August 8, 2011
I have to tell you, my garden is expanding like a bulging waistline at Christmastime. Here’s the thing, I used to feel like I was stuck in the raised bed box. I had limited space for limited plant varieties. If I wanted to experiment with, say, a new variety of cucumber in addition to ones I liked already, I would have to sacrifice something else. While this mode of thinking sounds very practical and economical, it’s just no fun. So lately, I’ve had to “think outside the raised bed box” on my seemingly never-ending mission to squeeze more types of herbs, veggies, and fruit in my somewhat limited garden space.
This isn’t the prettiest part of my garden, but if you step off the “manicured” path, you’ll see I have several pockets of enticing edibles stashed all over my yard. I’ve snuck grape vines onto one of my fences and trellised tomatoes next to the pool. I even have the beginnings of pumpkins and zucchini covering the bit of free space next to my hedge line.
Now, before you start thinking that I must just have naturally great soil, let me tell you, I don’t. The ground here is clay-packed and rodent-ridden, and if you can actually get something to grow, as soon as it flourishes, the birds get it. To combat my stubborn soil, what I do to create a plant pocket is this: I scoop out a 5 gallon sized hole where I want my plant to go, fill it with potting soil, and plant like normal, effectively creating a mini planting bed. Not too hard, right?
These plants have had about a 6/10 success rate so far, which is pretty darn good in my book, for just sticking them in my ground. So, if you think you don’t have space for a veggie garden, or are just obsessed with collecting different types of plants (cough cough… like me), creating a bunch of mini-gardens is a fun, accessible way to grow produce. Just remember to keep track of where you put your plants!