Gardening is the process of coaxing plants to flourish, whether you plan to use them for beauty in your yard, as food for your home or as medicine for your health. When the ageing or handicapped gardener cannot reach down to the ground, usually their gardening stops. With a raised garden bed, the disabled gardener can continue to enjoy working with the plants reachable from a wheelchair or a standing position.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 4, 4-by-4-inch posts, 5 feet long
- 4 bags quick-setting concrete
- 2, 1-by-8-inch pressure-treated boards, 6 feet long
- 2, 1-by-8-inch pressure-treated boards, 3 feet long
- 32 Wood screws, 1.5-inches, #8
- Drill and bit, 5/32-inch size
- 3-by-6-foot, 3/4-inch-thick pressure-treated plywood
- 2, 18.1kg. bags of sand
- 1 bag peat moss, 1 cubic yard
- 3 bags garden soil, 18.1kg. each
Dig four holes 2.5 feet deep for the corner supports of the raised garden. Each hole should be at the corner mark for a 3-by-6-foot square. The end posts should be 28 inches apart while the side posts will be 40 inches apart. These holes are for securing the 4-by-4-inch posts in place to hold the weight of the raised garden. The raised bed must be securely supported.
Mix the concrete with water until it has the texture of pudding. A wheelbarrow works well to hold the mixture while a hoe makes mixing simple. Don't try to mix more than one bag at a time. Dump the concrete into the hole after you have dropped the post in place. Tamp it in place to remove any air pockets and make sure the posts are plumb and level with each other. Fill the remainder of the hole with the soil. Let cure for at least 48 hours before adding any weight.
Line up the boards to form a square with the shorter end boards on the inside of the side boards. Drill three pilot holes 2 inches apart, 1/2-inch in from the edges of the corner on each side of the boards where they join. Screw the boards together with three wood screws on each corner.
Place the plywood on top of the planks and drill pilot holes 1/2 inch in from the edge every 12 inches all around the rectangle. Screw the wood screws into the holes to secure the plywood. Since the planter requires drainage, drill small, 1/4-inch holes every 10 inches over the surface of the plywood for the water to pass through. This amounts to four rows of three holes evenly spaced for a total of 12 drainage holes.
Flip the box over and lift it to sit squarely on top of the four posts cemented into the ground. Drill screws directly through the bottom plywood of the box and into the top of each of the 4x4s to hold the planter in place. Two screws placed 2 inches apart diagonally across the corner, 1 inch in from the edge, should hold the box in place.
Fill the raised garden box with equal parts of sand, peat moss and garden soil. Tamp it down slightly and then sprinkle water over it until you see water dripping from the box. Your raised garden bed is now ready for planting from an easy height of 36 to 40 inches.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure you have a water source nearby.
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