Types Of Portable Gardening On Wheels
1) The “RV” (Roll-On, Roll-Off) Garden Bed
The RVGBAB is a type of garden bed that can be rolled onto or off any vehicle. You can use it anywhere without having to worry about getting wet from rain, snow, mud or other types of water. The design allows you to easily roll your garden into place with ease.
The RVGBAB is great if you want to grow plants in a location where they are not normally accessible such as behind the garage or under the house.
2) The “Pillow” Garden Bed
The pillow garden bed is similar to the RVGBAB except that instead of rolling it onto your vehicle, you simply fold it up and put it inside your backpack or purse. This makes it much easier to transport and store. Pillow garden beds are great if you have small children or pets.
They make transporting plants a breeze because there is no need to carry them around all over again when you return home!
3) The “Tent” Garden Bed
The tent garden bed is similar to the pillow garden bed except that instead of folding it up, you wrap it in plastic and then tie down the ends with string. This makes it much more water proof and weather proof. You can leave the garden bed outside during a storm or snowstorm and your plants will not be harmed in any way.
Tents are perfect for people who do not have much room in their house, apartment, dorm room or even R.V.
4) The “Foldable” Garden Bed
The foldable garden bed is kind of a combination between the pillow bed and the tent bed. It is not quite as portable as the pillow bed, but it is much more portable than the tent bed. The foldable garden bed is perfect for anyone who wants a balance between portability and convenience.
Portable Gardening On Wheels
There is no reason why you can’t have a garden anywhere that you want. You can enjoy fresh, organic vegetables and fruits in any location. The best part is that you can grow a garden on wheels if you are not able to have a traditional garden.
Growing a garden is easy and fun as long as you have the right tools and supplies.
Gardening on wheels requires four basic supplies: soil, seeds or seedlings, water and sunlight. Without these four things, your garden just won’t grow. You need to make sure that you have each of these things in order for you to be successful.
2) Location, Location, Location
Just like when you buy a house, the biggest decision that you have to make is choosing a good location. Think about where the sun shines the brightest.
Where does it get the least wind?
You also want to think about where you will have quick and convenient access to water. You can always bring your plants water, but you don’t want to have to make a trip across town every time you need to water them. The last thing that you need to think about is how much space you have. You can make just about any location work if you try hard enough.
3) Container Types
There are many, many types of containers that you can use for your garden on wheels. The type that you choose should depend upon what you plan on planting, how much time & money you have and also how much maintenance your container requires. Some of the more common types are as follows:
a) Raised Beds
Raised beds are simply a wooden frame surrounded by soil. It resembles a large box. The benefit of a raised bed is that you can easily control the type of soil that you have in the bed.
You can add fertilizers, soil conditioners & other things to help your plants grow better.
b) Window Boxes
Window boxes are one of the most common types of containers. They are usually made of wood or metal & are placed in a window well. Although they only have a small amount of growing space, they require very little maintenance.
Most of the time you will simply need to add some water & fertilizer every once in awhile.
c) Horseradish Jars
Horseradish jars are glass jars (usually sized from half a pint to a quart) that you can place on their sides. You can use anything that can hold soil as a container (such as an old ice cream pail), however, some materials may require more maintenance than others. For example: ice cream pails will eventually rot if they get wet & need to be replaced every couple of years.
d) Old Tires
Believe it or not, you can make a great raised bed using nothing more than an old tire. Simply fill the tire about 1/3 full of soil, add your seeds and you are ready to go. The biggest benefit to using tires is that they retain water really well.
This means that you won’t need to water your plants as much. The only real maintenance that you will have to do is add fertilizer every once in awhile. Old tires do have a bad reputation for being full of who knows what, so make sure that you are using old tires.
Pots can be a great container to use if you don’t have much space. They are usually placed right in the ground. The biggest benefit to using pots is that you can move them around as needed.
If you live in an apartment building, pots are also a great choice. They can’t be seen by anyone else so you don’t have to worry about looking out of place.
Barrels make great containers for small gardens. You can usually find them at wine making stores or you can even go to a brewery and ask them if they have any that they are not using. The primary maintenance that a barrels require is occasional re-lining, usually with tar or plastic.
4) Types of Soil
The type of soil that you use in your container garden is important. If the soil is not good, then your plants will not be able to get all of the nutrients that they need to survive. Also, certain types of soil will retain water better than others, which will save you a lot of time & effort.
a) Container Mix
You can usually buy a special bag of soil or “container mix” from your local garden supply store. Most of the time, this type of soil is more expensive than dirt & you will need to buy a lot of it. However, it is already mixed with the proper chemicals & nutrients that your plants will need.
It is also usually designed to hold water better than normal top soil so you will be able to save a lot of time & effort.
You can make your own container mix by using compost. Usually, you can get a free bucket of compost at your local nursery. You will need a lot of it, but you will not have to buy any.
The biggest benefit to using this type of soil is that it is natural & free. The only real downside is you will need to get a lot of it & you may have to sort through it to remove sticks, stones & other junk.
You can also use dirt in your containers. The biggest benefit is that it is free. You can usually get free dirt from a local park or golf course.
