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Canadian Gardening: Growing in gravel

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cybercrone
Toronto,, ON
(Zone 6a)

June 16, 2011
1:37 PM

Post #8634454

Got some gravel put down all along the space between the sidewalk and the fence on the weekend and was trying to figure out how I could grow some sweet peas along the fence.

I went to Home Dept and got a length of PVC pipe and cut it into 6 in (more or less) lengths. Cleared the gravel down to the newspaper, and punched the pipe through the newspaper, then stomped it a bit further down. Pushed the gravel back around it. Filled the pipe lengths with potting soil and planted my sweet pea seeds.

Has anyone ever done this? Did it work?

I'm wondering if I can keep it damp enough but not too damp inside the pipe until the plants get roots into the ground proper.

What are your thoughts ladies? (Besides the fact that gravel is really, really heavy!)
annabell52
Edmonton, AB
(Zone 3a)

June 16, 2011
2:49 PM

Post #8634555

I'd be giving it a go if I were you. I wouldput more than one seed per tube and keep the roots from cooking I think it's a dandy idea!.
Alberta Ann
cybercrone
Toronto,, ON
(Zone 6a)

June 16, 2011
4:00 PM

Post #8634665

-Thanks Ann. I did put a couple seeds in each tube, and I can always pinch one out if I have to.

And I'll water the ground around them each day to keep them (I hope) from cooking.

It'll be a while before they sprout, if they do, but I'll let you know what happens.
annabell52
Edmonton, AB
(Zone 3a)

June 17, 2011
11:27 AM

Post #8636508

Cyber I like this idea and I have a goofy spot next to a patio and beside a fence that could do with this kind of planting. I hope you have sucess as I like the concept!.
Ann
cybercrone
Toronto,, ON
(Zone 6a)

June 21, 2011
2:57 PM

Post #8645321

Woo-hoo!!

I soaked some of the seeds longer than the recommended day, and I have sprouts!!

Now I just have to keep them cool, fed and damp for a while until the roots get established.

Keep yer fingers crossed for me.
~marilyn

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annabell52
Edmonton, AB
(Zone 3a)

June 22, 2011
1:25 PM

Post #8647290

Good job! I have found that I soak seeds till it has a tail then i gently plant. this way I don't guess for the germination. Of course if you needed to do 300 it would be a pain but...
This grow OP would be good to apply to other things too! I'm thinking in my stream bed I could do some crawing annuals to carpet some areas and they may look like water glistening. Like Diacondra Falls.both the emerald and silver. you could do waves of color!
Ann
cybercrone
Toronto,, ON
(Zone 6a)

June 23, 2011
2:34 PM

Post #8649629

It's so nice to know that I might have come up with something useful that others can use.

One of my grandkids (I think) suggested a collar of foil on the tubes to help prevent overheating - though with all the rain, I don't think that's a problem right now and hopefully the plants own leaves will shade the tube eventually.
cybercrone
Toronto,, ON
(Zone 6a)

August 21, 2011
1:27 PM

Post #8769080

Success!!

I actually am starting to have flowers now.

If I were doing it again, I'd get larger diameter pipe. The very small diameter here made it very difficult to keep properly watered.

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CLScott
Calgary
Canada

August 22, 2011
8:45 AM

Post #8770716

That is a great set up which you have described.
I may just copy it at some point.
I have alpine plants which I grow directly in gravel.
This is because I could not afford all the rocks for the alpine garden so it was suggested that I scoop out soil and replace it with gravel.
Most of the time I use the traction sand which I had in the car trunk over the winter.
Caroline
annabell52
Edmonton, AB
(Zone 3a)

August 22, 2011
11:48 AM

Post #8771119

Marilyn
Great update info thank you!
Caroline I too use my car sand and I just found bags of Turkey grit that is the right size for Alpines and It was only 6.00 for a 50 lbs bag. Had the young man load it and then got it out a small bucket at a time after I opened the bag.
Good Idea to only do the spot you are planting!
Thanks
Alberta Ann
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

August 23, 2011
7:43 AM

Post #8772674

Thanks for the Turkey grit idea.
I had been told to use it before,but forgot about it.
I wish they would package stuff in smaller, and lighter, bags for us older gardeners!
annabell52
Edmonton, AB
(Zone 3a)

August 25, 2011
8:25 PM

Post #8777227

Caroline
The guys at UFA were very helpfulm maybe if you take some smaller buckets they would help you transfer it.
It's always worth a try.
Alberta Ann
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

August 26, 2011
7:47 AM

Post #8777827

I think there is a pet supply store which sells it in Calgary.
I think I'd have to drive out of town to find UFA--will check.
cybercrone
Toronto,, ON
(Zone 6a)

August 26, 2011
10:16 AM

Post #8778101

Off to South Africa on Wednesday for two months, so will 'see' you all in November, after I get over the shock of going from spring to late fall and from rising light to waning light.

If anyone wants to say Hi or follow along, I will be blogging at grannym.wordpress.com

Have a great Thanksgiving you all - that's the time I miss being home.
~m
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

August 28, 2011
8:47 AM

Post #8781018

Have a great trip!

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