Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Veggie Patio Garden Challenge

Recently, I read an article about a young woman who lived in an apartment and was upset that she couldn’t have a summer veggie garden. Someone replied that building garden boxes was not a hard task, but the young lady replied again saying she was not allowed to build any permanent structures.

After careful consideration and a lengthy conversation with my daughters, we decided to take the patio veggie garden challenge.

Rules: It could not be a permanent structure.

The garden had to be easy and inexpensive to make.

Here is our plan:

2 plastic kiddies pool (recyclable) small and large

Few bags of top soil and mulch or peat moss.

Hand shovel, hand rake, box cutter.

Carefully cut holes in the bottom of the plastic kiddie’s pool for drain purposes. You can see in our illustration that this was pretty easy and only took my daughter a few minutes.

Next, place the pool or pools where they can get good sun during the day. Move them around to different places and make sure that’s where you want them to sit during the summer months because it’s hard to move them after you fill them with dirt.

Fill your kiddie pool with good soil and peat moss. A garden mix soil is best. Using your hand tools make sure you mix you soil well.

Now the fun part! Decide what veggies you use the most during the summer months. We picked tomatoes, (4 different kinds) Bell peppers (3 different kind) Pablano pepper , and a jalapeño pepper. We put all this in the larger kiddie’s pool.

In the smaller pool we planted three herbs, and zucchini squash (2 kinds) this was a leap of faith for me not being sure the zucchini would work. See Illustrations.

Arrange the plants around the pool and decide where you want them to go. We used live plants, but you could easily plant seeds.

After you figure out where you want the plants to go, it’s time to start planting. Some live plants you purchase at the garden stores will have recyclable/compostable containers. Remove these because they tend to mold and spoil the plants. Plant your veggies 8 to 10 inches from each other, water…taadaaa you now have a cool patio garden: See Illustrations

As Fall creeps in you might want to consider using your garden as a composter for all you garden scraps during the cold winter months. This will insure healthy new soil for next spring when you start over again.

Kitchen scraps could include coffee ground, tea grounds, egg shells, all veggie peels and scraps, left over beer someone didn’t finish, and much more.

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