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  

(today almost 43.000 members).

Here are some of your trumps

Bottle towers with vegetables and herbs - Photo WVC P 1070455 - Video
Bottle towers with vegetables and herbs – Photo WVC P 1070455 – Video

1. If we show how to build a bottle tower <> 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


and <>),

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:



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

How to harvest your own pineapple ?

Photo credit: LJWorld

Taking the time to grow your own pineapple plant is worth the bragging rights

Garden Variety: Grow your own pineapple

By Jennifer Smith


The easiest way to grow a pineapple plant is to start with a pineapple fruit. Shop for one with healthy green foliage at the top, as this is the start for the new plant. When you get the pineapple home, remove the top by cutting the pineapple about a half-inch below the base of the leaves. Then, carefully trim away the edges of the fruit in that half-inch portion to leave only the hard core tissue in the center. Remove a few of the leaves right around the base also.

And so, the day arrives when their more than six year journey ends -
And so, the day arrives when their more than six year journey ends –

The short piece of core at the bottom of the pineapple top needs to dry before planting, so leave it on the counter for a few days. Then, when the top is ready for planting, fill a small container with perlite, vermiculite or coarse sand (available at most garden centers). Make sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom, and moisten the planting media thoroughly before planting. Insert the pineapple top into the planting media up to the base of the remaining leaves. Set the container near a window or door that receives bright but indirect light.

Read the full article: LJWorld

Containers in the farm-to-table movement

Photo credit: Google

Ethnic restaurant Asian garden

Farm-To-Table Will Change Us [Opinion]

by Carol Miller

Unlike all the trends our industry has seen come and go, the farm-to-table movement has the power to rewrite our future.

A trend is like a wind that disturbs a pond but doesn’t reshape it. Take gazing globes, huge 10 years ago. They made our industry a lot of money, but their popularity faded, and we moved on, unchanged.

Container gardens had a bigger impact. They were a hit with customers who wanted instant gratification and with retailers who liked selling several products at once. They also reflected a changing customer base, who valued getting the visual impact of gardening without the work.

Home grown vegetables -
Home grown vegetables –

I want to take the time to unpack that thought. Container gardens’ popularity rose along with the flood of smart phones, big, immersive TVs and games like Candy Crush. People still eat out, go to theaters and, yes, garden. But they spend less time doing so.

So it can be argued that selling container gardens was a necessary adaption to our customers’ lifestyles.

Combo gardens had a bigger impact than gazing globes. But what gazing globes are to container gardens, that’s what combo gardens are to the farm-to-table movement.

Read the full article: Today’s Garden Center

Grow fruits in container

Photo credit: Little Bit of Green

Fig tree

The Top 3 Container Garden Fruits

by Ronald A. Rowe


When it comes to container fruit gardens there are three tried and true best bets for the beginning gardener.  The most common is the strawberry.  Strawberries grow quite well in containers.  The smallish roots adapt well to being constrained and you even avoid some of the hazards of growing them in-ground.  Not all strawberry plants are alike.  Some will bear fruit only once a year, others provide multiple crops.  Some have large berries while others are tiny.  One type is not necessarily better than the others.  Choose the type that best suits your preferences but do be sure that you know what kind you are getting.

As is the case with most types of plants, the twin keys to healthy strawberry plants are watering and sunlight.  Full sun is the thing that strawberry plants crave.  Watering is a bit trickier.  Container strawberry plants need frequent, light watering.  Overwatering can lead to root rot but insufficient watering will cause the plants to sizzle in all that sunlight.  Frequent watering a little bit at a time is the way to go.

Second only to strawberries in the container fruit garden hall of fame is the blueberry bush.  Blueberry plants will grow larger and more product each year for several seasons.

Read the full article: Little Bit of Green

How to Select Fruit and Nut Trees (Mother Earth

Read at :

How to Select Fruit and Nut Trees

Whether you purchase trees and shrubs from a local nursery or from a mail-order company, this expert advice will help ensure that your plants are healthy and happy in their new home.

The following is an excerpt from Landscaping with Fruit by Lee Reich, Ph.D. (Storey, 2009). Reich is an author, lecturer and consultant whose books also include The Pruning Book, Weedless Gardening and Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden. Reich grows a broad assortment of fruit plants in his own garden, which has been featured in numerous publications. Whether you purchase trees and shrubs from a local nursery or from a mail-order company, this expert advice will help ensure that your plants are healthy and happy in their new home.

All your efforts to give your plant the best possible care are for naught if you don’t start out with the best possible plant. The best way to get such a plant is to purchase it from a reputable nursery. Look for a plant whose tops are no more than three times the size of the roots, and whose roots look healthy, plump and neither congested nor sparse. The stems should be plump, and without dark, sunken areas or rot that could indicate disease.

Nursery plants can come potted, bare root or, less commonly, balled-and-burlapped. My preference is for either of the first two. Such plants can be shipped — and so are available in the widest selection — and root damage is less likely to occur between the nursery and your yard. Balled-and-burlapped plants are heavy and any fracturing of the soil also tears some roots. The size at which a plant can be taken out of the soil bare root and then replanted successfully is obviously limited, usually to 4 or 5 feet in height, but that’s a very reasonable size for planting. Watch out for potted plants that have spent so long in their containers that their roots do nothing more than grow in circles — something that continues after the plant is put in the ground, resulting in self-strangulation. Slide a potted plant out of its pot and examine the roots if possible.

