Pop-Up Driveway Vegetable Garden

 Wetting the straw bales to start decomposition.

Wetting the straw bales to start decomposition.

Our new driveway vegetable garden is planted! This garden was NOT in the plan for this year…but we had more plants than we could fit into the yard. The driveway garden is a quick and temporary space-making solution for the extra tomato, pepper, potato, summer squash, and chard plants.

We’re using straw bales, fabric pots, and bushel baskets to garden on the driveway.

STRAW BALES

  • The idea behind straw-bale gardening is that the straw bale is both the container and the growing medium. The decomposing straw gives plant roots needed air while retaining moisture…like a big sponge. If you’re starting with new, fresh, dry bales, the first step is to get microbial activity underway by watering them and feeding them. By the end of the season, we’ll have a layer of composted straw on our driveway that we can scoop off to mulch the other gardens…and then we can start again with new bales next year. Learn more about straw-bale gardening from Craig LeHoullier, who we had on our radio show last month.
 Potatoes growing in lined bushel baskets

Potatoes growing in lined bushel baskets

BUSHEL BASKETS

  • We had extra bushel baskets from making apple cider last year, so put these to work as containers for growing potatoes (which we can’t grow in the back yard because our neighbour’s black walnut tree kills them.) We lined the bushel baskets with black garbage bags so that the soil will stay moist longer and so the bushel baskets won’t decompose quite as quickly. (We poked drainage holes in the bottom of the bags!)

FABRIC POTS

 Fabric pots are moveable

Fabric pots are moveable

  • These pots are commercially available and what we like about them is that they have handles and we can move them aside if we need to move anything large along the driveway. My friend Johanne has used these for a number of years on her rooftop garden and puts saucers under hers to hold water, so that she does not need to water as frequently. I saw an entire rooftop garden made from these pots once.

FENCE

  • There’s a wonky board fence along our driveway. I can’t wait to hide it with a wall of tomato and summer squash! The bales along the fence are planted with tomatoes, which we’ll train up twine suspended along the fence. We planted vining summer squash that we’ll grow further along the fence.
 We will train tomato plants up the twine that is dangling from the top of the fence

We will train tomato plants up the twine that is dangling from the top of the fence