Perhaps you live in an apartment or condo, have a landlord that won’t allow it, your soil isn’t suitable for gardening, or maybe you simply don’t have the time and tools to have a traditional garden. Whatever the case may be, a kiddie pool allows you to have your tomatoes and eat them too.
Using a kiddie pool to establish a garden can be the answer for any of the situations above. They’re inexpensive, light weight and a great way to recycle a plastic kiddie pool that has served its original purpose.
Here’s the things you’ll need:
Potting soil (6-8 50 lb. bags, depending on size of pool)
Organic compost (1-2 50 lb. bags)
Decide where you will place your mini-garden. Choose an area that receives at least six hours of full sun unless growing partial to shade-loving plants. If you put it in a grassy area, the grass will die, so make sure that won’t be an issue. For convenience, you may want to consider an area close to the house, on a patio or near a water spigot.
While water is a necessity, plants will drown if the pool doesn’t allow for drainage. Place the pool in the grass, bottom on the ground and use a hammer and screwdriver to make drainage holes evenly on the bottom of the pool. Keep in mind that more is better than less. More holes will allow the soil to drain and breathe. The lack of draining can create moldy soil which is an invitation for pests and disease.
The garden tarp will serve as a liner and help with drainage. Cover the bottom of the pool with garden tarp allowing it to come up the sides of the pool. The tarp will help keep the soil from stopping up drainage holes in the bottom of the pool. Let the tarp overlap the sides and when you’re completely finished planting you can trim and tuck them inside. Add gravel on top of the tarp to help keep the tarp in place.
Mix the potting soil and compost together and let the fun begin by filling the kiddie pool with soil. Don’t pack the soil; it will slowly pack itself over time.
Now you’re ready to plant seeds or plants in your kiddie pool garden. Be sure not to crowd and allow for growth. Follow seed packet instructions as to the depth of the seeds then cover lightly with soil. After seeds have been sown and plants are in place, water lightly with a garden hose. The goal is to keep the top layer moist but not soggy or soaking while seeds are sprouting. Once seeds begin to sprout, if they are allowed to dry out they will die a terrible death.
As you wait for your garden to come to life you can decide whether you would like to build around the pool to make it look like a raised flower or vegetable bed. This can be done with rocks, bricks or designer stones purchased at garden centers. This will not only hide the kiddie pool, but create a border that plants and climbers can grow over.