Raised Planters

ozziewokozziewok Posts: 2
I am hoping to get some plans and materials list for raised beds so can ATTEMPT (I'm 71 yo lady) to build a couple larger ones.  Maybe 6' or 8' by 30" wide.  I can't kneel anymore and the ones I've seen in catalogs are REALLY very expensive.  Is there anyone out there who could help me try to do this by myself?  


  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,779
    Don't make them wider than 4’, otherwise you can't reach the middle.  Join your local gardening club and ask for some strapping lads or gals to help you build some.  I used concrete blocks for mine.. and if you stacked them two high you could comfortably sit on a chair while tending your garden.  
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 22,446
    I used 3inch posts [concreted in - someone could maybe do that for you] at the corners and fencing timber screwed on. The easiest way is to make them the length of the timber you buy so that you don't need to cut many pieces - only the short sides.  :)
    Mine are various heights to provide variation, and aren't rectangular, because the fence is at an angle and I wanted the fronts to be perpendicular to the other lines in the plot, but if you're doing simple rectangles, it isn't too hard.  :) 

    Bear in mind that you'll need a lot of soil to fill them too.

    I personally think most raised beds are far too low for people who can't bend down too well. I think they need to be high enough that you don't have to bend at all.
    There's a gypsy down on Bleecker Street
    I went in to see her as a kind of joke
    And she lit a candle for my love luck
    And eighteen bucks went up in smoke

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,443
    edited 13 May
    When considering the price, you have to think what you are paying for.

    Different sizes of timber (you might have to buy more than you actually need) getting it home, do you already have the tools you'll need, the screws, nails or whatever and where you will buy things. Buying small amounts of this and that from the 'sheds' is not the cheapest way but we don't all have easy access to other suppliers. Online usually incurs hefty delivery charges.

    Then there is your time and effort and the likelihood of you producing a good result. Not decrying your DIY skills here, but I know from experience it takes me much longer than it would an expert to make anything and it is often only just 'good enough'.

    I happened to be looking at a catalogue last night, before I saw your post and was quite tempted by a planting table that you could stand at, using safely treated timber (so ok for veg) and lined as well and guaranteed for 3 years. One approx. 4ft x 2ft and 3ft high was £157, which sounds a lot, but a loaf of bread costs over a pound nowadays. The catalogue was from Harrod Horticultural, so a reputable company, but there may well be other similar products available elsewhere, maybe at a  lower cost.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 1,580
    I had a long raised bed made from sleepers and used a local "not for profit" social enterprise company which employed young men to teach them a trade and get them used to being employed. They were very good and not that expensive. I do think though as Buttercupdays says, it might well be easier and in the long cheaper to buy a waist high one readymade, have it delivered and erected.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,434
    Concrete blocks would be the way to go if you don't want wooden ones. You can get lighter weight ones which I think would do. Lay them by overlapping the join in the second course over the join in the first course. From what you say you want height in your beds. For wooden ones, you would need to use old scaffolding planks or 2-3 new railway sleepers. They would need  'pinned' at the corners with posts driven into the ground. That way is really a 2 person job as they will be too heavy for you to lift on your own. And it is no joke trying to cut sleepers!
    I'm sure there will be youtube videos on the subject. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ninnin Posts: 217
    Hi, I am forty something and have muscular and joint issues so I get where you are coming from with raised beds if you can't kneel. I cant dig standing so do it sitting on floor. I have built raised beds out of timber scaffold and some fence posts. I say I , but my sons and husband have done much of the work. No way could I have filled. Them with soil mine are mainly 20 inches high , which is still a little low. If you are planning 30 inches wide by 6-8 foot long and the same height as mine that's tons of soil to move. There are charities on line for gardening with disabilities and the elderly that might help. I would suggest find a friend with a grandson. A fit 20 year old can do 20 barrows of soil in the time I can do 2 on a good day and wont be exhausted. Pay them the going rate plus lunch and a mid morning bacon butty. Shovelling soil doesn't look that hard but.....
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