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The Organic Portable Garden

Updated on January 28, 2010

my 1st

The source of my inspiration, Bob Ewing photo
The source of my inspiration, Bob Ewing photo

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.


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    I know about the earthbox, have not used one but appears to be a good concept. Thanks for the challenge.

  • salt profile image

    salt 7 years ago from australia

    Wonderful idea, you might like my bacsac hub and the one on earthboxes. These are products made for portable gardening specifically. Your wheelbarrow is an excellent example of creative portable gardening. Fantastic. Maybe your next step is to find a way to create a garden that survives or can be designed to grow in a space that is protected from harsh weather.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Today it is cold and windy, blowing snow, the yard is covered in at least two feet of snow, thanks for dropping by.

  • Wealthmadehealthy profile image

    Wealthmadehealthy 7 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

    Gardening on wheels...what an interesting concept...LOL and the wheelbarrow has other uses...mine is full of kindling at the keep the woodstove goin..while reading this hub, I recollected a red wagon I used to have...this would have been a good use for it!! Wonderful ideas...have you 3 foot icicles as I hanging from your house now??? Winter is still in full throw here as well.... Have a great day!!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, I am also eager to get into the garden but the yard is covered in2 feet of snow, thanks for dropping by.

  • brsmom68 profile image

    Diane Ziomek 7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    Your ideas, as always, are very helpful. I am getting very anxious to get outside...but winter is still very much here. I already have more plans for my yard. You are such an inspiration! Thank you!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Enjoy the laps, thanks for dropping by.

  • Russell-D profile image

    Russell-D 7 years ago from Southern Ca.

    BOB -- Good reading packed with helpful hints for the country gardener. Harder to do when all that's available is s front lawn which the fire department requires be kept from obstructing entrance to the building. But, we do have a fruitful lemon bush, a blooming Magnolia and on both sides of our limited land avocado trees which give us a crop every 2 years. Our bonus for picking is a half hour in the pool for 50 laps. Keep telling us how! I brings back my early New England years. David Russell

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Gradenign is a creative process, great opportunites to recycle and reuse, thank you both for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Thank for another lot of suggestions.

  • Putz Ballard profile image

    Putz Ballard 7 years ago

    A very good hub and great ideas, we have an old metal wheel barrow which my wife uses as a flower garden. She also has an old bicycle and an old ladder back chair. they make beautiful yard ornaments and when the flowers are blooming, so pretty.