Strawberries in plastic bottles (Willem)

 Already published on my desertification weblog on May 24, 2007

Strawberries in plastic bottles

May 24, 2007

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

In former postings I described already the possibilities of growing vegetables in plastic bottles, e.g.:

Container-Free Balcony Gardening (Katie Humphry)

Mon potager dans des bouteilles en plastique / My vegetable garden in plastic bottles May 10, 2007

Gardening in a bottlerack

Jardinage dans une étagère de bouteilles May 12, 2007

Gardening in a bottlerack or simply on a bottle May 14, 2007

Today, I bring you some nice pictures of strawberries growing in such plastic bottles. Please look at the healthy condition of the flowering plants, bearing young, ripening fruits. I strongly believe that people in the drylands (but in fact everyone) can use this method to grow food crops with a minimum of water and fertilizer. Massive use of this kind of containers can help us to limit plastic waste, as also plastic bags can easily be used as containers for gardening in the vicinity of the house (and later on buried in the soil). Continue reading Strawberries in plastic bottles (Willem)

Gardening in a bottlerack (Willem)

 Already published on my desertification weblog on May 12, 2007

Gardening in a bottlerack

May 12, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in gardening kids, horticulture/gardening, desert/desert gardening, container/bottle gardening, family gardens, school gardens, success stories – best practices, water, soil, desertification, sustainability, technologies. trackback , edit post Being convinced there is a nice future for growing vegetables or other plants in plastic bottles, filled with a mix of potting soil and a soil conditioner like TerraCottem, I am continuously thinking about variants to enlarge application possibilities.

As in the drylands extreme drought, and thus extreme evaporation, is one of the main problems for agriculture and gardening, I suggest to limit this evaporation by using a plastic bottle to obtain a higher water use efficiency. Indeed, water can be stocked in a volume of potting soil, wherein a water absorbing soil conditioner can play its supplementary water stocking role. Please have a look at my former posting on this blog:

Mon potager dans des bouteilles en plastique / My vegetable garden in plastic bottles

May 10, 2007

This message contains info on how to transform a normal plastic bottle into an efficient container for growing all kinds of plants, even young trees (to be transplanted when reaching sufficient height).

Today, I present you an idea on a “bottlerack“, useful under different conditions : Continue reading Gardening in a bottlerack (Willem)

Comment on “Mon potager dans des bouteilles en plastique / My vegetable garden in plastic bottles” (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on May 11, 2007

Comment on “Mon potager dans des bouteilles en plastique / My vegetable garden in plastic bottles”

May 11, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in container/bottle gardening, horticulture/gardening. add a comment , edit post

This morning I received a fine email message, putting me in a good mood.  It contained a comment on my yesterday’s posting:

Mon potager dans des bouteilles en plastique / My vegetable garden in plastic bottles

May 10, 2007

Thanks, Mary, and looking forward for your observation notes (and photos ?).

Read at :

Africa54

http://www.africa54.com/

Hi,
this is amazing, I had worked today in my small garden outside. I ran out of space and I still have seedlings, tomorrow first thing in the morning I’m going to try this experiment.
I’m glad I looked at Bobs 34cents blog today and saw your comment, that made me get here.
Fantastic, will keep my results posted here and on Africa54.

Mary

For those interested in africa54:

Africa54: Share your knowledge here benefit communities

Africa54 is a social cultural exploration of the African continent and its diversity. Issues such as information technology, sustainable agriculture, community economic development, food and Nature will be our regular fare. Your expertise in the topics covered, will be of use here, and will benefit many villages. We are looking for partnerships with NGO’s that have experience in eradicating poverty in Africa.

Mon potager dans des bouteilles en plastique / My vegetable garden in plastic bottles (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on May 10, 2007

Mon potager dans des bouteilles en plastique / My vegetable garden in plastic bottles

May 10, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in hunger / famine, soil conditioning, desert/desert gardening, container/bottle gardening, horticulture/gardening, success stories – best practices, experiments, technologies, water, desertification, pictures. 1 comment so far , edit post

Mes expériences avec des légumes poussant dans des bouteilles en plastique ont été très convaincants jusqu’à ce jour. Non seulement toutes les espèces se sont bien développées (sauf le chou-fleur qui a été infecté), mais je suis de plus en plus convaincu que cette méthode de jardinage peut être une contribution significative dans la lutte contre la désertification, la faim et la polllution de l’environnement (moins de plastique dans nos déchets). C’est une excellente pratique dans le domaine du “jardinage dans le désert“.

