Use a Raised Bed Cover
As we mentioned, a raised bed cover’s main function is to keep the plants safe and thriving as they grow. However, some protect against specific things while others are more general-purpose. We recommend that you consider the reasons why you want a raised bed cover in the first place before you shop because this will help you narrow down your choices right out of the gate.
We may love our pets, but they can cause huge issues in your garden. Most raised bed covers should work to keep them out, but the sturdier they are, the better. A good garden bed fence can discourage your dogs, but dogs and cats aren’t the only animals you have to worry about. Wildlife and birds may think that your garden is the perfect space to eat at. Chicken wire or bird netting will usually keep them out. However, if you choose to use bird netting, make sure you pull it taut so your birds won’t get caught in it.
Larger animals, like deer, need a bigger barrier. Pick out a strong raised bed cover with a mesh or solid cover that isn’t easy to rip. Cattle panels are a great choice because they get made to hold strong animals. They’re made from wire that is welded into a grid fence, and it makes a nice structure base for your bed cover.
Plants love sun and rain, but too much of either can do so much more harm than good. Direct sunlight and high heat are bad for many garden plants, particularly ones you can eat. Shade cloth comes designed with this in mind. It’s a woven fabric that is usually made out of a filament or plastic that will create shade for your plant without blocking out the sun completely. When you use it as a raised bed cover, you usually only spread it across the top during the hottest portion of each day.
However, frost and colder temperatures can easily cause just as much, or more, damage. This is where plastic raised bed covers come in. These are clear sheets of polyethylene that locks in the heat. Because they’re so versatile, they’re commonly used in small-scale greenhouse kits. Cold frames are also nice, and much more durable choices for keeping your garden bed frost-free and warm.
Wind and heavy rain usually requires durable sheeting for raised bed covers. However, no cover quality will hold up without a secure and sturdy structure to attach it to. Garden covers that sit on top of or around your bed can easily blow away. If you live in an area with high winds, you will have to attach the cover securely to the bed or make sure it’s weighted down. Also, hail usually comes with wind and rain. These little ice balls can give your garden a thorough beating. Fine netting is great in this situation. When you give it a structure to hold it up correctly, it’ll catch the hail before it hits the plants. Glass or plastic sheeting is much less effective since hail can tear or break them.
Pests And Disease Protection
No matter where or what you grow, flying insects will be around. This is where floating raised bed covers come in. They’re portable, lightweight, and perfect for helping keep these pests from eating the plants or laying eggs. Tightly-knit fabric or solid sheeting used as a floating row cover is the most efficient way to lock these insects out. For crawling insects, you need to anchor your raised bed cover right to the ground. Laying fine mesh at the base of the bed or securing it to your floating row cover at the surface of the soil is a great way to deter them.
Also, solid sheeting works to help prevent airborne fungal spores from spreading. Creating a full roof using this material will protect your plants from excess rain as it will slide off either side and reduce the risk of overwatering your plants. However, keep in mind that blocking out pests means blocking out pollinators. You will have to open up or remove your raised bed covers when it’s blossom time if you want your plants to produce.
1. SUNPRO Plant Cover – Top Pick
You can give your plants the best chance at growing possible with this raised bed cover. It’s a larger 10 by 30-foot rectangle row cover that gives you a lot of coverage that is versatile enough to use for seed germination in the springtime or summer or seeding growth during the winter. You can easily drape them over fruit trees, bushes, use them as plant tunnels, or you can cut them into smaller pieces for individual plants.
No matter if this raised bed cover is protecting your plants from snow, sleet, frost, chilly winds, or it’s keeping pests and insects out from your tomatoes, this is a reusable cover that is made out of non-woven, thick polypropylene fabric that is breathable, durable, and eco-friendly. The lightweight and breathable cover protects your plants from scorching under the sun while allowing air to flow through. You can spread extra layers over your plants to get frost protection too, and there is a satisfaction guarantee on the cover.
