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Adventures in Mobile Gardening

By Robyn Dolan

Tags: Gardening, Container Garden, Mobile Homestead, Tiny Home, Roadsteading, Robyn Dolan,

Homesteading with Mrs DThe Homestead crew went to Albuquerque the other day and stopped at a home-improvement store on the way back. I couldn’t resist the colorful flowers and perky tomato plants, so I picked up some new victims/prospects for this year’s mobile homestead gardening experiment. Aren’t they pretty?



Tomatoes, crookneck squash, strawberries, peppermint and some flowers. Vines which I do not have luck with starting from seed. Sadly, the tomatoes and squash have already succumbed to the late Colorado freeze.

garden soil

The current survivors have been transplanted into pots. The boy and I used a mix of organic compost and non-organic garden soil. Hey, the budget is a bit tight right now. We do what we can. The first night, the pots were all next to the front door of the trailer, but the lack of sun (our door is currently facing north) prompted me to move them to the back of the trailer, where they would get the morning sun and hopefully survive the cold nights a little better. We used the foam board we skirted the trailer with during the extreme cold for windbreaks to protect the little plants.

garden with windbreak

Still not satisfied with the amount of sun my little garden was getting, I decided I needed a more mobile setup. So I dug out Mrs. Susie’s doghouse, which has been languishing in the back of the truck for the past year, unused, and repurposed it. I removed the top, placed all my containers in the bottom, and enlisted the boy to help me move it to a sunnier location. While the nights are still cold, I am putting the top back on overnight, removing it in the mornings.

mobile garden 

I have yet to plant my lettuce and other veggies that I am starting from seed. As you can see, my garden is currently full. I also need to replace the tomatoes and squash that died and get some cucumbers, but that will have to wait until we return from our upcoming trip to Oregon. Maybe by that time I will have found another conveniently sized mobile container that I can use to hold the rest of my garden.

strawberries, peppermint, squash

For now, the questions remain: will the garden survive Mrs. D’s black thumb? If so, will it survive the frequent moves? Stay tuned, as Mrs. D’s Mobile Gardening Adventure continues.

garden by step

I hope that you will consider joining us at my website, Mrs. D's Traveling Homestead, for more updates on our mobile homesteading, roadschooling and simple living adventures. Please also check out my book: The Working Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling.

5/5/2015 6:14:49 PM

Thanks, Jim, sometimes I forget about the simple solutions. With the various places we travel to, I should be able to collect some rotted forest mulch somewhere and keep it on hand for mixing with local soil when I am ready to plant. I don't like to use vermiculite, either. I try to keep the pots aerated with a fork and some shredded paper or cloth.

4/19/2015 7:59:33 AM

Robyn, When you said tight budget, boy did that hit home. If you have access to a wooded area, you may be able to manage more than quite well without buying any commercial potting soil. If you have older downed tress in your woods, or can find older rotted stumps, take your bucket and a small hand trowel or shovel and collect all that rotted wood. It will look almost like wet sawdust. Stay away from black walnut, and there may be others to be careful of, yet that is the only one I know. Rake back the top layer of leaves and collect the rotted wet stuff under that top layer. I mix what I get with about 50% of the red clay soil that is prevalent here. I may, if I have it, toss in a shovelful of aged manure. If you need to purchase anything it may be a small bag of vermiculite yet I don't even use that anymore. I also use old newspapers to make my seedling pots out of. You can find articles on doing that on line as well. I hope you can find time to let me hear from you about your adventures there as I am very happy to share my own triumphs and losses here. Jim