Living in an RV can be fun as the lifestyle is liberating. But one of the downsides is you can’t have floor space for garden. But don’t let that get you down as these RV garden ideas will show that yes, it’s possible to grow and nurture plants in your motor home.
Easy RV Garden Ideas
How to Grow a Garden While Living in an RV Full Time
The following steps will show you how to be a full time RV gardener. It’s not as hard as it may seem provided you know the steps and what your options are.
1. Using Containers for Gardening
Container gardening allows you to have fresh produce. Now you don’t have to buy these plus you’re assured they’re natural. By growing plants in containers it is more manageable and you don’t have to deal with weeds too much.
Small containers are portable so you’ll be able to move the containers to the best spots and get sunlight. There is less need to worry about pests as the compact design makes management easier.
2. How to Choose a Container
The first thing you need to do is find a container that is suitable for your RV. Look for window boxes or portable containers. Some of these containers are designed specifically for RVs, but really even coffee cans may be used as a container for plants.
Once you’ve parked your RV, take the containers outside so they can get some air. You can also place these under an awning. Make sure the containers are exposed to the maximum amount of sunlight possible.
The containers must have proper drainage so the plants don’t drown in too much water. Put stones at the bottom of the containers so the roots have support. Make certain the containers are the right size for the plants you’re growing there.
3. Make Your Own Compost
Use your food scraps and leftovers as soil for your plants. Get a container and fill it halfway with leaves and shredded paper. Put food scraps in it and red worms. The worms will transform the paper, food and leaves into soil.
4. Collect Your Own Water
There is no need to use your water supply. Next time it rains bring out some buckets and use rainwater for your plants. You can also use the catchment section on your awning to fill containers with water.
You can also collect water from downspouts, gutters and drip spouts. You can simply position your buckets where the water runs off and use the water for your plants.
5. What Plants Should You Grow?
You should grow plants that thrive in containers like the following.
- Fruits – Most fruits grow nicely in containers in particular strawberries. Bananas, tomatoes and cantaloupe need bigger containers than strawberries but it’s still manageable.
- Vegetables – Lettuce, spinach and mushrooms are easy to grow in containers, as are potatoes, cucumber, summer squash and peppers.
- Herbs – If you want to grow herbs then you may try oregano, rosemary, parsley, basil, thyme and sage.
- Flowers – Want to give your RV some natural scents and colors? Consider growing flowers like petunias, snapdradgons, violets, geraniums and alyssum.
How to Build an Indoor Herb Garden for your RV?
An herb garden is not only for homes but also for RVs. Fresh herbs not only add variety to your RV garden but also makes it easy to prepare meals.
1. Benefits of an Indoor Herb Garden
The biggest benefit is having herbs at your fingertips. Grow the herbs and pick up the one you need for cooking. Herbs are also pleasing to the eye and don’t need a lot of maintenance unlike other plants.
2. Creating an Indoor Herb Garden
If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when growing herbs, it is that herbs need as much sun as possible. The ones you’ll need like oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley all need sunlight. If you’re going to grow these, they must be set near the brightest window possible.
Of course that is a bit challenging given that your RV is mobile. Place your herbs at windows that face east so the herbs get enough sun during the mornings. So even if you’re always on the move, the sun will always shine on the herbs.
To start your garden, buy the following:
- Pots with drainage systems
- Seeds to nurture your herbs
- Potting soil
Ceramic is ideal as it prevents rotting of herbs by keeping them dry. You also have the option to buy mature plants if you want to use the herbs in your food right away.
There is no shortage of herbs you can nurture. Aside from those that we have already mentioned you can also add cilantro, mint, lemon balm and chives. Some herbs are for food while others are for decorations, and you can grow both.
As your herb garden grows, label each container with the herb’s name. Also keep in mind that some states impose restrictions on transporting plants as they may carry diseases or pests.
One way to overcome this restriction is to use a hydroponic growing system. There are several of these available online and at affordable prices.
3. Caring for an Indoor Herb Garden
Regardless of the herbs you decide to grow you’ve got to take care of them to reap the benefits. Herbs have different light and water needs so you’ve got to look into each one.
Basil for instance, needs a lot of light. You can either put them outside or use grow light indoors. Some plants require fertilizer while others don’t. If you’re busy it’s best to go with herbs that don’t need a lot of maintenance. A bit of sunlight, some water and those herbs will be ready in just a few weeks.
4. Indoor Herb Garden Planter Ideas
The windmill planter is the most popular way to grow herbs on RVs, but you can also try the hydroponic systems or hanging gardens. If you’re searching for inspiration you just need to go online and you’ll find a lot. Growing an herb garden isn’t that difficult provided you’ve got the patience and know what needs to be done.
Gardening in Your RV
Whether the plants are for food or decor, they’ll benefit from filtered light. The good thing is RVs produce the environment naturally so it won’t be a problem. The key is to position the plants near windows.
Some herbs benefit from direct sunlight but others need a bit less. If it’s the latter you should partially open the blinds.
You can avoid root water logging by putting stones at the containers’ bottom. Once the stones are in place, don’t forget to add compost – organic or soil will do fine – as it stimulates growth.
With compost, sunlight and a drainage system, the plants will receive the appropriate nourishment it needs to grow. A well designed drainage system also speeds up growth. And one of the things that needs to be done is to install anti-skid pads on the pots so they don’t slip and slide while you drive.
You may also set up an area in your RV for the plants so they remain stable. One thing you can try is to put a hanging herb garden above the sink. This is not only attractive but also consumes little space. Even better is when you water it flows directly on the sink.
Canvas shoe holders are also good options. They’re small enough to hang onto doors so they don’t take up floor space. You can also put these container plants on an awning for much needed sun exposure.
There are also a lot of plants that you’ll be able to grow indoors such as calla lilies, Bromeliads, Anthuriums, Kalanchoes, gold pathos, ferns, ivy, Bonsai plants, peace lilies and Dieffenbachia. You can also grow a wide array of vegetables and fruits. Once those fruits and veggies grow however it is best to take them outside.
Tips and Suggestions
There is no lacking of options when it comes to choosing containers for plants. Aside from those I already mentioned you can also use Rubber Maid containers. In fact any container with holes in the bottom can be used for plants.
Some RVers even use soup cans or 2 liter bottles that have been sliced. 5 gallon boxes can also be used. The choice is really up to you and the type of plants that you want to nurture and grow.
When you have decided on what seeds to plant, place them in potting soil. Compared to garden soil, potting soil provides more nutrients and allows water to drain quickly.
Flowers, plants and vegetables need 6 hours of sunlight at least. Ensure they get the right amount of nutrients.
If you are going to stop for a while, use this opportunity to bring the plants out so they can get some sun.
Gardening is fun and is a rewarding experience and a practical one too. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can cut down your budget. I hope this guide was able to demonstrate that yes, you can be an RVer and gardener.