Skip to main content

If you're renting and don't want to go to the expense of putting in raised beds, consider a child's 3' wading pool as a potential gardening source.

One child's wading pool costs about $8-$12 (depends on where you buy it), and can grow enough fresh food for salads and meals for one person - or supplement store bought for 2 - for an entire growing season.  And if you have a grow light and space indoors, you can grow all year around.

Let me show you.

This is enough soil and mulch for 1 wading pool.


For outdoor use, cut drain holes all around the pool:

Drain Holes in Pool

Wading Pools Ready to Plant

Then line the pool(s) with weed cloth - this keeps the soil from seeping out of the drain holes, and fill with the soil.

This is very important:  place the pools where you want them to be.  Once filled with soil they will be too heavy to move. The only way to move them then will be to shovel all the soil out. Make sure your pool(s) are exactly where you want them to be.  Leave enough room to fit a lawn mower between them!

This is one pool partly filled:

Weed Cloth and First Layer of Soil

This is one pool planted with tomatoes, bell peppers, and bee balm plants and seeds for carrots, radishes, cucumber, and peas.

Plants in First Pool

Here I have 2 pools filled, planted, and seeded:

Both Pools Filled and with Plants

Here they are mulched and with climbing supports put in (and Itzl):

Pools Planted, Mulched, Trellised with Itzl

These 2 pools produced, over the course of the summer, enough carrots, radishes, peas, tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers, basil, parsley, dill, bee balm, and blue lake green beans that I didn't have to shop for any of that the whole summer for my family of 3 (the rest had grown up and moved out).

Wading Pool Gardens 5 17

I don't have pictures of it, but I added 2 more pools the next year and grew potatoes in one (enough potatoes to last the entire year!), and enough tomatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, onions, and herbs to put up for the entire year. The cucumbers, radishes, and lettuces lasted the entire growing season. These 4 pools fed a family of three quite nicely.

I've also grown enough rice in a wading pool to produce all the rice a family of three needed who didn't rely on rice as their main starch.

And I've grown enough wheat in three wading pools to produce enough wheat to make bread for a family of three for most of a year (4 pools would have been enough to have bread and seed for the following year).

I've been growing in these pools now for 6 years, and they remain weed free with minor vigilance. I add compost once a month during the growing season. Since I have a worm bin, I also add worm castings in the spring and as I harvest the castings.

When I sell this house and move, I want to put in a keyhole garden.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site