Growing in gravel

Dundas,, ON(Zone 5b)

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!)

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

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

Dundas,, ON(Zone 5b)

-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.

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

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

Dundas,, ON(Zone 5b)

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

Thumbnail by cybercrone
Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

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

Dundas,, ON(Zone 5b)

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.

Dundas,, ON(Zone 5b)

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.

Thumbnail by cybercrone
Calgary, Canada

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

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

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

Calgary, Canada

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!

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

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

Calgary, Canada

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.

Dundas,, ON(Zone 5b)

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

Calgary, Canada

Have a great trip!

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