If flavour rather than bulk is your priority

Photo credit: The Telegraph

Spuds on tap: pick what you need for your meal and leave the rest to grow 

Photo: GAP Photos/Gary Smith

How to grow potatoes in pots

Not only fantastic if you’re short on space, growing potatoes in containers make for a delicious crop

By Lia Leendertz

That sweet, nutty taste and the texture like slicing butter just doesn’t exist in the shop-bought potato, and I wanted it back in my life.

The answer has been to start growing them in pots. There are lots of ways in which this beats growing them in the ground, and a few in which it really doesn’t. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. This is not the way to grow if you are after bulk and high yield. It is also high maintenance and you will need to remember to water regularly and well.

However, if flavour rather than bulk is your priority then this is a lovely way to grow them.

Potatoes grown in pots become almost a different vegetable. One of the reasons they are so good is that they grow so fast, giving them a soft, moist texture and almost non-existent skins. This also happens to be the secret behind the flown-in earlies: they are grown in places where the soils warm early in the year, so growth is speedy. But most of us don’t garden in a south-facing sloping Jersey field by the sea. After the chill of winter most UK soils are slowly warmed through by a still-weak sun. But pots can be moved to a sheltered corner to bake, onto a sunny balcony or patio, or even into a polytunnel or greenhouse. This will help increase the heat in the compost and therefore the growth rate of the potatoes.

Read the full article: The Telegraph

Combine the colors

Photo credit: Container Crazy CT

One year, these three plants were used in two pots and the foliage rich result was eye-catching

Yellow shrimp plant with two companions make the perfect trio in two pots

Container Crazy CT
Container Crazy CT

Foliage Lasts Throughout the Season

One of the benefits of focusing on plants for their foliage features is foliage lasts throughout the growing season.  In many cases, annual plant blooms will wither away towards the end of the summer from heat exhaustion or repeat blooming.

So when you use foliage with a captivating thriller plant, like the yellow shrimp plant, you result with a stunning combination which is easy to assemble and maintain.

pachystachys-lutea

Echoing Foliage Colors

Notice how the dark purple plum like color (violet-red color on the color wheel) of the sweet potato vine’s heart shaped leaves are repeated in a band of the same rich purple plum color in the leaves of the Coleus ‘Kong Rose’ plant.

Repeating a color of one plant in another plant is a way to add impact to a design. This holds true in containers, patio pots, and in gardens of the ground.

Complementary Color – Yellow and Purple

Read the full article: Container Crazy CT

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).

Growing container corn (maize) – (Google Alert / The Star)

Read at :

Google Alert – gardening

The Star

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/246381

Patio-gardening ingenuity takes root from a corny idea

Container vegetables require at least six hours a day of direct sunlight to produce cobs

Aug 18, 2007 04:30 AM


Special to the Star
Denis Allman has struck gold on his deck – corn gold, that is. Soaring seven feet on a small fourth-floor patio, the leafy giants produce full sized cobs, and have neighbours gasping in disbelief. When Allman couldn’t find sweet corn he liked in supermarkets, he started to grow his own. In pots. Continue reading Growing container corn (maize) – (Google Alert / The Star)

Planting mix for containers (Google Alert / The Union)

Read at :

Google Alert – gardening

The Union – Nevada County Local News

http://www.theunion.com/article/20070818/NEWS/108180154

Container gardening: Soil is king

By Carolyn Singer
» More from Carolyn Singer
12:01 a.m. PT Aug 18, 2007

Early in the summer, the deer discovered the choice selection of plants on my porch. Gone was the beautiful white Impatiens in a blue container. In the same meal, my cherished red Begonia and scarlet pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) also disappeared. I should know better. This is not the first summer the deer have enjoyed my container gardening efforts in what I thought was my “safety zone.” But gardeners are ever optimistic, and I am no exception. Fortunately, this year I also decided to use hanging baskets for a few plants. So far, the deer have decided it is not worth it to climb onto the porch (three steps), climb up on my wicker chairs and stretch to reach those choice morsels hanging over the porch railing. Continue reading Planting mix for containers (Google Alert / The Union)

An underground vegetable garden, container gardens and bottle gardens (GardenDecorDen)

Today, I am reading an interesting comment of “GardenDecorDen”  on my former posting :

Bottle gardening – some experiments March 25, 2007

” I am “into” gardening and related things such as garden decor accessories.  My brother is building an underground house.  Perhaps we can combine our skills and passions and come up with something truly wonderful.  Let me explain.  In the areas that are totally underground, I can see the possibility of having an underground vegetable garden, a number of container gardens, and bottle gardens.  Consider this:  no matter now cold it gets, even with the heat totally turned off, it never gets below 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the underground areas—even in the coldest winters!  Add a little heat, an irrigation system (not hard to do since my brother had a well dug), some fluorescent lights, and an underground garden is a definite possibility.  And consider this:  since everything is underground, there is no need to build a 6-foot fence to keep the deer out, no need to be concerned with a “bug lights” to get rid of mosquitoes and other flying insects, or no need to devise a plan to get rid of the grasshoppers that eat everything.   Wow, what a neat thought!  Thanks for your post that has started the creative process and placed the what-if possibilities on over-drive!”

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I am wishing you full success and hope you will send me some report with photos on the way you did it.

Willem

Food production in transparent plastic bottles and cups (C. ASH, J. TOLLEDOT, Willem)

Here is nice additional comment of Charles ASH on :

Recycling plastic bottles and pots (Charlesash / Willem) August 3, 2007

“You don’t really need to cover the transparent plastic because there appears to be no harm or set back to the plant if you don’t. It’s mainly cosmetic. Not only that, seeing the roots creates more interest. When we used them we got many youngsters interested because we could explain easier and show “what grows underground” of a plant. It created huge interest and some of those youngsters went on to a career in horticulture. So my suggestion is, don’t permanently cover them. Enjoy a sight you do not normally see.

We don’t have any problems removing plants, even well established or large plants, from plastic plant pots. They always come out with the root ball intact and unharmed. They may need a gentle tap once or twice but they always come out ok. And we get to use the pot again!

Charlesash”

Thanks, Charles !  It encourages me to continue my efforts introducing plastic bottle gardening in schools of developing countries.  I strongly believe that every kid in developing countries should set up its own vegetable garden in plastic bottles and shopping bags, not only at school, but also at home.

At school, they can be helped by the teachers, at home, by their mothers.

The result would be :

1. A remarkable enhancement of fresh food production, particularly in desertified areas.

2. An interesting improvement in the situation of food security, malnutrition or famine.

3. A very profitable improvement in public health (less deficiencies, less diseases.

4. Better environmental  conservation and protection (less littering of plastic).

5. Enormous educational value.

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Will this appeal on all stakeholders (decision makers, authorities, donors, NGOs, local people, …) one day be heard ?  I hope it will happen before the end of my days, with all my heart !

Who can resist the beauty of vegetables and fruits growing close to or even in our house or school ?  Look at this beautiful picture of Joseph TOLLEDOT :

Party cup Pepper

Black manaqualana Pepper growing well in a recycled party cup (J. TOLLEDOT, July 25, 2007)