Don’t Let Rocky Soil Stop You From Gardening

When I moved to my new home, I was shocked to find out just hard and rocky my new soil was. It seems my entire back yard was set on a base of gravel. Gardening in that soil was out of the question — but I did not let that stop me. Here’s how I worked around it:

Containers

You’ll be surprised by the number of crops you can grow in old containers. Anything that will hold soil and provide some drainage will work for a small container garden. Pots, pans and even old boots make delightful planters for flowers.

Window Boxes

Traditional window boxes filled with flowers brighten the home but don’t overlook these containers for growing vegetables. A bed of multi-colored greens, carrots, radish and even a cherry tomato or mini peppers thrive in window boxes. So, go ahead — add some fresh veggies to window boxes.

Plastic Bags

Yes. You heard me. Plain old plastic bags make delightful planters, but don’t stop with that. Place a bag of potting soil on the deck, so the flat side is against the ground and carefully remove the top. Plant seeds in the potting soil and water to moisten the soil. Of course, you’ll need to limit your crops to those with shallow roots, but a large bag of potting soil makes a terrific bed for lettuce and fresh greens.

Hanging Baskets

Who said hanging baskets were just for flowers? Fill one with a cherry tomato, add oregano and marigold or two and you have a hanging basket brimming with fresh fruit ready for harvesting by midsummer.

Garden Walls

Attach plant hangers to a garden wall and stagger potted plants to create a wall of color. Placing containers of vining plants, such as peas, cucumbers and beans, at the base of the wall and adding a trellis creates a lush, green wall and provides you with fresh veggies, too.

Hay or Straw Bales

Stack hay or straw bales in the yard to create a mini-garden. Soak the bales, sprinkle with a little fertilizer and let the center begin to decay. Plant seeds or transplant seedlings to the hay bales and watch them transform into a lush green garden.

If you have limited space or your soil is unsuitable for growing, think outside the box and don’t be afraid to try something new. Mix flowers and veggies to create a garden oasis you can enjoy all summer.

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