Missouri’s rocky soil can make it difficult start a garden. According to Dr. Clydette Alsup-Egbers, associate professor of agriculture at Missouri State University, there’s a quick and easy way to overcome this obstacle.
“One of the easiest ways I have found to establish a new garden is to basically create an instant raised bed,” said Alsup-Egbers. “I call it ‘gardening in a bag.’”
Collect the tools
This method requires a large bag of soil, gardening gloves or a trowel, mulch and a watering pail.
“I usually put about three plants in each bag,” said Alsup-Egbers. “The human eye typically prefers an odd number of plants in any given setting.”
Create a garden
First, place the bag on the ground wherever the plants are to be grown. Cut a couple of slits in the bottom of the bag for drainage, and then cut an ‘X’ across the bag to open it. Tuck the flaps created from this cut inwards so it is easier to water the plants.
“Make a small hole either with your hands or trowel and place the plant in it,” said Alsup-Egbers. “Then cover the base of the plant with the soil and repeat the process for two more plants in the same bag.”
Once finished, take the mulch and cover the bag and the soil, including around the base of the plants. This will hide the bag from view and create visual appeal.
“If you get a lot of rain you may to deal with fungal diseases but the chances are slim,” said Alsup-Egbers. “I’ve also found that this method works well not only for flowers but also for vegetables and herbs.”