Saturday, July 7, 2012
My Pinterest Pallet Garden
Remember how I was confessing that I procrastinated long enough on getting my veggie garden in at the edge of the field that our drought had begun and the usual veggie garden area had turned to cement? Well, after another week or so of debating how I was going to put in veggies, an afternoon spent trying to make the field workable, and an hour of staring at the old pallets in my barn...I decided to go for it and plant my veggies in the pallets along the north side of my barn like this cute little pallet garden I had spotted on Pinterest from the MicroGardener.
This is a spot that was rocky and uneven from years of rain coming off the barn roof and dogs digging. I figure the rain running off the barn will be mostly good since we've gotten very little this year - I may regret that if we get a big pounding rain... It is also nice because, as you can see, the big rotating sprinkler hits everything at the same time so no moving it back and forth and minimal time is needed to water.
Then I rounded up some dirt and started filling the pallets. It takes a lot more dirt then you think! So far I have put in 2 giant bags of Miracle Grow potting soil, 7 bags of cheap topsoil, remnants of a bag of compost, and the soil from a few pots I had for annuals last year. You would think I'd have endless supplies of compost with the horses and goat but because my barn is a run-in style, they drag a lot of it out and it washes down the hill with the rain into the hay field - good for the field and makes for less shoveling but doesn't leave much for me to work with and what I do have needs to age a good year in the elements to bring down the ammonia levels before its usable. So for now I'll just be adding a bag at a time as they need more depth until they are level with the pallet boards on top.
After I rounded up what dirt I had on hand. I laid out my plants still in the pots to figure out what would work the best. I decided to put all the squash and night-shade family members at one end and the tomatoes at the other with the peppers in between to discourage the bugs. I also planted the squash and pumpkins in a pallet that was missing boards so they would have more room to spread and grow wide at the base without being pinched between boards. More stemmy plants like peppers and brussel sprouts can go in the more narrow slots. Once I had them all spaced out, I started planting. I planted them through the soaked newspaper so that they are actually accessing the ground underneath the pallets. This should keep them from getting root bound or stunted by not having enough room to spread and should also help them access moisture below the pallets.
I also added trellises for the gourds, cucumbers and one of the tomatoes. A few little pretties to bling it out and its looking pretty good as long as I can keep the dogs from laying on it. Not sure what I'm putting in that cute little planter box yet, maybe some lettuce...
I sort of trenches these tomatoes in because they were getting leggy so they are laying sideways here. I haven't decided if I'm going to let them lay, cage them or add some sort of climbing fence for them.
Overall I am pretty happy and so far this is one of the most care-free veggie gardens (besides needing more dirt) that I've ever had.
Posted by April S.