Gardening in containers at school (Kidsgardening)

Already published on my desertification weblog on May 25, 2007

Gardening in containers at school (Kidsgardening)

May 25, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in container/bottle gardening, gardening kids, horticulture/gardening, school gardens. trackback , edit post

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Gardening in Containers
Growing in Small and Soilless Spaces

So, you have more asphalt than soil in your schoolyard; students who, because of physical challenges, cannot easily access your outdoor garden; or simply little growing space. Consider what cool containers filled with vibrant colors, living lunches, or ethnic plantings can do for school entrances, classroom windows, or a corner of the community — not to mention, the curriculum. Your students certainly wouldn’t be the first to try their hands at confining garden plants. Historically, evidence abounds of plants perched in pots, but perhaps the most famous example is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, built by King Nebuchadnezzar II in the sixth century B.C. near modern-day Baghdad. These immense gardens were not actually hanging, but consisted of a daunting number of container gardens cascading from a terraced hillside. We’re not suggesting anything nearly so elaborate. Even the smallest outdoor nook can sport a thriving crop of vegetables, herbs, and flowers in containers. With some creative thinking and recycled materials from baskets to old shoes, your students can design special theme plantings, entice butterflies and other insect visitors, or create products such as hanging fragrance gardens or “patriotic” baskets to sell or donate.

Unlike conventional gardens where plants are, well, rooted in place, containers offer flexibility; you can move them to meet your students’ needs or the plants’ needs. And b
ecause plants in containers depend, in large part, on the gardener to meet their needs, they can inspire a variety of student-designed growing investigations. Here we share the essentials for growing in containers. The Curriculum Connections section features some sample container projects and offers ideas for making container culture an investigative learning experience. The Resources section describes Web sites, books, and container gardening tools to help you dig deeper.


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Urban container gardening (Google Alert / The Ottawa Citizen)

Already published on my desertification weblog on April 25, 2007

Urban container gardening (Google Alert / The Ottawa Citizen) April 25, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in container/bottle gardening, horticulture/gardening, soil, water. trackback , edit post


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Google Alert for : gardening

The Ottawa Citizen

The joys and perils of urban gardening


Kate Heartfield, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

For me, this year, Earth Day lost a capital letter. It was about earth this year: the brown stuff with worms in it. As an urbanite with an environmental bent, April 22 has always been a time for me to think about Earth, the planet. It’s been a time to conserve electricity, to walk, to reduce, re-use and recycle garbage. This year, it was also about tending the four tomato plants growing at an alarming rate on the top of a bookcase in my downtown apartment (one of the few places my cats can’t jump). It was about getting closer to the earth. Actually, it was about getting closer to a seedling mix of sustainably harvested peat, compost and perlite. But you know what I mean. Continue reading Urban container gardening (Google Alert / The Ottawa Citizen)

Gardening on Patios and Terraces (About: Gardening)

One knows how difficult it is to grow plants in very dry regions. A lot of information is published on xeriscaping, which corresponds in fact with growing drought adapted species under dry conditions. It becomes more problematic when we have to grow food crops in dry areas, most of them having a high transpiration rate. Drought tolerant vegetables are quite exceptional. Therefore, in order to have more people living in desert-like circumstances growing fresh food, we are nowadays promoting container gardening to solve those problems. Indeed, the growing of vegetables (producing leaves and fruits) in containers offers opportunities to enhance water and fertilizer use efficiency (no infiltration of water in a permeable soil, almost no leaching of nutrients). Moreover, costs for containers can be limited to almost zero by using plastic bottles or bags (see the former messages on my desertification blog: <>).

Marie Iannotti’s message on “Gardening on Patios and Terraces” describes ideas along the same lines.
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About: Gardening – Free Online Courses
“ Gardening Guide” <>

Small Space Garden Design: Gardening on Patios and Terraces

from Marie Iannotti
Our definition of garden is changing with our lifestyles. If you don’t think a patio or terrace garden qualifies as a proper garden, you would be amazed at what’s being grown on rooftops and ally ways in our cities. Patios and terraces have become outdoor rooms and they are being decorated to be an extension of the home. And this gives them an innate advantage over being a garden bed. You can garden to your heart’s content and never feel like you’ve left civilization. For many people, especially those who are downsizing to condos or with young children at home, gardening on the terrace, whether in containers or in the surrounding soil, the perfect circumstance. Continue reading Gardening on Patios and Terraces (About: Gardening)