Keeping up your narrowboat garden

Do you aspire to become the next Monty Don? With urban gardening having become a popular phenomenon, it’s easier than ever with an array of containers and growbags to convert the externals of your boat into a floral oasis. Gardening on your narrowboat is one of the greatest pastimes, decorating the outside of your boat and even providing some fresh produce for your dinner table.

The basics

The roof and deck of your narrowboat can provide the perfect foundation for container gardening, enhancing the appearance of your boat with lush green leaves and colourful blooms. Choose seasonal flowers to add a pop of colour in amongst your evergreens. Geraniums, in particular, provide vivid colour whilst keeping those pesky flies at bay.

Narrowboats are very exposed to the elements, so be wary of wind and heavy rain. Choose hardy plants that can withstand ferocious weather and ensure that you keep to a strict watering schedule to compensate for the drying effect of the wind - even in heavy rain the water simply bounces off the leaves, meaning the soil remains dry. Be sure to water regularly to keep your blooms lush and healthy.


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Kitchen garden

Bear the fruits of your labour (literally!) by growing your own fruit, veg and herbs. What could be more satisfying than filling your plate with fresh salad ingredients or cooking hearty meals through the winter with the root veg from your roof? Please bear in mind that it’s important not to use canal water when watering crops that will be consumed because it could infect them with waterborne parasites or contaminants.

Things to consider

Whilst it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement of your new pride and joy, it’s important to consider the safety and practicalities of your flourishing new garden.

Important things to remember are:

  • Weight of containers on the roof - don’t overload! Doing so can disturb steering and cause risk of your narrowboat overturning.
  • Height - allow for clearance under bridges and through tunnels.
  • Ropes - be careful not to snag your ropes or knock any pots off into the water.
  • Secure your pots - use grip mats and ensure your containers are tied in place to prevent your precious new cargo tumbling overboard.
  • Protect your paintwork - using designated gardening tubs and growbags will reduce the potential for damage.

Wanting to fully transform the outside of your narrowboat? Choose the perfect new name with our narrowboat name generator.

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