How deep?

Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, FNovember 5, 2012

Most articles I read about square foot gardening involve building a raised bed over the soil in your yard. However, the neighborhood I live in does not allow for in-ground crops to be grown and they include raised beds without a bottom as being in-ground. So I am forced to add bottoms to my boxes. So far the planter boxes I am building are about 36" long, 24" wide and 15" deep. These have worked well enough for carrots, snap peas and a raspberry bush (though the raspberry bush quickly took over and out-grew its box. I had bigger boxes, but, as I have a bad back, they weren't very easy to move. Even these smaller ones tend to be fairly uncomfortable to move with my wife's help (I'm thinking of adding casters). But I have been curious as to just what depth I could get away with for most vegetables?

Thank you in advance for your input.

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Bryan Scott

Really, it depends on what you are planting. Some have a somewhat long taproot so it would require a deeper box. Others have roots that spread out like a tree, so not so deep. My boxes are about 6in deep and I've had success with tomatoes, watermelons, lemon basil, and all kinds of peppers. When I pulled all of these after last year's summer heat here in Texas fried them, all of the roots were still running pretty shallow, even though I did not have bottoms on my boxes.

Aside from that, like you, I have a bad back (had surgery to repair a herniated disc), so I have to be careful. My sfg boxes are on the ground, but I have no restrictions. But this brought to mind an article I saw sometime recently about how a community turned an old apartment trash compactor area (cinder brick wall enclosed) into a community sf garden, with multiple waist-high boxes. The thing was that is had to be ADA compliant (wheel chair accessible). While I cannot find the article now, I did find something online that has some ideas for helping gardeners with back problems and I think I might build some of these over the winter. Please see the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Painless Garden

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:54AM
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