Just be careful about using dirt from public parks as they may have been sprayed with pesticides. The only maintenance that potting soil requires is to add fertilizer once in awhile.
d) Good Ol’ Ground Bare Naked Soil
Believe it or not, the best type of soil for your containers is good ol’ bare naked soil. Before I started container gardening, my brother-in-law taught me a great trick. He said that the best type of soil is the kind that comes straight out of the ground.
You are actually not supposed to put ANYTHING in the soil. You take a big shovel & dig straight down as deep as you can. Then you throw out the biggest rocks you find, as well as any other junk that you find (stubborn roots, sticks, small animals etc.) What you are left with is the perfect soil for growing plants.
You should try to get the topsoil as free of large debris as possible, but don’t worry too much about it. This is the type of soil that God meant for plants to grow in, so it doesn’t need anything added to it. Of course, some types of plants require additives such as fertilizer or plant vitamins, but if you are using this type of soil you are probably more of a beginner & won’t need to worry about that stuff yet.
5) Soil Maintenance
The biggest maintenance that your containers will need is to keep them watered. This is especially important during the first few weeks before you plant anything in it, because the soil will dry out quickly. You should start by watering the soil until it is good & wet, then wait a day or two before watering it again.
The best way to tell if the soil has dried out enough to water it again is to stick your finger down into it about 3 inches. If it feels dry down that far then you need to water it.
The watering process is not an exact science though. The size of the container, the type of soil & the climate where you live will all affect how much water your containers need. During the first year you should be watchful of your containers because they could potentially dry out before you water them again.
If this happens, the plants may show signs of wilt & their growth may be stunted. If this does happen, don’t worry, you should be OK as long as you catch it in time for the following week.
Other than water, your containers need hardly any maintenance at all. After the first year you should add a layer of mulch on top to help conserve water, but that’s about it. The only other thing I can think of is watch out if you live in an area that has a lot of hailstorms or experiences tornadoes.
Those can chip away at the edges of your containers & cause the soil to become unlevel which in turn can cause your plants to lean & possibly fall over. If this happens then you either need to fix the problem by realigning the container or replant, or just shouldn’t have expensive plants outdoors in a area that gets hit by storms like that.
6) What to Put in Your Container
This is the fun part. Here you get to decide what you want to plant in your container garden. Just remember that whatever plants you decide on, they should be able to survive in the conditions that you are providing for them (Sun, Shade, Dry, Wet etc.) I will give you some suggestions on various types of plants that can be grown in containers but remember that you need to tailor the containers to the plants.
Don’t try to grow strawberries in a 5 gallon bucket, but do try to grow rose bushes in them.
Vegetables: Brocolli, Cauliflower, Beans (Bush & Pole), Lettuce (Various Types), Peppers (Various Types), Spinach, Onions, Radishes, Carrots, Potatoes, Turnips, Pumpkins.
Herbs: Basil, Chives, Dill, Parsley, Sage, Thyme.
Fruit: Strawberries (Only grow these in the smallest container possible), Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries.
Flowering plants: Roses (Obviously), Annual & Perennial Flowers (Carnation, Daisies, Poppies etc).
Tips: Don’t overcrowd your container by any means. If you have something like a tomato plant that is starting to completely take over its container then it’s time to take cuttings & start again. Also, if you’re going to grow fruiting plants such as tomatoes, peppers etc.
then you need to make sure that you chose a container that is deep enough for the vine to grow up without crashing against the sides too much.
You can start your plants from seeds or you can just buy young plants from your garden center. If you start from seeds, just make sure to plant more than you think you’re going to need as not all of them are going to germinate. Once you have your plants or seeds then you can get them in the ground as soon as possible.
7) Caring For Your Container Garden
Once your plants are in the container then all you have to do is water them when the soil starts to dry out. How often this is going to depend on factors such as:
The size of your container.
How many plants you have in there & what type of plants they are.
If you get a large amount of rain all at once, then you don’t need to water them as much that week (or even that day). As long as you keep an eye on the moisture level in the soil, you’ll be fine. Don’t water the soil when it is wet & don’t water it just a little bit.
Either the soil is dry & needs water or it doesn’t.
As for feeding the plants, you’re going to have to use your common sense on this one. If you can see that a particular plant needs fed then feed it, if not then don’t bother. You shouldn’t need to overfeed them anyway because in most cases the container is too small for them to store excess nutrients.
8) Protecting Your Container Garden
This is pretty important because if the container gets too big, or gets knocked over then all your hard work is going to end up on the ground. I’ve had this happen a few times and it isn’t fun. It also makes the whole container idea pointless.
The best thing to do is actually put the container on something so that if the container does get too large, or if it does fall over then it’s falling onto something like patio blocks, grass or a wooden platform. If you’re keeping it on the patio then putting pavers around the container so that it can’t move when you water it is a good way of stopping it from falling over too.
Sources & references used in this article:
Portable garden and method of producing same by FW Moffett Jr – US Patent 4,065,876, 1978 – Google Patents
Portable School Gardens: Port-A-Plant by C Rezendes – 2016 – csusm-dspace.calstate.edu
Validating verdancy or vacancy? The relationship of community gardens and vacant lands in the US by L Drake, LJ Lawson – Cities, 2014 – Elsevier
Modular gardening system by RM Williams – US Patent 8,215,059, 2012 – Google Patents
All new square foot gardening by M Bartholomew – 2006 – books.google.com