Asphalt Garden: Finally Planting My Winter Vegetables

Almost a month ago, I started thinking about what I was going to next plant in my wine barrel container garden. Back then, I assumed I was going to have two barrels free. Things have changed, and I decided to start from scratch. My green beans grew well, and produced a good harvest (2 pounds!), but they were spent and dying back. That freed up the third barrel. And although I was considering keeping the cherry tomato going, by the time I got to planting, the tomato wasn’t making any new blossoms and the basil plant was on the way out, too. Thus, out with the old, and in with the new!

Clockwise from top left: swiss chard, kale, radish and carrot seeds.

I decided to plant kale, swiss chard, carrots and radishes. I knew I had to start the radishes and carrots from seeds, and it turns out that kale and swiss chard do best if started from seed, too. This garden is all about learning new things and experiencing firsts for me, and with this planting I had another round of firsts – I had never planted seeds before.

First I needed to get my containers ready. I emptied all of the soil out and sifted it, using the handy new soil sifter I built.



Then I mixed in some organic fertilizer into the top few inches of my soil, and got everything nice and wet.




Planting radish seeds (left) and swiss chard.

Each seed packet gives detailed instructions on the depth to plant each type of seed, and how far apart to plant them. The instructions are for rows, however, not containers. I adapted the planting instructions, making two concentric circles of carrots and radishes. I planted equally spaced clusters of kale and swiss chard seeds.

When planting seeds, the most important thing to do is keep the soil moist without disturbing the seeds. Using a spray bottle is a great way to do this. I plan to spray my seeds each morning until I see vegetable greens start to shoot up from the soil.

At the moment, my barrels look barren. In as little as five days, however, I should see new veggies taking root. Thanks to the fast-growing radishes, in under a month I’ll be harvesting again from my asphalt garden.

  • Lydia

    I’m eager to see your results, especially with kale and swiss chard.

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