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)

Growing tomatoes in container (Google Alert / The News – Sentinel)

Already published on my desertification weblog on April 13, 2007

Growing tomatoes in container (Google Alert / The News – Sentinel)

April 13, 2007

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

Read at :

Google Alert : gardening

The News – Sentinel

http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/living/17066810.htm

Gardening Q&A

By Nancy Brachey

McClatchy Newspapers

(MCT)

Q: Please tell me how to grow Big Boy and heirloom tomatoes in containers. How big should the pot be and what kind of soil?

A: You have a great opportunity ahead, one that is shared by many people living in townhouses and apartments with little garden space. It is not hard to grow tomatoes in containers such as large black nursery pots, which people may have left over from their tree-planting. However, I don’t think you are choosing the best plants for this project.

The best choice would be one of the tomato varieties that grow to a set height, rather than produce vines that require a serious amount of staking and training. Continue reading Growing tomatoes in container (Google Alert / The News – Sentinel)

Bottles and other containers for gardening (Google Blogs Alert for : gardening / Garden Hacker)

Already published on my desertification weblog on April 4, 2007

Bottles and other containers for gardening (Google Blogs Alert for : gardening / Garden Hacker)

April 4, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in horticulture/gardening, capacity building, soil. trackback , edit post

Read at :

Google Blogs Alert for : gardening

Garden Hacker :

http://gardenhacker.blogspot.com/2007/01/how-to-hack-greenhouse.html

Greenhouse Hack

“Gardening can be an expensive hobby and if you look often times the gardens we admire the most are lush and full of plants that are maintained by people other than the actual owner. The average gardener may not have the time or resources to achieve the same look. And for the person wanting to start a garden a visit to costly garden centers can often be disappointing when the realization of how much money is involved in gardening. The alternative is to visit big box stores where prices are cheaper but selection and plant size that is driven by volume, again leaves the would-be gardener feeling uninspired.

So how do you achieve the same look without the bourgeois greenhouse or environmentally draining set-up of grow lights? Continue reading Bottles and other containers for gardening (Google Blogs Alert for : gardening / Garden Hacker)

Direct sowing-gardening (Google Blogs Alert / Gardenhacker)

Already published on my desertification weblog on April 4, 2007

Direct Sowing-Gardening (Google Blogs Alert / Gardenhacker)

April 4, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in horticulture/gardening, capacity building. trackback , edit post

Read at :

Google Blogs Alert for : gardening

http://gardenhacker.blogspot.com/2007/04/direct-sowing-gardening-terms-hacked.html

Direct Sowing-Gardening Terms Hacked

“Direct sowing has to be the easiest and least expensive method of seed starting for any garden. When you don’t have time to make soda bottle greenhouses or use the sandwich bag method or don’t want to spend money on buying soil or peat pellets direct sowing your seeds is the way to go. Simply sow your seeds according to the recommendations for planting depth and spacing in your garden or container garden where you would like for your plants to grow. Many of my seeds that require stratification I will just place in the ground where I want them to grow and will let the natural freeze-thaw-cycle do the work for me. There really isn’t a more fool proof method of seed starting than direct sowing.

Container gardening : vegetables (Google Blogs Alert / About: gardening)

Already published on my desertification weblog on Mach 30, 2007

Container gardening : vegetables (Google Blogs Alert for: gardening)

March 30, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in food / food security, horticulture/gardening. trackback , edit post

 

Growing Vegetables in Pots

Read at :

<http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetablepatch/a/ContainerVeggie.htm>

From Marie IANNOTTI

“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. This makes a great housewarming present, too. Continue reading Container gardening : vegetables (Google Blogs Alert / About: gardening)

Bottle gardening – some experiments (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on March 25, 2007

Bottle gardening – some experiments

March 25, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in fertilizer – nutrients, sustainability, horticulture/gardening, food / food security, hunger / famine, desertification, ecology – environment, water, poverty, agriculture, soil, rural development, research. trackback , edit post

In Februari 2007 I started some small experiments with what I call “bottle gardening“. I try to show that plastic bottles can be used as containers (see also “container gardening” informer messages on this blog). The main objective is to use plastic bottles for vegetable production in the drylands in order to save a maximum of water for irrigation. Within the framework of the combat of desertification, it is important to get a maximum of agricultural or horticultural production with a minimum of irrigation water. Moreover, enhancement of food production should also be realized in the drylands and on relatively poor soils.

Should these experiments be successful, a myriad of bottles, otherwise littered and dramatically degrading the environment, could play a very interesting role in sustainable food production for the rural people. Continue reading Bottle gardening – some experiments (Willem)

Container gardening – A summary (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on March 21, 2007

Container gardening – A summary

March 21, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in horticulture/gardening, hunger / famine, desertification, agriculture, technologies, research. trackback , edit post

As I am currently studying possibilities to grow vegetables in plastic bottles and plastic bags, dwelling around all over the surface of the Earth, I felt the need of summarizing some data on container gardening.

