Gardening is a past time that enlightens the soul and delivers a sense of self-achievement and while being confined to a wheelchair to move around, it does not mean the end of your gardening hobby. Wheelchair accessible raised garden beds allow those with limited mobility to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful outdoor activity.
Digging in the soil and nurturing plants has been known to bring better mental clarity and reduce stress that feeds many diseases. And there is something magical about interacting with nature and starting a garden of our own… perhaps it is the amazing feeling of creating something that lives and grows from nothing and continues to thrive?
Considerations for Wheelchair Accessible Garden Beds
Luckily for those who must use a wheelchair to get around, there are a number of companies that strive to make enjoying our favorite pastimes easier for us.
When it comes to gardening, those in a wheelchair require eye-level gardens, short-reaching distances, and tools that are convenient.
No longer is gardening out of reach for people in a wheelchair, but there are certain things you should look for when choosing wheelchair accessible garden beds.
Bringing Gardens Up to your Level of Comfort
Bringing plants closer to eye level ensures a comfortable position where the progress of plants is more noticeable.
A height of 30-inches allows those in a wheelchair to keep an eye on how their plants are doing easily.
Noticing oncoming insect and disease problems can be caught and addressed early on, and those with poor eyesight will also appreciate a close-up view of their little piece of nature.
Reaching Plants with Ease
Being able to reach each plant is important, plucking weeds, adding necessary nutrients and watering your plants are all things that you want to be able to do with ease.
Providing an arm’s length, or about 23-inches is a recommended distance in caring for plants. This length should be adjusted for comfort according to individual needs.
Having the Right Tools
Keeping garden tools within easy reach will save time and frustration. A folding stool set that is complete with an attached toolset is a great option for storing close to your garden.
Not only will your favorite hand tools be available, but a seat can be offered to visitors while you work. Using the right garden tools will help enormously, whether it be a set of pruners or a potting spade, making sure you choose tools with ergonomic handles will help to reduce stress on wrists and allow you to spend longer amounts of time gardening.
Window Garden Boxes
There are no hard and fast rules for the type of raised garden bed you that is best for those in a wheelchair. Not everyone has the luxury of a huge area for constructing the garden of their dreams. But that’s ok, there are options for you!
Consider a window garden box or a table garden bed. A window garden box can be attached either inside or outside with appropriate brackets, wall mounts or large suction cups.
Window boxes can be found in lengths to suit almost any situation and usually have a width of approximately 8-inches.
Window box beds are great for:
- starting seedlings
- raising small flowers
- growing above ground vegetables or herbs
Apollo Exports International AP-30218LG 24" Adjustable Railing Planter
1 used from $22.38
- Planters adjust to fit railing widths from 1" to 4" wide
- No tools, mounting hardware or drilling required
- Hang on metal, wood or vinyl railings
- Hidden water reservoir
- Includes soil tray
This is a simple to install 12-inch garden box for indoor or outdoor use. Hang it from a wall or a fence and get planting!Balconies and railings are also ideal areas to hang these small planters.
At 5 1/2 inches high and 6 1/2 inches deep, this flower box is compact enough to fit under any window to raise herbs or to start seedlings.
It also includes a drainage system that allows you to either hold water or remove the stopper and let the water easily drain out.
If you wish to install water pipes, there are specially designed grooves to accommodate this addition.
And on top of all this, a special water board protects plant roots.
Table Garden Beds
A table garden bed can be as simple or unique as you can imagine. Any piece of outdoor furniture that is sturdy will work as a base. Here are a few ideas for building a table garden base:
- Patio side table
- Portable card table
- Garden Bed Planter Box Kit
Choose a base that is less than 30-inches tall and provides sufficient room for setting up a plastic, clay or wood planter. We have a few of our favorites for you to choose from below:
EarthBox Garden Kit,Terracotta (Pack of 1, Organic)
- Wheeled garden box growing kit with fertilizer, dolomite
- Great for cultivating vegetables, herbs and flowers on windowsills, decks, balconies, and even indoors!
- No digging, no weeding, no guesswork
- Just add planting mix, seedlings and water; includes foolproof instructions
- Measures 29 by 14 by 11 inches (l x w x h); 2-cubic-foot soil capacity . Item is made of Plastic and color of the item is terra cotta
Not all of us have space for outdoor gardens, and if you find yourself in this situation then all is not lost!
Indoor gardens are great for those confined to a wheelchair to get around as it means the garden can be where it suits you. Especially if you choose something like the Miracle-Gro Aerogarden. These pre-built hydroponics systems include everything you need to get started – right down to the light to that the plants need to grow!
AeroGarden Harvest (Classic) with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
- A newer version of this garden has launched, please see AeroGarden harvest - Black
The Aerogarden Harvest makes growing your own herbs or veggies indoors a breeze. It makes everything nice and simple and even tells you when you need to add more water!
These systems come with a grow light, seed pods with a selection of herbs and an LCD control panel.
If the Aerogarden harvest is a little too big or small for you, then there is a wide range of other models available. I have no doubt that you will find one to suit your needs.
Permanent Garden Beds
Increase your growing capacity with a raised garden bed that allows you to grow the garden of your dreams.
When creating a permanent garden bed designed to be used by those in a wheelchair, it is important to remember that it needs to be accessible from all sides.
The good news is that there are permanent garden bed kits designed specifically for those requiring wheelchair accessibility.
First, decide on the area that will be used and arrange garden boxes along a wide path.
A few features to keep in mind include:
- Access should be possible from multiple sides
- Don’t go too big – reaching capacity should be limited to a 30-inch stretch
- Choose a sustainable wood base that resists decay and insects
- Look for posts that allow open areas beneath for better maneuverability
Here are some of our favorites:
GOOD LIFE Outdoor Patio Wooden Raised Garden Bed
- Product Dimensions: 48.5”(L) x 22.5”(W) x 30”(H). ● Constructed of cedar wood - durable and long lasting,
- Stands at 30" inches tall, making it perfect for those who don’t like to bend down or lean over while they garden,Suitable for growing plants and vegetables.
- Quick assembly, and minimal tools required, gives you everything necessary to build your new garden bed right out of the box
- Material: Wood ● Color: Natural
- The bed is made of 0.75" inch thick wood that is built to last through the seasons.
CedarCraft Elevated Cedar Planter (18" x 34" x 30") - Grow Fresh Vegetables, Herb Gardens, Flowers & Succulents. Beautiful Raised Garden Bed for a Deck, Patio or Yard Gardening. No Tools Required.
- DESIGNED FOR LIMITED SPACE GARDENING - elegant, contemporary design that will add unique beauty and style to any deck, patio or yard
- COMFORTABLE GARDENING HEIGHT reduces back and knee strain. Also helps protect plants from rabbits and other garden pests
- GROW YOUR FAVORITE flowers, strawberries, veggies, and herbs…a fresh chef’s bounty right outside your door
- NO TOOLS REQUIRED quick & easy assembly with easy to follow instructions
- 100% WESTERN RED CEDAR is untreated and naturally rot and insect resistant. Sustainably grown SFI certified wood. Made in Canada
Gardening While In a Wheelchair Is Possible
Having a flower or vegetable garden that is wheelchair accessible enables you to enjoy the outdoors and continue on with your hobby even after your mobility decreases. They also make a great gift for someone in a wheelchair.
Start small, with a plant or two, or go all out and design an entire garden.
With wheelchair accessible raised garden beds, you can once again feel the wonder and delight of your very own garden!
About the Author:
Aaron is a father of two young children and an avid DIY’er from Melbourne, Australia. He loves to help homeowners and gardeners through his website www.essentialhomeandgarden.com.