Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Easy Wheelbarrow Herb and Vegetable Garden

Herb and Vegetable Garden in an old Wheelbarrow
by Grandma Pearl
My husband picked this old wheelbarrow up along the side of the road one day.  The basin part is in good condition, except that the 4 bolts inside have loosened up so if anybody tried to use it, it would leak!  But that makes it perfect for a garden.  It has both handles, but the fork that holds the front tire is separated from the supports that would make it usable.

So rather than have it rust away, I decided to add some peat moss, garden loam, the clay that makes up the majority of my available dirt, and sawdust.  We cut wood for heating in the wintertime, so I have a lot of sawdust available.  As you can see, the 15 plants I used are very happy.

Since I live in a wooded area, there is very little open sky for sunshine.  That makes a wheelbarrow a handy receptacle, as I can move it into the sunshine if that is necessary.  This particular spot receives about 7 hours of sunshine every day.

Green Pepper plant full of blossoms in my wheelbarrow garden.
by Grandma Pearl
I have 3 pepper plants that are loaded with blossoms; two tomato plants that have blossoms, and one has a large green tomato on it; thyme, opal basil, pineapple sage, tri-color sage, variegated sage, parsley, dill and rosemary all planted in this one wheelbarrow garden.  All are doing well and have not become waterlogged, despite the heavy rain we have had in abundance this spring so far.  I used no fertilizer, but the peat moss and sawdust provide lots of organic nutrients.  These plants are very happy!

My wheelbarrow garden holds a lot of herbs, 2 tomato plants and 3 pepper plants.
by Grandma Pearl

I have used the herbs from this garden in some of my recipes for a couple of weeks now .  I love to add the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme to my braised chicken breasts.  These herbs impart such a lovely flavor you just don't get with dried herbs.  I have also used them on my salads and in pasta dishes (the opal basil is wonderful with pasta sauce). 

There is so much concentrated flavor in fresh herbs, that you do not want to overdo it.  Less is more in this case.  For instance, when I cooked 3 chicken breasts I added just 3 small sage leaves, 3 short stems of parsley and thyme, and one short stem of rosemary.  But you can add less or more depending upon your own taste.
Wheelbarrow Garden from overhead,
by Grandma Pearl

I bought the herbs as small plants, and the same with the peppers and tomatoes.  That was about a month ago, so you can see they are growing quickly.  This type of garden is ideal for herbs and upright rather than root vegetables.  And it would also be great for a hummingbird garden filled with wave petunias, fuchsias, coneflowers, bee balm and salvias.

In fact, the hummingbirds have visited the pineapple sage's tubular dark pink flowers in the wheelbarrow garden.  I think I will be on the lookout for more old wheelbarrows to plant full of beauty, herbal goodness and fragrance!

Grandma Pearl
Attracting Birds to Your Yard With Flowers
Rustic Bird Houses made from Antique Barn wood


Shauna said...

What a great idea! I'll have to keep my eye out for throw-away wheel barrows.

Do you have a problem with squirrels eating the herbs? I've tried growing some in a plant bed and the local squirrels ate them!

Connie Smith said...

Hi Shauna,
I don't seem to have any problems with squirrels stealing my herbs, but I have a constant battle with slugs. And that's just another reason to use crushed egg shells, which help to deter them.
Here in the Northeast there seem to be lots of junk wheelbarrows along the back roads! Hope you find one for your own mini garden--it's great fun.