Accessible Wheelchair Elevated Raised Bed Container Garden from Start to Finish

This is John Kohler with
today I have another exciting episode for you, I’m going to be doing a garden install!
You might be thinking “John, if you’re doing a garden install why are you outside
Orange County Farm Supply?” Well, that’s because before any garden install you have
to pick up the supplies and the stuff that you’re going to be installing.
So what we’re going to do today is actually I have a friend who is in a wheelchair so
what we’re going to do is actually we’re going to get her set up with garden that she
can harvest and plant and everything from her wheelchair and the great people here at
Orange County farm supply at 18:26 Chapman here in Orange California is going to be helping
me out in supplying the potting soil and the different things so that’s why I’m here
we’re going to pick up the potting soil and the plants.
If you live anywhere here in the Southern California area Orange County Farm Supply
is a great resource to have. I mean, this is my stop to get the products I need to have
a successful garden. So next what we’re going to do is we’re going to head inside
Orange County Farm Supply and pick up the soil, the minerals, the trace minerals and
some other good stuff to put in her garden. Oh, and don’t forget, the plants too.
So Orange County Farm Supply is open every day from 6am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.
They’re open 6am to 4pm on Saturday and they’re closed Sunday. So this place started
by actually selling farm supplies to the farmers in the area because this whole area, Orange
County was, guess what? What did they grow? Oranges! And now it’s mostly all residences
and hardly any farmers left so while this place still does cater to farmers hey also
sell to many homeowners and I’ve slowly seen them expand their product lines and have
more and more organics and these are the things that you want including things like the trace
mineral supplementation for your soil that can be very hard to find and actually I learned
about a new kind that they’re actually offering here that I’m now using so I have to thank
Orange County Farm Supply for staying on top of all the latest products and providing them
to you guys. So let’s come inside and get some of these products to make a fabulous
garden for my friend. I’m so glad that Orange County Farm Supply
has a whole wide variety of actually plant starts and also the soil that you need to
get a garden going. So what I need to do first before I even start picking out the plants
I’ve got to get the soil. The soil to fill your raised beds or your garden with is the
most important thing by far and this is where you want to spend the most money on because
the health of your plants is depending on the soil that you’re planting them in so
I’m really glad they actually got some really good soil mixes that we’re going to go ahead
and pick and put on this cart. Now we’re going to go ahead and pick out
the potting soil. The potting soil can be very wide there are all kinds of potting soil,
they got here, they got potting soil there, they got potting soil here and they also have
garden soil and all kinds of different mixtures so depending on what you’re going to do
with the soil you’re buying is the kind you’re going to need. So we’re doing basically
a raised bed but it’s going to be an elevated raised bed at wheelchair height to she can
actually just reach over and harvest and plant and do everything she needs to do.
So in that case for me a raised bed is more like a little container, it’s more like
a pot, so that’s what I’m going to focus on today, it’s specifically picking out
some potting soil instead of the garden soil which the garden soil you’d actually enrich
your garden beds with but we’re only going to use potting soil because it’s going to
be a self-contained growing medium for her. The basic difference is the potting soil is
basically going to retain water just a little bit better by having some ingredients such
as the peat moss, some coconut core, or things like the vermiculites.
When picking out a potting soil one of the things you want to look for is you want to
look for something that is organic, you know. I want at are found in nature in my garden,
I don’t want things made out of chemicals. Many potting soils available in big box stores
may contain things or chemicals you don’t want in your garden that I wouldn’t put
in my garden. So what I’m looking here at Orange County Farm Supply are organic ones
and actually I think all the stuff they have here I would probably have no issue putting
in my garden. That being said, we’re going to pick out a specific blend of things to
put in her garden that we’re going to be building for her.
You might be thinking “John, what is the best potting soil to use? What’s the one
brand?” Well, that’s a good question, I don’t know, I’ve seen a lot of these
brands before but I haven’t personally used them, so in my opinion the safest thing to
do is get one of each and mix them all. That way you get the benefits of one, the benefits
from another and then you just mix them all up so that your plants can grow happily.
The first one we’re going to go ahead and pick out is right here this is actually called
“Eco Scraps” it says here “no chemicals, no poop, organic, 100% safe for people, pets
and planet” and this is made from a variety of composted fruits and vegetables and other
natural ingredients. When choosing a potting soil or a compost I’m always trying to look
for thing made out of food scraps or yard clippings and plant products, not necessarily
the manure based potting soils and fertilizers. I like the plant based ones because to me
this is much more natural. You know, in nature, in a forest it’s mostly leaves decaying
and breaking down, it’s the new soil down below and yes occasionally you have the animal
walking by and leaving or doing their business and that’ll compost down too but nowhere
in nature is there such a volume of animal manures in nature. Now I’ll maybe get some
mixture with some animal manure in there because it can provide some nutrition but I’m going
to go mostly with the plant based manure. Animal manures may also contain things like
antibiotics or other things that the animals ate that they’re now excreting that’s
going to basically end up in your garden and when you put it in your vegetable garden hen
you’re going to eat the vegetables derived from that. So that’s just kind of gross
to me. So let’s get some of these EcoScraps to start us off with. So the first one we’re
going to get is about one cubic foot, we’re going to go ahead and put it on the cart and
now we have to get a couple more bags to fill up this raised bed.
The next potting soil we’re going to get is this stir fry here actually, it’s called
Dr. Earth and if there’s probably any one potting soil that I like the best here it’s
actually this stuff, it’s actually the Dr. Earth this is called the Pot of Gold premium
potting soil. It’s organic, 100% natural, hand crafted, blend contains aloe vera and
yucca extracts, pro-moisture hydrate and it also has a beneficial micro including the
beneficial bacteria that I like so much. Another thing I always encourage you guy to do before
purchasing any potting soil or any soil on a bag, you want to turn the bad over and read
the ingredients and you’re going to check out what’s in here so that you know what’s
in there and if these ingredients are alright with you. In this potting soil we have forest
hummus, fir bark, peat moss hummus, earthworm castings, Kepl meal, oatmeal, alfalfa meal,
