Raised Gardener Beds
Raised gardener beds are perfect for older or disabled gardeners as well as for anyone who dislikes doing a lot of hard-on-the-back bending.
Gardener beds should be sufficiently wide enough to comfortably grow the plants you wish to grow but narrow enough to make reaching the middle from either side easy, especially if you plan to grow vegetables or flowers for cutting or harvesting. It is a good idea to leave a path between beds that is wide enough for your wheelbarrow or wheelchair to move freely through.
Your raised bed should also be at a height that is suitable for you to stand or sit next too. If you can not stand for long periods then it is a good idea to have the beds at a height that you can sit next too but still be able to reach into the middle of the garden bed.
Once you have settled on the desired sizes for your garden beds, buy the timber necessary for raising the bed to the desired height and width. Dig a trench at least half a shovel in depth around the bed perimeters; if your raised garden bed is located on a slope, dig the top trench deeper than the lower one to ensure that the finished bedsides will be level.
Build the sides for the gardener bed, settling the lumber into the groove of the trench. Adding posts at the corners will make the garden beds more stable. Remember that wood can warp, so place your boards so that visible curves of the wood are on the outside of the bed to avoid having nails pop out later on.
If you’re using railroad ties, you can simply lay them straight on top of the level ground. Make the garden beds as solid as possible and pack the dirt down around the bottom edges to keep them stable.
When the beds are built in it is now time to fill them with soil. If you live where soils are clay or otherwise heavy, lighten them by mixing in some sand and organic matter first. Buying premixed potting or topsoil soil that contains a good balance of sand, peat, and organic matter is the easiest way to go. The other way to go is to fill the beds with alternate layers of newspaper, straw or hay and potting mix, like what you would do for a no dig garden.
When your beds are filled with soil, you’re ready to start to plant and enjoy your new raised beds!