- Breathable woven fabric
- 10 by 30-foot size
- Very versatile
- Easy to double up
- Allows air to flow through
- Easy to tear
- Won’t stand up to hard frosts
2. Gardaner Plant Cover – Step-Up Pick
If you need to protect your plants from the frost or screen out crawling insects, this is a nice raised bed cover to consider. It provides efficient protection for your plants and covers up to 20 square feet. It’s a microfiber, non-woven fabric that is very durable and works well at defending your fruit trees, vegetables, or fruit against insects, birds, and other types of garden pests.
During the cooler months, this raised bed cover can protect from sleet, frost, hail, and snow. You will need to double it up for subzero temperatures to keep your plants safe, but this soft and lightweight cover will allow your plants to breathe while blocking UV rays to prevent overheating. It’s thin enough to allow rain to come through, but you should remove the cover for watering sessions.
This raised bed cover can blow off in the wind, but once you add your plastic clips or garden stakes, the cover will stay securely attached over your plants during windier days. You can also cut it to fit over seedling boxes, and you can either lay it right over your plants or over metal hoops so the fabric stays off the delicate foliage.
- Protects from sleet, sun, and frost
- 20 square feet of coverage
- Works for fruit trees
- Can lay it right on the plants
- Easy to cut
- Breathable and durable
- Easy to customize
- Will blow off if you don’t secure it
- Have to remove it to water
3. Valibe Plant Cover – Mid-End Budget Pick
This raised bed cover is a great choice for hobbyists, home gardeners, and commercial growing operations. It’s highly durable, and it’s a long-lasting non-woven, 0.74-ounce polypropylene cover that can withstand windy areas and shield your plants from the intense sun. You can use this cover early in the summer, and it gives decent winter protection from the wind, cold, and harsh sunlight.
This cover also allows light, air, and water through to your plants, and you can use it to extend the growing season or for early seed germination for your vegetables or flowers. Even though it has a thicker material, it’s lightweight enough to not crush delicate foliage, vegetables, flowers, or plants.
- Works for commercial-grade setups
- Highly durable
- Non-woven material that is slightly thicker
- Use for seed germination
- Allows air and light in
- Won’t crush delicate plants
- Easy to put on
- Doesn’t do well in below freezing temps
- Can break down quickly
4. Kasbon Plant Cover – Bargain Budget Pick
Instead of using any pesticides to help negate or control insect damage in your garden, consider using this raised bed cover. It’s great for raised bed vegetables, fruit trees, potted flowers, and seedlings. It’s made from durable and strong non-woven polypropylene fabric, and this cover gives your plants great protection from snow, frost, hail, wind, UV light, cool winter temperatures, birds, pests, and insects.
This is a very versatile product that you can use several ways. You can easily drape the 4 by 26-foot cover over individual plants and use rocks to stabilize it. It also works spread over a raised garden bed and secured to the ground using garden stakes. You can create a fully enclosed tunel to grow your plants using garden hoops and secure the ends using plastic ties. Another option is to cut it into different sizes to protect herbs or potted plants.
Your plants will even be able to continue to get the nutrients they need as it’s a breathable mesh that allows moisture, light, and ventilation to filter through. When you need to ventilate or water the plants, you can lift the sides of this raised bed cover for easy access, and you can reuse it multiple times.
- 4 by 26-foot size
- Can drape over plants or use on a frame
- Easy to secure
- Allows for good ventilation
- Sides give easy access
- Protects against UV damage
- Can rip relatively easily
- Hard to stake to the ground
5. Airstar Plant Covers – Best for Large Raised Beds
This raised bed cover will reach up to 100-feet long and 7-feet wide, and it comes in several different sizes. You can use it as-is, or you can easily cut the fabric into small pieces and use it to wrap potted plants, fruit trees, or ornamental crops. It’s an environmentally-friendly and safe choice to have around your kids or pets, and it offers breathable and lightweight frost protection that won’t interfere with the normal growth cycle of the plants.
This raised bed cover is made out of polypropylene fabric, and this offers a heat-preservation effect. It can work to protect the plants from harsh conditions like freezing, and you can extend the growing season with it. It’s a floating row cover style that allows you to create a netting barrier for your young plants.