soy meal, sea weed extract, aloe vera, yucca extract oyster shell and dolomite, limes,
ecto and endo microbe raising and beneficial microbes.
Alright that sound definitely good to me and this is one a half cubic feet so pretty soon
we’ll be filling up that whole raised bed container for her. So the next thing we’re
going to get is another potting soil and its right here this is actually called the Malibu
Compost and this is actually a bio dynamic compost so the bio dynamic compost is probably
in my opinion even better than the organic compost, takes it to the next level. Now this
one is based on cow manure, so yeah I’m adding manure based source but aside from
that it has a lot of other goo ingredients in here including coconut core compost, deer
and cow manure, wood chips, straw, concentrates of yarrow, chamomile, valerian, stingy needle,
dandy lion, oak bark, fir bark, pearlite, worm castings, soy meal, fish meal, fishbone
meal, “langbeinite”, alfalfa meal, crab meal, green sand, neem seed meal, volcanic
ash and kelp meal. So that definitely seems like a good mixture to me and the other thing
when buying the Malibu Compost, this is a bio dynamic compost. So what does that mean?
It says here this is only produced by a dairy farm that is certified bio dynamic so that
means they don’t use any antibiotics, they don’t use any of these harmful things that
are going to end up in the cow poop like you would get at a local big box store, you know,
they’re selling cow manure for like a dollar. Well this stuff isn’t a dollar either but
this is definitely good quality stuff this is going to make up just one of the bags I’m
using the rest is for the most par going to be plant based compost
The next potting soil we’re going to get is this right here this is actually called
the “Dr. Earth Home Grown Premium Soil” is organic and 100% natural hand crafted blend
enriched with bat guano. And this is basically… this one is designed for growing pot herbs
if you know what I mean. Now my friend wants to grow some herbs so this is designed for
pot herbs this would be an excellent mix. This is once again another Dr. Earth’s product.
So this Dr. Earth’s product is pretty much similar to the other Dr. Earth’s product
but this has been specifically formulated for herbs and medicinal herbs hat you might
want to grow at home so let’s go ahead and get one of these.
The last soil mix that I’m actually going to be picking up today is actually not a soil
mix, it’s actually a general purpose professional growing medium because it does not actually
contain soil so if you’re growing thins like hydroponically inside, this is the number
one mix that they sell here actually. I was not aware about [it] because it is for professional
s and it’s not on the home gardening side because once again they cater to farms and
individuals so the “Promix BX” is basically the peat moss, there’s pearlite and the
vermiculite with a built in micro raise up and from the feedback they’ve gotten here
they got excellent growing results from people that are growing in soil and not growing in
soil. Now, personally what I’m going to do is I’m going to add some compost to this
mixture because this is soil-less mixture, it doesn’t have any soil in there and I
want to have some soil in there and I want definitely some soil to be in my mixes but
we’re going to try this stuff. Now the cool thing about this is this is actually
3.8 cubic feet so this is over twice the size of those wimpy bags I got but the other thing
is, it says in small letters “compressed”. No why this is important is because when this
is uncompressed it’s going to probably turn into a roughly 6 to 7 cubic feet of material
so that’s definitely going to save you money. I guess let’s go ahead and take one of these
with me to try out. The last nutrient that I’m going to add
to the already good potting soil mix is something that most potting soils do not have and in
the nice large ratio that I like and it’s this stuff right here and it’s called the
granulated natural trace minerals or actually rock dust, this is actually in granular I
prefer the one that’s more in a fine powder such as this and they actually have three
different varieties here they got the Azomite, the Agrowinn Minerals and they have the Maximize
Microbes and Minerals by John and Bob’s. Now you might be thinking “John which one
of these should I get?” Well, if you’re rich buy one of all of them because each one
of these are actually ground up rocks from different sources and each one will have their
own spectrum of the trace minerals and that’s what we’re looking for, we want the wide
spectrum of different minerals to add to the soil so that they’re available for the plant.
In today’s modern agriculture they usually add three minerals N, P and K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus,
Potassium) and you know there’s like 90+ minerals you could be adding to your soil.
Now when these are in your soil your plant has access to them and then it can actually
pull them up and your plants are going to be healthier, they are going to grow larger
they’re going to yield more and more importantly they’re going to taste better and for me
specifically the reason why I use the minerals, number one reason, is because I want to grow
the most nutritious foods on the planet that money can buy and conventional agriculture
and even most organic farming they might only add three minerals back in and what about
all the other 90 we need for optimal health? That’s why I’m going to get some of the
trace minerals today and the one I’m going to get I believe is this guy right here, this
is the “John and Bob’s Maximize” I found out about this in my last trip here to Orange
County Farm Supply and this not only has the minerals but it also has the microbes which
are important to have a healthy garden because the secret is all in the soil. So I guess
that’ll do it for my mixture that I’m going to fill the beds with. Next: let’s
pick out some plants! So one of the cool think I like about Orange
County Farm Supply besides offering you guys the supplies hat I’m loaded up on here and
the plant starts, which they have a whole bunch of, they also have a little demonstration
garden, now this is definitely important especially if you’re new in a garden, you never grew
before, they’ll give you some examples of what you could do in your yard and I’ve
shown this guys before here and you can see these are just little container garden and
look at some of these amazing collard greens and kale going off and furthermore over here
actually hey got a nice large garden that I’ve shown before; I have another video
that I’ll actually put the link down below. They actually have a vertical wall garden
made out of a pallet, so a recycled pallet, they also do sell these pallet gardens you
guys and they have a whole bunch of little beds here, raised beds on pallets that you
can actually start growing food [on], I mean you can actually grow a garden like this and
you can supply your family with food every day of the year, especially here in Southern
California. They got things like onions in there, they
got zucchinis planted up there, they even a little compost bin here so you can make
your own compost at home, they got a whole thing of corn here, a raised bed made with
corn, simple made out of a 2 x 12 lumber sitting on some concrete blocks so even if you’re
over a parking lot… you don’t need a yard to do this, you just need some space to do
this, to build a bed like this so you can start growing food. Here’s that amazing
container garden here that I showed you guys before, the pallet garden that’s vertical;
