Introduction: Grow a Garden Mat
The picture is of my beat up garden shed mat. It is on its last leg. I thought it would be fun to grow a garden mat.
This is a work in progress. Plants grow at their own speed. This is at least a season and more like two or three season summer project. If you are willing to invest the time the result so far looks very promising
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Nature is doing the heavy lifting so virtually everything is from the earth.
One Wheel barrel or other suitable shaped container
A weed or plant with very prolific roots
Moss or some other decorative material
A heat gun or other heat source
Time, lots of it
Step 2: Creeping Charlie
Every year I deal with mounds of creeping charlie. A common weed in Chicago. This project sort of came about by accident. I had prepared the wheel barrel with holes for drainage and filled it with dirt. I planted herb seeds but creeping charlie took over. The next season (this one) I was annoyed and didn't feel like weeding so I tried flipping the dirt. The whole thing flipped as a sheet exposing a dense mat like root structure. I am now letting the other side grow over. Consult your local botanical garden for advice. The Chicago botanical garden was very encouraging.
Step 3: Drying
I plan on doing this later this summer. I usually dry my tea on non windy days outsides on sheets. I plan on using a heat gun to dry after sun drying. I have some smaller samples but I am not 100% sure how this will go. If this does not work I may look at the oven or an outdoor fire as a way of further removing water from the mat.
Step 4: Decorating
I have a large patch of moss adjacent to my home. Once the mat is dried I plan on setting the moss on the mat with the negative of the word Garden or Home. Really you can decorate in whatever way suits your taste. I love the look of garden made objects like recycled wood planters or plant made signs so I am really looking foward to the finished mat.