a weekly feature by Nat Bloomer/Santa Rosa News
Mike planted black beans, okra, bell peppers, peas, eggplant, and Indian hot chile this spring.
Try painting the tire white--it will absorb less heat and reflect light back to the plant's leaves. The inside of the tire holds water, preventing water from draining into the soil. This helps the plant to survive those missed watering days, especially here in the high altitude desert of New Mexico.
Mike Bhakta's Garden
American Inn, Route 66, downtown Santa Rosa,
SANTA ROSA—Mike Bhakta's Garden is the Garden of the week in Santa Rosa. When you see Mike’s Garden you immediately think, “What a great idea!” Mike uses old carpet and used tires in his garden. The tires and carpet would normally be wasted, filling up valuable landfill space. But in Mike’s Garden, old carpet and used tires are re-used to conserve water by reducing water consumption and evaporation. The carpet also prevents weeds from sprouting, which in turn reduces the use of herbicides. He places the carpet in a large area, cutting lengthwise slots, or evenly spaced holes for the vegetable plants to grow. Placing a soaker hose for watering under the carpet further reduces water evaporation. Mike also uses old tires that would normally go to a landfill, the tires now become useful, water saving, above-ground planters. Mike is growing black beans, okra, Indian hot chile, bell peppers, peas, and eggplant. So next time you see some old carpet or tires, think vegetables! Thanks Mike, for letting us take a look at your garden.