you can see it’s growing some strawberries; they are now fruiting and making some fruit
there. They’ve got some nice herbs, including some sage in here as well, this one actually
has some oregano growing, more strawberries… Oh yeah, check it out man, even a ripe one
on here! I’m going to go ahead and… wow, nothing better than some Orange County grown
strawberries. In this raised bed here they a whole bunch
of basil so this will meet your basil needs, whether you want to make pesto or, you know,
other things with basil. Herbs are definitely one of the easiest things to grow especially
if you’re a new gardener so actually that’s what we’re going to do next we’re going
to pick some out some herbs for my friend to grow in her newly established table top
raised bed garden. So the goal for my raised bed waist height
garden for my friend is basically to grow things that she’ll be able to use. So the
thing that I think everybody should be doing growing are some leafy green vegetables so
we’re definitely going to have probably half the bed as leafy greens that she could
actually go outside and pick one leaf off the leafy green, of each plant, and make a
salad out of it. In addition, on the other side we’re probably going to grow herbs
that are probably pretty much grow year round here in southern California depending on the
herb we’re going to get so this is going to be a long lasting garden. So that way half
the garden is going to be a perennial and continue to grow and the other half is and
annual were she’ll have to actually re-plant it every year.
So first we’re going to go ahead and pick out some common herbs for her, that she can
enjoy from her garden fresh. So I just got about a whole flat here of herbs to plant
out for my friend. We have things like chives, basil, dill, got some parsley, cilantro bunching
onions reek oregano, got a cool one Mexican oregano, some colorful sage and some English
thyme. So now all we have to do is get the vegetables.
My friend is going to be a new gardener and I want to really diversify with a lot of different
varieties of things so that she can try and see which ones she’s really liking because
everyone is going to have different taste buds and if I say “Oh I like the red Russian
kale” and she might not like them so we’re going to get a whole bunch of different things
and I know she did want some cucumbers. So first we’re going to go ahead and get some
red Russian kale. This is an excellent kale to grow in the summertime because it does
handle the summer heat fairly well. In addition we’re going to get some of these guys down
here, the arugula, and some of these plants here they look amazing, they’re in wonderful
health and arugula are great salad greens to eat plus when they go to flower you can
also eat the flowers, they’re really delicious. Now I know one of the things she wanted to
get was some cucumbers and the problem we’re going to have with the cucumbers is that they’re
really tall and viney and we can’t trellis things up you know because she won’t be
able to reach them if they’re too high. So what we’re going to do today instead
is something really smart, we’re going to get these guys, this guys are actually called
“bush cucumbers” so these grow more like a little bush than a nice large vine that
can get unwilling specially in a small space so we’re going to be sure to pick up some
of these bush cucumbers for her. So, I can be challenging to grow leafy greens
in the summertime frankly if it’s too hot they’re not going to do too well so their
selection is fairly limited but we’re going to try to get as wide of a selection for her
as possible. Another that they have right now is these guys here and these are some
cabbage and we’re just going to go ahead and get some cabbage so we can plant all the
different kinds of leafy greens for here. Now, well cabbage you think that they make
that nice little tight head like that iceberg lettuce head you can simply also pick the
leaves of each cabbage plant and eat them in a salad, so she can literally take one
of each of these leaves and put them in a bowl and start eating out of her garden instead
of the grocery store. Oh another thing they have that’s really
cool right now is we’re going to go ahead and get her a radish. Now, you know it’s
kind of silly for most people to buy radish plant like this but, you know, we don’t
have the time to germinate the seeds which I recommend you do specially on the radishes
because not only will she have the radishes but she’s also going to eat the radish greens
and many people don’t know that. So another leafy green we’re going to get is this guy
right here the spinach blooms, they’re long standing so this is a good variety for the
summertime. Now, I personally find that spinach doesn’t yield a whole lot of “leafage”
for the plant, I’d rather get something else but I think we’re going to go ahead
and put this in the mix because she does need to eat her greens.
So the last thing we’re going to get is some lettuce, so we’re getting a nice mixture
here and I like this mixture this are gourmet salad blend mix so this has a whole bunch
of different kinds of lettuce and they’re including some maybe red romaine, some standard
romaine and some curly leaf lettuce that’s red. I always encourage you guys to buy foods
and plants that are not just green but also red because they have different phytochemicals
and phytonutrients in them. I guess I just buy this last little six pack here I think
we’re done all good with our vegetables. The next thing we’re going to get besides
the soil and the plants is some way to water for her.
Now she’s in an apartment complex and I don’t know if they have a hose available
and I don’t know this kind of stuff but we want to be able to give her a way that
she can water her plants because besides sunlight the number one [thing] plants need is water
but we also want to make sure she does not overwater her plants. So because we don’t
know if she has a hose setup and if she did have a hose setup I’d recommend a waterer
like this. We want to duplicate nature you know, we don’t want to spray some of those
sprayers here like these guys, all you guys have these you guys blast your car clean with
it, I mean these are great for blasting your car clean and for hosing off your sidewalk
but they’re not good for little plants especially if you put them on that jet stream, not good,
that’s going to really disrupt the soil and probably disrupt your plants too. So we’re
going to get one of these guys and we want to duplicate the rain.
Actually this is a really nice handy one, nice size with a little trigger here to water
the plants and this duplicates the rain with all these little fine small holes and this
is what I like to use when I water my plants, something that duplicates the rain, that you
can literally take a shower under [laugh]. But we don’t know if she has a hose hook
up so what we’re going to do for her actually is we’re just going to get her a way to
duplicate the rain without a hose hookup and that’s just very simple right here, this
is a very simple watering can, it happens to be plastic and it’s a nice blue pastel
color, perfect for a girl and if you look at the little nozzle right here it has a lot
of little small holes so this will duplicate the rain instead of just dumping bottles of
water or things with water on there she’ll be able to now simulate the rain and water
her plants. I’m just about done loading up the jeep;
this is how I get my exercise moving gardening products instead of going to the gym, don’t
