Gardening after disability

TiffanyMilner Posts: 13 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Encouragement

I broke my sacrum in 2016. This accident changed my life. I went from being an active 30 year old woman to being bedridden for months. A year later my family moved from our house in the city to 12 acres in a rural part of WA. Now that we are here we are busy trying our hands at the homesteading thing.

I am constantly experimenting with ways of getting stuff done that used to be simple tasks and now are not. Gardening is a passion for me. Now it is also a challenge for me. I have grown in mounds. However my chickens toss everything around and cause mischief. Also mounds are still low to the ground not easy for me. So my next idea was a raised bed.

I’m not talking about six inches off the ground this is waist high for me. I also hate wasting anything, so it had to be made from used materials we already had on our homestead. I quickly decided on some used chicken wire and 2x4s from a building we took apart. It is functional but maybe not the prettiest...

I filled it with logs and tree branches halfway. I added some grass clippings and topped it off with soil. I added herbs and strawberries and other plants to the top. However I quickly realized that the best part was I had tremendous increased my growing space. I could plant on five sides of this box! With the right growing medium the potential is exponential. I have even thought of the business potential.

What have you done to overcome a hardship?

Any tips for gardening with disabilities?

Show me pictures of your excessively raised beds.

What do you fill your raised beds with?

The first image is today 4/1/20. The second image is just after building and filling the bed.

Any thoughts or ideas are welcome and appreciated !


  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    That is awesome! My daughter built me tall raised beds. We filled it with hay then organic soil on top. What I failed to realize is that over the three years or so it has shrunk down by half. I do not have the money to put more in lol so it's like a tall rim around it. The plus is the additional shading that helps with this Texas summer heat. The down side is that the plants have a tougher start as it is cooler and has a lower light.

    What would be REALLY helpful is something to pull weeds without having to bend over. I got a special hoe for Christmas (I picked it out on Amazon) but it is not sharp and cannot be sharpened - it has a wavy edge. I've not had luck using it for weeding in this clay soil. Guess I will go back to the regular one lol. But there are some areas that I have put low growing sedum so right now the weeds are growing through it as it has not spread to cover the area yet. So that is bending over a lot which causes pain in my back, hamstring tendons and tendons in my feet. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone does to help them as well!

  • EarlKelly
    EarlKelly Posts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @TiffanyMilner after I went in for a routine test that was suppose to be an in and out procedure. My life was forever changed. Spent 4 days in intensive care and managed to pull through. Extreme headaches now, severe joint pain and my balance sucks. But hey, manage to keep going and working on the things I love. He are the raised beds I built so I don’t have to get down so low. Some spare roofing and lumber. Filled with hay and lawn clippings. Getting ready to go get some compost that our town makes to finish filling them with and the final coat of paint. Want to get a couple more made for this year and continue to expand. Hope it gives you some ideas. Keep on trudging and stay safe.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly What and when was you life changing event with the 4 days in the intensive care? One thing I love about my topbar beehives is they are on three cement at each end- No bending t work on the hives and no lifting of more than one bar of comb at a time. This isn't exactly a raised garden bed, but it is a raised gardeners work space.

  • EarlKelly
    EarlKelly Posts: 230 ✭✭✭

    Suffered a bleed in the back of my head a little more than two years ago. They were checking to see what extent the damage was and what options they had. Suddenly my blood pressure shot through the roof, my body temperature was dropping and continual vomiting. They immediately brought in my wife, didn’t think I was going to make it. I have undergone radiation and all kinds of drugs. The bleed is in an area where they can’t do anything. Now suffer from severe headaches all the time, memory sucks and have a hard sometimes following conversations. Was an industrial electrician, balance sucks so no longer can get on a ladder. Lost a lot of feeling on my right side. Slowly getting somewhat better. Things take a lot longer now but I keep at it. Still don’t sleep much from the headaches. But hey things could be worse. Still enjoy hearing what everyone else is up to. My bees I see were really busy during theses nice warm days.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    I really want to try my hand at gardening again this year. I live in an apartment and even though I fractured my hip two years ago I am excited to plan what I will plant. I live in an apartment on the outside of the building. There are some sunny parts and some shady parts. I thought I would just try greenery this time. The soil is very poor so I will get some soil that has 5 different kinds of fertilizer in it. I have used this before. The fertilizer lasts for two years.

  • EarlKelly
    EarlKelly Posts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @Dianne Petersen thats great! Are you allowed to have beds or you could try 5 gallon pails. You could also put in a few vegetable plants or even salad greens. That’s the idea, start small and do what you can. Always great to be outside working. Good luck and stay safe.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly Thank you. Before I garden it will be necessary to trim all of the black mold from the rose bush that is hanging over the top of the soil. I am certain that there would be too much shade. I don't believe that 5 gallon buckets would work besides someone who is poor would come down the back alley and claim it as there own. These are trying times for people in this state.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    As I was reading through the comments I thought of making your compost pile or worm composting and then you would have enough soil to add some to your beds. My daughter asked her dad to build a taller garden bed and it turned out waist high from recycled plywood with 2x4's for the legs. We lined it with black plastic (I have also used cardboard) and filled it with Nature's Best which has 5 different kinds of fertilizers. The Kale was planted from seed and there were huge leaves. The spinach was more finicky and was not so prolific.

    @Earl Kelley- I don't know if I am allowed to garden or not. I will find out. Honestly I never thought about asking. The apartment across the way has mustard greens that went to seed. We can plant flowers so there is no difference to me. If I plant greens no one will notice or even know what they are and will probably not even pick them.

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @TiffanyMilner my hubby made me raised beds by cutting small rain barrels in half lengthwise, drilling drainage holes and putting them up on legs/frame. He added sides so I have a place to set my tools and a cup of tea while I work. I use them for veggies so they get rotated. I have raised bed mix, compost and perlite along with a slow release fertilizer in them for a growing medium. When I rotate my crops I add more mix and top with fresh compost.