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Gardens For The Tired

Updated on February 14, 2012
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You’re tired after a hard day’s work, you want to come home and relax. Your gardens need tending to and gardening is great therapy, but you don’t want to have to “work out” in your gardens. Does you back get sore or your knees hurt when weeding or picking your vegetable? I might have a solution for your needs.

I was feeling the same way and it was very disheartening because I love my fresh vegetables right out of my own garden. Plus the pride of growing your own food is a great feeling. But the back pain was getting too much, and my knees were just taking such a beating I needed to do something different. Then the idea came to me what if I brought the gardens to my height instead of me going down to them. Concept works great. Now I know that I am not the first person to do this by any means, but nobody ever told me to try it or what size should they be.

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As for size, it really determines on what size you are. I am five foot six inches with a reach of three feet sitting down. Now the size I built for myself is eight feet long by four feet wide and sixteen inches high. Sitting down on the edge of the garden I can easily reach the middle of the garden to weed it and pick vegetables. Now you can go higher on your garden beds just keep in mind what height is comfortable for you to sit on the edge of it. If you build it too high the edge of the garden bed will dig into the back of your legs if you sit in one spot to long. Remember we are building these garden beds for comfort. Now as for length that is determined by what you want and what you have room for. Remember you are weeding from the sides not the ends of the garden. The width of the gardens is quite important, due to your arm length and your reach sitting down. You should be able to reach over half way across the garden bed without leaning over too far. Leaning over too far is just as painful for your back as reaching down. I find that four feet wide is probably a good width.

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Now that the size is determined, let’s discuss some more benefits of raised garden beds. Do you have a problem with moles? Well then before you fill your garden beds with dirt, you a put a layer of rocks on the very bottom. The size of rock that I used was half inch smooth; it is easy to use and leaves very little gaps between rocks for any critters to get between them. You only need about one to two inch layer on the bottom, and then put your dirt on it. If you don’t want to or can’t use rocks then you can always use some kind of wire meshing. Just make sure that the size of holes in the mesh won’t allow any critters to get through. Watering your garden is always a fun time I really enjoy watering it. It is a peaceful time because I love the sound of trickling water. Whether you use a watering can or straight from the garden hose it is fun. When watering you know the plants are getting the water straight down to the roots and not running away onto your lawn or where ever. The type of wood to use can be either landscape ties, railway ties {if you have connections to buy the used ones}, four by four posts, six by six posts or two by tens. Now landscape ties, four by four posts and six by six posts are probably the easiest to use, as they are strong enough to support the weight on the sides for the dirt. Okay now that the garden bed is built you should at this point put some plastic on the inside of the walls to protect the walls from dirt rot. DO NOT PUT ON BOTTOM. You need to have drainage and if you put plastic on the bottom the water won’t drain and will eventually rot the dirt and your fruit and vegetables won’t grow any more. If you want to use two by tens or the like, you will need to put cross supports in and join the sides to each other, if you forget that step by the time you get the dirt in the garden you will start to see the side bow out and eventually pull away from the ends and fall apart

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Now if you build multiple garden beds you should plan the gaps between them so you can do some sort of brick work or rock work between them, so when you walk through your “gardens” your feet won’t get full of dirt and mud, and make sure you put some landscape fabric down so weeds don’t grow in between the beds as well. You could actually do your weeding and your picking of vegetables or fruit with your slippers on. How cool is that. Another huge benefit from raised garden beds is at the end of season you can cover the beds with dark colour tarps and then when your season starts up for the following year you have no weeds to pick as the tarps didn’t allow sun in to allow them to grow. Great start to the next growing season, just remember to top your bed off with a little bit of fertilizer so your vegetables can get the proper nutrients.

Planting your vegetables is easy as you can plant long rows or short rows. Grow the full length of raised beds or do the width of your beds in short rows it really doesn’t matter. You can still grow whatever you want if you plant tomatoes and need a cover over them you can build it and mount it onto the wooden sides and not have to sink it into the ground. Planting peas or beans is great because the trellis can be mounted on the side of the garden and you can pick the peas or beans standing on the brickwork in your slippers. Now how cool are raised garden beds. I love mine. I have five raised garden beds, four get alternated between different vegetables and the other one has raspberry plants in it that one that I don’t change.

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    • christine111 profile image
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      christine111 5 years ago from Chilliwack

      Thank you for you comments. I find gardening so much easier this way. I really love this idea! Thanks again. Christine111

    • alipuckett profile image

      alipuckett 5 years ago

      Your beds are fantastic! Not only are they more convenient for you, but they look really nice too! Great hub. Voted up!

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 5 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      Great hub! I have used the raised beds for quite some time. For vegetables as well as nursery stock. I had them wide enough for two rows and used a Mantis Tiller, that I could control with one hand, to work the soil. Saves the back and legs for sure! Voted up, interesting and useful.