waste your money on gym memberships, just start gardening. Moving compost and soil and
getting out at nature and sweating too. Alright so we got this loaded up pretty much we got
all our soil mixture in here and I want to introduce you to the raised bed garden, the
waist height raised bed garden we’re using is right here, made out of cedar wood, Canadian
cedar wood that I then did finish with the Eco Wood product, it has a nice rich color
here and I want to give a shout out to Susquehanna Garden Concepts. They donated this for this
project so that my friend who is in a wheelchair can now start growing her own food. So, yes
definitely [use] the raised bed on legs so that people don’t have to bend over.
So I guess the last thing we need to do is we need to load up the plants and some other
things and besides the plants we got here I also brought her one very special plant.
This is one of my purple prayer tree collards, this are the very tree collards that the police
came to my house to find actually and this is one of them so this is to my friend’s
garden. I guess the last thing is go ahead and load up the rest of these plants. Here’s
the last bit of plants we’re going to go ahead and put in the jeep and we have to make
sure these aren’t going to rock and roll anywhere. I think they’re pretty stable
in there. Close up the jeep and now let’s head over to my friend’s house.
And now we’re here at my friend’s place and she lives in an apartment complex so,
even if you live in an apartment complex and are in a wheelchair you can still grow a garden,
even if you’re not in a wheelchair and not in an apartment complex, no matter wherever
you are there’s always a way to grow a garden so I’m really happy that I got all the supplies
from Orange County Farm Supply and next actually the big challenge is going in from the street
in the apartment complex which is actually a three story apartment complex to get everything
in there and then we’re just going to set it up and she can start growing some food.
So I guess the next thing we’re going to do is go ahead and unload that jeep, it’
quite full. As you guys saw earlier I got the potting
soil here and the raised bed here that’s going to be on the legs and all the plants
and we even got her the watering can. So, I guess the next thing is we’re going to
basically unload this stuff; we have a little dolly, piano dolly that we’re just going
to set everything on and roll it in. [Rolling] Alright so here it is you can pretty much
see everything I need pretty much to put this garden contained in the raised bed that is
going to be on the legs here. I got my little Ryobi screwdriver to screw it together and
we got all the organic potting soil that we picked up as well as the minerals, trace minerals
and all the plants. I mean it’s literally that simple to put together, I mean this is
literally all you need, anybody could do this. So I guess let’s go into the apartment complex
and do the install. Now we’re rolling in to the apartment complex
and as you can see they have a nice swimming pool here and just some shrubbery and non-edibles
in the background but we’re going to start growing some food and literally everybody
at this apartment complex or any apartment complex you guys live [in] you can easily
set up a garden like this to start growing some of your own food and it is really that
simple. We’re almost to where we’re going to set this up so we’ll get this unpacked
and we’ll come at you and show you how easy this truly is to set up.
Now, we’re all set up in the location where I’m going to set this garden up and as you
can see this is everything we’re going to need, it might look like a lot of stuff but
all the bagged soil is actually going to end up in this little raised bed right here. Now
this raised bed is about 2 feet by 4 feet and about 1 foot deep so that’s probably
8 cubic feet of soil and we probably got a little over eight here so we might have a
little bit of extra soil. Now I want to go over the raised bed kit here,
pretty much all you’re going to need to do is assemble it, so it has his little legs
here and we’re simply going to take the rill with some screws and screw the legs on
so this is going to be at a nice height for my friend and it’s recommended that if you
are growing food, for somebody in a wheelchair, you have to make sure that the raised bed
is at the right height. If it’s too low then they can’t reach down to do their gardening
and if it’s too tall then they can’t reach up and over into it so the best height to
have for people in wheelchairs is you want to make the top of the garden about 24 inches
to a maximum of about 30 inches. Luckily enough this Susquehanna Garden Concepts cedar raised
bed comes in from the factory at 30 and a half inches tall. So while I could sit here
and saw off some of this, this is already really close to the optimal height for people
in wheelchairs. Another thing very important when designing
a garden for people in wheelchairs is to have proper access so you want to usually have
like three feet on any side of the garden to have it accessible so the wheelchair can
get in and maneuver and they can do their gardening. The best way to do gardening in
a wheelchair is roll up sideways into it and lean over, versus going in to the front of
it and then working it this direction. The other thing that is very important is also
having a raised bed that’s not too deep, so the standard raised bed that I recommend
you guys to build normally for in the ground is 4 feet by 4 feet and that would be a little
too large for someone in a wheelchair so what we’re going to do here is this is actually
4 feet which is a good dimension and then you want it no wider than 3 feet, this one
actually happens to be 2, so that’s the perfect size for someone in a wheelchair so
that they will be able to work it. In addition, I always recommend you guys grow
the largest garden as possible, the more garden space you have that means the more food you
can grow so that you can be eating out of your garden instead of the grocery store.
I guess the last thing I want to talk about is the Susquehanna Garden Concepts, this raised
bed and why I like this. Let’s go ahead and move some of these plants out of here…
and that’s because of the bottom, and the bottom here is actually a recycled plastic
and many raised beds especially if they’re raised off the ground like this is they may
a wooden bottom and the problem with that is that water always drains down and the water
would sit on the wood bottom of most raised beds such as this and rot it out so the bottom
will rot out well before the sides do. This garden has been designed very well with the
plastic bottom so that the bottom will not rot out and the cedar, they’re using really
good cedar wood, that is decay and bug resistant plus as an added bonus I treated this with
an Eco Wood treatment that actually sips into the wood to protect it and it’s a really
nice color, grayish brown finish and it’s going to protect the wood without any toxins.
I guess the next step is I’m going to simply just assemble this bed, fill it with some
soil, plant the plants and then I’m out of here. Alright so I’m just screwing in
the few screws each basically leg takes four screws. That’s 4, 8, 12, 16 screws total
to put this together because it already does come pre-assembled all you have to do is put
in the legs so I guess once we’re done with that we’re going to the start filling it
up with some soil. Now once of the concerns you guys might have is some apartment complexes
may not allow you to grow things, you know, they may want the decorative landscaping and
