Monday, May 2, 2011

‘Anytimer’ Travelling Garden Experiment

One down-side to extended travel is that it makes it difficult for me to play in the dirt.

As a young child I grew up on a farm and then at age eight was transplanted to town-life after my father died while our home and farm were under one of the major Mississippi floods.   Even in town, I found a place to start digging and planted my small patch of flowers and vegetables.

In the twenty-plus years at our home, Ken and I have attempted to minimize the work required in our yard by planting hardy annuals such as hostas, iris, lily of the valley, various ferns, ivies and other perennials.  In fact, Ken has gradually arranged the lawn so that everything can be quickly mowed on the riding mower.  This means that we can be gone in the motorhome for extended periods with little attention needed outdoors except for the lawn mowing.

But, that certainly doesn’t quench my thirst for garden time and my love for picking and eating things fresh from my own garden. 

Since we have determined that we do not want to become full-timers without a home-base, we are able to keep a few more garden tools around since things like potting soil, pots, and tools don’t have to travel with us in winter months.  However, since we tend to be on the road a lot more than most part-timers, maintaining a garden at a home-base just isn’t practical. As Anytimers, we need a more flexible solution.

So, this year I’m trying a low-cost experiment.  I’ve just finished filling  five matching pots with some of my favorite garden items: Better boy tomatoes, green peppers, sweet red peppers, sweet yellow peppers, and one pot devoted to herbs: oregano, rosemary, basil and stevia. The pots were only $1.98 each and are made with built-in drainage trays.


I usually would fill the bottoms with gravel for good drainage, but this time we are trying styrofoam packing peanuts so that there is less weight to transport.  Yes, gardeners, I know these plants are probably packed too tight but I’m hoping to offset that by using Miracle-grow moisture control potting soil.  I’m also expecting that there may be some loss simply due to the stress of transport.


We plan to move my garden with us as we travel.  This is one more benefit of towing the jeep.  Since it is the ‘unlimited’ version, it has plenty of room for storage in back that we currently don’t use for much and can handle a little dirt- IT’S A JEEP.  I plan to store the plants there when we are ready to head out, set them out at the campsite and then repack them into the jeep last thing before we leave. 

At home the pots will decorate our back deck and on the road we’ll be able to place them outside where they get appropriate sunshine.  I had considered using the new upside down hangers with shepherds hooks but decided those would be harder to transport and not everywhere we’ve stayed has ground conducive for punching those hooks deep enough in to the ground.  This also turns out to be a much cheaper experiment.

While we have seen campground hosts with a lot of live plants and even small vegetable gardens, and almost all the full-timers we’ve met have a few favorite plants they transport, I haven’t seen many who actually travel with their garden.  I’d love to hear from any of you RVing readers who may have already tried this experiment, especially if you have any lessons learned to share.

Will it work?  Stay tuned!

Hugs, C


Nancy and Bill said...

Ok, I will be following this experiment. I just love my vegetable garden.

I've told Bill, we just need to travel to where things are in season so I can get my fresh fruits and veggies!!


Myrddin said...


Last summer in Rantoul, a full-time couple pulled in for a few days and they had the whole back end of a small SUV filled with potted plants. They set them out around their MH and it looked real nice. (don't know if any were vegetables or not though).

I think your traveling garden just might work. It'll be fun trying anyway. ;-)

Take care,