Home: Garden
Printed Garden   (+14)  [vote for, against]
Order online, plant your whole garden in ten minutes.

Bob's special delivery had finally arrived: a big box. He opened it and extracted the large roll of black woven plastic, noting on the sheet stapled to it exactly how it was to be oriented. Bob had given this idea some thought while online just a week ago, placing a highly customized order that took into account his desired level of involvement, his preference for heritage or hybrid vegetables, his local climate and many of the other, typical gardening variables that didn't usually consider until he had a seed packet in hand, discovering too late that the variety of seed he'd bought was not the best choice for his area. The website had guided him through the selection process. He was confident, this time, that the varieties would be good for his climate.

He hefted the bulky roll onto his shoulder. Even though it was big, it wasn't too heavy. No more so than a very cheap tarpaulin of similar size. He carried it to a patch of ground he'd already prepared, set the roll at one end, and gave it a good kick.

The roll unrolled. When it got to the far end of the plot, the roll came to an end. It was now a long folded sheet of fabric. Bob walked back and forth along the fabric, opening first one and then another layer of fabric. Now he walked here and there on the fabric itself, pushing cheap plastic stakes through the fabric to nail it down against wind. When he had finally tapped the last one all the way down, he stood up and wiped his brow. It was starting to get a little warm, but that wouldn't be a problem. Now all he had to do was set up the sprinkler. Water would leak through tiny pores in the fabric - big enough to pass water, but too small to permit much weed growth.

Bob's garden was planted. All of it. The cheap fabric had been prepared at the factory with exactly the varieties of seeds he'd specified, exactly where he wanted them. The factory machines worked like a gigantic inkjet printer, slitting the fabric at each seed site, then gluing the slits back together with a water-soluble adhesive - and a seed. The seedling would grow through the slitted opening. Over the summer, intense sunlight would cause the fabric to break down and degrade, but by that time the plants would be too tall and healthy to suffer much depredation from weeds. By the time next spring rolled around, the fabric would be completely degraded and adding fluff to the topsoil.

Bob looked across the street at his crazy neighbor and her stunning herb garden. No one could ever deny that the herb garden was something to see, but that was because her herb garden, in full bloom, rendered a gigantic green image of Bozo the Clown. Assuming smaller plants and using tighter spacing, the factory had done a fine job of producing Bozo in great detail. It gave Bob the willies.

Bob looked next door at his more industrious neighbor and was impressed. That guy was really out to cut his grocery bill. Next Door Guy had simply ordered full sheets, the maximum size the company would sell, and created a farm in his yard. It had taken only one day to do, and only two beers to recover from. He'd gotten a better rate than Bob, too, since it was a fast and easy job to simply fill a sheet with one variety of seed. The SeedPrinter went faster without having to switch from one Printer seedhead to another, and more time and expense was saved by skipping the more labor-intensive step of trimming the sheet to a custom size or shape.

Crazy Across the Street Lady and Next Door Guy could do their thing their own way, that was fine with Bob. He had his garden. Soon, he would have fresh veggies. And next year, he would have another Printed Garden.
-- elhigh, May 15 2007

Garden Rolls http://www.yankeeha...Category_Code=YGIFG
Not customized, though. [DrCurry, May 15 2007]

sp hefted

Garden roll technology certainly exists (see link - it was referenced on one of po's ideas), so as long as you're careful to only allow workable combinations of seeds (same palnting time, watering requirements, etc.), sounds like a plan to me. +
-- DrCurry, May 15 2007

That was xenzag's garden hose, right? But having it custom printed is new.

(+) Yay, things that look like other things.
-- jutta, May 15 2007

I went looking for seeds in a roll on the HB. Didn't see anything; it didn't even occur to me to look anywhere else. I got this idea from greeting cards my wife and I made, using paper we made from scratch and added seeds to the pulp before pressing. You have to carefully burnish such paper by hand, so the seeds aren't destroyed.
-- elhigh, May 15 2007

Lovely. Does it come in cannabis? [+]
-- nuclear hobo, May 15 2007

Nice, although I'm not sure this technology would cope with tubers and rhyzomes. What if you wanted a nice bed of irises, or a crop of potatoes?
-- hippo, May 16 2007

They dont need the same amount of water at first: The water holes can be different sizes or quantity.
-- Voice, May 16 2007

The customization earns a +.
-- shapu, May 16 2007

I'm not sure exactly how commercial potato farming (for example) is done. I think it wouldn't be too difficult to make a device to plant seed potatoes, but why would you want to? Potaotes are so cheap it almost isn't worth the trouble, unless you're a spud snob and need the really unusual varieties. This idea would be worthless for someone wanting to raise tubers on a commercial scale, and that really isn't the target market anyway.
-- elhigh, May 16 2007

random, halfbakery