Here are some issues that you should consider –
1. Safety – Soil is very heavy, especially when it is saturated with water, about 80 pounds per cubic foot. If you build a garden that has 10 square feet (5’ x 2’) of gardening area and 10” soil depth, it could weigh over 500 pounds! Suspending this weight above the ground safely requires careful engineering and rugged construction. Many homemade accessible gardens are made w/ pressure-treated lumber, which often contains copper sulfate, arsenic and/or cyanide. Is this where you want to grow your herbs and vegetables?
- StandUp Gardens have been designed (pat. pending), engineered and constructed to exacting standards with thousands in use throughout North America. They have been proven safe and easy to use. No pressure-treated lumber. No splinters. Environmentally responsible. All plastic components are fully recyclable.
2. Irrigation/Drainage – Ensuring adequate water and proper drainage is key to successful gardening. These features are very difficult to incorporate into custom made raised beds.
- StandUp Gardens have built-in drip irrigation and drainage systems. Simply connect your Garden to a garden hose (outside) or to our Indoor Water Connection Kit (inside) and the irrigation system can water for you. Add the Automatic Irrigation Controller and it will run for weeks at a time unattended! The drainage system protects against root rot and assures adequate air in the soil. You can connect a garden hose to the drainage system to direct the runoff away from your Garden.
3. Accessibility – Most raised beds only raise the garden a few inches to a foot off the ground. This does not greatly improve accessibility, especially for gardening from a seated position. Raising beds higher involves rugged construction to provide the necessary strength and stability – and lots of soil to fill the beds!
- StandUp Gardens bring the soil level to 30” (same as most tables & countertops) and have tapered sides to make the Garden as accessible as possible while still maintaining the soil depth required for all types of growing (about 12”). There is ample foot room under the Garden. It is the most wheelchair accessible garden design (winner of several national design awards).
4. Mobility – It will be extremely difficult to build a raised-bed gardening system which is mobile (on wheels). You will get a great deal more utility and pleasure from your raised-bed garden if you can move it – from sun to shade, away from pests, indoors and outdoors, etc.
- StandUp Gardens are carefully engineered and constructed to be fully mobile. Many users move their Gardens around every day! Each Garden has four swivel casters to allow the Garden to be moved easily by one person in any direction. All the casters have brakes to make sure the Garden stays where you put it. You can use your StandUp Garden indoors and outdoors all year round.
5. Appearance/Aesthetics – It is difficult to build your own raised-bed gardens and have them look attractive. Most people want their gardens nearby and easy to get to. That means they will also be seen.
- StandUp Gardens are designed to be pleasing to the eye. Through careful selection of materials and construction techniques, they are rugged and attractive. You will be proud to show off what you have grown in your StandUp Garden.
6. Cost – StandUp Gardens are worth the investment. A full accounting of the cost of time and materials to build your own raised beds will inevitably show that it costs more to do it yourself – and you still won’t have all the unique features of a StandUp Garden!
- StandUp Gardens have been proven to be the most cost-effective way to create accessible gardens. Many users have removed home-built raised beds and replaced them with StandUp Gardens. A few have even stopped halfway through making their own, returned the unused materials to the hardware store and bought StandUp Gardens!
7. Warranty – Who will warranty the workmanship and materials of the raised beds you build or have built for you?
- StandUp Gardens carry a full commercial warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
8. Maintenance – Maintaining raised beds can be time-consuming and expensive. Freeze/thaw cycles make lumber crack and sides bow and heave. Even pressure-treated materials need to be protected with periodic coats of preservative to prevent checking and cracking. On average, home-built raised beds need to be completely rebuilt every 3-4 years.
- StandUp Gardens require virtually no routine maintenance and are built to last at least 10-15 years. Outdoor models are built with UV-resistant garden vessels and hardwood stands and arbors; hardware is aluminum, stainless steel or brass. StandUp Gardens can be left outdoors year-round, in any climate. (Though most people move them indoors in the winter to grow all year-round!).
9. Expandability – As you discover the benefits and enjoyment of raised-bed gardening, you will likely want to have more space.
- StandUp Gardens are modular in design. Each Garden can be connected end-to-end to another to form a long, continuous accessible garden. The irrigation system daisy chains between them, thus a single water source can supply many Gardens attached together. At any time, any Garden may be detached, moved and/or replaced, due to the swivel casters. StandUp Gardens make an infinitely flexible and expandable system for a lifetime of gardening enjoyment.