Thursday, June 9, 2011

Instant Garden Beds

I'm always searching for new places and new containers for all of the plants I bring into my garden. 
This spot has been sitting empty for a while as not much has done well here. 

The mini bed has 2 small sides built around an old clothesline that I have used as a trellis.  Either the small size of the beds or the lack of sun exposure has caused my crops to be less than impressive here.
I saw this garden tip in the August 2000 Organic Gardening magazine. I thought it looked like a quick way to get a new garden bed going by planting directly in bagged potting or topsoil.
I cut 8 to 10 drainage holes on one side of the bag and laid it out (with the holes on the bottom) where I wanted the garden bed to go.

I cut a large X in the top of the bag and tucked the plastic flaps inside the bag.

I added some organic fertilizer and worm castings and watered the bag well.

I planted a "Sunburst" cherry tomato seedling in the soil.  I used a flat rock and some green paint for the plant marker.

Once the tomato plant gets growing I plan to add a bit more potting soil and top it off with some mulch from the compost bin. 
Next season I can reuse the potting soil in another project, or pull the plastic away and try direct planting once more.
This project was so easy that I'll be making 2 more instant garden beds with a couple bags of soil that I have on hand.  Looks like I will finally be planting the rest of the seedlings I started earlier this spring. 
Many thanks to Kit Kellison of Chesapeake, Virginia who submitted this tip to OG magazine.
Be well and Happy Gardening

Follow up:
I added 2 more instant garden beds in front of my kitchen window. This area gets some afternoon sun, but the house shades it from the worst heat.

The pot in the center of the bags is filled with manure (good nitrogen source for greens) and organic fertilizer.  When I add water I'm feeding the plants and watering deeply at the same time.

The seedlings I'm using are transplants from the micro greens that I started earlier (04/11/11blog).  One planter will get mixed lettuce and the other gets the spinach.

I hope that the part sun/part shade combo this bed gets will keep the greens going a bit longer into the season.

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