By Vanessa Richins
“Hello, please could you tell me if there is a recommended height for raised beds , for wheel chair users , both children and adults?Â Thank you.”
Hi Anna! In doing my research, one resource I found was for the Dowling Community Garden. They have built raised beds meant to be accessed by both seniors and those in wheelchairs. They suggest that a suitable height for wheelchair users is 24″ high. You may want to lower it a few inches if the raised bed is meant for children in wheelchairs.
More tips come from a wonderful article by an intern at Oklahoma State University. She suggests making the beds 4′ wide if they will be accessed from either side, or making them just 2′ wide if the gardener will only be able to access one side.
The bed should be 10-20′ long or less. If they are longer, it may get exhausting for the person who has to wheel themselves around the bed.
Another suggestion for easy wheelchair access is to make sure that the raised bed is surrounded by a cement walk on all sides.
There are several different shapes that you can build a raised bed as – circular, rectangular, square, or a T-shape. You could also build the bed into a T-shape where the top of the bed is one size, and it is narrower underneath. This could allow a bit more gardening room, but still allow the gardener to move themselves closer to the bed.
Good luck with your accessible raised beds!