Healthy gardening that can take place indoors on an office desk or a living room table

 

Houseplants add beauty, health to home and office

Bright light streams through huge windows at a low winter angle as Aj Ewing kneels down and carefully studies the undersides of shiny green leaves at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Through the glass, two fat robins watch the activities from perches on leafless shrubs filled with red berries. Ewing uses a small metal magnifying glass, which he keeps on his keychain, to search for insects. He discovers a pest called scale, which he starts to methodically remove by hand.

The plant is in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes on the Phipps campus. It’s one of the greenest buildings in the world. One floor is filled with cubicles, each one surrounded by a plethora of houseplants. They help keep the air clean with two plants placed every 10 square feet in the office area.

It’s the type of healthy gardening that can take place indoors on an office desk or a living room table.

Ewing cites a NASA study and the book “How to Grow Fresh Air” by B.C. Wolverton as the sources Phipps used to create a list of plants that are best for air purification.

“When it comes down to it,” he says frankly, “all plants are clean-air plants in that through the photosynthetic process, they help to clean and filter air.”

The key, he says, is to find a plant that will thrive in your own indoor space.

Read the full story: TribLive

The Container Gardening Ambassadors (the Fresh Food Home Guards)

All we need is your free moral support to make this world better

by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (University of Ghent, Belgium)

Become a member of our container gardening group by clicking the ‘JOIN’ button at https://www.facebook.com/groups/221343224576801/  

(today almost 43.000 members).

Here are some of your trumps

Bottle towers with vegetables and herbs - Photo WVC P 1070455 - Video https://youtu.be/HuykRRspWOY.
Bottle towers with vegetables and herbs – Photo WVC P 1070455 – Video https://youtu.be/HuykRRspWOY.

1. If we show how to build a bottle tower <http://youtu.be/-uDbjZ9roEQ> to all the schoolchildren of this world and teach them how to grow some vegetables and herbs at school, they will enjoy building more towers for their family at home.

Riser with vegetables and herbs growing in recycled bottles - Photo Jojo ROM (The Philippines)  56269_1483085875405_1181604134_31159685_1301366_o.jpg
Riser with vegetables and herbs growing in recycled bottles – Photo Jojo ROM (The Philippines) 56269_1483085875405_1181604134_31159685_1301366_o.jpg

2. If we alleviate child malnutrition in our countries by teaching them container gardening at school, recycling all discarded containers in school gardens, e.g. on risers (see

video https://youtu.be/l7o_5UKIKTo

and <http://www.facebook.com/willemvancotthem>),

there will be sufficient food for decent daily meals and a cleaner environment.

And soon there will be fresh food galore everywhere.

Dwarf orange fruit trees grown in pots - Photo Container Growing - .jpg
Dwarf orange fruit trees grown in pots – Photo Container Growing – .jpg

3. If we convince all young mothers to plant only one fruit tree for every newborn baby and if we plant a fruit tree for every dear family member passing away, we will soon have orchards protecting us against global warming and climate change.

Barrels  cab easily be transformed in vertical gardens with a lot of fresh food - Photo Grow Food, Not Lawns - 542232_449799711742313_474788682_n.jpg
Barrels can easily be transformed in vertical gardens with a lot of fresh food – Photo Grow Food, Not Lawns – 542232_449799711742313_474788682_n.jpg

4. If we pass this message to the world leaders and publish all our photos to show them our green container gardens, it will be a giant convincing step towards a global food revolution.

And soon there will be less hunger because container gardening means solving these major problems at the lowest cost.  People in developing countries have been inventive to grow fresh food in a panoply of containers (pots, buckets, bags, sacks, barrels, …).  There is a lot of indigenous knowledge about best practices and success stories in food production. It is our moral duty to follow their examples and invest in large-scale application of their methods and techniques.  International organizations should reach hands with NGOs to ban hunger and malnutrition without any delay.  They should start in all the schools.

Let us put an important step towards a better future today:

JOIN THE GROUP OF CONTAINER GARDENING AMBASSADORS.  They are the Fresh Food Home Guards !

IT IS TOTALLY FREE : https://www.facebook.com/groups/221343224576801/ 

Kits for beginners

Photo credit: Quickcrop

Beginners Vegetable Garden Kits

https://www.quickcrop.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/grow-carrots-in-containers-300x300.jpg
https://www.quickcrop.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/grow-carrots-in-containers-300×300.jpg

Vegetable gardening can be a little intimidating to the beginner and it is hard to know where to start with all the various information flying around. Our new beginners garden kits were designed to include everything you need to start growing your own vegetables. They include easy to grow vegetable seeds with an appropriately sized planter or growbag and enough soil to fill it. These vegetable growing kits are the perfect start to growing your own as they are reusable, portable and easy to grow in.

