Strawberry Jars for Easy Watering (Dave’s Garden)

Read at : Dave’s Garden Weekly Newsletter

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/964/?utm_source=nl_2008-04-21&utm_medium=email

How to Plant in Strawberry Jars for Easy Watering

By Cathy M Wallace (cathy4)
April 15, 2008

Something about the shape of strawberry jars has always appealed to me, I’ve admired well-planted pots and tried for years to make mine look as good. Every year it was something; the top plants didn’t grow, the plants at the bottom rotted or dried out. The owner of a local garden center took pity on me and gave me a few tricks that have made all the difference. Today, I’ll share them with each of you.

Make sure your pot is clean and sanitary before you start. Brush out any old dirt, wash and then rinse the pot in a dilution of bleach and water, about 1 cup of bleach to 2 gallons of water, then rinse again with clear water. Don’t let a clay pot soak in the bleach water, just rinse it.

Since the pots with flowers will sit on the patio, I like to put a coffee filter in the bottom to keep dirt from leaking.As you will see later, this also helps with one of the watering tricks. Cut a piece of wicking, such as a piece of old pantyhose, and poke it through the coffee filter. Have the panty hose hang part way out of the pot (about an inch). This helps keep the bottom plants from sitting in soil that is too wet if you’ve had a stretch of rain. It will actually wick water out of the pot. I know this doesn’t make sense, but it works. A detailed discussion of this process is found in the Container Gardening Forum.
Continue reading Strawberry Jars for Easy Watering (Dave’s Garden)

As prices go up, more people plant vegetables (Google / WSLS)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.wsls.com/sls/business/consumer/article/as_prices_go_up_more_people_plant_vegetables/9459/

As prices go up, more people plant vegetables
BY TAMMIE SMITH
Media General News Service

Published: April 17, 2008

Rajeswari Sasikumar has planted a backyard garden of tomatoes, eggplants, okra and peppers for three years now. This year will be no different. With her in-laws and 3-year-old daughter along, Sasikumar spent part of a recent afternoon shopping for plants. She eyed a pepper plant, put it back and picked up another. “I like it, and it’s economical too,” said Sasikumar, explaining why she gardens. “The main thing is I like it.” The garden plot at her Glen Allen backyard is about 5 feet by 8 feet. A few aisles away at Strange’s Garden Center on West Broad Street, longtime gardeners Ellie and John Mikalchus filled their cart with vegetable and herb plants. The retired couple lives in Columbia in Fluvanna County. “We started out thinking the garden was going to be smaller,” said Ellie Mikalchus. “Because everything has gotten so bad and food prices have gone up so much, we’ve decided to make the garden bigger.” Her garden is about 30 feet by 30 feet, and they also have blueberries, fig and other fruit trees on their land. “We really are trying to be a little bit more self-sufficient,” said Ellie Mikalchus. With bread selling for close to $3 a loaf and gas well over $3 a gallon, folks looking for ways to cut expenses have to look no further than their backyard. For avid vegetable gardeners, saving money is just a bonus. Continue reading As prices go up, more people plant vegetables (Google / WSLS)

Vegetable garden in pots (Google / Chicago Tribune)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/home/chi-0413edibles_newbieapr13,1,4081972.story

Vegetable garden in pots: How to get started

|Special to the Tribune

Container gardening and pocket gardens (Google Alert / ambatchmasterpublished)

Read at :

Google Alert – gardening

http://ambatchmasterpublished.blogspot.com/2007/08/getting-started-on-container-gardening.html

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Getting Started on Container Gardening

Any gardening enthusiast will tell you that there is no place too small for you to create your own garden. With enough knowledge and creativity you can make turn any space into a beautiful garden. One of the best solutions to the lack of space is container gardening. Container gardening involves using containers to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits. There are many benefits to container gardening the most important of which is that it requires less soil and takes up less space. People who live in apartment complexes, those with impaired mobility, and those who live in dry areas can still engage in gardening through this method. Container gardening also requires less time than growing and nurturing a big garden so those who do not have too much free time can start a container garden. Read More

People who are interested in container gardening can visit Simon Newman’s blog– container gardening

This website will teach you everything you need to know about container gardening It also provides additional information regarding small or pocket gardens.

