Eight Back-Saving Garden Options
The first tenet of painless gardening is to get the garden to come to you. That means making your garden as close to your house as possible – reducing long treks across your property with watering cans, hoses, heavy bags of compost or mulch and so on.
It also means, where possible, raising your garden to a height that allows you to work without bending or stooping and thus saving stress and strain on your back, knees and hips. It is estimated that up to 85% of all people will suffer some form of back problem in their lives. 20% of us have chronic back pain (myself included.)
As I’ve written in an earlier article, I’m trying out Cedar Creek Garden Center this season (shown above) and I’ve been pleased with the quality and construction. I’m also pleased that they’re made in a sheltered workshop that gives productive jobs to the handicapped.
The Cedar Creek unit, though, is not your only choice in raised garden kits. A little searching on the Internet produces quite a few options for you to consider.
Here’s an overview:
Square Foot Patio Boxes
Almost all gardeners have heard of Mel Bartholomew and his Square Foot Gardening system.
All of Mel’s gardens are raised but the Patio Boxes are perfect for painless gardeners, available as they are with either 24 inch legs (for seated gardening) or 36 inch legs (for standing.)
The Square Foot Fence and Deck Boxes are also designed to be used off the ground.
The Keep Growing Garden
This sturdy-looking set-up offers a 72” x 30” x 14” growing area. It has wheels, a built-in row cover system and even tool hangers. It’s not inexpensive at $495 but it does come delivered fully assembled and even filled with soil! Unfortunately, that means that it’s only available in New Jersey, where it’s built. (At least for now.)
My Portable Garden
If you can afford top-of-the-line, you might like My Portable Garden at $1,660.
It is as decorative as living room furniture – in fact, that’s what it is. It was designed to be used indoors and comes with its own grow-light system.
The Garden Rack
On the other end of the price spectrum is the Garden Rack at just $30. What you get for that price is the plans; you’ll need to buy the materials and build the unit yourself (or get someone to do it for you.) The cost of the needed materials is said to be about $60.
The plans were drawn by an architect and the instructions are thorough and clear. Testimonials on the site suggest that building a Garden Rack is relatively easy.
Gardener’s Supply sells what looks like a nice, solid Standing Garden for just $139. It has aluminum powder-coated legs and a cedar frame. It has a built-in watering system as well. It’s not huge – just 39-1/2″ L x 16-1/2″ W x 32″ H. But at this price, you could buy several.
Stand-Up Garden offers several very nice outdoor models and three indoor models. The products have been endorsed by the American Horticultural Therapy Society and the American Health Care Association’s magazine, and the company claims that there are 4,000 of these planters in use in America and Canada. At $969 – $3,900, these may be more suitable for hospital and eldercare facility use
CelluGRO Patio Garden
This is a moderate-sized Patio Garden that uses the company’s proprietary CelluGRO planting cell system developed for commercial nurseries. It would need to be placed on a table or deck railing to raise it to standing level. The price is $315. For $229, you can buy what the company calls a “Sweat Equity” kit – just the cell system. You’d have to build the sidewalls and raise the planter on a table or railing.
Waist high gardens
These Waist High Gardens are hand-made by Mike Coffrin. Six models are available ranging from 3 x 8 to 5 x 12, priced from $360 – $590.
NOTE: Please note that I do not represent any of these products, nor have I used any of them except the Cedar Creek model. I also have the plans for the Garden Rack and will probably build one this fall.
This article is purely for information purposes.
I would like to compile a full list of the available waist-high planters, so if you know of others – or can offer Painless Garden readers your experience with any of these products – please share your comments below.
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