Urban Asphalt Organic Garden




Constructing "green space" as well as an organic vegetable garden on asphalt for an Atlanta-based Community Outreach Non-profit organization.

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Step 1: Building the Concrete Garden Box

Step 1.  Select a spot that gets lots of daily sun.  Build out a garden box using concrete blocks 4 X 12 X 14 (on sale here in GA for 25 cents apiece!).  We used approximately 80 blocks for a raised bed garden measuring: 16 in. H x 3 ft L x 9 ft W.

Step 2: Preparing the Garden

Step 2.  Pour a layer of mulch into finished shell/bed.  Gardening on asphalt /concrete is possible but it is important to include these next few steps to keep the soil from overheating over the concrete.

Step 3: Bottom Layer of Garden

Step 3.  Lay unwaxed cardboard on top of mulch.  The mulch & cardboard help cool the bed as a layer between the actual soil and asphalt.

Step 4: Adhering the Landscape Fabric

Step 4.  Construct a wooden frame within the concrete structure for landscape fabric to be affixed to.  This will help retain the soil mixture within the bed. We forgot our staple gun on this day and used tacks instead, but a staple gun would be a much easier way to go.

Step 5: Creating Nutritious Garden Soil

Step 5.  Layer the "lasagna" inside soil content with:
a) dried leaves
b) shredded paper
c) compostable items such as egg shells, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable renderings
d) organic soil
e) manure
f) top soil

Step 6:

Step 6.  Place plants in top soil with 1 ft spacing and gently water the newly placed plants.  We were planting heirloom tomatoes, marigolds, oregano and thyme.

Step 7: Finishing the Garden

Step 8.  Carefully add about a 2 inch layer of mulch on the top layer to retain moisture within the bed.  Enjoy your garden and don't forget to water it daily!!!!

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    7 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    Isn't there a problem with mold given no drainage at bottom?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    If you fill as you build the walls, you can use place the plastic between tow layers of the bricks to hold it in place. No staples amd no wood to buy/scavenge.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Proyects like yours are very important!
    You show people how to be a little bit more independent from the big companies.
    Good work!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    nice project! i wanted to ask if after a couple of years steps 1-3 need to repeat again to create the smart layers again.

    nicely done!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    What a great project. I want to make an urban asphalt organic garden now!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I like the idea that the structure can be moved in the future.
    Extreme no-digging gardening!!!