Raymond LaRocque

Ramond pic smallAbout Accessible Gardens.com

ag.com€œOur Mission is to enable every individual with a physical disability or limitation to enjoy the mental, physical, social and spiritual benefits of gardening.

Simple Idea. Remarkable Solution.
Sometimes the simplest ideas yield the most remarkable solutions. Such is the origin of Accessible Gardens, the creation of a gardening enthusiast who refused to let a cane and, eventually, a wheelchair deprive him of his passion.

Everything Within Reach. No Kneeling. No Bending.

The traditional garden is built at ground level. The typical raised garden bed is contained within a walled perimeter built on ground level. The sturdy Accessible Gardens raised garden bed is elevated to table height, with ample clearance for wheelchairs or walkers. It puts the entire garden within arm€™s reach with no kneeling or bending required.

The simple genius of Accessible Gardens is to raise gardening to a new level, enabling everyone regardless of age or physical limitation to discover the pure enjoyment of gardening or to continue to reap its rewards.
Our raised beds are ADA compliant.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of vegetables, herbs, etc. can I grow in the raised garden beds?
Because of the depth of our beds, virtually all types of vegetables, flowers, herbs and some fruits, like strawberries, do very well in an Accessible Garden.

To name just a few, you will enjoy great success growing peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, beans, peas, squash, basil, tomato, onions, beets, lettuce and virtually all green-leafed vegetables, as well as edible flowers.

How much and what type of soil is usually required or recommended per 4€™ bed?
With a recommended depth of 7€ to 9€, each Accessible Garden bed holds approximately 9 cubic feet of soil. Quality soil mixes can be found at most garden centers in 1 or 2 cubic foot bags or can be delivered in bulk by a local farm or nursery. For an organic garden, choose an organic mix. For strawberries and root vegetables, such as carrots, a slightly sandier soil is recommended.

Recommended Spacing for Garden VeggiesWhat is the recommended spacing between plantings?
Proper spacing promotes optimum growth and yield. For example, squash requires approximately 4 ft between plants. Thus, one squash planting in the middle of an Accessible Garden would be ideal, while plantings of flowers, greens, and root vegetables, such as onions or beets, along the edges would maximize the yield of the bed.
Plan Your Garden! Download an Accessible Gardens helpful “Planting Grid” here
Need Garden Planning Ideas? View “Sample Garden Layouts” here

An excellent source of information on all garden plantings, including spacing, varieties, timing, etc., is provided by the University of Illinois Extension at: urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/basics.html
Or the University of Rhode Island’s Master Gardeners at: www.urimga.org

How often do I need to water the raised garden beds?
Because air circulates all around an Accessible Garden bed, evaporation is accelerated. As a result, more watering than conventional gardening is necessary.

As a general rule of green thumb, it is better to water too much than too little. Our Everbloom drainage design will manage it properly. Always water until it begins to drain below. In normal weather, in the 70’s, watering every other day is usually adequate. When it is very hot, watering daily is advised.

Using an Accessible Gardens TrellisWhat plants grow best with or require the trellis?
Among vegetable varieties, a trellis can greatly enhance the cultivation of beans, peas and cucumbers, to name a few, and is ideal for climbing flower vines like colorful Clematis and Morning Glory.

Can I mix plants in any fashion?

Some combinations are compatible some are not. Planning is one of the most important steps in creating a successful and beautiful garden and what you should and should not combine in a planting bed is just one of them.
Plan Your Garden! Download an Accessible Gardens helpful “Planting Grid” here
Need Garden Planning Ideas? View “Sample Garden Layouts” here

Planning also encompasses everything from selecting the proper location for adequate exposure to sunlight (first significant decision), soil preparation, rotating crops, and more. For helpful planning tips and suggested planting combinations, visit: www.helpfulgardener.com/vegetable/2003/vegetable.html

Is it difficult to set up the Accessible Garden?
It couldn’€™t be easier. Each Accessible Garden will arrive weighing from 90-110 lbs. The entire garden is pre-drilled, arrives more than half pre-assembled and with all stainless steel hardware.

How sturdy is the Accessible Garden bed?
Since an Accessible Garden bed must not only support the weight of its contents but also that of those leaning against it and depending on it for standing support, the grade of our lumber stock and the integrity of our design is paramount. Accessible Gardens are precision crafted and certified by a professional structural engineer for superior sturdiness and strength.

Raised Bed ArmrestWhat are the black armrests shown on some of your installations?
These are great protection for the arms, especially of those in wheelchairs. They are simply lengths of foam rubber tubing used for pipe insulation – very inexpensive and easy to install yourself. They are readily available at all home building supply and hardware stores. We recommend foam rubber brands rated for 1″ pipe, which provides a 1/2″ thick wall for comfortable padded support and easy installation. They come pre-slit along their length. Just cut to size and slide them over the edges of your garden bed walls. To secure, staple or tack them into place along the inside of the bed.

Does the Accessible Garden bed require any maintenance?
All Accessible Gardens products are delivered in their natural wood state.  We do so for several reasons: 1) to provide our clients with the flexibility to choose their own color & finish, and  2) to provide those who are physically capable and who enjoy painting, the option of an engaging activity that conveys a sense of pride with its successful completion. As such, we recommend you protect & preserve your product with a quality stain, oil or other clear finish before using.  Sickens and Cabot brands are recommended (see “Australian Timber Oil” finish on Colonial Style image shown on STYLES page).

Other than periodic staining, we recommend an annual check of the various joints and fasteners. Periodic tightening may be necessary. And, of course, if you’re cultivating annual crops, we suggest you turn over the soil with each new growing season to properly aerate and loosen the soil to facilitate root growth. It is recommended you replace soil every few years.


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