June 06, 2014

Lots of Goodies in a Small Space: My summer of container gardening on the deck

One month after planting

The first year we moved into our current home, I realized I had more than a few things going against me for planting a garden.  I relocated here from the mid-west, where the soil is healthy, thick and black.  We relocated to the South, where our 'yard' is a slope on the side of a steep hill (mountain region).  It's basically a huge boulder - pure rock - with about 1/2 inch of clay like soil on it.  I've always had 'above ground' gardens - even in the rich soil up North, but it would be labor intensive and cost prohibitive to build something like that here with such a steep slope of a yard.  

This spring, I was thinking of ways to container garden on my deck; the only place on our entire lot that is level!  But admittedly, I hated the look of random ugly containers and I didn't have a big budget to work with.  Instead, while shopping at Sam's Club, I saw this Greenland Gardener kit.  An above ground garden kit you could use as is, or buy two and stack for a deeper garden.   After debating a couple days, I went back to purchase one - which was about $54.  

Because it's usually used on the ground, it has an open bottom.  I was going to use it on the deck, but didn't want the soil and moisture to ruin it.   We had just applied a thick coating of waterproofing weather coating seal to the deck.  I decided to line the bottom with plastic to protect the deck, but left a few open spaces between the sheets of plastic where water could drain. 

In the end, I was thrilled with it.  It went together quickly, I bought 12 bags of healthy soil, some seed packets and a few vegetables at my local green house that were on clearance.  Very little money, very little work and if it didn't work out, that was ok.  

But as you can see from the photo up top;  it's thriving!!!   Better yet, because it is lined, it is holding in enough moisture to get through the sunny, hot, 90 degree days without me watering it.   After I planted the garden I watered only twice before letting nature take its course.   Between the sun, rain and shade during different parts of the day, it seems to be doing nicely.

Check your local membership warehouse for a kit for about $55.  I also found it online at Amazon this morning for $46, but then you have to pay for shipping, which isn't cheap as it's almost 50 pounds. 

Greenland Gardener 8-Inch Raised Bed Double Garden Kit
  • Made from recycled plastic and wood
  • Will not rot
  • Patented corner system
  • Product Dimensions: 40.2 x 8.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 49 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
I have been above ground gardening for years and can do a lot of vegetables and herbs in a small space.  So in the space above I have tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, green onions, parsley, coriander and cucumbers.  I have strawberries in containers next to the garden.  My lavender seed must have been old (bought cheaply for about $.20 a pack at Walmart) because it did not sprout at all, but everything else is doing nicely!

Other options you might be interested in;


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