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Sore Farmer Invents New Stand-up Garden
When Frank Roberson's doctor ordered him to stay off the ground due to a knee injury he decided to find a way to bring the ground up. After 4 years of research and development, Roberson and his family now have a thriving family business selling his Stand-Up Gardens.
Formed out of 65 mil (about 1/8-in. thick) black plastic, Stand-Up Gardens stand about 36 in. high and 5 ft. across. The circumference is about 16 ft. The heavy plastic cylinders are simply erected on top of the ground and filled with dirt, which results in natural soil percolation. The Roberson's work the gardens with small hand tools and plant in circles working toward the center. Most adults can easily reach the center of the garden, according to Roberson, noting that he has also developed a shorter version for persons confined to wheelchairs.
"We've had a tremendous interest. Many people, as they get older, find it difficult to work a regular garden. This concept takes far less effort," says Roberson, noting that the plastic has a lifetime rating of 15 years plus. "Some people think they can make their own but it took us 4 years to find a material that would work. Metal is too expensive and corrodes too easily, especially under the effects of fertilization. Other kinds of plastic break down too fast."
Stand-Up Gardens roll up into an 8-in. dia. roll for UPS shipment. Once erected, they can be easily disassembled for movement to another location, whenever desired.
Roberson says interest in his elevated gardens has been expressed by people with severe woodchuck and rabbit problems. Woodchucks can be prevented from tunneling into the garden by erecting it on a wire mesh screen and he feels the slippery plastic sides of the unit should keep most other animals out. One other benefit of the unit is that the black plastic absorbs the sun's warmth, thawing the garden sooner than surrounding soil and allowing northern gardeners to start gardening up to a month earlier.
Stand-Up Gardens sell for $59.95. Possible future accessories include a plastic dome and automatic "soaker" irrigation.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frank Roberson, Stand-Up Gardening, Rt. 1, Box 54, Millville, Minn. 55957 (ph 507 753-2358 or 753-2356).


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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3