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Building a Raised/Elevated Garden Bed for Senior Center

Posted by TypeEF none (My Page) on
Tue, May 27, 14 at 17:15

I was asked to make raised garden beds at my local senior center for my boy scout eagle project. Unfortunately I don't know anything about gardening, so I'm hoping I can get some help here.

They want 2 beds 8 to 10 feet long. And they requested that the beds are at least thigh height so that the seniors don't have to bend down so much. A raised garden bed that is that tall seems like it would cost a lot of money to fill with good soil though, would it be more reasonable to make an elevated garden bed?

Could I just make an elevated box out of pressure treated lumber put it on 3' posts and fill it with dirt? I'm a little worried that a box that is actually off the ground won't hold enough water though. It's going to be maintained by the seniors there and I don't want it to need constant watering or all the plants in it to die.
If I did make an elevated garden bed what would I use for the bottom? Would it be like a mesh screen?

Would you go with an elevated or raised garden bed?

If you think a raised garden bed is the way to go, what do I fill it with? Can I just use like a fill dirt for the base?

Thanks! Any other tips are greatly appreciated as well, I don't know what I'm doing :P

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Building a Raised/Elevated Garden Bed for Senior Center

I was hoping someone with more experience would answer, but I can tell you a few things. I think an elevated box is the way to go. But I do not think I would use pressure treated wood. There are chemicals in the wood that can leach into the soil and from there into the plants. It would be OK for flowers, I guess, but not for veggies. I would mix the soil you use to fill it. Add compost and something to lighten the soil, like vermiculite or perlite. There is a post just down from yours titled Nursing Home Raised Bed Advice Needed that might tell you more.

RE: Building a Raised/Elevated Garden Bed for Senior Center

You can fill the bottom part of the raised bed with rocks to minimize the amount of soil required.

OR: cheaper ... look into "straw bale gardens" where the stack of straw bales makes up most of the height. You have to keep replacing the straw, but it turns into compost for the next bed.

The table type beds don't work for much except lettuce.

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