The title of this message says clearly what it is : A SUMMARY, not more, not less. But maybe it will be useful for some “starters” in container gardening. Instead of searching the Internet, they will find a number of general guidelines, which may be useful before getting their hands dirty.

2007-02 bottle gardening
Click on the picture to enlarge it.

2007-02 – First steps in a small study on growing vegetables in plastic bottles : a lettuce seedling in a decapitated coca-cola bottle with a perforated bottom, and a cauliflower plant in a mineral water bottle. These plants grow well !

2007-02 – Les premiers pas dans une petite étude de la culture de légumes dans des bouteilles en plastique : une petite laitue dans une bouteille de coca-cola décapitée avec le fond de bouteille perforé, et une plante de chou-fleur dans une bouteille d’eau minérale. Ces plantes poussent bien ! Continue reading Container gardening – A summary (Willem)

Kids gardening at school or at home (Willem)

Already published on my desertification blog on March 17, 2007

Nice comment Hans STROCK (Great Big Plants) March 17, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in success stories – best practices, horticulture/gardening, food / food security, hunger / famine, capacity building, desertification, water, forestry, rural development, ecology – environment, poverty. trackback , edit post

I received this nice comment from Hans STROCK:

http://greatbigplantsblog.com/

greatbigplants@buzzoodle.com

Thanks Willem! I’m glad you had a chance to check out the site! Sorry about the delay in response, things have been hectic lately. It’s good to see other people who agree with keeping kids involved with gardening. It’s always important to give children some culture and experience they can take with them when they get older. I think all children should have something fun and creative they can do. It helps them feel good about themselves. Keep up the good work!”

Well said, Hans ! In the western countries, so many people are complaining about the fact that young people are only interested in TV-programs. Why don’t we offer them a chance to do something useful and fun, instead of leaving them hanging (or laying) around in front of the TV-set? Impossible to change their attitude ? Yes, if you start early enough (e.g. with pubers). And what if you start even earlier, let’s say in primary school? I am sure kids love to do practical gardening in a very simple way. As a biology teacher I always got fantastic reactions when my pupils (12-18 years old) got an individual project to grow different plant species from seeds. They did it in plastic bottles at the window sills in my classroom ! They learned how to grow things with a strict minimum of water ! And they loved to write their personal report with observations and drawings. That is: EDUCATION WITH A PRACTICAL SENSE.

I am currently working out a similar project for the kids in the refugee camps in Algeria. Those children will most certainly be happy to have a “useful task” to grow vegetables in plastic bottles. There is not only the educational aspect of learning something about gardening, but one can also imagine how proud the kids will be to bring from time to time some vegetable (lettuce, parsley, onion, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, etc.) home. An later on they can always use these new skills (capacity building) to start gardening for their families. Wherever they are or will be! Continue reading Kids gardening at school or at home (Willem)

Best way to keep container soils moist? (Willem)

Already published at my desertification blog on March 9, 2007

Best way to keep container soils moist?

March 9, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in fertilizer – nutrients, success stories – best practices, soil, water, technologies. trackback , edit post

Working for more than 20 years already with water absorbing polymers (also called “crystals” in gardening circles !) and having developed the soil conditioning method TerraCottem (see http://www.terracottem.com), I was very much intrigued when I encountered on the internet a discussion forum on “the best way to keep container soils moist“.

Let me take you through some nice and sometimes amusing contributions about several topics related to moist soils (!): Continue reading Best way to keep container soils moist? (Willem)

Bottle, bag and cup gardening progress (Tolledot)

Published before on my desertification blog :

TOLLEDOT : bottle, bag and cup gardening progress

June 7, 2007

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

Today, I received a very encouraging email from Joseph TOLLEDOT, with a series of new photos of his successful container gardening (in plastic bottles, bags and cups).

Some of his pictures can be seen on the Flickr page :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8511374@N06/

Here are the pictures with comments he has sent to me :

Peppers
2007-06 Four peppers in one bottle (double click to enlarge the picture)

Peppers
2007-06 “Four peppers in one bottle could have been too much, but they are now flowering and one pepper is visible.

Lettuce
2007-06 Lettuce in tray covered with a plastic sheet : the outer leaves were harvested twice and they kept growing well.

Tomatoes
2007-06 Tomatoes in party cups (first row) and plastic bottles (second row), all growing well.

Strawberries, tomatoes and peppers
2007-06 Strawberries (first row) , peppers and tomatoes (second row) developing in different kinds of plastic containers (recycling plastic !).

Tomatoes 2007-06
2007-06 Joseph says : “First attempt at a self-watering container. It’s working very well so far – I can definitely notice a marked acceleration in the growing rate and stem thickness in just 3 days. The water wicks up very well and I have filled up twice is these 3 days