Tank farm

Watering tanks now house a vegetable garden

When horticulturist and landscape designer Greg Corman moved into a new Tucson home, he seized the opportunity to create a carefree vegetable garden that would take up little space while yielding abundant produce. Corman hit the bull's-eye by turning galvanized steel livestock-watering tanks into raised beds.

Purchased at a local feed store, the round and oblong tanks range from 4 to 8 feet across and have 2-foot-high sides. In the bottom of each tank, Corman drilled several 1-inch drain holes and covered them with screen to prevent the soil from washing out. He filled the tanks with a mix of 3 parts composted organic matter and 1 part each soil, sand, and pumice. He waters the plantings by hand.

Corman grows his crops from seed. The best producers include salad greens, snap peas, and amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), an ancient grain whose leaves make a nutritious substitute for spinach.

DESIGN: Greg Corman, Gardening Insights, Tucson ( www.gardeninginsights.com or 520/603-2703)

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