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Old 02-05-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Step Garden?

Ok I remember a thread last year (or several maybe) about people having "step gardens" using children's wading pools. I would love to try something like this with my boys this year. I live in Tx and the weather is already starting to get warm. I suck at growing things but dh is pretty good with plants. I just want to grow some veggies that I know we will use. I'm thinking tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and maybe something similar. Am I misremembering this or can I really grow veggies in a child's wading pool? Will two small pools work or do I need more space? Can some one walk me through the process here?

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Old 02-05-2013, 04:26 AM   #2
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Re: Step Garden?

I have no idea what thread your talking about but it would be a raised bed garden. If you use a plastic pool you'd want to cut holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot....aised-bed.html You should be able to grow anything that doesn't require deep roots- so no carrots, potatoes or other root veggies. You might be able to grow onion and garlic, but I am not sure. As far as how many you need that would depend on your goal. If your only considering 4 things then 2 will probably be enough. Tomatoes and peppers together and zuc and something that grows compatible to zuc. You'll have to look it up and see what floats your boat. They grow well with tomatoes too. Tomatoes have more compatible plants the zuc. If you want to grow any herbs give them their own container. Most will spread and smother the rest of your garden pretty quick. While I have never grown string beans in a container I highly recommend growing them. They are easy and keep producing as long as you don't met them mature on the vine. You need 6 to 8 inches soil for full sized, but they make dwarf as well. I am not sure if thr dwarf need any support. But for the full size just put a piece of lattice up or some bamboo polls closely together. Gotta go take dd to school. We grow a quarter acre garden (actually probably more- its all spread out) some of it is in raised wooden boxes. but the things you'd like to grow are all in the regular garden.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:48 AM   #3
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Re: Step Garden?

Most of the people I know that tried growing things in plastic pools had sad results

If you are set on it I hope it works out for you!

If you aren't set on it and have room, locally people were raving last year about this method:

http://containergardening.about.com/..._Gardening.htm

One family I know did actual straw rows a couple years ago.They turned it all under last year and added landscaping fabric.Punched holes and added plants. I was AMAZED at their yield. It was WAY better than what we normally get in a bigger area even!
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #4
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Re: Step Garden?

That is good to know. We don't have a ton of room, but our yard is reasonably sized and we could probably get one or two tomato plants and maybe jalapenos or zucchini in (I may look at snap peas or something similar if we have the space). I want to till under the berry vine dh has as it does not really produce and the other two we planted died off. We have grown tomatoes in the past just in the yard but they didn't do as well as I had hoped. When we grew them at my parents they grew well but they didn't here. Dh just wants tomatoes and peppers for making salsa but we use so many zucchinis I would like some for cooking and bread. My IL's just have two 5x5 squares they plant in and do really well with so I'd like to at least give it a try. I will look around for where to get the straw bales because those gardens look really neat.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Re: Step Garden?

this thread makes me want a garden this year!

Interesting idea about the hay bales. I'm going to read up on that!-
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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Re: Step Garden?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iris0110 View Post
That is good to know. We don't have a ton of room, but our yard is reasonably sized and we could probably get one or two tomato plants and maybe jalapenos or zucchini in (I may look at snap peas or something similar if we have the space). I want to till under the berry vine dh has as it does not really produce and the other two we planted died off. We have grown tomatoes in the past just in the yard but they didn't do as well as I had hoped. When we grew them at my parents they grew well but they didn't here. Dh just wants tomatoes and peppers for making salsa but we use so many zucchinis I would like some for cooking and bread. My IL's just have two 5x5 squares they plant in and do really well with so I'd like to at least give it a try. I will look around for where to get the straw bales because those gardens look really neat.
Its weird, we have never been able to get full sized tomatoes to grow at this house. Cherry tomatoes do really well though so we just grow those. I use them to do everything- they are a pain to skin but they work for everything. My in laws are the exact opposite. They can't grow cherry tomatoes but do great with full sized. We live an hour apart so the soil is a little different. And we also use manure and no other fertilizer. They do use a commercial fertilizer.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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Re: Step Garden?

Unless I point my tomatoes clearly south-facing, we cannot get them to do well at all. We have quite a bit of luck with zucchini if you start picking the babies early, because the plant goes into hyper-produce mode and it goes crazy. Peppers grow great in cages upwards like tomatoes, and I stick snap peas in everywhere in the back because the grow up the trellis so well I really only need a six inch patch for them. I made a trellis with twine and sticks we found on a hike - that may actually be a fun project for your kids, they are probably the right age for it. I did it with my niece when she was 7.

We have to container garden here. The soil is mixed with too much clay and doesn't drain enough.
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