Growing Vegetables in the Driveway: A Square Foot Gardening Experiment

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By Robin and Ed

This summer we are embarking on an experiment; we're growing our vegetables in our driveway. We have gardened for many years, but recently our backyard has become unfriendly to garden plants.  Our hand was forced - we needed to find an underused, sunny spot to grow our veggies.

Our latest experiment: growing vegetables in our driveway!

Does it sound a bit crazy?

For lots of reasons it isn't for us. For one, we only have one car (and we save over $7,200 a year this way).  And two, we have a crazy long driveway (last year we made it weed-free).  We've quite easily fit 5 cars in it - such a waste of space for us.

Our hypothesis is that
cars and carrots can coexist in harmony. 

But besides the alliterative value of those words, we have some other good reasons to give some of our driveway over to plants:

  • Our driveway is south facing and has near constant sun all day.  No other available part of our property has sun like this.  In a late spring like this one, we will value every warm day we can get.

  • We want to try container gardening - in particular Square Foot Gardening. We read about it years ago, but when we had an "in-ground" garden, it made less sense. We are all really excited to have a garden that starts weed-free and is easy to keep that way.

  • It is easier to get the kids involved. They are older now, and can help more. Plus the container aspect clearly defines where the garden is and isn't, so they won't walk on the tender seedlings while they frolic to and fro all the live long day.

So this summer we will share our Driveway Garden experiment. We hope you'll follow along.  And hey - if anyone reading has already done this and will share some tips or "Watch-Out-Fors" along the way - we'd be truly thankful.

Our next post will be how we made the raised garden boxes DIY!

What do you think? Waste of a good parking spot or useful source of produce?

Keep reading here for more of


  1. I wish I could be with you on this one but our drive leads from the road directly to our detached garage/hubby's shop. But I often lament the same thing, the sun exposure is best on our driveway.
    We have too many trees on the perimeter of our yard and even the south side of our house is in shade too many hours a day.
    Raised square foot gardens are a great way to grow- best of luck! Looking forward to following along.


    1. I guess we've found the only benefit to not having a garage, Cindy! I didn't think about that before, most people would need to drive the whole length of their driveways. Do you have a small patch that you could put a raised bed? The ones we've built are just 4'x4' - maybe you've got a little spot? Anyways, you can watch us bumble through it and see if it's worth it. :)

  2. I am really interested in this experiment. We are embarking on a garden experiment of our own, so I'm ready to learn! We've also got a long driveway that's underused and gets a lot of sun. This could be something for us to try next year. Want to see how it goes for you first. :-)

    1. So far so good, Rita! We were a bit concerned the soil would leak out the bottom after it rained. But, after 3 days of rainstorms it's all staying put. We're completely biased, but we think they look so pretty there too! :)

  3. I think you put sound reasoning into it and it is worth the try. It won't hurt the driveway (I don't think) and you can always remove them if you become a 5 car family. Good luck. I rooting for you (pun intended).

    1. I love a good pun and an encouraging comment! Thanks, Barbara! So far so good - we have sprouts and all the soil is staying put. :)

  4. Grow a Herb Garden - This is easy.. grab a terracotta pot, put it by your door and tuck in thyme, basil, lemongrass, parsley and chives. In another pot (cuz it will take over) plant cilantro. Rosemary is a perennial as is thyme so go ahead and plant them together... one is tall, the other as a trailing plant over the edge... you will have years of herbs.


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