Sunday, April 12, 2015

Driveway Veggies: 4/10/15

If you were around last year, you know that I set up shop in the driveway for edibles, for the first time since moving in, nearly fourteen years ago.  I'm a flower girl, so stealing precious real estate for tomatoes hurts. Clearly the ornamentals have muliplied over the years, making less space for food.  Plus, our backyard has more shade than it used to because of growing trees.

Last year, I got a big container for free (I can't remember what they're originally used for, but it's a holding container that's been cut in half), and I also used three big black nursery pots.
The side of our neighbor's house has an ignored weed patch, that I also cleaned up and used for the first time last year, with permission.

This year, I've added a produce crate, (also free), that I lined with plastic and filled with dirt, a wooden box with, what I believe to be leeks, from our neighbors who moved, and the most exciting part, a STOCK TANK!!!!
I've wanted one forever and ever and ever.
But, they're super expensive.
I bought this one used from someone in the neighborhood for $50 bucks.
Not a screaming deal, but way cheaper than new.
The big planter on the far left is the one I started with last year.
Right now I have radishes, carrots, chard, lettuce, and garlic goin' in it.

Like I said, the pot of leeks (?) came as-is from the neighbors.

I put two different types of cucumbers in the crate behind it, four plants total.

One of the black nursery pots has my raspberry in it, which is already getting flowers (!), and the other two have volunteer tomatoes coming up from last year.

I'm super excited to be giving potatoes a go this year.
I was given seed potatoes by two different neighbors.
I built a potato tower based on this one on March 26th, and can't wait to see some green peeking out the sides.
I keep thinking any day now.

I typically wouldn't be planting tomatoes this early, but I was at the nursery and another shopper told me I HAD to grow this one because it was the best she had ever had, performance and taste-wise.
Who was I to say no?
So I bought it and stuck it in.
It's called Tumbling Tom.

Also in the ground is a piece of oregano that I transplanted from the original plant, that was threatening to take over the world.  The rest went bye bye.  And a piece of tarragon that a neighborhood gardener gave me.

Onto the stock tank.
It would have cost a small fortune to fill that sucker, so I asked Grace what she used in the bottom of hers.
I pretty much copied her exactly, using things I had on hand.
My intention was to put it up on a flat cart with wheels first, but The Dad kept saying he'd bring me one from work, he kept forgetting, and I'm super impatient, so I started without it.
I still plan on getting it up off the ground, though.
I had some straw leftover from the potato tower, so I put a thin layer down on the bottom.
Then I filled it with gallon nursery pots, turned upside down.

I cut a piece of chicken wire to lay across the pots.

Grace suggested an old sheet for the next layer, but all I could find was an old piece of thin painter's canvas, so I used that.

Next, I put in a layer of straw.
Partly because I had it and needed to do something with it, but it also helped hold the fabric in place before dumping in soil.

Now, even with the false bottom in place, I was still lookin' at a good amount of soil to fill it.
I went with the least expensive option.
I found the three cubic feet of garden soil at Home Depot for a little over $8 bucks.
The fact that it was organic was just a bonus, 'cause it was the cheapest they had.

I put the whole bag in, then raided my compost pile.
I got two of the largest nursery pots full and put that in.
I also added most of a bag of steer manure (I had to save enough to put some on my rhubarb, 'cause they love it).
Once I got it all added, I cut the ends of the fabric off and tucked it down in.
It could still use a bit more, (after I took these pictures it rained and settled it quite a bit), but maybe I'll just pick up a bag or two of potting soil to add in.

And here's how it all looks (ignore the table).

I twitch a little when it comes to utilitarian gardens.
I need pretty, even in the case of growing food.
So it all looks a little clunky right now, but once things are planted, and the green is more prominent, I think it'll be good.
Don't be surprised if I sneak some flowers into that stock tank before it's all said and done.  


  1. I get the utilitarian thing but man it already looks so cool! And your kiddos get to go out there and pick food!!! That stock tank is insanely cool!!! I can not believe what you payed for that!!! And what a great way to fill that baby!!! I will have to pin that for clever! I was thinking of growing potatoes as some greens in and peas so far but have to make a small fence for the garden before anything else goes in. Wishing you a great week my friend and happy growing! You rocked it!!! Nicole

  2. plant nasturtiums and marigolds with your veggies, and other companion herbs/flowers/vegetables to help each other out!

  3. Good morning Mindy!
    I wrote a long comment on this post yesterday and noticed that it didn't post?
    So I'll try it again :0)
    I'm so excited for your garden to fill out! You're going to love it. 'Anonymous' above gave great advice! And it will help bring your garden the color you crave.
    I feel way behind on my garden after reading this post!
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. I love galvanized metal in the garden!

  5. Fantastic, Mindy, I love it. The juxtaposing lines of the vertical leeks and the horizontal wood look really cool together. It's already looking like a great gardening year!

  6. very interesting post.this is my first time visit here.i found so mmany interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion..thanks for the post! contractor los angeles

  7. How often do you need to water this container? Did you add drainage? Thank you


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