The raised garden bed is popular among amateur gardeners not only because it looks beautiful, but because it offers many advantages. It is much easier to work than a flat bed. You can work while standing on the bed. In addition, beds are not affected by pests such as nudibranches. And the best thing is that if you do not have a garden, but you do not want to forego fresh herbs and vegetables in your kitchen, you can create a practical little lounger on the balcony. In addition to the classic raised beds, there are also the so-called table-beds, which expand the concept in an unusual way. The table raised bed is an elevated planter box without ground contact and is ideal for those who have little space in the garden, on the terrace or on the balcony.
Advantages of the table beds compared to classic raised beds
Table beds are especially comfortable in transport and are perfect for balcony and cobbled terraces. In addition, they are much more economical in material consumption, since one does not need as much soil for filling. This beet type is suitable for all who want to build a raised bed quickly. Read on to discover some great upcycling ideas. You can also build your table bed from an old table or simply convert a used table stand.
The load-bearing capacity of the balcony should also be taken into account when creating a raised bed. It is important that it is not too heavy so that the balcony plate is not stressed too much. The material of the frame construction as well as the filling plays an important role. For this reason, a raised bed on feet is the best option for the balcony. It can be as high as the classic raised bed, but is lighter in weight, since they are significantly less plant substrate.
Lowerable bench bed – alternative in the barrier-free garden
Movement-restricted people do not have to do without gardening. Bunk beds on legs are very suitable for roller-belt riders, because they can drive under the planting surface and work so comfortably at the bed. The width of the bed should not exceed an arm length. So the back plants can also be cultivated. In order for wheelchair and legs to find sufficient space under the raised area, the substructure of the bed should be at least 65 cm high and the plant area should be at a height of 85 to a maximum of 95 cm. Instead of on four table legs, the raised bed can be placed on a central base.
What depth for a table raised bed?
Approximately 30 – 50 cm depth is ideal for a raised bed on the balcony. However, it depends on the root depth of the selected plants. In some vegetable plants the roots lie less than 20 cm deep in the soil. Among the flat-rooted varieties, for example, most lettuce species, spinach, onion, radish, radish, potatoes, celery, tomatoes etc. As the roots remain in the upper layer, they have to be cast more frequently.
Who wants to grow kohlrabi, bean, carrots, cucumbers, peas and peppers, needs a deeper raised bed. These vegetable plants reach a root depth of up to 50 centimeters and belong to the mid-rooting.
Drainage table garden bed
Since the table raised bed does not have any ground contact and for this reason there is no optimum drainage, the drainage of the raised bed is an important aspect which should be considered. Otherwise, the plant roots may suffer from stagnant moisture.
Here, garden fleece made of geotextile (filter fleece) helps. This drainage fleece serves both dewatering and water storage. The optimized fiber structure is so dense that the water does not drip off during irrigation, but slowly evaporates through the bottom of the raised bed.
Raise the bed from an old table
As already mentioned, salads have shallow roots. Therefore, this flat table raised bed is ideal for the cultivation of different types of lettuce in the smallest space! Whether chocorée, Endeviensalat, field salad, Frisesalat, head salad – discover the great variety of salads and find your favorites! But first, you have to turn this old table into a raised bed. That is how it goes!
- Drill or screwdriver
- Wire cutter
- Measuring tape
- Saw or jigsaw (to cut plywood from cedar)
- An old table, desk or other upcycle-worthy furniture, which is also suitable for planting
- Short nails and hammer or staples
- Tight wire or wire mesh
- Drainage fleece
- working gloves
- Thin cedar wood slats – approx. 4 cm wide and 1 cm thick
First, the floor of the table-top should be created. Turn the table over and place it on a workbench. To avoid injury, wear gloves best.
Cut the wire mesh to the correct size and attach it to the bottom of the crate with small nails or staples. Depending on the size of the table, you might need help here.
Measure your wooden boards and trim them. Mount these at the bottom of the table by covering the edges of the wire mesh. Fix the slats with screws. Depending on the size of the table, you might also need a support beam diagonally across the center. Make sure there are no sharp wires.
Turn the table over again. Now cut a piece of drainage fleece to the size of the plant box with a few extra centimeters around the edge. The fleece fulfills several functions: it keeps the garden soil, protects the wood from rotting and allows dewatering. So you do not have to worry about a dirty balcony.
Now you can fill your table raised bed!
Mount the planter box on the table stand
Before we deal with the filling of the table, we would like to show you two great possibilities for the construction. The first variant is a successful combination of a 30 cm deep cedar wood planter box and the LERBERG tablebuck from IKEA. With it the plant crate is about 95 centimeters high – perfect height for a raised bed.
For the planter box, cedarwood was chosen, not only because it is visually appealing, but because it has very good properties. The cedar oil in it makes the wood naturally resistant to rot, mold and insects, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. Cedarwood is light, durable and has a fine fiber structure.
Mobile table bed on wheels
Another great idea is to bring your table bed on stable rolls. The advantage of the mobile raised bed naturally lies in its simple transportability. The castors can easily be moored at the lower end of the foot. Very practical if you want to move your raised bed more often.
Filling the table bed
In the classic vegetable garden, the layering system is the most important step for successful harvesting. The filling of a table bed is far less complicated. If the floor is laid with a drainage fleece, flower or garden soil is filled. Optionally, blanch clay or gravel can be mixed with plant soil as drainage.
Cultivate the table bed
When planting, the question is of course whether it should be a decorative or a useful bed. If you can not decide for one or the other, you could also combine vegetables and flowers. Table beds are only suitable for plants with a small root. All those plants that flourish well in flower boxes feel well there. These are herbs, leaf salads, mini-carrots or also peppers and peppers.
Ensure that the site meets the sunlight requirements of your plants. Most plant varieties require at least six hours of sunlight per day, while some flowers thrive well in the shade. It is very important to use regular watering so that the roots in the upper layer of the soil do not dry out.
If a very sunny, dry location is chosen for the table raised bed, you can orient yourself to the model of the flat roof greening and plant houseworms or low growing sedum. Thorny plants tolerate dryness and heat very well.
If you decide for a mixed culture for your raised bed, you should take note of the growth height and the growth time of the plants. In general: high plants backwards, small plants move forward. One reason for this arrangement is the light incident, because larger plants in the front would donate the smaller plant shade.
Put vines on the edge, because then the tendrils can grow well outwards and do not disturb the other plants in the raised bed. For example, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans can easily grow up on the tendrils. Grapevines could also act as a screen on a terrace. The fast growing varieties such as lettuce and radishes are also placed on the margins, while plants with a longer growing season are always planted in the middle of the bed. Small herbs and flowers serve very well as a gap fillers in the vegetable raised area.
Some examples of beautiful planting of the table:
- Tomatoes behind, cabbage in the middle, front salad
- Beans, dill and kohlrabi
- Tomatoes, basil, parsley and lettuce
- Beans, cauliflower, red and white cabbage
- Chicory, fennel, head salad and carrots
- Strawberries, garlic, lettuce, radishes
We hope you enjoy gardening on the balcony or on the terrace and good harvest!