Trough gardening

  • Gardening in comfort

    This trough is planted with four types of basil and red and yellow pepper plants. Other herbs in her garden include parsley, chives, thyme, and cilantro. She placed old baling strips underneath the planters to help control weeds. "So far, it has worked," she says. A row of cement blocks puts the troughs at a comfortable height for planting and weeding.

  • Layering is key

    Spinach plants and lavender were included in Autumn's garden, to help keep the deer away. The troughs have drainage holes in them, and Autumn placed a layer of rock in the bottom of each one. Then, she filled them with a mixture of field dirt and soil from the compost pile.

  • Clever solution for climbers

    In this trough, Autumn planted pole beans and peas on the outside, next to a trellis made from a cattle panel, and potato plants in the middle. She says, "Not sure if that will work, but we're trying it for this year!"

  • Inspiring other gardeners

    Here's another view of the trough with the peas, beans, and potatoes. The other Women in Ag are impressed with Autumn's garden. "I am loving the different types of container gardening," says Margaret Mazikowski. "Put those old rusted feeders to good use!"

  • Water well

    Here is Autumn's entire trough garden. Because raised beds are more susceptible to heat and wind, she says she tries to water daily, and pulls weeds while she's at it. She suggests, "If you don't like the idea of watering every day, then you can use soaker hoses with an inexpensive timer to ensure they get water, but you don't have to stand there to do it!"

Autumn Hofer has been busy gardening on her Bridgewater, South Dakota, farm, but this year, her garden is planted above the ground in old feed bunks.

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