Four double doors mean easy access to bring in compost and soil and to take out the harvest and garden debris at season’s end. “The system is tailor-made for seniors or people with disabilities—easy access with no bending—but it is great for everyone,” says Finkelstein. “I made it that way so no matter how old I get, I can still garden.”
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Jeremiah Brophy, who built the beds for Finkelstein, explains how they are made:
1. A frame of 2-by-4s, clad in 1-by-12 planks, establishes the size of each bed. (In this case, the beds are 4-feet wide by 16-feet long.) Vertical 2-by-4s and cross braces provide stability at 4-foot intervals down the length of the bed.
Download The Plans For The High + Mighty Raised Beds
2. In most of Finkelstein's beds, empty plastic milk crates stacked 26 inches high support the weight of the soil. In others, sturdy plastic barrels, cut to a height of 26 inches, do the lifting.
3. Atop the barrels or crates is a flat sheet of hardware cloth, a galvanized welded-wire mesh. The hardware cloth is bent upward about 2 inches at the edges and secured to the wooden sides of the beds with fence staples.
4. Heavy-duty, water-permeable landscape fabric rests on the hardware cloth to hold the soil in place. The fabric extends to the top of the frame and is stapled to the wood.