Mobile Gardening, My New Favorite Way to Garden

Mobile Gardening

 

 

Anyone that knows me and knows where I live, understands the constant battle to try and be self-reliant. I live in an area where the growing season is very short, the temperatures are chilly at night even in the summer months, and as wonderful as the abundance of wildlife is to watch, they raise much grief in the garden. They also know that my husband and I are very much opposed to waste. Why buy something when something someone else was discarding could be repurposed. This is a lifestyle from our childhood that has carried over to our adulthood. Being industrious because you were poor is now fashionable green living.

For Mother’s Day this year I got the best gift ever. My husband took an old rusty boat trailer and some galvanized construction headers that had been discarded at a construction site and some cattle panels and repurposed them into a mobile garden.

I’ve been using Earth Box self- contained planting systems from Earthbox.com for many years now to grow my lettuces and herbs and such but once they are full of soil they are really heavy and hard to move to mow around and if we got hit with frost or hail in June or even July it was a scramble to get everything covered.

Earthbox

This mobile garden is 6’ wide x 12’ wide and has 15 Earth boxes which will provide us with the fresh produce we will eat all summer. There won’t be enough for all my canning but I’m sure that we will make something larger if this pans out.

So far the benefits of the mobile garden are many. I planted a month early since I was able to pull it into our pole barn to keep it out of the frigid temperatures. I’m hoping to extend the harvest season the same way. The Earth Boxes each have a water reservoir so I don’t have to worry about under or over watering and there is almost no water wasted since it all goes to the plants. I don’t have to string out hoses since I can take the garden to the water source. I was able to plant the seeds, and pulled the few weeds that grew without stooping over. No bending to harvest either. If bad weather, strong winds or heavy rain is in the forecast, pull it into the pole barn. Best of all I pull it in to the pole barn at night so it’s not a salad bar for the deer and other critters.

The climbers were planted next to the attached cattle panels, and I used companion planting to maximize my limited space. I have special deep Earth Boxes designed for root crops.

We have pole beans, 2 varieties of tomatoes, Dill, snap peas, summer squash, table cukes and pickle cukes, zucchini, onions, parsnips, beets, red, yellow and green bell peppers, cilantro, parsley, basil, rosemary, 2 types of carrots and strawberries.

I added some bee balm to attract pollinators.

Below are pictures of the progression

The Plan

 

Mobile garden

Starting to grow

We have a winner

This is 6 weeks out and everything is starting to bloom nicely.

6 weeks out

We have a winner!!!!

Stay tuned for a update on the harvest…be green and peace out!

 

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UPDATE:  So far the harvest is awesome and much earlier than normal especially since everything was started from seed directly sowed outdoors.  I will have to rework my companion planting, though as my squash shaded out my peas so I was unable to get a second bloom from the peas.  NEXT Project? How about a mobile greenhouse!!

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Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

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Reduce, Reuse, Regrow

I live in the Upper Mid-West which is zone 3- 4 for planting which basically means that if I want to grow anything that takes more than a couple of months to mature I need to do a lot of planning and prep work. I’m starting my vegetable and annual herb plants that take 90 days or more to mature in a mini green house with a small heat lamp hung inside that I turn on to keep my plants warm on nights when the temperature is below freezing. Setting the heat lamp to come on with a thermostat set to 40 degrees works great (no worries if the temp drops when I’m fast asleep). I like this method better than starting the plants indoors because the young plants get conditioned early and don’t get shocked as easily when transplanting them into the garden. Today happens to be April 21st 2017 and even though we are in a fruitful period we are in the last phase of the moon (lunar cycle) so it’s fruitful for below ground crops. I’m experimenting with planting above ground crops during this fruitful time because I will be controlling the water table for my plants since they are contained. I’ve modified some used plastic containers (water bottles) from my recycle bin to try and keep it out of the landfill for a bit longer.

I cut the bottom 1/3 off the water bottle, removed the cap and inverted the top portion into the bottom. The bottom will store the water the inverted top will house the soil. I packed dirt into the neck to form a soil plug. This will act as a wick and pull the water below into the soil above as the plant needs it. This will help provide a more consistent moisture level and help prevent damping off of the sprouts. I take the top 1/3 of another water bottle with the cap removed and use it as a mini greenhouse. When the seedling reaches the top of the dome it’s time to remove the top.

Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 1
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 1
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 2
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 2
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 3
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 3
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 4
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 4
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 5
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 5
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 6
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 6
Heirloom Corn Seeds - Figure 7
Heirloom Corn Seeds – Figure 7

I planted my heirloom corn today because heirlooms take longer to grow than hybrids. I will be planting corn again on 4/29/17 because that is another fruitful period but we will be in the first phase of the lunar cycle and that is great for above ground crops. I want to compare the difference growth between the two lunar cycles.

 

I hope to post updates with progression photos to this post as the season move forward. Hopefully, I will be able to capture it all the way through to the harvest of next years’ seed.

I also used come yogurt containers to start my Bloody Butcher tomatoes!!!!

Bloody Butcher Tomatoes in Chobani Containers
Bloody Butcher Tomatoes in Chobani Containers

 

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”