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Home & Garden

Alternative Gardening

April 12, 2018

Alternative gardens can be a great choice for a lot of families, whether you live in the city, suburbs, or out in the country. Linda Woolsey, Certified Professional Horticulturalist and lifelong gardener has some tips to help you add an alternative garden to your yard, patio, deck, or acreage.

When Linda started at the Marysville, Washington Coastal, she quickly realized people love alternative garden ideas.

“We all learn to grow with the environment we have, Linda said about her own gardening background.” Alternative gardens can be a wonderful option for limited space. It can also be a way for those in the country to add interesting features to their property.”

Vertical Gardens

Linda explains that if you have limited space, one of the best alternatives is a vertical garden. By providing support, such as a trellis, wire, or plastic fencing, you can grow your plants upward, taking up far less of the land. Fences, such as those bordering your property, can be used to support containers or a shelf. Vertical gardens can also incorporate the use of raised beds built on top of one another. However, all of the plants in those boxes must get enough sunlight and water to grow.

Straw Bale Gardens

Pick up a straw bale at your nearby Coastal and get set for a new gardening experience. To grow your garden in a straw bale, simply place the bale on the ground with the straw shafts running vertically. Next, dig out several cup size holes into the bale. You can add four to six holes depending on the size of the mature plant. Then, fill the holes with soil, plant your seeds or starts, and water well.

“Straw bales are great because you don’t need a lot of fertilizer to keep your plants growing,” Linda explained. “You can even use the bales to make a border in your yard. It’s very versatile. Especially if you have a lot of space.”

Cinder Block Garden

Have some cinder blocks laying around? You can place them on the ground and fill them with soil, or build a wall and plant something in each hole using landscape fabric and soil. You’ll want to water regularly, as the blocks soak up a lot of water and can get hot in direct sunlight.

Container Gardening

Any container, from small flowerpots to large shrub pots can work great for herbs and other vegetables. Pots, pans, bowls, and vases from second-hand stores can also be used to grow your plants and add a lot of interest to your yard.

“Anything can be used for a container garden,” Linda said when asked what constituted a container garden. “As long as it gets enough sunlight and water, you’re set. I place containers everywhere in my flower and vegetable beds. Containers bring plants closer to eye level and add interest and character to your garden. Just remember to keep them all watered.”

The important aspects of a successful container garden are drainage, soil, fertilizer, water, and plant choice. Will the plant you’ve chosen get too much or too little sunlight? When you have conquered all of those points, your container gardens can thrive, whether the containers are on your deck or all along your fence line.

“In general, I suggest using a soaker hose or a drip water system for watering,” Linda added. “It ensures you get enough water to your plants on a regular basis without wasting water. Soaker hoses and drip systems water the roots of the plants, keeping the leaves dry and free from bacterial growth, leaf rot, and harmful insects.”

Coastal is Your Garden Center

You’ll find the tools, soil, plants, trellises, fencing, and gardening equipment you need in the garden center at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. That includes power tools, mowers, blowers, chain saws, shrubs, and people with the know-how to help you grow the best garden ever.