Posted by: Kelley Dees | June 15, 2011

How to Make Your Garden Accessible

June is Perennial Gardening Month. In honor of that, we’ll discuss ways that you can make adaptations to your gardening area to make it more accessible.

A carefully planned and laid out garden eliminates physical barriers to gardening and creates an area where people of all ages and abilities can garden. All that is needed are a few slight adjustments to the area and methods you are using, and you will have an accessible garden!

When considering what type of container to use in your garden, keep in mind the limitations of those who will use the garden, and turn those limitations into advantages! There are several types of containers to use in accessible gardening, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Below are some of the options for containers:

  • Raised beds are large, bottomless boxes (usually made of untreated wood or cinder block) that contain soil and allow drainage below. These can be expensive to build, so they are best used when limited to areas that require continual attention. For example, areas needing intensive weeding, such as vegetables, make more sense in a raised bed than an area that requires minimal maintenance, such as a border of shrubs.
  • Pots of various sizes provide easily accessible ways to grow vegetables and flowers. Select appropriate-size containers to allow healthy root development. Take care not to select containers that are too shallow—the shallower the container, the faster the soil will dry out. Using pots also allows for easier alterations to the layout of the garden with the changing of the seasons.
  • Hanging baskets can produce gardening space where none exists. When combined with a container garden, hanging baskets can create a double-decker growing area. A pulley allows raising and lowering a basket height based on your needs.
  • Table planters are shallow, soil-filled trays supported on legs. Clearance underneath should be considered for those in chairs. These are similar to raised beds, without as much of the expense.

Stay tuned for our next post that will discuss other considerations to make when adapting your gardening area!

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from the Wyoming AgrAbility 2011 Newspaper Insert and the University of Tennessee Cooperative Extension Service.

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