I’m not a gardener, although I would love to be one. I’ve planted flowers and some plants; basil and tomatoes are the only edibles I’ve tried. Sadly, I have never had success with tomatoes except for one year out of four years trying. I was most successful before I had kids that like to pull things out of the ground. This is no joke, two years in a row I had a thriving tomato plant when my son decided to yank the poor plant out of the ground! This year both of my older children seemed to understand that plants should stay in the ground and they both had a budding (pun intended) interest in gardening. I thought herbs would be really nice as I knew we would get the most use out of them and maybe save a little money in the process by not buying herbs from the grocery store. I wanted to avoid pots because they often get knocked over or brought to different locations of the yard and then knocked over. I surveyed the yard while drinking my morning coffee and suddenly the kids Radio Flyer wagon caught my eye. The wagon’s handle broke off months before and the wagon has been sitting in my yard no longer being used. It’s such a shame to not see it used because it one of those nice metal Radio Flyer wagons. And now I had a use for it, an herb garden! Surely I wasn’t the only person that had ever tried to use a wagon to make a garden, so I took to Google to solidify what I thought the step process should be, and my thought process wasn’t too far off.
There was a bit of trial and error, one bent drill bit and one smashed thumb. But overall I thought it turned out great, although I am saying that before we have harvested any of the herbs.
- large wide nail (around 1/4 inch in diameter)
- drill and drill bits
- potting soil
- seeds of your choice
1. Creating drainage holes: Switching between a hammer and nail and the drill bit I made drainage holes throughout the bottom of the wagon. This took the most time but is essential in having a successful garden. The holes in the middle of the wagon were most difficult and the drill was more successful than trying to drive a nail through without a guide hole. Sometimes the drill went through without a problem and other times I needed to go back and forth with the hammer to get the hole large enough. Creating the holes along the side of the wagon was far easier because the metal is thinner and the hammer and nail was all that was needed to create the holes.
2. Laying gravel: Lay the gravel in a single layer across the bottom of the wagon. Only a small amount of gravel is needed. Before buying any gravel I recommend checking with your local hardware/garden stores to see if they have any damaged bags laying around. Often stores hang on to the damaged bags and let customers take what they need. I was able to get half a bag of small gravel for free because the bag was ripped. My budding gardeners were great helping me lay the gravel.
3. Laying soil: Only a small bag of potting soil is needed. I used a potting soil mix by Miracle Grow. While I think the potting soil might do a fine job and I’ve had success in the past, I’m sure there are better options. Remember I’m no gardener! I laid the soil out and then attempted to line the soil with the extra gravel to mark out where the different herbs were located. The gravel did not end up working out. After watering the herbs the gravel would start to move around and before I knew it I had gravel all over the place. I do not recommend this unless you use small river rock that is weighted more than the gravel.
4. Planting the seeds: Since the herbs were going to be put together I needed to pick seeds that would be able to thrive in the same type of sunlight. I ultimately chose sage, basil, dill, and cilantro. I planted the seeds according to the back of the seed packets.
I’m proud to say that after a couple of weeks I have thriving seedlings. I recently thinned out the seedlings. Typically I buy herbs as plants versus starting them from seeds. I’ve been nervous about thinning the plants because I’ve never done it before; I hope I did it correctly. And I would love any helpful tips! All in all, I think it was a cute project and most importantly my kids are very excited about their herb garden and it’s the perfect height for them to get involved.
Here are a couple of pictures of our seedlings. I will check back in a couple of weeks to let you know how the thinning of seedlings went and how the plants are doing.