Easy , weedless container/raised bed garden

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While reading the freebie reports I get from my local ag extension office, the Container Gardening report covered what is called a "sausage garden". This is done by filling a garbage bag with growing medium, punching holes in the top and sides for the plants and holes in the bottom for drainage.The bag acts as mulch plastic for weed control. I got to thinking that this could possibly be done also by taking bags of topsoil and bunching them "curb style" to ensure the soil was as deep as possible for a single row. This technique could be used by apartment and urban dwellers for a low space , low maintenance garden. In drought areas this would also work to better contain water on the plant roots. Lets bounce this around for a little "pro and con".

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), March 19, 2002


I have also read about this method, but have never tried it. I am interested in any responses. This may work well in my limited space. I would have to hide the bags from the landlord though. He seems to have no sense of humor or like gardening.

-- Terry in Western Washington (tterrym@netzero.net), March 20, 2002.


I'm setting up two control tests on this tomorrow. One test with a trash bag, the other with a commercial bag of topsoil. I'll be posting results periodically during the season.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), March 20, 2002.

I am also interested in the results. I have lots of old compost that is wonderful dirt. I wonder if I could fill bags with that to use. Do you think a white or black gargage bags would make a difference. What about the pastel ones they sell, maybe use a red one with the tomatoes - I hear lots of people buying red plastic for their beds. Thanks Jay.

-- Joanie (ber-gust@prodigy.net), March 20, 2002.


I'm not sure about the color question. I know clear bags would cause damage to the roots due to greenhouse effect. Let me know if you decide to test this out and what color bag your trying it out with so I can try a different color.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), March 20, 2002.

My immediate thoughts on this are that it would over heat too easily. Especially if you have it in direst sun, which if you have a food crop or most anything else it will most certinly be in direct sunlight. I know here in the north country I have seen smaller versions used as hanging baskets on peoples houses or porches. Various flowers and sometimes strawberries are planted in them. The drying out is not such a problem but if you planted strawberries you would either have to kill them off in the winter or find someother way to preserve the crowns over the winter. The samll versions I think are reusable but I wouldn't think you could use them for more than a couple of years. The sun would eventually breakdown the plastic in either case. If you have created a large virsion of these you could wind up with a mess to have to deal with in a few years. Then there is also the environmental issues of all the plastic which never really goes away. It may breakdown into ever smaller pieces but never truely goes away.


-- Susan in MN (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), March 20, 2002.

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