Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dig - DIY Bathtub Garden

Our rental in La Jolla came with a giant bathtub that was so unsteady we had to sign off in the lease we wouldn't sue in case it caused any bodily harm.  So after months of it sitting in the corner of our shower (our shower is larger than most NYC apartments) I asked the boys to move it outside.  I had been itching to plant carrots but they need a deep container.  The dogs and chickens eat anything we plant in the ground so a raised bathtub bed was the perfect solution! 

What you will need
- An old bathtub or large deep container.
- Good dirt, go for the organic stuff at your local nursery.  (Remember, you will be eating all this goodness and you wouldn't want to ruin it with cheap soil.)
- Compost from your kitchen and/or neighborhood chickens.
- Seeds.  Think about what you love to eat.  (I planted carrots, 2 types of kale and broccoli.  We feed the dogs carrots and I could eat kale 3 meals a day.)
- Gloves.
- Something to mix the dirt with, a shovel, stick or just your hands if you don't mind dirt under the fingernails.
Fresh picked kale from the bathtub

To do
1.  Find some large rocks or bricks for the bottom to ensure good drainage.
2.  Add a layer of dirt.
3.  Add a layer of chicken manure compost and/or store bought compost. 
4.  Mix it all together.
5.  Add another layer of dirt.
6.  Fill up your container a few inches from the top because the dirt will compress and sink in over the next week.
7.  Using a shovel or your hand create rows for your seeds.  Read the packaging labels for directions on spacing and planting seed depth.
8.  Add the seeds.  Cover with soil and water gently.
9.  Continue to water gently for the first few weeks.  Once the plants are set feel free to use the hose or your leftover pasta water (after it's cooled :).
age: 3 weeks

age: 5 weeks
age: 3 months

Have you planted in any crazy containers?  I would love to hear some ideas.  PS - My favorite seed catalog at the moment is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.


  1. love the photo journalling over the months...

    My use for an old bathtub was using it for a sitting area for my third graders during silent reading. I filled it with over sized pillows and they loved it!