what not and you can’t bring soil and all this kind of stuff but basically the cool
thing about this raised bed is basically all you can think of is basically like a little
pot. I mean, they have some potted plants over there… this is basically like one large
pot, it’s on legs so that people that are in a wheelchair can access it or older people
that may not want to bend down or people that don’t like bending either so this is truly
and accessible garden and I don’t think they could outlaw those.
Alright so we got this built and pretty much one person can move it by themselves once
it’s totally assembled it’s actually fairly light and once you do fill it another cool
thing about this garden is that you can move it. Something really smart might be to put
casters on bottom of the legs so you can actually move it around to follow the sun. This spot
we chose here is a convenient spot for my friend to have a little garden and have access
to it and it does get sun about half the day so we’re going to focus in growing things
that are greens and herbs, not necessarily fruiting crops although I did get some bush
cucumbers which we’ll see how they do. In general, if you have lower sun then it’s
better to grow the greens rather than the fruiting crops, fruiting crops being anything
that makes a fruit, that is the cucumbers, the peppers and the tomatoes, things like
squash or like that. So even in this indirect sunlight it should
do great especially with some of the plants we’re going to plant. I guess next we’re
going to go ahead and get this into position and start filling it with our soil mix. We
got the bed built and now we’re just going to start filling it up with our different
potting soils. You can see that I got a whole bunch of different kinds because I want to
get a nice symbiosis and I know a lot of you guys might say “but John, what is the best
one?” I don’t know what the best one is, I haven’t personally used this products
until this time so I’m going to be mixing a little bit of each to make sure we get all
the different stuff in there because the more nutrients you can add to the soil because
each one of this different compost is basically based on different formulas and have different
organic additives in there so that’ll allow your plants to thrive.
One of the things that I might do if I didn’t get a donation of all this different items,
because some of these potting soils actually can get quite expensive, I’d make my own
mixture so, how would I make my own mixture? I would basically do what’s called an a
Mel’s Mix this is one third compost, one third peat moss or coconut core and one third
of the vermiculite. That being said, that’s what basically this potting soils are, they’re
basically doing that for you in a nice easy convenient way that all you have to do is
simply take some scissors, cut the bag open and dump it in. Alright, so that was the EcoScraps
“no chemicals, no poop” organic and this has a nice texture here, seems like it’s
a lot of unbroken down wood chips which I don’t personally like too much so we’re
going to mix that in with the next product here. I’m going to check out and see what
it’s actually like, this is the Malibu Compost bio dynamic “Baby Bu’s Bio Dynamic Blend”
potting soil so next we’re going to go ahead and cut that one open. Alright, let’s dump
this guy in. so I like this mixture a lot better here’s the difference there, this
is the Bu’s Blend and here’s that other stuff, there’s a lot more texture like little
pieces of wood and things that aren’t fully composted whereas this stuff is a nice really
really excellent mix there. But, you know what? You guys get what you pay for, the Bu’s
Blend Bio Dynamic stuff is a bit more expensive than the Eco stuff there.
What I’m going to do next is actually start mixing this stuff together before we anything
else because I want to get all the different compost mixed together and not have it in
layers o it’s evenly distributed throughout our little waist height raised bed garden
here. So we got those two things mixed up in here looks pretty nice and that one product
had a whole bunch of different wood particles in there that’s just composted forest waste
but a lot of this to me, this is not composted enough, you know, full solid pieces of sticks
and what not in there so not too happy with that stuff but that’s what you get a lot
of times when you’re forced to products and I thought because mostly it’s called
EcoScraps and they promote it as fruit and vegetable based scraps, not a lot of forest
products that it would have more real compost in there but it wasn’t that way.
Next, I have high hopes for this stuff the Dr. Earth’s Pot of Gold premium soil, let’s
go ahead and open this guy up and see what it looks like. Oh wow man, this stuff is the
bomb, so far this stuff I like the most. I’m going to pour this out so you guys can see
it, look at the color difference between that and the stuff currently in the bed. I mean
this stuff here is like brown but this stuff here is rich and black. This is stuff you
want to be growing in, it’s fully composted I don’t see anything un-composted and it’s
really really rich, I’m glad a whole bunch of this stuff, the Dr. Earth’s for my friend
today. And now I got all this mixed in here so far the three bags filled up probably maybe
two thirds of the bed, now we’re going to put the next layer in and what we’re going
to add next is this stuff right here that’s actually called the John and Bob’s Maximize
so this is actually the minerals and the microbes, we’re going to add those into the soil so
that the plants can dance and be healthy. Now, this bag here it says it treats a 1000
square feet so this is actually just about 8 square feet but we’re going to put a nice
healthy those in here to make sure all the plants growing in here have the minerals they
need and also the beneficial microbes so that they can be healthy. We’re just going to
sprinkle this on top then we’re going to go ahead and mix it in. So, I think it’s
really important you guys get your hands in the soil and feel the soil, I think we’re
far [too] insulated in this day and age from nature and actually it’s the soil that really
created life on Earth, the plants come from the soil, we eat the plants… Soil is just
amazing stuff. Make sure to fill your raised beds with some good soil not just maybe the
dirt pre-existing at your house. Got all those minerals added in and next we’re
going to go ahead with this guy, this is actually the Dr. Earth’s Home Grown premium soil.
This is specifically formulated for growing pot herbs if you know what I mean. My friend
is definitely going to grow some herbs, maybe medicinal but probably mostly culinary herbs
so we’re going to get this mixed and we’re going to check out and see what it’s like.
This is very similar to the other Sr. Earth’s premium potting mix we had but this is once
again especially formulated formulation so we’re just going to mix this into our mixture
here. One of the reasons I like the Dr. Earth stuff is because number one: wow, this stuff
is really rich too, it’s really rich but it also has probiotics so the beneficial microbes
are going to basically colonize in the root zone of your plants and then actually help
your plants bring in nutrition and they will even be more resistant in times of drought;
you know the microbes can reduce watering need by 20% and that can be a significant
amount of water. So let’s go ahead and pour this guy out.
And once again, no surprise this mixture is nice and dark, actually nice and really dark,