Afin de motiver un grand nombre de personnes à faire des essais pareils avec des légumes de leur choix (ou d’autres plantes), je vous montre quelques dessins et images. Je vous souhaite déjà beaucoup de plaisir et des observations intéressantes. Vous m’envoyez un petit rapport (si possible avec photos) ?

—————————–

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“.

In order to motivate a large number of people to set up similar trials with their choice of vegetables (or other plants), I bring you some drawings and pictures. Wishing you a lot a pleasure and interesting observations. Will you send me a small report (if possible with some photos) ?

Perforated bottles
Cliquez 2 fois pour agrandir le dessin

(1) Bouteille en plastique avec bouchon au sommet et le fond troué (drainage); (2) Bouchon enlevé et partie conique de la bouteille coupée; petite fente coupée dans la paroi du cône; (3) Cône glissé jusqu’au fond dans la bouteille; (4) Bouteille remplie avec du terreau contenant le conditionneur de sol TerraCottem hydroabsorbant, bien entassé jusqu’à 5 cm du sommet; (5) Graine(s) ou plantule(s) dans le terreau bien arrosé.

Beaux dessins faits par mon fils Paul avec le programme SketchUp (gratuit!).

Double click to enlarge the picture

(1) Plastic bottle with stop on top and perforated bottom (drainage); (2) Stop taken off and conical part of the bottle cut away; small slit cut in the cone; (3) Cone pushed to the bottom in the bottle; (4) Bottle filled with potting soil mixed with the water absorbing soil conditioner TerraCottem, well compacted up to 5 cm from the bottle top; (5) Seed(s) or seedling(s) in the soaked potting soil.

Nice drawings made by my son Paul with the SketchUp program (free!).

2007-03 Decapitated bottle
Une bouteille préparée : Le cône laisse entrer de l’air par le trou foré dans le fond de la bouteille; il facilite aussi l’évacuation d’un excès d’ (drainage).

Prepared bottle : Through the cone, air is penetrating in the potting soil via the hole in the bottom of the bottle; it enables also the evacuation of an excess of water (drainage).

2007-03 : 4 bottles
Bouteilles de dimensions différentes avec des légumes

Bottles of different dimensions with vegetables.

2007-03 Bottle collection
Mon petit potager dans mon bureau.

My small vegetable garden (potager) in my office.

——————

J’espère recevoir vos commentaires et les rapports sur vos expériences.

I hope to receive your comments and the reports on your experiments.

Growing Vegetables in Pots (About: Gardening)

Already published on my desertification weblog on May 10, 2007

Growing Vegetables in Pots (About: Gardening)

May 10, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in container/bottle gardening, horticulture/gardening, success stories – best practices. trackback , edit post

Read at :

About Gardening

“Marie Iannotti – About.com Gardening Guide” <gardening.guide@about.com>

Growing Vegetables in Pots

You don’t need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables. Many vegetables lend themselves well to container gardening. With some thought to selecting bush or dwarf varieties, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container vegetable gardens.

What you can grow in a container vegetable garden is limited only by the size of the container and your imagination. How about a Summer Salad container? Plant a tomato, a cucumber and some parsley or chives all in a large (24-30″) container. They grow well together and have the same water and sun requirements. By late summer they might not be very pretty, but they’ll keep producing into the fall.

Renew used potting soil (Google Alert / Gardening-Yardening)

Already published on my desertification weblog on May 10, 2007

Renew used potting soil (Google Alert / Gardening-Yardening) May 10, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in container/bottle gardening, soil conditioning, horticulture/gardening, fertilizer – nutrients, soil. trackback , edit post Read at :

Google Blogs Alert for gardening

Gardeneryardener

http://gardeneryardener.blogspot.com/2007/05/renew-used-potting-soil.html

Renew used potting soil

Old habits die hard, especially when it comes to gardening. At a time when recycling is considered a must rather than a movement, many gardening books still recommend replacing potting soil with fresh material annually. Wow, what a waste of valuable material. I’ve talked to growers at dozens of public and private gardens across the country, and they all reuse their potting soil from year to year. The caveat of course is a devastating disease that wipes out an entire pot, but that’s a rarity. It has happened to me. Forgetting to water doesn’t count.

To re-energize my potting soil I empty the contents of the container on a large tarp or work surface. I use the back of shovel or a garden fork to break up, mix and remove any vegetation from pile. This “waste” is added to the compost pile or dug into the veggie garden or holding bed.

