Stock Tank Gardens

Since it is Mother’s day, and all a mother really wants is help in her garden…I thought I would share the garden I recently put in for my mom.  Mom needs an easy, low maintenance garden that is safe from animals, wind, children, birds and well everything the wild west will throw at her!  She wants to grow herbs and salad greens which she eats daily, as well as some other vegetable that she loves.  Because she lives in the windy, exposed high desert, we needed a container garden situation.  Wooden beds work well, but splinter in the sun and the nice ones are pretty pricey so we chose galvanized stock tank beds.  You can fit them in your car and have a garden growing in one day!! They are high enough you don’t have to to kneel down and you can just pull up a stool and work them if you can’t bend over.  You can grow in any size galvanized steel- even buckets, but these tanks have a drainage hole so you don’t need to drill any holes!

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These tanks cost a hundred bucks each, but they will out live me so I figure it is worth it!   If her gardening experiment doesn’t work she can always turn them into bath tubs, storage bins or simply resell them!  You can get stock tanks locally here and here for starters and pretty much any farm & fed or hardware store.

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Mixed cut and come again lettuce

I made little hoops with 9 gauge galvanized wire like I use in my garden and in the fields but be for warned, you do need bolt cutters to cut the wire.  C3D775C6-6943-4815-9369-A1F768CCE8AF With a piece of medium weight ( 1.5 oz) row cover over top, which they sell by the yard at Agua Fria and Plants of the SouthwestIMG_9923We used plastic clips to attach the row cover to the tank and clothes pins to hold the row cover to the wire hoops bought at Walmart.

stock tank clip

These medium size clips are perfect for keeping the row cover attached to the tank

 

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Broadcast sown Spinach

For filling the beds I filled them 1/4 up with old rocks and gravel we had laying around and them a piece of weed barrier.  On top of that I made a soil mix with

1 part Native soil

1 Part shifted compost

1 Moonshine

( which can be bought locally at Agua Fria Nursery)

1 Part Cocopeat

( which can be bought locally at Agua Fria Nursery)

(I used a 5 gallon bucket to = 1 part)

I mix all that in a wheel burrow with a sprinkle of water.

How much is enough? I did 5 loads using this recipe so that is  5 – 5 gallon buckets of each material.  I made a video for you but an unable to upload it so for now here is a whole post on homemade soil mixes if you wanna give it try.

 

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Carrots are sown in circle in case we want to add irrigation.  They are sown very thick so when you thin them you can add the baby greens to salad- yes they taste just like carrots!

I hope I made that simple enough to inspire you to give it a try.  It really is super easy and highly productive.  I think mom is pretty happy with her high desert harvest today!

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6 thoughts on “Stock Tank Gardens

  1. After the gophers and the bunnies and I had a situation, this is what I went for as well, with the advice of Erin on the wires. I will get to row gardens in the ground by Fall, but this was an easy way to get back to gardening after the war of the herbivores.
    Thanks sweetie for your post.

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