Restrain yourself from always seeking out the largest possible plant in an effort to get the quickest landscape effect and harvest. Larger plants, if bare root or balled-and-burlapped, lose proportionally more roots in transplanting than do smaller plants, so suffer greater shock and need more care — mostly watering — for longer. Even a large, potted plant takes longer before enough roots explore surrounding soil to make the plant self-sufficient. Recent research has demonstrated that initially smaller plants, because they suffer less transplant shock and establish more quickly, often overtake their initially larger counterparts after a few years.


Seeds of tropical fruits for development projects (Bob CALDWELL)

I felt really happy receiving some papaya seeds from Mr. R.W. “Bob” CALDWELL :

Papaya seeds from the USA
Papaya seeds from Florida, USA

Since 2006, I am collecting seeds of tropical fruits in order to send these to development projects in the drylands, where rural people can’t afford to buy commercial seeds (too expensive).  All over the world, seeds of melon, watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, papaya, cherimoya, lychee, avocado, etc. are thrown into the garbage bin or on the compost heap.  However, these seeds can easily be washed and dried.  People sending these seeds to my personal address (Prof. Willem VAN COTTHEM – Beeweg 36 – B9080 ZAFFELARE (Belgium) can be sure that these seeds are sent to different development projects in Africa, Asia and S. America, where people can grow these tropical fruits in their own small family garden.  Thus, we are contributing to food production in the drylands and we help these poor people to some juicy fruits, rich in vitamins, in particular for their children.

Sincere thanks to Mr. Bob CALDWELL  for his small but valuable contribution.  let me express the hope that many more people will follow his example.  See my blog “

Planting avocado seeds: A step-by-step guide (Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas)

Read at : Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas

Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas

Planting avocado seeds: A step-by-step guide

Posted: 23 Jun 2008 06:04 PM CDT

One of the questions that is raised ad nauseum on gardening forums and on garden talk-back radio is, “Can I plant an avocado seed and will it grow into an avocado tree?” Duh! Of course it will grow into an avocado tree – were you expecting to see pumpkins!  The question really isn’t about whether it will grow, it’s more about whether it will produce – and if that produce has any resemblance to a ‘normal’ avocado. Just like the question I answered on planting apple seeds you want to know that your effort is going to be rewarded. Well, can I start off by saying that if you want to grow an avocado tree from its seed you will need the ‘patience of Job’ to see it through to completion. This is no overnight process and Voila! you’re eating your own avocados next season. No, this process takes years and years so don’t plant it in the ground if you’re planning on moving within the next 5-10.

Germinating an Avocado Seed

The first step in the process is to get the seed to germinate. The best way to do this is to suspend the seed, using a few toothpicks dug into the sides, above a glass of water. The base of the seed needs to be resting in the water so this will require refilling during the process. Then, leave the suspended seed on a window sill or in a cold frame where it will be kept warm by the sunlight.

Eventually the seed will crack open and new sprouts will emerge and roots will begin to feed into the water. This can take anywhere between 3-6 months depending upon the amount of sunlight the seed receives and whether you’ve been disciplined in keeping the water level up to the base of the pip.

Once the sprouts and roots emerge, it’s time to begin planting.

Planting an Avocado Seed

The next step is to get the seed into some growing medium. A mix of one-third compost, one-third vermiculite and one-third river sand would be ideal to start your propagated avocado. In the centre of the pot, make a small hole where you can plant just the roots and bottom base of the seed. Then back-fill and shake any air bubbles out the mix before lightly watering.

This new plant will then need to go into a location where it can receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight every day. A small greenhouse (aff.) is ideal but if this isn’t a possibility then the edge of a sheltered porch or patio may be a great option.

Once it has grown about a metre tall it will then be ready to start transplanting.

Transplanting Your Avocado Plant

As I mentioned earlier, if you’re planning to move from your current residence in the next 5-10 years then planting this in the ground will be a waste of time. You’re probably far better off to transplant it into a large mobile pot that you can take with you.

Prepare the pot with a good draining potting mix and place the avocado plant into the middle keeping the top of the avocado soil level with the height of the new pot. At this point, add a stake before backfilling and tie the plant securely to it. You may even want to tie some hessian cloth around the pot to protect the plant from the elements.

If you do decide to plant your avocado in the ground then dig a hole twice as wide as the current root-ball and twice as deep. Add some well-rotted compost into the hole and plant the avocado on top. Stake it as mentioned before and then backfill the hole. Water deeply to remove any air-pockets and to help the plant deal with the transplant shock.

Finally, in both cases – pot or ground – I would add some bonemeal fertiliser and then mulch with lucerne hay.

Enjoying the fruits of your labour


More Seattleites taking up gardening (Google / King5)

Read at: Google Alert – gardening

More Seattleites taking up gardening

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


SEATTLE – Your grandparents probably had a garden, but many of us have gotten away from digging in the dirt to plant veggies. But it appears times are a-changing. Area gardening experts say they are welcoming a lot of new gardeners into the fold. There are many reasons people are getting back to basics, but a big one is a desire to cut their grocery bill. Lisa Taylor is in high demand, teaching kids and their parents about gardening at Seattle Tilth. “More and more people are interested in growing their own fruits and vegetables at home,” said Taylor. Continue reading More Seattleites taking up gardening (Google / King5)