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The Noble Research Institute Easy Access Raised Garden Bed

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This construction guide is the product of more than 20 years of designing and using various types of raised beds for both hobby and commercial gardening. In particular, this design is in response to requests by gardeners for a relatively low cost bed with a sufficiently high growing platform to enable gardening in the standing position. It is my hope that this design will assist senior and physically challenged gardeners more fully engage and enjoy their gardening experience.

The use of discarded truck (tractor-trailer) tires to create an elevated base for the bed is what makes this design unique and reduces construction costs. The tire base is arranged in such a way as to permit the gardener to place one foot under the bed while standing at the side of the bed, effectively reducing stress on the lower back.

This design can be used to construct a bed of any length and up to 35 inches in height. The height can be lowered to accommodate shorter (younger) gardeners by simply reducing the length of the framing material.

The plans outlined in this publication are specific for construction of a 10-foot-long-by-40-inch-wide-by-35-inch-high bed. Six tires are needed for the construction of this bed.

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Steve Upson formerly served as a senior horticulture consultant and worked at Noble Research Institute since 1988. He received a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in horticulture from Kansas State University. Before joining Noble, he served as a county and area Extension horticulture specialist with the Oklahoma State University Extension service and managed a commercial market garden operation east of Kansas City, Missouri. His areas of interest include raised bed and container gardening, commercial market gardening, and high tunnel (hoop house) construction and management.