lots of good stuff, nice and fine, no un-composted stuff in this mix. So I got this full and
we’re probably… we’re so close we’re probably like 85% full but we got that much
of a lip on there and I always like to fill my raised beds or containers to the brim.
Not totally to the brim because if then you water the water rolls over the side ut we
want to fill it up as much as possible and just leave a little bit of space so when you
do water the water is going to stay inside your raised bed. Now, why do I like to fill
it up to the brim? It’s like putting the toilet paper on coming off the top instead
of underneath the bottom, it’s just to me the right thing to do. You know the soil is
where your plant’s root are going to live so the more soil you can provide also the
more nutrition that is going to be available in there for your plants so that why I like
to fill things up it’s just the most optimal way to grow things in my opinion.
So what we’re going to do is going to go ahead and open up this last bag of Dr. Earth’s
Pot of Gold and we’re just going to put just enough in there so I can fill this up
most to the top but not over the top. So I got the waist height raised bed garden filled
with definitely the good stuff and now we’re ready to plant out. So besides you’re going
to fill it with it’s probably very important to make the proper selection with the right
plants you want to grow the right plants in the right climate at the right time of year,
so luckily at Orange County Farm Supply they’re supplying the plants that are going to do
well in this environment at this time plus actually they had really good prices. The
4 inch pots were like a dollar and I think that’s just a great price for those little
4 inchers. So, anyways what we’re actually going to
do next is lay the plants out kind of just putting them where I think they’re going
to be planted on top of the soil and then we’re probably going to go ahead and dig
them in and get them all planted. As you guys can see I got all the plants laid
out in here. Now, we have 30 plants in this 2 foot x 4 foot bed so yes that’s absolutely
a lot of plants. Let me go ahead and show you guys some of the plants that I actually
ended up planting in here. You know, I tried to think about when I’m planting things
is how it’s going to look like when it’s done because I know things like chives they’re
going to stay pretty small so I can put those near the edge. Other things like cilantro
and the parsley are going to get fairly tall and near the end I have the dill, the basil
and the Mexican oregano that is actually going to get really tall as well and that’s basically
the herb side. What you may notice is that I’m planting things rather close so I normally
subscribe to the 38:49 gardening standards of planting on how close to space the different
plants are planting and that is to give them enough room to grow into a full mature crop
so that you can harvest them. Now, you know the technique I’m using is
just a little bit different and I have done this before, it’s like this is my container
garden spacing, I tend to space things a little bit closer together and you can totally get
away with that especially if there’s a good soil mixture that has the nutrition that the
plants need and why I’m doing this is so that we can fit a lot more plants in there
and then the goal is to actually come out every day or every couple of days and harvest
a little off each plant that way you’re going to keep them trimmed down. It’s kind
of like if you have fruit trees and there are so many fruit trees you can grow one big
fruit tree that has a massive span or you grow a lot of little ones and keep them pruned
and keep them nice and small so that they’ll continue to produce for you.
So that’s the goal with this garden so we’re planting things closer than recommended but
you’re going to come out and clip all this stuff and eat it every day because that’s
the goal of the garden so as long as you continue to clip and keep things small the root is
going to develop and is actually going to grow quicker to produce the food that you
can eat and that’s why we’re doing that. So back over on the other side… we have
the herbs on this side and the new have the vegetables on the other half. We’ve got
things like the radishes which you can eat the greens and also harvest the little radishes,
these are actually French breakfast radishes, we’ve got things like the spinach, some
lettuce and some arugula as well as some red Russian kale here and then also of course
the tree collards in the back and for fun we’re going to go ahead and try to plant
some cucumbers, we got some of the bush cucumbers so they’re not actually going to make a
big vine, they’re just kind of going to grow hopefully a little nice bush and hopefully
they’re going to grow really well. Now, well one of the things I did consult
my friend Kenza when selecting what to plant out and we asked her what are her favorite
things from all the different ones and these are her favorite things that she really likes
and I definitely approve, I really like the cilantro and the parsley myself and I definitely
love my leafy greens as she does and you should too. Next I’m going to go ahead and start
planting these guys up and we’ll be back at you when this is all planted out.
We have a successful garden, yet another viewer is actually is going to grow some food because
of me and check this out we got the garden planted out, thirty little baby plants, this
is perfect for somebody in a wheelchair or even older people that don’t want to bend
over. I do want to thank Susquehanna Garden Concepts and Orange County Farm Supply for
making this available and now allowing my friend Kenza to be able to grow some of her
own food. So Kenza do you have any words you’d like to say to my viewers today?
(KENZA) No, you know, I’m just so grateful for the time John put in today to come and
help me grow my own food because I live in an apartment without a balcony or a patio
and my neighbor has been so gracious to contribute some of her space here for me to have my own
garden finally and I’m so excited to grow mineral enriched food that’s nutrient dense
and I’ve been watching John for such a long time and I’ve been so inspired so it’s
finally coming to fruition and it’s so cool, I’m so excited! Thank you John, thank you
so much. (JOHN) Wow, I’m so glad Kenza I could get
some of this stuff growing. (KENZA) I feel so fortunate, really awesome
experience. (JOHN) No space, no patio, whether you’re
in a wheelchair, whether you’re older, whether you’re a kid, whether you’re a man, whether
you’re a woman, no matter what color you are, there’s always a way to start growing
a garden today, just be persistent and make it happen. I did use a lot of different things
that were furnished that the two companies Susquehanna Garden Concepts and Orange County
Farm Supply and they made this available but there’s other many local resources you may
be able to find. I mean just a couple of videos ago I showed how I was able to make a garden
out of standard produce crates that normally get thrown away. So be resourceful, be persistent
and yes you can be growing today. Hopefully you guys really enjoyed this episode
learning about how to grow a garden especially for someone in a wheelchair or elderly or
handicapped disabled people and you’ll be able to do it too just put your mind to it
and you’ll be able to start growing your own food, mineral rich, mineral dense food
better than anything else that you could be eating from the grocery store.
So once again I’m John Kohler with, we’ll see you next time and remember: Keep
on Growing!

