Our garden is a place of discovery every season. Ofer and I both like to experiment with different ways of growing plants, and enjoy a large variety of edibles. In past years, Ofer has used child sized pools to keep tender plants happy during the heat of our California summers. He has used them for maintaining moisture during propagation and growth of new plants. Some plants are just happier sitting in a little water and it’s easier to have the pots sitting in a pool. He waters every few days, allowing the bottom to completely dry out in between to avoid mosquito development.
This process has served us well. Without a greenhouse, the pool provides a protected place for seedlings to grow to full strength for planting. This year, we had an empty pool after we had finished planting the vegetables in the beds. There were lots of little seedlings leftover and Ofer had a brilliant idea for an experiment. He filled the empty pool with soil and planted all of the leftovers together, willy nilly.
I spend a lot of time making sure to do companion planting in my beds to support the health and happiness of my veggies. Tomatoes near basil, nasturtiums and calendula near tomatoes, tansy by the berries, potatoes away from the beets, lovage all around to make everyone happy and fennel off on its own to avoid problems.
In Ofer’s experimental pool he planted everything, even a fennel plant, all together. There’s winter squash, chives, parsley, tomatoes, fennel, potatoes, amaranth ,beets and burdock. Some of these we sprouted intentionally, and some just volunteered.
As an experiment it went well. Most of the plants grew well and we had a beautiful harvest from the pool – tomatoes, parsley, delicata squash and more…