Urban container gardening (Google Alert / The Ottawa Citizen)

Already published on my desertification weblog on April 25, 2007

Urban container gardening (Google Alert / The Ottawa Citizen) April 25, 2007

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

 

Read at :

Google Alert for : gardening

The Ottawa Citizen

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=21f1f826-c8b7-490a-ad58-4b846fccc866

The joys and perils of urban gardening

 

Kate Heartfield, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

For me, this year, Earth Day lost a capital letter. It was about earth this year: the brown stuff with worms in it. As an urbanite with an environmental bent, April 22 has always been a time for me to think about Earth, the planet. It’s been a time to conserve electricity, to walk, to reduce, re-use and recycle garbage. This year, it was also about tending the four tomato plants growing at an alarming rate on the top of a bookcase in my downtown apartment (one of the few places my cats can’t jump). It was about getting closer to the earth. Actually, it was about getting closer to a seedling mix of sustainably harvested peat, compost and perlite. But you know what I mean. Continue reading Urban container gardening (Google Alert / The Ottawa Citizen)

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)

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)

Growing papaya from seeds / Culture de papayer à partir de semences (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on March 26, 2007

Growing papaya from seeds / Culture de papayer à partir de semences

March 26, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in horticulture/gardening, salinity, food / food security, hunger / famine, desertification, rural development, technologies, poverty, water, agriculture, research. trackback , edit post

J’essaie de produire des jeunes pieds de papayer à partir de semences, trouvées dans des fruits brésiliens au supermarché.  Je fais appel à tous ceux qui veulent nous aider à cultiver des papayers dans les camps des réfugiés Sahraouis au S.W. de l’Algérie, en demandant debien vouloi m’envoyer des semences de n’importe quelle variété de papayer (voir mon adresse plus bas).  Merci d’avance !

In view of studying possibilities to grow papaya trees for our UNICEF ALGERIA project in the refugee camps of the Sahraouis people (region of Tindouf, S.W. Algeria), I have set up some experiments with seeds collected from some fruits purchased at a local supermarket (Brazilian fruits). Continue reading Growing papaya from seeds / Culture de papayer à partir de semences (Willem)

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)

Promoting container gardening (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on March 22, 2007

Promoting container gardening

March 22, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in food / food security, hunger / famine, horticulture/gardening, success stories – best practices, water, capacity building, technologies. trackback , edit post

Here is the very nice comment of “timethief” on my message “Container gardening – A summary” of yesterday. It shows how many people can be interested in this type of gardening, wherever they live :

“I live on an island that suffers drought every year usually from the end of May to November. About 425 householders here have wells that go dry every year, although it pours buckets of rain from the sky every winter.

I became a container gardener years ago due to water conservation and I have found that there are other benefits to gardening in any container I can get my hands on as opposed to tilling soil, pulling weeds and hosing.

I find interesting containers to use as planters at garage sales and recycling depots and I also put dibs on containers from friends when I see they are running low on whatever is in them.

Thanks for writing this article and for all the good advice on soil preparation in it. Happy gardening. 🙂

The first benefit is that as I’m gardening on a second floor deck I don’t have to compete with wildlife for the food I plant. The second my container gardens don’t require much weeding. The third is that they are close to the kitchen which is great when you cook with fresh homegrown herbs. The fourth is that I can intersperse containers of food and flowers on my deck as in companion planting to keep down insects. The fifth benefit is that my deck looks fabulous and all my friends prefer to be there rather than visiting in my house.”

Thanks, “timethief”; it reinforces my conviction that we should also work with school children (in particular in developing countries), offering them a chance to learn a multitude of practical and useful things at school. The food they would produce at school, can contribute to make their lunches healthier (they would be less hungry). The techniques they would learn, will be always applicable later on at the family level. Nothing but good things to be expected !

2003-03 Escola Pretoria
Click on the picture to enlarge it.

2003-03 : School garden of Escola Pretoria (Isla do Sal, Cabo Verde), constructed thanks to the initiatives of Etienne VAN STEENBERGHE – Belgium (sponsor) and the TC-Dialogue Foundation (Belgium). Vegetables and fruits, produced with TerraCottem in the schoolyard, were a significant contribution to the quality of the lunches at school. See the happy kids ?

2003-03 : Jardin scolaire à l’Escola Pretoria (Isla do Sal, Cabo Verde), construit grâce aux initiatives d’Etienne VAN STEENBERGHE – Belgique (sponsor) et la Fondation TC-DIALOGUE (Belgique). Des légumes et des fruits, produits avec du TerraCottem dans la cour de l’école, formaient une contribution de valeur dans les repas de midi à l’école. Vous voyez combien les enfants sont contents ?

Any remarks ?

Willem

Benefits and advantages of container gardening (Willem)

Already published on my desertification weblog on March 22, 2007

Benefits and advantages of container gardening

March 22, 2007

Posted by willem van cotthem in horticulture/gardening, food / food security, ecology – environment, water, technologies, research. trackback , edit post

Thanks to a very nice comment of “thimethief” on my posting of yesterday, I like to add a paragraph to my summary on container gardening. It enumerates some benefits and advantages of this type of gardening. Anyway, there will be more things to be mentioned and possibly you will send me some comments to complete the list. Continue reading Benefits and advantages of container gardening (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)

Gardening on Patios and Terraces (About: Gardening)

One knows how difficult it is to grow plants in very dry regions. A lot of information is published on xeriscaping, which corresponds in fact with growing drought adapted species under dry conditions. It becomes more problematic when we have to grow food crops in dry areas, most of them having a high transpiration rate. Drought tolerant vegetables are quite exceptional. Therefore, in order to have more people living in desert-like circumstances growing fresh food, we are nowadays promoting container gardening to solve those problems. Indeed, the growing of vegetables (producing leaves and fruits) in containers offers opportunities to enhance water and fertilizer use efficiency (no infiltration of water in a permeable soil, almost no leaching of nutrients). Moreover, costs for containers can be limited to almost zero by using plastic bottles or bags (see the former messages on my desertification blog: <www.desertification.wordpress.com>).

Marie Iannotti’s message on “Gardening on Patios and Terraces” describes ideas along the same lines.
Read at :

About: Gardening – Free Online Courses
“About.com Gardening Guide” <gardening.guide@about.com>

Small Space Garden Design: Gardening on Patios and Terraces

from Marie Iannotti
Our definition of garden is changing with our lifestyles. If you don’t think a patio or terrace garden qualifies as a proper garden, you would be amazed at what’s being grown on rooftops and ally ways in our cities. Patios and terraces have become outdoor rooms and they are being decorated to be an extension of the home. And this gives them an innate advantage over being a garden bed. You can garden to your heart’s content and never feel like you’ve left civilization. For many people, especially those who are downsizing to condos or with young children at home, gardening on the terrace, whether in containers or in the surrounding soil, the perfect circumstance. Continue reading Gardening on Patios and Terraces (About: Gardening)