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Thursday, June 26, 2014

An Experiment: Garden Boxes

 It wouldn't be a gardening season without experiments!  This year, I am regrowing ginger root from the fragments left when I buy it at the store, and I am trying a new kind of slow bolt cilantro.  In addition, our good friends gave us some garden boxes that they were no longer using, so I'm trying a little experiment.

You can see the garden boxes on sale at Gardener's Supply Company here.  Basically, these are containers with a reservoir bottom that you can fill with water, allowing the tomatoes or other veggies to continually be able to access the water they need.  The company claims a 30% larger harvest than what you can attain in the garden.

I've planted these garden boxes with two volunteer tomatoes (transplanted from my pepper bins, where they were taking over) and three cucumbers, which I removed while I was thinning a row.  My theory is that the ability to put the boxes in the sunniest spot will help the production of veggies.  I also think the reservoir bottom of the containers will be helpful in this extra-rainy summer we are having, as they water will drain right through the soil, preventing water logging, but still be available for the plants to access.  Already, these plants are twice as big as when I transplanted them, and they got a late start.

So, I'll be updating this project with a full analysis when the garden box season is done.  I hope to find out exactly how much one can grow with a couple of these handy boxes, because this could demonstrate the power of vegetable gardening for those who have only a deck, a patio, a front stoop, or a fire escape that gets sun and will remain unmolested by critters and neighbors (whichever is more annoying in your area).  I have a personal interest in this experiment, too, because if Mr. FC&G and I get to retire to Key West one year, we are very likely to have a much smaller yard that is made out of coral reef, so all of our gardening will have to be done in containers.

Have you tried garden boxes?  What were your results like?

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