- Safe for use around pets or kids
- Offers frost protection
- Available in three sizes
- Easy to cut to customize
- Can put it right on the plants
- Protects from UV light damage
- Fabric is very thin
- Not good to use around cats
6. XIANTIAN Heavyweight Garden Fleece – Best for Quick Covering Needs
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If you want a very basic raised bed cover that you can easily and quickly drape over your garden or plant beds, this is a solid choice. It doesn’t cost a lot to get, and it comes in four sizes to allow you to tailor your pick to your needs and give you a decent amount of coverage when you use it.
If you want to ensure that this raised bed cover doesn’t shift or blow away in windy conditions, it comes with 14 metal grommets that let you secure it to the ground using stakes. This blanket easily folds up when it’s not in use, so it won’t take up a huge amount of storage space.
- Comes in four sizes
- Easy to drape over plants
- 14 metal grommets to secure it
- Folds up for compact storage
- Breathable fabric
- Four thicknesses available
- Secures for use in windy conditions
- Grommets can tear
- Very thin
7. Planket Frost Protection Plant Cover – Best for Windy Locations
This is arguably one of the best raised bed covers available on the current market for windy conditions. The material is very durable but lightweight, and it allows you to protect all of your garden crops from ice, sleet, wind, frost, and snow. This is a very durable blanket that comes in rectangular or round configurations in seven sizes.
There is a built-in cinch cord on this raised bed cover that allows you to tighten the bottom right to the bed. You’ll also find a small hole in the center of this cover, and this allows you to use it with hanging plants. It’s lightweight as it’s made out of non-woven, spun-bonded, fabric, and this makes it breathable enough to use with any plant. It’s easy to take on and pull back off without any damage.
- Works with hanging plants
- Cinch closure on the bottom
- Easy to put on and take off
- Spun-bonded fabric
- Lightweight but durable
- Comes in round and rectangular configurations
- Easy to clean
- Cinch cord is thin
- Bulkier to store
8. Nuvue Products Snow and Frost Cover – Best for Winter Planting Zones
Nuvue’s raised bed cover gives your plants a high level of protection during the coldest winter days. These covers have a great tear-resistance, and this means that no matter how gusty it gets in your planting zone, these covers will survive. It protects your plants from snow, winds, insects, frost, and ice. They allow sunlight and oxygen in at the same time to keep your plants healthy.
You can install this raised bed cover within seconds using the sturdy metal bars. You get four stakes to help keep these protective covers pinned down tightly to the ground, and you can easily keep your young plants and small shrubs insulated because these covers retain heat no matter how low the temperature goes. The covers measure three feet wide by three feet tall, but you have the choice of four sizes.
- High amount of tear resistance
- Metal support poles are sturdy
- Sits tight to the ground
- Easy to set up
- Works for small shrubs or plants
- Four sizes available
- Excellent for cold protection
- Metal can rust
- Zipper isn’t very durable
9. FARAER Ultra Fine Cover – Best for Allowing Light In
The ultra-fine raised bed cover up for this pick is effective for protecting most flowers, fruits, plants, and crops you have in your yard or garden. It has a very unique oblong hole construction to it that creates a thin barrier of protection while allowing moisture and air to pass through to your plants. You also won’t have to remove this cover when you water your plants or apply liquid plant flood as it can go right through the mesh without causing any damage.
It’s common to use this raised bed cover for a huge range of items, including covering pastures, gardens, orchards, and container plants. It’s possible to use it as a screen for your window or doors too. This see-through mesh is PE stabilized and UV-resistant to prevent scorching, and it’s an eco-friendly product. You can use it year after year, and it’s very user-friendly.
- Ultra-fine mesh design
- Very eco-friendly
- Don’t have to remove to water
- Can fertilize right through it
- Stores flat
- No frost protection
- Mesh can snag and unravel
10. Agfabric Plant Cover – Best for Single Plant Coverage
The final raised bed cover on the list is one that’ll easily cover up flowers, bushes, or tomato plants. These are individual plant covers that are available in three different sizes, depending on how large the plant is you want to cover. They suit everything from small plants to avocado trees or taller bushes. It features a spun polypropylene fabric, and this makes it a breathable frost blanket that is durable while allowing air and rain through. The fabric is light and soft, so it won’t crush the flowers.