100 thoughts on “Accessible Wheelchair Elevated Raised Bed Container Garden from Start to Finish

  1. havent started using it yet. I may make a video once I use it and do some testing. It looks good so far, but a bit expensive.

  2. Can you set up some raised beds for me? I'm in a wheelchair too. I have a large terraced garden along the back of my yard but have a lot of space on the side yard for some raised beds. You can see my backyard garden in my last few videos.

  3. I just recently stumbled across your amazing YouTube channels. Thanks for this so much. Have you ever done any videos on potato boxes? I've recently started one and would love your input.

    Also, out of curiosity, you mentioned in one of your previous videos about being on a tight budget but possibly wanted a WordPress site to host your videos and other information. I would love to make this happen for you. Let me know if we can work something out. Keep up the good work.


  4. I was thinking of building a raised bed, on a budget, and came across concrete blocks as a possible material to use. Are concrete blocks safe for raised beds? Will they leach anything into the soil? What about fly ash that might be a component of concrete blocks?

  5. Great video. I think I got something in my eyes towards the end though. Must be the pollen…yeah, that's it. LoL

  6. John, great job and I hope you will consider a follow up to this video. Three items I am most interested in are: 1. Has 5 hours of sunlight proven sufficient for all of the plants in this selection?, 2. How have the plants tolerated the close spacing?, and finally 3. Was watering by watering can manageable by Kenza?

  7. Hi John. I'm so glad to see this video. I am also in a wheelchair and try to show the public that any one even disable people can do gardening. Thanks for this video I really enjoyed it. God bless.

  8. Man you are the bomb, so nice of you to do this for needy people, keep it coming we don't mind your long vids

  9. I'm probably too far away, but if your close I'd be happy to help you out. I'm front range Colorado. Northglenn, Co.

    John has not only inspired many of us, but encouraged us to help one another. If you're nearby I'd love to come and help you. I'm sure others would also.

    I can't offer financial help (I wish I could), but if you can buy the materials I'll volunteer the time required to build and fill and plant the boxes. Any labor that you need.

  10. Hi John, great video. Apart from being very inspirational in regards to helping your friends and neighbours, your explanation of selecting potting soil was exactly what I've been looking for. Im setting up a large container garden on my apartment balcony again this year and this video was a great help. My only problem is that I can't for the life of me find a store that sells powdered minerals like that or rock dust in general. I might just be looking in the wrong places. Any suggestions?

  11. Hey john i too am disabled,and my son built me a huge raised bed garden it is my therapy and if i had your email I'd love to send you a picture

  12. John,
    You are so kind and an awesome example for all of us to give sacrificially to our neighbors….Keep up the great contributions….you are helping more people than you know…
    F.A.N.A.F.I. (Find A Need And Fill It)

  13. Most stores DO NOT sell rock dusts. Its quite unfortunate that it can be VERY hard to find locally. I recommend ordering it online. Please watch
    for the best price I found.

  14. if any of you r veiwers live in ohio please let them know that right now jungle jims garden center has a amazingly awsome deal all peper plants and tommato pants are 10 for 10 buck prob about 15 to 20 dif veriatys and new this year the dreaded ghost peper witch i did buy

  15. This video made my day….you are a wonderful and generous person, the world needs millions more people like you. Thanks for everything you do.

  16. You're A GOOD MAN, Charlie Brown! You're the kind of example we need. You're THE BEST of men [unlike the rest of them]. We SALUTE you, Charlie Brown!!! [Next time remember to bring the girl an edible flower or two.;D] WE LOVE YOU, Charlie Brown.
    [[[You do know that's YOU, don't you Kohler.]]] YES! A GOOD MAN . . . Cheers!!!

  17. John, I got this elevated square foot herb garden as a gift for mother's day. It is awesome. (Don't know how to add a picture to this post.) I did not remember about the rock dust or minerals before the thing was put together. My husband put chicken wire on the bottom, then the black landscaping material that will allow the soil to breath and drain water, the soil then the plants. Should I dump out the dirt, add minerals then replant?

  18. I would top dress in the trace minerals. Get the Sea-90 or Ocean Solution product and add to water and water it in. You can also top dress in the rock dust minerals.

  19. You are my hero John!!!! Keep doing what you do! What an inspiring friend you have and to know she is inspired by you must be very rewarding. You do a lot of hard work to make these videos, I promote you every chance I get!! Keep on growing!!

  20. Hi John, HELP! I've been growing in raised beds for 30 years but now I'm in Bodega Bay and having a difficult time growing in the coastal weather. I have a small space on my balcony with 3 boxes and various containers. Even growing greens take much longer because of wind/cool weather. How can I best to cover/insulate beds (about 18” x 4’) and containers to keep in warmth and protect from wind? THANK YOU for pointing out that E. coli outbreaks are from the COW MANURE!

  21. John, you know what, seeing the smile on your friend's face just brightens me up, you and the other parties together made her desire to grow come through and she had a smile that could lighten up the room. You're great!! keep up the Good work, I enjoy watching you. Thanks.

  22. I have a garden that is 14.5×3 ft. When I water it, I sing the ABC's to every 1/3 and move on to the next 1/3. I figure that way, they get enough water and a nice little song to help them grow! Believe it or not, talking (or singing) to your greens helps!

  23. This is a truly AWESOME video! I am so happy for your friend, where she now has a GREAT garden from which to nurture and reap all the healthy benefits. Kudos to you John!

  24. John – you are so inspirational! This is something that friends, service groups, churches, and concerned citizens can do for people with physical challenges and older folks. You have provided a blue print that will help people know the steps to build or make such a life enhancing contribution to a person or persons' lives – you describe the decisions to be made beautifully! Your friend is wonderful and this will give her quality of life – -I hope that many are inspired to do this for many!

  25. great video!! take care of your self invest in a hat i notice every video the sun just beats on your four head.

  26. Your a good soul and a real man, what all men should aspire to b like as a spirit. Not the stereotype shown in media and music. It's a sad world we live in controlled by few evil men. If everyone were more like you, this world could be closer to heaven.

  27. Aloha John , I've been watching your videos , pretty awesome stuff you got. I've been wanting to start my own garden but afraid of FAILING, FAILING, FAILING… However I have 6 children who surprisingly love their veggies & very athletic & I want to keep feeding them the best of fresh & healthy, however its very expensive to keep buying especially with the size of family I have. So that being said, what can I grow being that I live in Hawaii?

  28. Hi John it was so great to see gardening designed for the less able bodied – we often get forgotten. Gardening is a real therapy and it gives you a sense of achievement to eat your own food. Kenza is a really beautiful soul – she radiates true grace. Namaste

  29. Hey John! This is Arturo from Puerto Rico, and im growing greens on self irrigated containers. Id like ti build a raised bed garden on my rooftop. But i wonder howto

  30. How can i properly drain a raised bed on a rooftop floor? I was thinking of cartboard to raise te floor, with some pond plastic over, and gravel. Saw in this vid the plastic floor on the raised bed, with no drainage at all, whats up with that?

  31. Thanks for sharing such an amazing thing you did for your friend. You are one in a million! Just by watching the expressions on your face, I can tell how genuine and giving you truly are. So here is a cyber hug from CT. to your part of the world. Thank you for being such a kind person and all the things you give to the world that was taught to you.

