Welcome to the
at First Congregational Church
of Fair Haven (Vermont) UCC!
T-Shaped Raised Bed Garden
I found your photos of the raised garden beds for wheelchair access online.
My volunteer group is working on a proposal for a local nursing home to build
raised garden beds for wheelchair bound residents.
The "T" shape of JoJo's bed looks perfect for gardening from a wheelchair.
Can you share how this was built?
Does it have a false bottom or does the soil fill the entire structure?
Thank you for any help you can offer.
Virginia Master Naturalist
Beagle Ridge Chapter
We started with a model from a nusing home that looked like this
This has a false bottom and two layers at the overhang.
We adapted it and made four layers using 6x6 lumber
and then off-set the top layer only on the long sides
so it brought dirt further out and allowed clearance for the wheelchair underneath.
It only allows 6" deeep soil at the edge but most plants are not growing any deeper than that, so it works well!
Below is a rough drawing of the design.
We lined the bed with 4 mil plastic in the hope of making the wood last longer by not having moist dirt against the wood all the time.
We used pressure treated wood on the bottom layer
so it would not rot quickly where it lays on the ground,
and the rest was made from hemlock wood
which does not have the toxic chemicals used for pressure treating next to the soil
where we are growing plants and particularly edible plants.
We filled the bottom with free fill and filled the top 12” with great topsoil.
Actually we got compost from the town transfer station - last fall's leaves composted!
Because the soil "shrinks" a little every year we get some more compost
and sometimes get some "Moo Doo" (composted Vermont Cow Manure)
to enrich it and the rest of our gardens!
Hope this is a little help!
Hugs and blessings on your project!
One more question!
I'm not sure how the top level, overhanging 6x6 timber is supported.
Thank you once again,
I did not construct the bed.
But my understanding of the design was that the end piece of 6x6
Supported the ends of the overhanging 6x6.
Sometimes metal rebar used in cement pouring
was used to hold side and end lumber together.
The carpenter used a long drill to go down through several layers at a time
at the corners and every 2-3 feet along the sides.
He put the rebar down through the layers
(or in the case of the top overhanging layer - horizontally through them).
He used huge spikes to tie ends together at each level.
Also note: the overhanging 6x6
overlapped the lower layers of 6x6s about half an inch to an inch for support
and to make sure there were no holes for the dirt to fall out.
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