The Organic Portable Garden
out of the ground
When we think about gardening we often fail to consider movement, growth yes but movement, no. We see the garden change over the season, plants come and go. The wind and rain cause them to sway and sometimes break. However, despite all the natural movement that takes place even on a calm day we still think of gardens as a non-moving reality.
Gardens are set firmly in place in the ground or in conatienrs and window boxes. Great care is taken to see the plants are placed in just the right place so they get the much needed sunlight each day.
Do we think about creating a garden that can be moved, if we did then we may solve the problem of a site that does not get enough sunlight in any one place but the yard overall receives ample.
Last summer we lived in a house that had a good size yard, but it had an old maple almost right in the middle. This tree was at least 65 feet tall and three feet around. Its branches stretched from one side of the yard to another. The sun shone bright in a number of spots but as the day progressed these moved and on windy days even the existing sun was spotty as the large leaf-filled branches swayed back and forth.
There were trees, much smaller all along the back fence which added to the shade density.
I was gardening in containers and had herbs on the balcony so they were readily accessible. The small containers were in a box and set on a table, this could be moved in two stages and was not that difficult but an herb garden on wheels would have been even easier. A wagon is simply a box with wheels; add soil and plants and the basic portable garden emerges.
This is a good solution for small plants such as basil, thyme, chives and so on, but tomatoes are another matter.
I began thinking about portability when using the wheelbarrow to move the herbs and cherry tomato plants in and out of the garage and then to different spots during the day to get enough sun.
The wheelbarrow worked for the herbs but the tomatoes would soon be in larger containers and would need something else, besides, there were other uses for the wheelbarrow.
There was a garden cart available but it was too large. My quest for the perfect portable garden was put on hold when we decided to move. Now on the new and treeless property, I have returned to the challenge.
The answer lies more in the garden container than in the means of transportation. A container about two feet wide and four feet long could sit on a cart which could be simply a platform on wheels with a handle for pulling. This would hold four tomato plants, cherry tomatoes, and eight basil plants, for example.
The container would be placed on this cart and then prepared for gardening. The cart would need to be strong enough to support the weight and sturdy wheels are essential. Then the whole thing could be moved to wherever you wanted to move it. If you had to move during gardening season, the garden could be transported from one site to another, for example, last summer I could have pulled the tomato and, of course, the basil planted with it, the three blocks from one house to the other.
A garden requires sun, water and food, traditionally soil is the food source, but it does not have to be. Hydroponic gardening, for instance, does not require soil but relies on nutrients in fluid to feed the plants.
Organic gardening, especially growing your own food is experiencing a major revival, to make this activity more accessible to people, we may need to get our heads out of the ground.