Monday, October 6, 2008

Winter Garden in Progress

My sister worked like a slave for two days in my garden and flower beds! There is a lot to show you, but I'll concentrate on the winter vegetable garden for today.

The picture that I teased you with on Thursday was taken after the remnants of last year's garden were plowed under & raked smooth. The straw will keep the mud & weeds to a minimum. What you weren't shown was the stack of plastic tubs below. These are the intergal part of the new garden!

We not only have to fence the garden because of deer & jack rabbits, but we have an ongoing battle with pocket gophers! I nearly cried when I saw a tomato plant full of little green tomatoes laying on the ground, its roots munched away! Have you ever seen Caddy Shack? The little devils really are that devious, and they drive you to behave like Bill Murray pretty quickly! These "planting tubs" are a more sane way (instead of dynamite) to deter them from making a meal of my veggies!

When I read about this technique in my MaryJane's Farm magazine, it seemed to be just the thing for us to try this fall. The article says that this method avoids a couple of the problems that growing in tubs present; soil compaction & and soggy roots. Oh, don't forget the gophers...

First, we placed 3 bricks in the bottom of the tub, then covered them with hog fence & hardware cloth. The watering tube made of pvc pipe was inserted in the corner. A hole was drilled in the side of the tub at the same level as the bricks to prevent overwatering. Since the the tub is not watered from above soil, but through the tube into the bottom of the tub, it wicks water up into the soil and there is no compaction! Brilliant, I think! We'll see how it works...

We then planted the tubs with a few winter veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, swiss chard, brussels sprouts. There are currently too many plants in each tub, but more tubs are on their way & we'll be moving some of them in the next couple of days.

If this method works for us, I can see the whole garden planted in tubs next spring!

Neener, neener, neener, pocket gophers! *Ü*

Enjoy! Chris


  1. We planted some of our summer veggies in tubs, what a difference! Less pests too! DH says we are doing more of those, and more raised beds!

  2. Hi Chris!
    Oh my uncle was always battling gofers and sometimes he DID act like Bill Murray in Caddy Shack!!!
    The tub idea sounds VERY interesting. Please keep us updated on the progress. Not so far to bend over also!!
    Thanks for your sweet comments!
    hugs, Sherry

  3. Your tubs look great, Chris. Sounds like you have solved your problem! I'm planning to do something along those lines next year with big rubbermaid trash cans for my potatoes.

  4. Hello, Chris! Thanks for this great idea...I've been wanting to try big tub-growing but nervous that it won't go due to the soggy factor...this solution is great! Hope the critters won't be bugging you ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

  5. Oh! I can't wait to see how this works for you! Keep us posted.
    Rebekah, The City Farmgirl

  6. I'm so impressed! What a great idea!


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