30" high raised bed

Note: These raised gardening beds were made for Tammy and Mel Glover who call them "bunkers". They were made by Jerry Treinan of Rapid City. Contact information about Jerry is listed in Classifieds under the Save $$ tab. LeRoy Draine drew the plans based on the finished construction.

There are times when several good ideas (some in disguise as needs) come together to create grand solutions. This is the case with the high raised (box) bed for persons - small children, wheelchair patients, those who prefer not to bend or kneel - or anyone who prefers to garden in a standing position. 

(The first two photographs are of spring planting, 2013.)

At the bottom of this page we put the plans, materials list and approximate cost so that people can study the design and, if needed or desired change it - shorten the length, make the planting box deeper, install drip emitters. All that and more is possible for those wanting to tailor the IDEA to become a functional gardening area. (It's also great if the yard is small or even non-existant because the soil is in the box!)

Some suggestions to consider are adding hand grips - like barn door handles - or install rails so that standing persons can have extra support. Green board was used for the construction. When the planting bed is filled with soil it is very heavy so make the base and supports truly sturdy.

(The third and fourth photographs are from the summer planting, 2012)

Because the soil in a raised bed must be mixed, pay very close attention to making your soil mix. Use some potting soil (we recommend a mix that does NOT contain moisture crystals or fertilizer), city yard waste compost (to hold water and provide slow release nutrienbts), aged animal manures and made in your own garden compost. Soil dug from the garden will be very heavy and difficult to work with. 

Mel Glover said, "I put yard waste compost (from the Rapid City Landfill) in the bottom half of each bunker and then added garden soil from Jolly Lane which you can purchase in bulk. Then we mixed in a couple 5-gallon buckets of aged horse manure. Lastly I put Ball potting soil (available at Jolly Lane) that we had saved from last year's pots. That final topping of potting soil made it easier to plant the first, cool crops - lettuce, etc." spinach, radishes etc." 

Questions? Send us an email at gardeners@blackhillsgarden.com.




Drowning In Tomatoes? Try Something Different This Year.


If you’re a home gardener about to drowned in tomatoes rolling in off the vines and demanding to be consumed before they go bad, hang on. Here comes a life preserver.

I chop up a small bowlful of fresh very ripe tomatoes, add chopped red onion or scallions, minced garlic, chopped fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.  I sometimes add Kalamata olives. I make this dish in the morning and let it set on the kitchen table all day. By evening meal time, the flavors have melded nicely, and I serve it over hot cooked spaghetti noodles and top it with fresh grated parmesan for an easy meal on a hot summer day.

other such survival gardening from Off the Grid News