Here is a picture of our family day garden we planted in an old horse trough filled with purchased compost and dirt. At the very bottom we put a few plastic bottles and containers to take up some space, covered that with straw before adding the mixed dirt and compost. We watered it well for a week before it was planted to help it all settle with the plug removed at the bottom to allow for drainage. The picture is taken from the end of the trough.
On our Family Day in March we planted water melon that now has fruit the size of the tip of your pinky finger, potatoes that are sprouting lots of leaves and stems, and carrots. The carrots are a growing a little slow I think; it may be all the competition for root space by the potatoes. We planted cantaloupe; it was slow coming up but also has the beginnings of tiny fruits. And we have yellow squash; it seems to love the trough and doesn’t mind having so much company. It is bearing well and we will enjoy it fresh on the dinner table soon. Under the squash is lettuce. It like the carrots, are struggling along. I’m pretty sure lack of sun is the problem.
My hope for the compact garden is that the squash plant will soon drape over the side of the trough and give the lettuce the needed light. Yes it was an ambitious project in such a tiny space; but it was planted with love and a lot of fun with the grandkids and a great time of learning for them. Even if it never produced anything it was still worth it. It is also teaching us that you can plant a lot in a small space if you need to with a little space planning. With the water melon and cantaloupe both falling over the side and hopefully the squash soon, it will shade the metal sides of the trough and help keep it cooler. It is located in a very hot corner on a concrete slab and I hope we can keep it growing with our hot desert summer upon us.
I love to go out in the mornings with coffee in hand to see the progress of each plant. The bees gently buzz in and out around the plants searching for flowers and all seems in order and right in the world. In the meantime, I’m keeping a look out for more old horse troughs to plant.
* This post first appeared at Family Home & Life.
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