Gardening Aboard

I often hear people say they don't want to move onto a boat because they don't want to give up their gardening. There is no reason you can't have a garden on a boat!

I have a green thumb, so making the plants grow is not hard for me, the trouble was finding a place to grow them on a sailing sailboat! 

I began by hanging pots from IKEA on the stern rail and lashing them to the rail so they wouldn't fall off when we heeled over. I also tied the stem of the plants to the rail so if they did fall out of the pot, they wouldn't be lost. These pots didn't let me maximize the available real estate, but they got me started.

Then we had a storm on the Chesapeake which ripped the leaves off of all the plants and then whipped the dirt out of the roots. Needless to say, they all died.


My next version was made out of recycled water bottle felt which was sewn to the rails. They provided plenty of space for the roots with a small opening. The idea was to reduce the amount of dirt that could be blown away as compared to the pots. 

The planters themselves were stitched together using polyester line (UV resistant) and the holes had grommets placed in them to keep the line from tearing out the top.

The plants liked it! I was able to grow lettuce, chard, peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, snow peas, basil, chives, and pansies (my favorite flower)

The garden grew wonderfully, but the salt spay we experienced on our summer cruise in the Atlantic killed the garden. They fair well up in the Baltimore Inner Harbor because the water is mostly fresh. If we had flushed the plants more often with fresh water, they might have survived. We didn't want to waste water, so we neglected them. The chives survived, but the rest died. 

If you are trying to convince your significant other to move aboard and they express concern about losing their garden, just remember that there is always a way to accomplish your needs aboard.