Is it possible to garden without bending or kneeling in the dirt?

I’ve always avoided gardening, because, to put it bluntly, I hate the earth. I hate grass and all its humidity and worms and bugs and who knows what else. I hate kneeling on the ground or bending too much.

However, it occurred to me that maybe I could venture some small-scale gardening by mitigating some of these things. Is it possible to garden standing with plants potted on a table, say at waist level? Maybe some herbs—cilantro, thyme, parsley. Maybe some simple vegetables or fruits? Say, chilis or tomatoes?

I know there would still be some level of bugs and mucking in dirt, but at least it would be “clean” dirt from bags, and I wouldn’t be kneeling on the disgusting grass.

Is it possible? Has anyone else done it?

Sure, there are container-friendly varieties of herbs (most herbs, in fact) and even some vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes and strawberries. If you get good seeds/plants and care for them attentively, you are unlikely to have to deal with bugs a lot (probably not at all if we’re talking indoor container gardening, aka kitchen houseplants).

Speaking as somebody who just dug over her vegetable plot and put in the herb garden this morning, complete with the superstitious ritual of kissing (admittedly in a VERY gingerly fashion) the first worm of the year to show up in the turned earth, I have absolutely no intuitive understanding of the anti-dirt reaction you describe. But hey, it takes all sorts to make a world, and if you can enjoy container gardening while avoiding too much physical contact with it, why shouldn’t you? Go for it.

How much gardening do you want to do?

There’s no reason why you can’t set up a workbench (with PT lumber) outside and have pots all around your house. In fact, that may be preferable because you can move them around depending on what you’re growing instead of only growing certain things because of the location of your garden (and how much sun it gets).

Also, small amounts of vegetables and herbs are very easy to grow indoors if you have a window that gets a little bit of sunlight or you want to invest in some grow lights or an Aero Garden and don’t mind every single person that walks into your house making the same stupid joke about how it looks like you’re growing pot.

Certainly, that’s how green houses do it. Small pots for small plants, large pots for larger ones.

Thanks for the advice and encouragement!

I suppose it’s hard to explain my particular neuroses, but when I’m on grass all I can think about is “What if someone has just spat a big gob of saliva and mucus right here? Or what if there is bird or dog poop that I can’t see?” Grass just disgusts me. In fact, grass disgusts me more than dirt does. And I hate the feeling of grass or dirt on my skin or clothes.

And the last time we tried planting some tomato plants, we turned up hundreds and hundreds of icky globular slimy things that we think were giant slug eggs. Since then my wife has refused to go anywhere near the lawn. She will give an earthworm on the footpath a wide berth.

You can grow (small) tomatoes indoors with the proper setup.

So what kind of bench would be advisable? Something purchased or something just knocked together with some boards and bricks?

As long as the table doesn’t fall over, I don’t think it matters. Your plants aren’t going to be touching it. It just needs to be sturdy enough and at the right height for you to do your potting, watering, harvesting, etc. comfortably.

If you’re going to be setting pots on it that have drainage holes but no saucers, you’ll want the material to be something that can withstand getting periodically wet and a bit dirty. Of course, if these are going to be outside then they’ll be getting wet from the weather anyway.

Containers are probably best for gardeners who want to avoid dirt and bugs, but if you do decide to plant the conventional way, I love my Earthway Garden Seeder. Once the soil is prepared, this little machine cuts a furrow in the soil with a tiny plow, the interchangeable seed plates drop the seeds in at the proper spacing, and the heavy chain that drags behind cover the seeds. It’s a backsaver for sure, and my favorite all time tool.

Go to Amazon and search for Gardening Bench and you’ll find all kinds of them and see which one suits your needs. Big ones, small ones, collapsible, permanent, plastic, metal, wood, one’s that will stay pristine, one’s that will weather and look used etc…

Or if you’re handy build something like this. Just make sure you do it out of pressure treated wood so it can stay out in the rain and be okay. Also, if you build it with drawers (which will be nice), be sure you make them in such a way that small animals can’t get up into them and then surprise you when you open it…unless you like that kind of thing.

If there’s an overhanging tree, you could set up a sort of sling.

I live in an apartment, and I’m doing container gardening right now. I have numerous pots of varying sizes, and even a couple of 5-gallon buckets with holes drilled in the bottom. I also have a Topsy Turvy tomato planter hung from an I-bolt screwed into the balcony for the apartment directly above me, although it’s still too early to plant anything in it just yet.

I have also found a few earthworms in the nearby dirt, and placed them into the bigger pots.

I don’t have any issues with dirt or grass, but I’d rather that my dog can’t trample the fruit plants . So I had my husband build a raised bed out of patio blocks for my strawberry plants. We just laid the blocks in a oval shape until it was high enough and then filled it with bagged soil. It’s high enough that I don’t need to bend or kneel. The dwarf fig and blueberry are in pots- I do need to bend to weed them as they are now too heavy to lift onto a table but the pots are small enough that weeding takes about a minute each.

Raised garden beds?

Or look into hydroponics – no need for dirt at all!

My back is giving me grief as I get older, but I have found a very small stool, like a foot or so high, works great for me. It’s true you have to stand and move the stool along as you work, but I find I can still do all my gardening without hurting my back! Maybe you could give that a try!

Another one here mentioning hydroponics. Contrary to rumor, it’s useful for more than just marijuana. Here is my most recent hydroponics set up. No dirt and no bugs, plants are at worktable height. There is some bending involved in setting it up, but it’s indoors on a clean floor.

You could grow an awful lotta lettuce in the coliseum.:cool:

Lots of people garden in raised beds for various reasons (build them high enough and there is little to no bending or stooping involved, and if you use a “soilless” mix, no nasty dirt to contend with - though icky grass and weeds will sprout in there anyway).

You also can buy cheap kneepads and wear gloves to minimize contact with the earth and what is living within it, though for me that detracts from the gardening experience much as if one donned safety gear and heavy duty condoms for sex.

I don’t really understand. Why would you want to garden if you hate everything associated with it?