Benefits of container gardening (Google Alert / Niches Articles)

Read at :Google Alert – gardening

Niches Articles

http://nichearticles.blogspot.com/2007/08/container-gardening.html

Recently, we wrote an “container gardening” article for a great container gardening blog, and we wanted to share it with you.

Here just a little preview of the article:

Any gardening enthusiast will tell you that there is no place too small for you to create your own garden. With enough knowledge and creativity you can make turn any space into a beautiful garden. One of the best solutions to the lack of space is container gardening. Container gardening involves using containers to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits.

There are many benefits to container gardening the most important of which is that it requires less soil and takes up less space. People who live in apartment complexes, those with impaired mobility, and those who live in dry areas can still engage in gardening through this method. Container gardening also requires less time than growing and nurturing a big garden so those who do not have too much free time can start a container garden. read more

Always if your interested in having us write some niche articles for you just email us at sacredmpp@gmail.com

Maple seedling in a plastic bottle (Willem)

Looking for opportunities to grow tree seedlings in plastic (PET) bottles, I transplanted a maple seedling (Acer pseudoplatanus) from my garden in a bottle and studied its ethology.

Growth was rather slow, but steady. It shows that young tree seedlings can easily be grown in plastic bottles. This would certainly help to reuse the bottles and thus contribute to combat environmental pollution.

Maple seedling in a bottle
Maple seedling in an inverted plastic bottle standing in a yoghurt pot. I keep the lid (stop) on the bottle and perforate the bottleneck just above the stop at two opposite sites. This is a sort of cheap self-watering system. One can also put one or two wicks through the perforations in the bottleneck to facilitate the uptake of water.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it).

Combating desertification and food insecurity with container gardening (N. ROTH / Willem)

Today, I received an interesting comment of Nancy ROTH on my former posting :

Great ideas for container gardening (Willem) August 14, 2007

I’m having a hard time imagining how this containerized approach, nifty as is appears, could be helpful at the scale needed to reverse desertification or to feed a major population. Isn’t it rather labor-intensive to create a separate container for each plant? Don’t the seedlings rather rapidly outgrow their containers? Then where do you plant them in the desert, which cannot sustain them?

Combating desertification and food insecurity with container gardening

Let us try to link different aspects of container gardening, desertification, desert gardening, food production, education and ecology.

Knowing that millions of plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags are littered every year all over the world, in particular in the desertified areas, it seems indicated to find incentives to get the local people aware these pollution problems.  Learning people, especially children, how these bottles and bags can be used to produce vegetables and young tree, seems to be a valuable (and acceptable) way to motivate the population to take care of the environment.  Less littering means less pollution, a form of desertification.

Motivating children to grow vegetables and young fruit trees in self-watering containers at school contributes directly to solve two major problems : pollution of the environment (less plastic flying around) and malnutrition (daily fresh food at school).  Moreover, the young fruits trees can be taken home at the end of the school year, planted around the house and thus contribute to reforestation (or afforestation) and provision of healthy fruits, not to forget the fact that the plastic bottles or bags should be buried at plantation time.

Considering desert gardening : it is quite difficult to improve the soil qualities in the desert, in particular its water holding and nutrients retaining capacities (too much leaching).  Let us imagine that in  small family garden a series of self-watering containers, e.g. plastic bottles and bags, are buried in the garden soil.  These containers can be filled with “improved soil” (for instance treated with manure).  As more water will be retained in the containers (less infiltration), more biomass can be produced with a smaller quantity of water and less fertilizer (less leaching).  This higher water use efficiency leads to higher food production and less influence of drought on crops (more food security).

Around the gardens, living hedges can also be grown in containers buried in the soil.  There is a significant enhancement in survival rate of the shrubs and trees in the hedges an those plants are growing quicker with less water.

From the educational point of view, container gardening is a fantastic tool for the teachers at school.  Less difficulties for the pupils to keep the school garden in good shape, closer contact with the growing plants in or around the classroom, opportunities to teach the kids a lot of things about differences in plant development from seed to vegetable or tree, are but a few benefits of this container gardening method.

