Growing tables provide a way for the less able and wheelchair users to continue to enjoy growing their own. One tip for those unsteady on their feet is to fix some grab rails to the vegetable growing table. Don’t forget that a table loaded with compost and water is going to be extremely heavy, good strong construction is a must.
What are growing tables?
Whenever we see a new simple practical widely applicable gardening idea we have to try it. The most productive in recent years has been a growing table which is essentially a raised bed on legs.
Our growing table is a metre by 70 centimetres in surface area with sides that give a 30 cm depth of a compost for growing vegetables.
It is an essential feature of a mini-allotment filling a three square metre terrace off our bedroom. Other containers are tiers of window boxes, pots and a trough with trellis for growing tomatoes, cucumbers and beans.
At present there are twenty varieties of vegetables and herbs growing on our growing tables.
Growing tables are productive
Today’s crops from the growing table include mini lettuces and cut and come again oriental salad leaves, mini carrots and broccoli, parsley, peas and nasturtium leaves and flowers that hang down two sides. Yes the plants are close – they prevent moisture evaporation, being two floors up there is little chance of snails and slugs and we don’t need to walk between the crops.
Construction materials for Growing Tables
Our growing table is constructed from marine ply with wooden legs but aluminium sheeting and tubing is another easy alternative. Galvanised steel versions are also on sale. The height of the legs is 70 cms which means that only the tops of lettuces can be seen from the street over the terrace wall. Casters are fitted to the legs so that it can be moved around. If we wanted to we could plant and harvest from a stool.
And that of course opens up other uses for growing tables especially for those ageing or infirm. In our book Apartment Gardening Mediterranean Style we recommend that they are also used for:
- collections of herbs, cacti, succulents and other plants.
- potting tables.
- mini gardens.
- children’s gardens
- propagating rows of new plants from cuttings or seeds.
In the book we include our plan for a ‘Dream penthouse terrace’. The vegetable growing area comprises a convenient corner of twelve growing tables – an adaptation of our ‘Ten tub allotment’ for a corner of a small garden.
Next time you visit Barcelona or Valencia you might well see a terrace of growing tables – here they are marketed as ‘Huertos Urbanos’ which translates into ‘urban allotments’.
Useful Links in the Allotment Shop:
Container Pot & Patio Growing, Flowers, Vegetables, Fruit & Herbs – Information & Advice
- Container Gardening – Container Vegetable Growing
- Container Gardening – General Advice Guide & Tips
- Container Gardening – Protecting Your Plants & Crops From Pests
- Growing Tables for Vegetables, Fruit & Herbs
- The Basics Of How to Plant Container Gardens
- What Vegetables Can You Grow in Containers?
- Winter Care of Container Fruit Trees