How to Make a Contained Garden?

Posted under Home gardening advice | 5 Comments

Example of a Dirt-Filled Swimming Pool

Q: We have a swimming pool, that for reasons unbeknownst to me, is filled with dirt. There was thought of bricking it over, but I am thinking of turning it into a garden. If I were to do this, since I don’t know the origin of the dirt, should I treat the soil before planting? This is a group home, on limited funding.  I would not be able to extend great expense in beginning this project. However maybe some of you could offer some shade tree advice towards it getting a good start. I am good with plants. I don’t forsee any major issues,  but I don’t want to sow a bunch of plants into dirt that won’t support their growth. Any suggestions or lending of experience is appreciated.

A: There are two things for you to think about: 1.) Is there anything growing in it now, such as weeds. If so then the soil should be good for something. If not then I would be suspicious. 2.) You can get the soil tested. If your state has a state university with an extension service they may do the test for free, or at a reduced price. (Explain your situation i.e. group home). The other way to test is to go to your local nursery, home improvement, hardware, or farm supply store and get a soil testing kit. There are many things to test for. PH is probably most important. It will tell you how acid or alkailine your soil is. Then get advice from a gardening expert in your region to get the best way to amend the soil.

Something else to consider – pools are made to hold water.  You may need to find a way to break holes in it in places in order for the plants or trees placed in it not to become water-logged.

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5 Responses to “How to Make a Contained Garden?”

  1. David C Says:

    Square Foot Gardening might be the perfect solution for you. It doesn't matter what the native soil is like…you don't use it. If you want to get started and same a little use scrap lumber and you can leave out the vermiculite.
    References :
    http://allaboutsquarefootgardening.com

  2. Jewel Says:

    You don't specify the size of the pool, so I cannot suggest a tree. Different trees grow different types of root systems, and you DON'T want large roots to be bound or break through the concrete pool lining.

    They covered it over due to TAXES dear. It costs FAR MORE to have a pool than one would suspect. My mother filled in her pool, turning it into a seating and garden area as you are thinking of.

    Try using Salvia Gregii for color & scent, as well as rosemary bushes. These are both prenials and will come back to their glor in Springtime. The rosemary is evergreen, whereas the Salvia is not.

    You can use hostas or cast iron plant, even elephant ear, in shady areas. AND Cannas are bulbs which return each springtime with BEAUTIFUL tall and BIG blooms. They come in an array of colors.

    If you will email me with WHERE you are [what USDA growing zone, or your city & state], I can suggest a shade tree dear. Many trees will only grow in a limited area in the USDA zones.
    References :
    I am the owner/founder of International Home & Garden Club – Est 2000

  3. leslie Says:

    Oh, my. My suggestion would be to take a soil sample and send it to your County Extension Service and have the soil analyzed, the expense is very minimal. They will give you an analysis and recommend soil amendments. You can call them for advice for recommended plantings for your area, including plants, trees, perennials, and annuals. Call them and let them know this is a group home, I'm sure they will be pleased to give you suggestions. If you e-mail me and let me know where you're located, I will give you the number for your county agency…just give me a couple of days to return your request.
    References :

  4. Mark G Says:

    There are two things for you to think about:

    1.) Is there anything growing in it now, such as weeds. If so then the soil should be good for something. If not then I would be suspicious.

    2.) You can get the soil tested. If your state has a state university with an extension service they may do the test for free, or at a reduced price. (Explain your situation i.e. group home). The other way to test is to go to your local nursery, home improvement, hardware, or farm supply store and get a soil testing kit. There are many things to test for. PH is probably most important. It will tell you how acid or alkailine your soil is. Then get advice from a gardening expert in your region to get the best way to amend the soil.
    References :
    Associate degree in nursery management.

  5. sweet ivy lyn Says:

    Good for you! I don't know where you live, but I live in a pretty large town and I know you can actually buy truckloads full of dirt with manure mixed in for pretty cheap; maybe less then $100.00 bucks for a couple of trucks full; I'd call a few local landscaping companies (or even Home Depot or the like) and see what the prices are; I'm not sure what you mean by a "contained: garden…maybe you mean "container" garden where you garden in large pots? Just make sure you have a nice mix of dirt, manure, some small stones throughout for proper drainage and maybe some vermiculite for fluffiness and better absorption; if you know you're in a "buggy" area it's probably better to container garden-less chance of grubs and beetles in the soil; Some easy, tasty and fun things are pumpkins, sunflowers, tomatoes(try some nice heirlooms already 'started"), lavender, peppers, some herbs….1 plant per pot; make sure you have sticks for staking the tomatoes and peppers, some herbs spread like crazy like mint and parsley!
    References :

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