Wading Pools as Raised Garden Beds

If you have limited space for a traditional garden or a raised bed garden, you might consider kids wading pools as raised beds.  You might even find some on sale very soon. In the picture above, the owners have built a rooftop garden with these pools.

Growing on Concrete or Grass

It’s a crazy idea, I know, and you can’t grow every vegetable in one of these pools on concrete, but you can grow a number of vegetables and flowers.  Maybe you want a garden close to the kitchen door but you only have a concrete patio there.  Pools are perfect for growing food on concrete or on grass.

How to Prep

Most wading pools are at least nine inches deep which is plenty of soil for broccoli, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, kale, chard, onions, and beets which all have shallow roots.  Punch drainage holes in the bottom of the pool, place 4-6 bricks or boards under the pool for drainage, fill it up with good potting soil and plant it.

Wading Pools in the Garden

If you want to use these pools as raised bed planters in a garden plot, you can cut the bottom out of the pool (leave a two to three-inch band in the bottom), place it on the soil in your plot, fill it with good soil, and grow other kinds of vegetables that have deeper root systems. You still have a raised bed because it’s filled up to just below the rim (about 8in) with good loose soil and the roots can go through that and move on into the garden soil below if they need the depth.

Medium Rooted Plants

If you find one of those double layer wading pools with higher sides, you can plant even more vegetables.  Some medium rooted plants are cucumbers, turnips, beans, zucchini and yellow squash, carrots, peas, and some flowering perennials.

Deep Rooted Plants

Plants that have deep roots include tomatoes, winter squash, pumpkins and parsnips.  Asparagus is deep rooted, but should not be moved once planted, so plant it where you can leave it alone as it comes back year after year.

It’s not too late to plant a summer garden.  Happy Gardening