Eric Hanson wrote:
You might be able to get away with straw bale gardening which will allow you to get some immediate crops while the soil beneath conditions. A word of warning though: Straw bale gardens require scrupulous watering--probably every day if not twice a day--in my own fairly humid region (Southern Illinois). In a more arid area, the watering requirements will only get more serious. It can be done, you just have to keep up on it. I tried it one year with only limited success, but the upshot was that even though I only got a small amount of crops, I did get some nice garden bedding as a result.