  32. I saw you holding back there ;), Very moving John… Just keep up with the videos and make sure you dedicate some time to yourself as well.

  33. Now John, You have to do a follow up on Kenza's garden and find out what did well and what she liked the best. You are a good friend and I am glad to have you as my internet friend.
    I needed to change my diet after a deadly toxic reaction that had me ill for seven months last year. I had traditional gardens before but I needed to change to organic growing and you helped me do just that.I have no outside space but I am growing a small garden indoors in pots. I plan on expanding to a small indoor greenhouse later this year. Your juicing tips and food channels helped me find a way to get more healthy plants into my diet after years of eating junk food and a meat heavy diet. I have a long way to go but I know I can do it and I watch your videos for inspiration.
     I am pretty sure that you are helping more people than you know and I would just like to say – Thank you John for helping change lives for the better.

  34. She's adorable:) I thought that was really funny when she was talking about wanting her own garden "finally!" with nutrient dense mineral rich food lol. All of those terms I've associated with John's Buzz words and I use those words now for gardening.

  35. You can't blame the cops for wanting your purple collards!!!!!! hahaha John, I look forward to your videos now more than my email!!! lol I think I am addicted!!! I have learnt so much good stuff from you, you have changed my garden for ever, I go out every morning and well first hit all the new tomato and strawberry blossoms with my vibrating battery toothbrush (OMG this works so well! Sad to say, I've only seen one bee in 2 years), but then I pick a few greens to eat when I get back in to check Youtube to see if you have unloaded anything that morning, then my email, lol. I can't believe I am eating and enjoying blossoms, one of my bok choy plants was going to seed, I broke off the flowers, and like a brave JK viewer I toke a bite, and omg, I love it! Now I am growing my bok choy for the flower stocks!!!  You constantly remind me to eat greens in my raw food lifestyle and to grow them myself and organically. So many things I do now all because of you. If I had ever had a son, I would have wanted him to be like you, or if I had a young BF, yes I would want him to be like you! You care about people, you are compassionate, good character and a person I would trust, he is a perfect choice for a BF vegan ladies, anyway, you have changed my life, and health, forever, thank you John

  36. More than half the video wasted.  Before you even got to the construction. Lee yak and more showing us how to do it please !

  37. John your teaching videos are wonderful. Easy to follow and understand. You have already taught me a great deal about gardening. Especially about the soil. Its vast, vast importance. Your great passion and drive to get the worlds people back to feeding themselves via their own back yard is a great gift to mankind. You are one of the worlds good people John. That comes across. Good intentions for Mother Earth. And helping others to learn and perfect their gardening. And one thing is certain when I look at you glowing with health. You eat right. You are a true inspiration. And great teacher.

  38. Just curious John? Have you ever made an update on Kenza's garden and how she is/has been doing and coming along with it? 
    She is such a sweetheart and you are an awesome person and friend, to help her get into gardening…
    Been a sub for a few months now and enjoy and learning a lot from your videos and knowledge of gardening…
    Such great people to, at Susquehanna Garden Concepts & Orange County Farm Supply to donate and help her out as well…Very Sweet and Touching Video!!!…Thank you, Dana~

  39. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for making this video. I too am in a wheelchair and have been wanting to atleast grow my own herbs. I absolutely love this elevated garden and will be looking to purchase one ASAP!!

  40. Hi John, Kenza, and everyone:
    Yes there are many options for gardening for people who live with physical challenges. Kenza, How is the garden growing, I hope very well. You could have a hanging container or two above your garden by using a bully system which would allow you to raise and lower the pots for access. This way small vining plants would be able to flow over the pot sides and drape down adding more food possibilities and more visual effects. Kenza, Do you have a service dog? Safe travels and many blessings.

  41. This is awesome! I'm so glad Kenza has her garden. I am also disabled (part time wheelchair, but able to walk a bit, but not bend or lift) and planning on getting a Garden Tower 2 that I learned about from you, John. 😄

  42. This wonderful to see. My husband and I are in wheelchairs and we live in an apartment complex. This would be great for our patio

  43. 7:40, do not trust them. The Cow Manure is filled with Antibiotics and Chemicals, Coconut is from those Slavefarms, where the eradicate the Forest… and Fish is very dangerous these Days, filled with Mercury and all that Stuff. They hate you Dude, they want to poisen you and make a living Battery out of your Soul and Body, IG Farben & IG Rockefeller, ok?

    I know your on Rock Dust, but this even could be radioactive like their chemical Fertilizers, somebody should check that. They earn a Hell lot more Money when they get you really really sick.
    Hormones in Plastic… i mean, they do this on Purpose, alright? They are Parasites and horrifing Incestdegenerates, beware, Dude.

  44. amazing work well done John .my husband was in a tragic 40 foot fall on a ship that was in Japan he was there for work because of the fall he is now a paraplegic from his nipples down.we use to love gardening together when he was home from work.his job keeper him away for months .now neither of us are able to garden because it's a lot of work to take care of him .we do it all buy our self no nursing or I am starting now some raised garden beds I got 2. 1 1/2 wide by 3 feet long from Sam's Club they have a plug on the end for adjusting for overflow and to let out the overflow of water if needed I bought peppers , hot peppers, tomatoes cherry tomatoes, and herbs, we live in Puerto Rico now and it's a lot different for nc for me because there we had a large in ground garden. here I have to do everything on our 2 patios in containers. can you give me and advice .thank you

  45. Kenza is such a beautiful lady, I hope and pray that she is doing much better, I know our Loving God will keep her strong and keep her safe and see her through difficult times. Keep it up Kenza your are amazing, I am a quadriplegic aa well and when i see how happy your are it gives me strength to go on because our God is Amazing. God Bless Kenza.

    john k

  46. Good on you John for helping your friend. What a wonderful gesture. The gift that keeps on giving. God Bless.

  47. I'm a paraplegic with chronic back pain and gardening is very difficult, but I grow indoors to make it easier. You area good person for doing that for your friend . Thanks for the video

  48. Hey brother, in raised gardens this size, do you feel it beneficial to also use a chop and drop method? Like Herb trimmings and overgrowth of other beds?

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