Mobile RV Gardening
By Jenn Cameron
Most people think that just because you live in an RV or camper, and whether you are moving a lot or staying put, that you have to miss out on most things, like gardening. Not true. I love to garden. I have a beautiful and very fruitful garden. I just couldn’t give up my love for gardening just because I couldn’t afford to own a conventional home with the land to put one on.
My family has all laughed at me for years for choosing to live in my RV instead of working 60+ hours a week to afford the house next door. Then the economy got worse as everyone knows and some of them lost their jobs. Some had to move in with other family members or friends and they are still struggling. As for me, I lost my job and never skipped a beat. One reason is I have my garden.
My brother gave me a pull-behind trailer, 12ft long, and I turned it into a mobile greenhouse. Georgia has the strictest limits on the size and height of homemade trailers and using their guidelines you can pretty much have anything you want to carry with you if you put in the time and effort to just build it yourself. Using the mobile garden, I grow most of my family’s food. I canned the veggies and, at 13 ft tall, I even have a banana tree, and coffee tree plants along with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, squash, lettuce, broccoli, okra, green beans, peas, onions, eggplants, corn, watermelons, and cantaloupes. It’s wonderful to be able to grow my own food and can the veggies and fruits. You really don’t need a lot of space.
It’s easy to make a mobile greenhouse. Some 1 in plywood flooring, a few 2×4’s for the framework and plexiglass from your local sign shop, and a piece of thick plastic at the back for the door where the bees can still get in and help pollinate your garden. That’s about all you need. I installed PVC pipes in the roof to make a lazy man’s way to water my garden and a few 5-gallon bucks around the top to collect rainwater year-round. It’s free and your garden grows better with natural rainwater.
The top is two pieces of plexiglass that rest on a center 2×4. It has a lock built into the frame where the two pieces will stay closed when moving and can be opened in the summer for better sun exposure and rain. The plants are all in large plant pots from the local dollar store. Just remember to put the taller growing plants in the center where they won’t block out the sun from the smaller plants.
I know I have a lot of plants and the truth is just 2 or 4 plants each is all a family needs to provide your own fresh veggies. If you put a small heater in during the winter months it stays warm enough to grow year-round and you never have to find yourself without fresh food again. Just remember to collect seeds from your veggies before you eat them or can them and you’ll never have to buy more seeds.
Changing up the position of where your plant the next harvest will keep the soil more fertile and a little trick with crushing up your used eggshells and putting them in the soil will make your veggies grow even faster. I have 4 plants each and I wind up giving away a ton of food to strangers when I run out of room for canning.
Oh yeah, if you build a table where the smaller plants will be raised you will have room to keep your seeds and canned foods all on the mobile garden and not have to worry about the limited space inside your RV or camper. I have lots of tips and tricks for making your small home larger and still able to have everything you want right there with you on the road. Hope this was helpful. Jenn Cameron