Gardening: How to Prepare Your Car this Season

Prepare Your Car For Garden Season

Spring has sprung and we’re ready for some gardening!

But a quick trip to the nursery can result in a very dirty car full of leaves and soil. So, how do you prepare your car for the gardening season and avoid those big messes? The trick is being prepared so that even unplanned purchases don’t mess up your nice clean ride.

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Protecting Your Car During Garden Season

A washtub or other plastic bin or box can help to steady taller pots which may turn over spilling soil all over your car. ?Erica Mueller

Keep a Floor Covering in Your Car at All Times

Whether you leave it out on the floor of your cargo space or keep something folded up in a basket, it’s a good idea to always keep something in the car that will protect your carpet. Some people like to special order a rubber mat made to fit their vehicle’s trunk or cargo space. My husband keeps a large rubber floor mat (basically a rubber rug made for a large entryway) in the back of our SUV. I like to keep a folded up contractor grade trash bag in the trunk of our car. In the past, we have also made do with a 6’x8′ tarp folded to fit the space. Whatever you choose, the material will help to protect your car’s upholstery from not only the occasional dirt and dust from plants, bags of soil and mulch, but also from cold groceries that sweat, meat packages that leak, camping gear that may have soot on it, and more.

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A tarp, and a contractor grade trash bag. Both great options for protecting your car’s upholstery. ?Erica Mueller

Ideas for Protective Floor Coverings that Will Prepare Your Car for Gardening Season

Contractor trash bag. These are very heavy-duty, extra-large trash bags. They will cover most car’s cargo spaces with ease, and they fold or roll nicely and take up hardly any space when not in use. The only downside is that they are thinner and slicker than some of the other options so they may slide around a bit.

Plastic Tarp. You can buy small 6’x8′ tarps at just about any hardware store. Fold to fit your space, and leave it there! We kept one in the back of our Durango for years and only had to re-fold and reposition a handful of times. It was brown and matched our interior pretty well, and it protected the car from everything we threw back there. Including firewood.

Rubber floor mat. If you can find one that fits your cargo space just right, a floor mat is an excellent option. These are usually heavy and made to be put on carpet or slick surfaces so they aren’t likely to slide around or wrinkle with use.

Custom cargo mats. The automotive department at your local big-box store may carry cut-to-size all-weather floor mats. Sometimes these are only for the foot-space of the front and back seats, but some stores also carry them for cargo spaces. If you can’t find one locally, look online. These should come in a variety of common colors so you can find one to match your car’s interior. You can also check with your dealership to see if a custom one can be ordered just for your make and model.

In a pinch, any trash bag or piece of plastic will do to prepare your car for gardening season. Some nurseries even offer you a piece of plastic off a roll when you check out. But I try not to rely on them having some, just in case they are out that day.

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I love this old Coca Cola crate for keeping my potted plants upright. It’s also great for carrying the plants to the garden! And under this, you can see the large rubber floor mat that we use to protect our cargo space. ?Erica Mueller

Boxes Are Great for Protecting Your Cargo Space

Potted plants tend to tip and roll while you’re driving. If you plan to pick up some plants while you’re out, stick a cardboard box or plastic bin in your car before you leave. Some nurseries will offer a plastic flat to hold multiple small pots, but even larger pots are more secure in a box or crate. The box will also make unloading easier when you get home!

If you’re like me and you’re prone to picking up pretty flowers and bushes on impulse, keeping a box or bin in the car, along with a pair of gloves and a folded up trash bag may be a good idea. Gardening is always a good idea ?

Happy planting!!


A web developer, digital marketing consultant, auto journalist, truck expert, photographer and lover of gadgets, Erica is a textbook... More about Erica Mueller