Friday, May 27, 2011

Mobile Gardening

My cousin Bill likes to RV travel most of the year.  Given little excuse, he’ll pack up and head out to visit people and places on a moment’s notice.  In addition, he’s a gardener.  The two (traveling and gardening) don’t seem to work well together.  Bill’s come up with a great solution and I thought I’d share it with other “mobile” gardeners.

When we talk about container gardening, most of us think about flowers or perhaps a few herbs.  Bill has over thirty containers chocked full of garden vegetables.  Most everything (except corn and potatoes) he previously grew in-ground. 

Should “wanderlust” set in, a call to gardening neighbors does the trick.  They come over, each will grab a few pots of vegetables and the produce won’t go to waste. 

Not only does this garden trick work for travelers, it works well for those who might find an in-ground garden too physically challenging, time or space consuming. 

I’ve seen gardens growing in repurposed wheel barrows, baby strollers, and wheeled washtubs.

If coordinated beauty isn’t a necessity:  old crock pot inserts, granite ware canners, plastic milk jugs with the tops off, copper boilers, buckets, garbage cans or most anything deep enough to hold the root system.  Adding drainage holes is healthier for the plants.   
  • Add a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the container to prevent the soil from coming out the drainage holes. 
  • Set the pot on a few small rocks, wine corks, or something to allow water to drain easily. 
  • I only use the saucers if the weather is very dry or deck staining is an issue.
  • Add potting soil and your seeds or plant sets. 
  • If you plant sets or once the seeds have a few inches of height, add a layer of mulch.  This will keep the soil from drying out as fast and the soil from splashing out when watered.
  • Use plant braces if it will be a large plant, it vines, or has heavy produce.
  • Containers dry out quickly in summer heat and wind.  Once the root system has dried, it’s very hard to get buds and produce again.
  • Fertilize lightly about every two weeks once the plants start growing.  Make sure the fertilizer reaches the soil and doesn’t just soak into the mulch.
  • Most vegetables like full sun.
Life improves if you don’t have to choose between two great hobbies.
This innovative solution from Bill could be the answer to: 
“Have RV ~ Will garden!"

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