aleoca333
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Simple garden out of concrete ground?

Hey guys! So me and a few of my schoolmates are going over to Indonesia to perform community service and grow as persons in the process! We will be spending five days at an high school, and we will be creating a simple garden for them. Currently, the area is just a 7x7m square made of nothing but concrete, there is no soil or anything like that. Their have basically requested us to beautify and garden-ise that area.

So what ive thought of is

- Build somekind of curving pathway through the garden, with pots lined along the side of the pathway. And then we can put those information sheets on each of the plants, to make it more educational, like "This plant originated from blah blah blah".

Do you all have any suggestions of the layout/design?

Do you all think is possible to purchase and put aritificial soil on the cement? Note that we cannot bring the soil from home, so we must purchase from within indonesia itself.

Also, for a simple garden like this, what plants (preferably self-sustaining) would you all recommend?

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rainbowgardener
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I have raised beds built right on top of my concrete patio:


https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=105961&highlight=raised+beds#105961


They work very well, I grow all kinds of things in them, including full size tomato plants. They are made from stacked fence posts. In order to garden on the concrete, I think you would need something like that to contain the soil. It could be blocks or bricks or stones or whatever kind of material they have around.

I don't know what artificial soil would be. It should be possible to purchase bagged topsoil, and hopefully bagged compost or aged manure as well. If the school wants some gardens, probably there are a few gardeners around. Ask around, see if someone can't bring in some compost and garden dirt from their yard.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

aleoca333
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Hey thanks! How long would building elevated brick beds take? Because we roughly have a manpower of around 30 people and we have around 3+ days to do this. Do you have any other important advice/things to take note of while doing this?

cynthia_h
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Don't forget to allow for drainage. Water needs to be able to leave the beds/containers so that the plant roots don't become water-logged, leading to root rot.

Cynthia H.
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resin
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Instead of the pots why not large planters ? say 4 of them with a central cross path between them? Simple and functional. What were you intending to grow in them?

For the planters use soemthing like timber sleepers - treated pine or hardwood should last 10 years at least. Like what Rainbowgardener above has done in his link. Place about 50mm(2inches) of gravely sand in the bottom for drainage(and some drainage hols in the base). Planters prob should be about 1/2 metre high but still this depends on what you are intending to grow. Should be easily done in 3 days with 30 people if you can get the materials.

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rainbowgardener
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Three days with 30 people you could build a village!! Absolutely you can do this project. I've just been on a Sierra Club service project. We had 3 work days with 15 people. We built about a mile and a half of edged trail from scratch, maintained other trail, cleared dead wood out of a bunch of forest (to reduce chances of major canopy fires), built a big fire pit with a circle of boulders around it, cleared a 20' diameter circle of vegetation away from the fire pit, built a bunch of benches around the fire pit, and cleared and levelled an area for a picnic table.

Re the drainage which is important. My raised bed boxes just sit on the concrete. I didn't do anything special for drainage, the water just seeps out from under. But being wood, it isn't totally flat against the concrete. With brick you might need to do something more. But just leaving some small open spaces (unmortared) between some of the bricks should be enough.

I agree that bigger planters and raised beds will give more flexibility about what can be grown there than using pots.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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