When starting a vegetable garden you don’t need to spend a fortune and jump in at the deep end, our beginners kits are great entry level kits as they are affordable and very straightforward to use. They can be placed anywhere you have a bit of space, on patios, balconies, by the back door, or anywhere in the garden.

 

Read the full article: Quickcrop

Very good reasons for you to save seeds

Photo credit: Idaho Statesman

Seeds, seeds and seeds

Use saved seeds, and learn

Do you save seeds your plantings produce? I used to save large quantities of tomato seeds, and still save some of extraordinary tomatoes. I bought some watchmakers parts cases from Lee Valley years ago, aluminum cases that hold small glass-topped aluminum canisters for storage of seeds.

One very good reason for you to save seeds is to experience what happened to me recently. I found some very old (about 20 years old) tomato seeds stored in one of those canisters, and wanted to re-grow that variety, so I planted several seeds, confident that they had passed their usual prime. Tomato seeds have an estimated viability of about four years.

My old seeds did germinate, even though they had been stored at room temperature. When I reported that to garden friends online, one fellow said he’d found self-saved seeds usually kept viability longer than commercial seeds.

The variety I wanted to re-grow was called Early Large Red. Prior to the Civil War, it was the most-grown tomato in America. One source says it produces ripe tomatoes in 70 days after transplant, and that would make it an “early” tomato. In my experience, it ripened in the middle of the season. I suspect other growers in other parts of the country found it was not an early tomato either, because Southern Exposure Seed Exchange referred to it as “Large Red,” but related the same history of its pre-Civil War popularity.

I bought seeds from Southern Exposure two years ago (forgetting my own seeds), and most of the plants from those seeds produced very small tomatoes, showing they’d crossed with cherry tomatoes or even smaller varieties. There are smaller varieties of tomato, some called “currant,” the tiniest called “spoon” tomatoes. Some of those wilder tomatoes have protruding anthers that emit pollen, cross-pollinating all over the patch. Modern tomatoes take care of pollination inside their own blossoms, but a persistent bee can foil that.

Read the full article: Idaho Statesman

Containers full of strawberries

Photo credit: Better Home Gardening

10 Useful Tips for Growing Strawberries in Containers

Strawberries are one of the most sought after fruits in the world. Their sweet and sour tinge makes them perfect for desserts, jams, or even when eaten as it is. Not only that but strawberry smoothies, shakes also are also very healthy and a joy to drink. Most of us buy strawberries from the market. But the ones of have a knack of having home grown fruit or vegetables, the idea of growing strawberries in their backyard is quite appealing.

Growing strawberries in a pot at your home also means you get taste the fresh strawberries as they are. You use all organic material with nothing artificial in the growth of these beauties and have them as much as you want. Strawberries are also grown in containers which must be quite a relief for those of you who don’t have a garden. Growing strawberries in a pot is actually a simple task and you can easily do it by getting to know the environment where they grow and the nature of the strawberries.

Read the full article: Better Home Gardening

Companion planting with herbs

Photo credit: Gardening at home

Tips On Companion Planting With Herbs In Your Garden

Companion planting with herbs will give some benefits for the plants themselves and power to help each other to grow and thrive. For example, companion planting your home-grown tomatoes with sweet basil will improve your tomatoes taste, companion planting some caraway plants throughout your garden will help to loosen the soil, or companion planting feverfew with your roses will also help to keep the aphids away. Certain herbs and other plants will do better simply by planting them nearby to each other but other herbs and plants should be kept far away. So you need to consider several factors when choosing companion plants for your herb garden.

Read more: Companion Planting Vegetables with Other Plants

Vegetables in a container at home

Photo credit: Google

Homegrown: Choosing containers to grow veggies

BY CAROL STEIN AND DEBBIE MOOSE

Vegetables in container - http://www.newsobserver.com/living/home-garden/txg596/picture15343526/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/LIFE_GARDEN-FALL-COLORS_8_BZ.jpg
Vegetables in container – http://www.newsobserver.com/living/home-garden/txg596/picture15343526/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/LIFE_GARDEN-FALL-COLORS_8_BZ.jpg

In a perfect world, every home would have an ideal spot for a vegetable garden with plenty of sun, loose rich soil that’s not too dry and not too wet, and no weeds.

If you find that Eden, let us know, because it doesn’t exist in our yards. Debbie deals with limited sun and acidic clay soil. Carol has dry sandy soil and rampant wiregrass. And neither of us is the proverbial spring chicken any more, meaning that stooping, heavy digging and bending can lead to sore backs.