You are most certainly right that it is hard  “imagining how this containerized approach, nifty as is appears, could be helpful at the scale needed to reverse desertification or to feed a major population”.

We are not claiming that container gardening itself can reverse desertification or feed  major population.  However, should every family apply container gardening, should every child at school take care of its own containers, it would create a new attitude, more awareness, less fatalism and neglect, more hope for a better future.

Of course, one needs a lot of support to introduce these ideas.  It will take a lot of time to convince people.  But the fact is quite clear : where container gardening is accepted people eat more fresh food and the environment is gradually cleaner.

It’s a simple as putting our shoes on !

Willem

Great ideas for container gardening (Willem)

1. A VEGETABLE GARDEN IN PLASTIC BOTTLES

My experiments on growing vegetables in plastic bottles have been very convincing up to now. Not only all the species showed a good development (except for the cauliflower which was infected), but I am more and more convinced that this gardening method can be a significant contribution to the combat of desertification, hunger and pollution of the environment (less plastic in the household waste). It can efficiently be used for “desert gardening“. Continue reading Great ideas for container gardening (Willem)

Bamboo nursery with plastic bottles (Willem)

We intend to grow many young bamboo plants in a nursery in S.W. Algeria.  These plants will then go to the Sahrawis refugee camps, where they will be used to produce a dense living hedge around the small family gardens.  Thorny mahogany shrubs will also be used in the hedges.

I did some experiments with tiny little bamboo plants (pieces of rhizome of only 1-2 inches/2-5 cm), which I planted in plastic bottles (see different former messages on this blog to see how we prepare these bottles).

 Bamboo in a bottle  bamboos grow well in bottles  p1010327-crop.jpg

(Click on the photos to enlarge them)

This method to launch a nursery with plastic bottles has given already some remarkable results.  I am getting convinced that this will lead to a series of opportunities to grow young bamboo plants in bottles, that are very easy to transport to the plantation site (anyway, much easier than the classical black grow bags used in nurseries).

Moreover,  it is much easier to cut the bottle vertically without breaking up the rootball (one of the current problems for people in forestry).  We recommend to bury the two bottle halves in the plant pit to get rid of the plastic.  So, we will create living hedges and meanwhile take care of the environment by eliminating plastic from the surface.

Mahonia seedlings in selfwatering containers (Willem)

The mahogany shrub (Mahonia aquifolium) in my garden has been flowering and fruiting.  Its dark blue berries are normally eaten by the blackbirds, but this year I collected them in time, kept them drying for a couple of weeks and then planted the dry berries in a tray.  Other berries were opened and their little 2-3 kernel were taken out and washed.

Last week some of the berries in the tray germinated (the kernels did not yet).  I have planted some mahogany seedlings in a small coca-cola bottle, transformed into a self-watering container (see my photo below).  I expect that these seedlings will grow well, so that I can take the young trees to S.W. Algeria, where I want to introduce them as thorny shrubs to form a strong living hedge around the small family gardens in the refugee camps.

Mahonia seedlings in selfwatering container
(Click on the photo to enlarge it)

My self-watering containers with the mahogany seedlings :

(1) In front, a leaf of my mahogany shrub.

(2) Two yoghurt pots in which I can easily pour some water (serving as a mini water reservoir or tank).

(3) In each pot, an inverted coca-cola bottle of which I cut the bottom, filled with potting mix and TerraCottem soil conditioner, with a mahogany seedling planted on top.

(4) I left the lid (stop) on the bottles, but perforated the neck, close to the lid, at two opposite sites.

(5) The bottles are sucking up water from the yoghurt pots through the holes in the bottleneck.

(6) Water is stocked in the TerraCottem soil conditioner.

(7) Mahogany roots are growing towards the gel lumps of the swollen polymers.

(8) With a minimum of water and fertilizer the seedlings will be growing into nice young trees.

(9) The bottles will be cut vertically in two halves and buried in the plant hole at the moment of tree plantation (avoiding pollution of the environment with plastic).