Garden on movable platform?

tired_of_digging(z10)January 2, 2012

I am studying the possibilities of installing a garden setting on a platform, such as a trailer or anything that is big enough and mobile. It will feature in a short story. I have found that a roof-garden infrastructure may be a good thing to look at, as it features water conservation, optional drainage water and rain water recycling and a leakage-protection system to protect the roof. I haven't found a "serious" design on the web, and most pictures reveal designs that would make fun of their builders.

In order to make the idea appealing to the public, I thought about making the mobile garden look (as well as be) as professional as possible. This is a good example to convey my idea:

yet, it is not professionally built by a designer. My concept needs to be appealing, water-wise, and apply as much as possible of the techniques for saving space on a small area. Other possible features may include vertical settings. I thought of using roof-garden soil, which is lighter than water in a hydroponic system. My idea favours a vegetable garden, and a plantation area for small fruit trees, such as Kumquat, dwarf figs and any fruit tree small enough to be grown that way.

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One thing you neglected to say was WHY you are exploring ideas for a mobile gardening vehicle. I presume you're looking for people to help you brainstorm some practical ideas. Knowing the "why" of it might help keep the brainstorms reasonably in check.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 9:29PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)
    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 10:15PM
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I seem to recall reading an article in the NY Times about someone who had turned a pickup truck into a mobile garden and took it to various schools. I want to say it is somehow related to they guy who did King Corn.

Google has said it's the same guy and it's called Truck Farm. May help answer a lot of your questions regarding soil and water.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 3:27AM
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Thanks for your efforts to find additional links. After all, I didn't overlook much out there, as there wasn't that much to look for, retrospectively. I guess I will stick to the idea of a "roof garden" infra-structure as it sounds plausible to me as well as aesthetic. Regarding the reason Why I chose this idea: This is a story about someone who annexed an extra area near his house to make a garden. As he was ordered to evacuate, he moved the plants to a trailer, and improved his garden overtime. The trailer idea was simply to overcome a legal issue that couldn't be dealt-with by cultivating the land itself. The trailer will also be subject to vandalism which will complicate the story even further.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 6:23AM
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Have you checked into Earth Boxes as a way to have the whole thing be movable? Each EarthBox weighs a LOT when it's full, though, so I wouldn't call it light weight. Water is heavy.

I have a few that I use for tomatoes & other veggies that demand lots of water whenever they need it. Since I travel for work, having EB's with automatic watering lets the tomatoes flourish even if I'm away for 1-2 weeks and DH is too busy to water them.

And if you're looking for a way to vandalize them (for your story) all you'd have to do is shoot (or stab) a few holes in near the bottom of the reservoir and they'd be toast.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 8:08AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

So it's just going to be imaginary, not built.

Is it going to be moved around by hand or with a car? Even by hand, you can do amazing things with wheels. Of course it needs to be on ground that wheels can roll well on.

Karin L

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 11:02AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

You might take a look at the Container Gardening forum here.

Member mewste is one of the people who build their own elaborate self-watering containers (his are called Earth Tainers). I'm not suggesting your story character do something that complex, but reading about mewste's would give you some ideas for details for your story.

For instance, in mewste's climate (somewhere near San Jose, California), even the best Rubbermaid containers quickly suffer UV damage, so he and many others cover them to extend the time they can be used.

Another issue is trellising, if your character will be growing tomatoes, pole beans, morning glories, sweet peas, cucumbers, etc. Since garden space is an issue, growing vertically makes sense to save space. mewste mostly grows tomatoes in his containers, but also corn; Native Americans used corn stalks to support their pole beans. Even large fruit like canteloupe can be grown on a strong trellis (small watermelons too, if they're supported in slings). I grow small gourds on a trellis.

The growing medium you use can also be an issue. Many of those who grow vegetables in containers do so because there are nematodes or diseases in their soil (some parts of the country have major problems with this). In any case, dirt isn't the best growing medium to use in containers, and most will tell you not to use dirt. There's a lot about this in the Container Gardening forum, also the Soil, Compost and Mulch forum.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Innovative idea! But I guess you should make sure that your garden should not fall down.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 8:07AM
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I have been gardening in straw bales the last 2 years with good results. This works well for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and a few marigolds and zinnias for color. I still put the peas, beans, corn and okra in the ground.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 9:20PM
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