Parking Lot Gardens

Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and greens growing on parking lot strip. Twig trellis extends the fence vertically.

It ain’t elegant, but it does the trick. This edible garden in my neighbourhood, uses large plastic food grade tubs repurposed as planters. Placed in a line along a chain link fence, they take advantage of a small space that’s not used for anything else. The planters are deep, allowing for good root growth; and, as the planters are tall and thin, there’s a smaller surface area helping to keep the soil from drying out too fast. The line of pails faces south with no obstructions, so they’ll get plenty of sun needed for vegetables. Six hours is the minimum for tomatoes.

Do it yourself trellis, using free materials of fallen branches, tied together and to the fence.

The ingenious part of this planting situation is how they have used the chain link fence to attach tree branch supports for when the crops grow higher. I think there’s a broom handle in there as well.

These plastic food bins really do make great planters, and come in a few sizes. Here’s a tip for drainage: drill holes about two inches up from the bottom along the sides, instead of on the bottom. That way you have a water reservoir in the bottom that will keep the soil moister between waterings. Plants growing in bins will need watering frequently when the fruit is setting, so make sure you have a hose nearby or a large watering can.

I look forward to watching the progress of this tiny hidden garden this summer.

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