When empty, pots with a whitish crust of salts around the edges should be scrubbed with a brush and washed with a bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, plus a few drops of dish soap and then rinsed.

Next, I mix the used container soil with fresh potting soil or compost at a rate of 2 parts used to 1 part fresh material and then dump it back in the pot.

When working with large containers, such as oak barrels, I take out about half the soil and break up what’s left with a garden fork. Fluffing the lower layer of potting soil helps to reduce compaction and improve drainage.

This year, I’m using the new premium compost, OrganiMax ( available only in southern Michigan; next year national), to enrich my potting soil. Along with top-grade compost, it’s laced with soil microbes, kelp and a host of other goodies, which I think will make my container gardens rock. It will be better than the original potting soil.

Container-Free Balcony Gardening (Katie Humphry / Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on May 9, 2007

Container-Free Balcony Gardening (Katie Humphry)

May 9, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in gardening kids, container/bottle gardening, food / food security, horticulture/gardening, desertification, sustainability, ecology – environment. trackback , edit post

Read at :

Google Alert for gardening

Katie Humphry

http://katiehumphry.wordpress.com/2007/05/08/container-free-balcony-gardening/#comment-1281

Container-Free Balcony Gardening

 

From my grandmother:

I thought you might be interested in growing cherry tomatoes in a bag of potting mix. Before lying bag down flat put a few small holes on one side for drainage. Then turn over to the other side and cut holes big enough to put a plant in each. You will need to have some way to put stakes in for them to climb up.

I think she has her bags lying on the ground, but I bet you could keep the bags of potting mix upright, too (with some holes poked in the bottle for drainage). Cheaper than buying pots. Continue reading Container-Free Balcony Gardening (Katie Humphry / Willem)

My comment to Paul Duxbury’s “Potager” (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on May 4, 2007

My comment to Paul Duxbury’s “Potager”

May 4, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in gardening kids, desert/desert gardening, women/youth and desertification, container/bottle gardening, land / land degradation, success stories – best practices, agriculture, forestry, ecology – environment, water. trackback , edit post

I like Paul’s contribution very much (see the former message on this blog). Although it contains mainly some general views on the matter, it may invite some people to start “potagering” at home. Well done, Paul !

Let me just make a comment on one sentence : “Most potagers are grown in raised beds that allow better control over the drainage and reduce the chance of the vegetables from becoming waterlogged.“. Alright, but !

I am very much in favor of setting up a vegetable garden in containers instead of in full garden soil, and this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, many people do not have the pleasure of disposing of an open gardening space. When Paul says : “Potagers are particularly good for people who live on smaller lots of land or only have room for a small garden“, I am adding : “and for all those living in apartments, and having some space for a number of containers“. Continue reading My comment to Paul Duxbury’s “Potager” (Willem)

Tomatoes in containers for food in refugee camps (HGTV / Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on April 30, 2007

Tomatoes in containers for food in refugee camps (HGTV)

April 30, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in desert/desert gardening, women/youth and desertification, container/bottle gardening, soil conditioning, horticulture/gardening, water, agriculture, rural development, technologies. trackback , edit post

Interested in container gardening for its potentialities to set up vegetable production in the drylands or deserts, I started some experiments in plastic bottles and plastic bags at home in Belgium (see former messages on this blog). Currently, I am checking publications on container gardening for their “tips” to enhance our chances to grow food in the refugee camps of the Saharawis in S.W. Algeria. Here is an article that may help us to grow tomatoes in containers, and why not, in plastic bags or bottles.

Read at :

HGTV

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_vegetables/article/0,1785,HGTV_3650_1397349,00.html

Tomatoes in Containers

No room at all to garden? Not to worry. You can have a beautiful vegetable garden in pots. Here’s how to culture a tomato in a container: Continue reading Tomatoes in containers for food in refugee camps (HGTV / Willem)

Container gardening for food production, combating desertification and gardening in urban areas (Willem)

 Already published on my desertification weblog on April 21, 2007

Container gardening for food production, combating desertification and gardening in urban areas

April 21, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in hunger / famine, soil conditioning, desert/desert gardening, container/bottle gardening, food / food security, horticulture/gardening, drought, water, desertification, technologies. trackback , edit post

Here are some general ideas on CONTAINER GARDENING, more and more successful for food production in the drylands, for combating desertification and for growing plants in urban areas. Continue reading Container gardening for food production, combating desertification and gardening in urban areas (Willem)