Here is some good news about Joseph TOLLEDOT’s experiments with container gardening (bottles, buckets, etc.) :
“I saw your bottle garden and it’s looks like it’s going well. Mine were doing excellently, but we had very strong winds one night and the terrace looked like a tornado had been through! I patched up the plants as best as I could and they are now doing well again. Some I have transplanted into large buckets made into self-watering containers – in my opinion, definitely THE way to grow and use up all the water efficiently! Nearly every weekend I can pick several tomatoes, peppers and radishes to eat. The lettuce has finished now and it’s far too hot to plant more. I’ll wait till it starts to get cooler. Loads of different hot peppers (I got the seeds from a free offering from GardenWeb) are now starting to produce pods. I never realised how beautiful and different they can be!
I’ll let you know when I get some new photos up in my Flickr page.”
Thanks, Joseph ! This sounds fantastic and very promising for application of bottle (or bucket) gardening in very dry areas, like for instance our UNICEF project in the refugee camps of Algeria (Sahara desert). Over there, the Sahrawi people only have a very limited amount of drinking water. Although everyone accepts the importance of local production of fresh vegetables, it still sounds difficult to convince the authorities to provide some more water to irrigate their family gardens and school gardens.
All kinds of bottles can be used for growing all kinds of plants (vegetables, herbs, trees) with a minimum of water (less infiltration in poor sandy soil, less evaporation in desertlike circumstances). (Click on the picture to enlarge it).
Therefore, I believe that container gardening would offer interesting possibilities to limit irrigation water to the strict minimum.
Could you, Joseph, send me a detailed description of your self-watering buckets, for I think it may contribute to food security for these people in the desert ? Sincere thanks for your humanitarian contribution.