New Accessible Raised Bed Garden

In the “old” demo garden, we had one raised bed that was our “Wheelchair Height Garden.” It was about 27 inches high, the height that was recommended for adults in wheelchairs. When we renovated the garden, it was important that we maintain one raised bed that was wheelchair accessible. I’m hoping to change the name to calling it our “accessible garden,” since the point is that it can be used by people with a variety of physical limitations. As we were designing it, we considered a number of things and this is what we ended up with.

The varying heights are designed to be worked from standing position (middle) or sitting position (ends). The final part of this garden, will look like this:

I don’t think this is the full size, although I could be wrong. The half barrel in a frame is a pretty neat idea for a garden, and I’m interested to see how it works. What I most like is that it provides more root depth in the middle, compared to a lot of the “table top” style gardens.

One of the questions we always get when we talk about filling raised beds that are taller is what to put in them? You can see here that we filled the bed about half to two-thirds full with cheap wood chips. The rest of the soil was then a mix of compost and topsoil. The woodchips will, of course, decompose with time, causing the soil level to settle. We counter that by adding fresh compost to the top every year.

Our Horticulture Therapy committee is planning to make use of this new garden, so it won’t be part of our regular Demo Garden work. As with other projects going on, I’ll be sure to keep you updated when there is something of interest to share.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on December 21, 2012, in Working in the Garden and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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