This raised bed cover is very easy to use and apply to your plants because it comes with a zippered design. You will have to stake this cover down if you live in a windy area because it can blow away due to how lightweight it is. Also, you don’t want to use it for a killing frost as it’s not thick enough to shield your plants.
- Individual plant design
- Several sizes available
- Spun polypropylene fabric
- Allows air and rain through
- Zippered design
- Works for larger plants
- Stores nicely
- Not thick enough to use for frost
- No stakes included
Now that you know why you’d use raised bed covers and 10 great options, you need to know what to look for when you shop and compare products. The following will outline the two biggest things to consider.
Types Of Raised Bed Cover Frames
A protective raised bed cover is only as good as the frame that supports it, and there are plenty of options available. The top three frame choices include:
Metal frames are arguably the most durable option. They’re sturdy but they won’t soften, rot or soften with exposure to heat or wet conditions, and insects won’t damage it. However, metal frames usually cost more upfront and they’re hard to DIY. Metal also heats up quickly in the afternoon sun and it’s heavy to move.
Metal frames are very popular in commercial greenhouses because they can withstand the weight of the greenhouse materials.
PVC pipe is very popular with DIYers and weekend warriors as it allows you to build a huge range of items. You can form square structures, rounded hoop houses, or angled roofs. PVC is easy to work with, lightweight, and you can take it apart for storage when you’re not using it. It’s also very affordable. However, PVC won’t stand up to heavy winds unless you secure it, and it can be tricky to do since you can’t just drive a nail through the piping.
You can’t get more basic than a hammer, wood, and nails. This material is perfect to use for mobile greenhouses and cold frames since it allows you to add hinges. Wooden frames are also rigid enough to hold up against bad weather, and they last for years. Wood is one of the more expensive frame choices, especially if you buy a pre-made frame instead of making your own. These frames are also usually bulky, heavy, large, and awkward to move from one bed to the other.
Types Of Garden Coverings
Now that you have your frame material squared away, there are many cover materials you can pick out for your raised bed cover. They include but are not limited to:
Shade cloth is a very popular choice to protect your garden. It’s made out of polyester, and they’re woven or knitted. The knitted option is much more lightweight, better suited for gardening, and durable. Woven fabric is heavier, and it’ll unravel or fray if you cut it. Both allow for decent ventilation.
Plants require a light spectrum for photosynthesis. However, infrared light can hinder vegetable growth with exposure. The goal of shade cloth is to block out these harmful UV rays while letting in enough light for photosynthesis. So, they get marketed at different filtering levels. For example, 70% shade cloth will block out 70% of the sun’s rays, and this range goes from 5% to 90%.
Woven fabric is also popular for floating row covers. It can be very lightweight, very heavy, and anything in between. The heavyweight fabric works well to protect your plants against the cold, and it’s a popular frost blanket.
Mesh fabric for raised bed covers comes in varying hole sizes. If you’re looking to keep out pests like rabbits, go for a large hole mesh as it won’t interfere with the elements. For smaller animals like birds, small hole mesh is better. Mesh can be made out of anything, but most gardeners need polypropylene or polyethylene. It’s lightweight, inexpensive, and it blocks UV rays.
Chicken wire and fencing materials fall under this category. The metal will last a long time and do its job. For a DIY raised bed cover, we heavily recommend you use something like hardware cloth or chicken wire. It’s not actually a cloth, but it’s a roll of gridded, flexible wire. The hardware cloth is easier to cut, store, and work with than chicken wire is.
The final material to consider for your raised bed cover is plastic, and you’ll find it on waterproof, strong covers. There are flexible and rigid materials to choose from, and the rigid side has plastic panels. They’re usually made using a polycarbonate material that can be corrugated or smooth. Flexible materials like plastic sheets are easy to work with and fit most structures nicely. Translucent tarps are a popular option, and these are woven tarps with an additional clear plastic layer. They all come in a range of opacity and thicknesses.
You now know what 10 great raised bed covers are, how or why you’d use them, and a few buying considerations. You can take this guide and figure out which one will work best for your garden and protect your plants or extend your growing season well into the early winter months.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.