Tips for Table Gardening
What is table gardening? That is the question you may be asking right now. Well it is exactly what it sounds, you have a wooden table that is designed to be able to plant a small garden in it. It stands a little taller than waist high so it is easy to tend. There is a large basin that holds all of the soil. A table garden should come with a liner and dividers so you can plant several different vegetables.
This is the Garden Table we purchased. It was so easy to put together (I did it all by myself). The kids loved filling it with soil and mixing in our worm compost. This is our second year and the table is still in great shape. The liner is still in great shape. We simply stirred up the soil in each section and we were ready to plant as soon as the temperature permitted. You can either sow seeds directly or buy plants at your local home improvement store or nursery. We do a combination of both. I am an impatient gardener and like to see things growing.
Benefits of Table Gardening:
1) Great for small spaces – A table garden takes up very little space. Our table garden fits nicely in one corner of our deck. If you want to be able to walk all the way around your table garden then I would say a minimum area you need is 8′ x 12′.
2) Great for Kids – Kids can easily plant and watch their fruits and vegetables grow. They can participate every step of the way from planting seeds or starter plants to watering, to harvesting. I can tell my kids to go get a salad for dinner from the garden.
3. Great for beginner gardeners – Have a black thumb? Me too! No clue where to begin to have a garden? Then you should start with a table garden. You can try lots of things and the effort is minimal so you won’t have wasted all the time and energy if you don’t get the result you were expecting.
4) Very easy maintenance – Very little weeding. Watering is quick, you can use a watering can or the hose. There is no tilling to be done or raking.
What types of plants are good for table gardening?
Well personally we have planted everything listed below. Some we are trying for the first time this year. We have had success with everything we have planted so far. Our fist year we turned our table garden into a science experiment and planted six varieties of strawberries. The children tracked on a chart which variety produced the most fruit. They also tasted and rated the strawberries on a scale of 1-10 to determine which produced the best tasting strawberries.
1. Lettuce (all varieties) – plant early to get the longest season. My kids love taking a pair of scissors out to the table garden and collecting a salad for dinner.
2. Spinach – first time this year but I can’t imagine it would not do well.
3. Carrots – plan on baby carrots. We were to impatient to wait so we picked them early.
4. Strawberries- Table gardening is perfect for strawberries. We picked off the runners so the plants would produce more fruit. If you get ever bearing varieties they will come back year after year.
5. Green peppers – we planted green, yellow, and red peppers last year.
6. Broccoli -new this year
7. Cailiflower – new this year
8. Green Onions – new this year but already 2 inches tall from seed.
9. Herbs – I have not tried but I am tempted to buy a second table just to have my own little herb garden.
10. Basically anything that doesn’t require a ton of space. We plan on trying new things every year.
What types of plants are NOT good for table gardening?
Anything that needs lots of space, vines, or climbs. Obviously you can’t grow things like corn, watermelon, or pumpkins in a garden table. Beans, peas, and varieties of squash would not do well either. We grow beans and peas in boxes that we built as part of our creative raised garden beds.
Table gardening is perfect for beginners, small spaces, and those who are short on time. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is such a rewarding and fun experience.