Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: raised bed planters on a deck?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,415

    raised bed planters on a deck?

    has anyone made some of these and how deep does the box need to be to have enough soil for flowers and veggies? this is for a wheel chair person.. the idea i had thought would work that DAVE RICHARDS drew up isnt what she wants now i can understand that folks want it to look nice, but it would be good if they would settle on what they want.. now we are driving along side of them instead of underneath them.. would like to see some pics if you have them, so i could get some idea of material needed..Thanks
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    4,968
    Disabled folks have definitive ideas of what they want and why. I always got in trouble trying to design for them until I listened to them. If I wondered why they wanted something a certain way they were always had a reason. What I would suggest to close the communications gap is to ask for some pictures, maybe from magazines or the internet that show what they are thinking.

    I can tell you what one wheelchair bound client told me. "It is hard to find someone who will listen. They always seem to think they know what we need as though it was our brain that was disabled." Never forgot that and got more work as a result of recommendations.

    Don't ignore their disability and do not avoid it either. Talk plainly and ask what you don't know. That is being respectful of them and they find too few people who will do that. You could find a nice sub-specialty and a ready market.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,415
    hey i am listening carol, been at this for a week now trying to get a plan that they are happy with i am even dealing with daughter so that between the three of us the mom will be happy..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    hey i am listening carol, been at this for a week now trying to get a plan that they are happy with i am even dealing with daughter so that between the three of us the mom will be happy..
    Cut out the daughter. First rule of negotiating is deal with the decision maker.

    Otherwise, ain't Sketchup great?? It may not have occurred to you, but you can kind of animate Sketchup. I assume the deck and planter are a couple components and the wheelchair is another? You can take your laptop over and click/drag/rotate the wheelchair around the space so this lady can get an idea of how much space there will be. And, of course, the 3D model can be zoomed around and examined from all angles.

    This lady may be like my wife - she can picture exactly what she wants, but can't communicate it to save her life. She also can barely visualize things as they are described to her. But with Sketchup, it's a 10 minute conversation: "That's nice. {points at screen} Make that longer. Too long. {points at screen} Tilt that this way. No, the other this way. Ok, now make it green. No, THIS green. Ok, great, build it!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    4,661

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,504
    A couple of experiences of mixed success.

    I rebuilt some planters for my Grandma a few years back that were to low (a friend of hers had built her some but they were only 6" deep and were always dried out and were hard for her to reach). She's not a in wheel chair but she is 90 and has a pretty bad back so bending over to weed wasn't working and there was the not growing well/moisture problem. I just built these out of 2x12s screwed into 2x2's at the corners they are a smidge over 24" high which was right at a handy height for her to sit in a chair next to them and weed. The specific height would imho be mostly driven by the needs of the person. At 24" they had plenty of dirt for pretty much any vegetable and grew some swell tomatoes over the last couple of years (and a nice little herb and flower garden in the other one).

    On our deck I'd re-used some cedar boards from the fence I put in for the dogs when we moved in here and made some 12" deep by 18" wide planters and put them on our deck. I eventually gave up on them for a couple of reasons. The 12" depth with the thin fence boards wasn't enough to maintain a reasonable moisture content very easily (more on that later). We have a real lack of sunlight on most of the deck so it was hard to get much to grow real well a lot of the time. Having said that we got some good peas out of them and some greens did pretty ok. A couple of them I put up on small saw horses for accessibility and those had even worse moisture control problems. The other ones I'd raised on 2x4's to avoid rotting the deck out under them (worked) but they still dried out pretty fast. The planters at Grams house are right on the ground next to her deck and have thicker walls so less problems there. The ones I had here eventually moved to a friends house where they're living out their remaining years as flower planters alongside their patio and are working pretty well for that.

    This isn't to say you can't get it right with a raised planter, just that its a bit harder and you have to fuss with the soil mix and moisture management a bit more to make sure it doesn't end up to wet or to dry all the time compared to a deeper one sitting right on the ground.

    From these experiences I'd say that 12" is the absolute minimum I'd make the soil box of a planter unless you have a LOT of time to fuss with it every day and are willing to forgo some of the deeper rooted veggies.

    I'm not sure about the accessibility issues from the wheelchair, it might be worth doing a cardboard mock up to make sure they can easily reach everything?

    Also note that unless you're the hulk you ain't lifting a planter of any size once its full - even if that was the plan.. and its on saw horses

    Sorry I don't have any pics of either of them.

    Ted: I like the looks of some of the planters in the tenten link

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,415
    thanks guys, and today i get to go find out what she is looking for now ,,she changed her mind again..as for the daughter in the mix, she was the one that got me the work so she is part of the equation..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    4,661
    I'd combine some ideas. The KSU link has a planter made of half a barrel and it's mobile. The SF link incorporates concrete mixing tubs as the soil holders. I'd combine the two....keep the wheels, ditch the half barrel and use a concrete mixing tub. They come in various sizes so would be more flexible. I liked this one too, but don't think it's available in the US yet. Googling accessible raised planter beds gets you lots of ideas.
    http://dirt.asla.org/2012/03/15/gardening-for-all/

    A big caution with any raised bed is to be aware that wasps love to build nests on the underside of this type of structure if it's left open.
    Last edited by Ted Calver; 05-20-2014 at 02:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,415
    well, i got there and she wanted to chat on what she wanted so we sat down and got a plan of attack and its done so one hurdle finally over come and she is happy now we just needd to come up with a bord feeder that she can get to and suits her???
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

Similar Threads

  1. Clever idea for planters from junk logs
    By Ryan Mooney in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-29-2014, 01:26 PM
  2. Deck Refinish
    By Paul Douglass in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-05-2012, 09:55 PM
  3. New Deck Build
    By Bill Arnold in forum Carpentry and Construction
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-12-2010, 11:52 AM
  4. Window Box Planters?
    By Vaughn McMillan in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-25-2010, 11:37 PM
  5. My Deck Project
    By Sean Wright in forum Carpentry and Construction
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-29-2007, 03:47 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •