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Old 02-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
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Ideas? Vegetable garden + traveling

My wife has tasked me with coming up with a workable idea for her to have a garden this year while still supporting our urge to travel a majority of the summer.

If we had our druthers, the primary plants would be:
1) Tomatoes
2) Lettuce
3) Spinach
4) Red onions

The goals of the project would be:
1) Lightweight (assuming I have to move it during travel + setup at parks that we stay for up to 1-2 weeks at a time)

2) Protected during travel (our basement is generally full and I don't want to be stepping over these in the camper from place to place; so I'm thinking truck bed is where they'll live)

My wild idea:
I don't know if a hydroponic setup can have its water dumped out with any regularity or if that negates the benefits of the system. If it can be dumped out, I'd think that would solve my "lightweight" requirement as I could dump out the water (to the sewer system on the sites we stay at- not on the ground). BUT- I don't have any idea here. A traditional dirt garden seems like it could get heavy and make me rage each time I have to move it.

I'm thinking some kind of lidded containers would solve my "protected during travel" requirement. For the tomatoes, the height of the plants seem like it could be a problem.

We've only ever had a couple of mostly unsuccessful growing attempts in our backyard in pots. We did tomatoes once; cucumbers once and lettuce (that tasted super bitter). Any gardening tips are welcome, too!
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:46 PM   #2
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Well, spinach appears to be out since it's a cold weather crop:
Growing Spinach - Bonnie Plants
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:04 PM   #3
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I've seen lettuce bowls for sale once. Basically a head of Romaine in a small pot. Probably max 2' high. Should be able to travel with that fairly easily in the bed of the pickup. Another option is to install a rack in the back of your 5'er, say something like this (http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo-...rt/C18132.html) and then build a greenhouse over it. Being at the back will prevent it from too many wind buffets and the plexiglass of the greenhouse should take care of the rest. Just remember to account for the extra length when backing up.

Our option is to just garden at home. I make sure my vegetables are all planted in pots that are too tall for the rabbits to reach, but short enough to get watered by the automatic lawn sprinklers. I'll weed them every 3-4 weeks and otherwise just try to keep up with the harvesting.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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The onions, spinach and lettuce are not deep-rooted and should easily grow in 2' - 4" deep containers with good soil.

Spinach is not going to do well in the heat of the Summer.

Tomatoes are going to be a little tougher. Determinate or Bush varieties can be grown in slightly deeper containers without staking - once again if the soil provides their needs.

This will be an interesting experiment. Your plants could be laid down for travel, but you'd have to protect them from wind unless the truck has a cover. Wilting from heat and dehydration will be a problem,too.

I might try a few of the Patio type tomatoes for the sake of trying. But I believe I'd hit the farmer's markets for my big slicers....

I think you can have good luck growing a tray of onions and lettuce all the way through the season.

Good luck.

edit:.....http://www.truckfarm.org/
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:15 PM   #5
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Kaadk-
We're already pulling a really long fifth wheel at 42' 10" (supposedly), so I really don't want to add onto the back. That was a really interesting thought, though.

Gardening at home is pretty well out. We are hoping to be gone for about 6-8 weeks and the wildlife in the backyard is pretty abundant (for a suburban area!) - we regularly have deer, raccoon, rabbits and groundhogs in the backyard. (A full lot size that is only about 1/4 of an acre!)


Hudlow -
I've been reading up on onions- it seems like they may be a lost cause, as well as they're a cold weather plant, too. But, we did use a relatively flat tray for our lettuce back when we tried it. I'm not sure what turned it bitter, though.

Protecting stuff in the truck bed is a trick as we pull a fifth wheel. At most, I can cover about 1/2 of the bed, but it's still open. I'd rather fashion some kind of protective "lids" for whatever planting pots that I come up with.

The weight of the pots with soil is another worry - simply from lifting them into and out of the truck bed. I'm really lazy.

The wilting is a worry, definitely. Especially if I'm covering them to protect them from the wind- seems like I'd be compounding the heat issue.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:16 PM   #6
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There are times when you should just say "no." Just sayin. My hats off to you for trying though.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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Have you seen the inverted hanging planters for tomatos?

Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter

You could also plant peppers and some others this way.

I would think the awning accessory rail could be used to hang the plants (not too many of course) while set up; and a hanger bar across the shower while in transit.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:19 PM   #8
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I saw this the other day on-line, it's a pallet. Something like it might work in the back of your truck.

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Old 02-18-2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
There are times when you should just say "no." Just sayin. My hats off to you for trying though.
You've had me chuckling today.

But I like it, for no other reason than to try and see if we can. Plus, we may get a science fair project out of it for daughter.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Have you seen the inverted hanging planters for tomatos?

Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter

You could also plant peppers and some others this way.

I would think the awning accessory rail could be used to hang the plants (not too many of course) while set up; and a hanger bar across the shower while in transit.
We do have the awning support poles, so this could work. I'm not sure that I trust the shower hanger/support idea, though. I could possibly make some kind of small saw horses to hang it from, though. Does anyone know how far down these things hang?
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