There’s a creative, easy and beautiful solution: Containers.

Plastic and terra-cotta pots are fine, but think beyond those and you can give your yard a boost with plantings that are both attractive and edible. Container gardening is also more friendly to those with back problems or arthritis.

Almost any size or shape item will work – if it will hold dirt, you can grow in it. Try rusty red wagons, worn-out wheelbarrows, galvanized metal washtubs or wooden barrels. Still have rectangular plastic recycling bins around? Those are great for growing leafy greens, carrots or beets. Remodeling? Save that old bathtub for gardening. Carol has even planted herbs in old pairs of galoshes.

Read the full article: The News&Observer

Let kids grow their own strawberries

Photo credit: The Daily Courier

Get Kids to Grow for It!
Start them off with strawberries this spring, in a patch or pot

Get kids growing in the garden by starting them off planting their very own strawberries. You can engage them in the growing process and let them plant and care for a whole patch, or just one or two plants, planted in a strawberry jar or garden container. They’ll love digging in the dirt and getting their hands dirty.

Then show them how to properly care for and water their home-grown, sweet and tasty treats. A fun way to encourage them to take ownership of the plants and nurture them is to buy them their very own watering can and kid’s size shovel. Don’t forget to show kids how to pinch off plant runners, which will allow for larger sized berries. And of course, be sure they’re doing the harvesting so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor!

You’ll find most kids enjoy helping in the garden, for a number of reasons; they’re allowed to get dirty, they get some good outdoor exercise and healthy sunshine, and they will actually learn and understand, first hand, where their food comes from. Within the gardening process, they’ll also gain a good sense of nurture, nature and responsibility.

Kids will love watching their strawberries grow, they’ll see flowers bloom, garden bees, and fruit develop and turn color. After developing a sense of ownership of their plants, they will especially love eating the sweet fruits they grew themselves.

Tips to ensure strawberry success:

Read the full article: The Daily Courier

Growing vegetables in containers

Photo credit: Container Gardening Pedia

Vegetable container gardening, its advantages and requirements

Most of us are passionate about growing our own vegetables in our backyard but sad to say not many have the space or the facility to cultivate a traditional vegetable garden. Space is a big constraint and with urbanisation at its peak now hardly any of us live in farm lands; most of us have moved to the bustling city centres into smaller apartments or dwelling places. Undeterred by the space constraint people with a passion for gardening are taking up vegetable container gardening to satiate their desire to grow their own veggies.

Advantages of pursuing vegetable container gardening

Leaving aside the advantages, vegetable container gardening is actually so much of a fun activity that many of us enjoy. This activity keeps us fruitfully engaged providing good physical exercise too. It is one good way to de stress and it relaxes the mind.

Growing vegetables in containers is pretty challenging and you feel quite a thrill when you pluck fresh organic vegetables grown in your own home.

When you use good soil enriched with organic compost and sow organic tomato seedlings your tomatoes are totally an organic produce which you feel proud to deliver to your family. Now a days there is a big thrust on having everything organically made without using chemicals that could cause us a lot of harm and result in health hazards. Home grown organic vegetables ensure that your health and the health of your family is safe guarded.

Use of pesticide is another thing that can harm us no end; but with organic tomato container gardening the use of chemical pesticides is avoided instead natural pesticides are used that keep away pests at the same time do not cause us any harm.

Essentials for vegetable container gardening

Read the full article: Container Gardening Pedia

 

Easy to grow succulents

Photo credit: * Bowls with succulents – Photo Jardines y Estanques – 377301_403463536380019_537063956_n_2 copy.jpg

Succulents are rock stars of container gardening

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

EXCERPT

The succulent frenzy looks to continue, and if you are not on the bandwagon yet, you have been missing one of the hottest trends of the last five years. This trend has turned designing mixed containers on its head as it partners rare beauty with low maintenance.

Today’s garden centers and many florists, however, offer incredible choices to let you be the Monet of your easy-to-grow container.

To get started this growing season, pick a container that suits your style. It can be old world clay, a wooden trough, a handmade hypertufa or even a large shallow bowl. The mandatory criteria will be drainage holes and a good desert-like soil mix.

Succulents are tough-as-nails performers because they store moisture in their roots, leaves and stems. Drought-like conditions can wreak havoc on most container-grown plants, but not succulents. In fact the arch enemy will be too much water or inferior drainage, which is one reason many designers go with a soil mix geared toward cactus. They are low maintenance in that they require very little fertilizer, no constant deadheading.

Read the full article: Miami Herald