Using a Child's Swimming Pool as a Garden

July 19, 2011

We do not have a place in our backyard to plant a "regular" garden, but we did have room on our patio deck to do something. I came up with an idea for a small garden using a child's plastic swimming pool. I poked holes all over the bottom for drainage, added fertilizer and soil, and planted tomato and pepper plants. I did the same thing using an old plastic barrel-cut in half lengthwise for basil, cilantro, and radishes. Patio garden using child's pool and barrel

As you can see, all my "garden" products are growing well. Close up of pepper growing in child's pool bed.

By LisaE from WI

Update: We have had extreme heat the last week, and I wanted to show how much my tomatoes, green peppers, and herbs have grown and that using a plastic pool really does work for those with limited backyard space. I just took these pictures. Tomatoes grown in a child's swimming pool.

Cilantro growing in a child's wading pool.
Green peppers growing in a child's wading pool.

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July 19, 20111 found this helpful
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What a great idea! Looking at the pictures this idea does work well as everything seems to be growing nicely.

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March 18, 2010

I do not have the money to go buy the small trays to start seedlings. So, we had a little kid swimming pool we would use to remove the fish from the pond to clean it. I put two bags of top soil in it.

Start Seeds in a Kids Swimming Pool

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June 22, 2022

How do I stake up my tomato plants in this little kiddy pool?

Tomatoes being grown in a kiddie pool.



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June 22, 20220 found this helpful
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If you don't have access to tomato cages, you can try making a teepee frame out of three yardsticks and twine. This works best for small plants such as determinate tomatoes. The trick is to make sure you have 8 inches depth for the sticks and a second pair of hands to help. Water the soil first, to make it firmer. Put in the sticks at 3 intervals along the edge. Bring them together at the top and have someone hold them. Now tie a tight knot in the twine and tie it tight to the top of one stick (or staple it), then wind the twine around each stick twice as you make 5 circles toward the bottom. Once there, cut off and tie the twine to a stick to secure it.


Gently place the stems along the twine in a fashion to best support the main stem.

I hope I'm not making it sound harder than it is! :-) Good luck.

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June 22, 20220 found this helpful
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How deep is your pool?
Did you put several drain holes in the bottom before you filled with soil?
It looks like your tomato plants are already too large for tomato cages, but you could still try.
If your pool is only 12 inches tall it will be difficult to make a cage sturdy enough to hold up a heavy tomato plant.

I'm not sure if you can make any kind of stake sturdy enough to hold large size tomato plants in a shallow kiddie pool as usually only small cherry tomato plants are recommended.


It is usually recommended that stakes/cages be driven into the ground at least 16" but preferably 24".
You can try using 4-5 foot wooden stakes or PVC and try placing the stakes close to the tomato stalk - maybe one on each side of the stalk and use twine to tie the stalk to the stakes at several intervals.
This will be tricky as there is just not enough soil to stabilize the plants and keep them upright.

A teepee might work, but I believe your plants may be too large and your pool too small to make this a successful project at this point. You may have to settle for vine tomatoes this year.

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