Saturday, February 20, 2010

Not Your Nana's Container Garden

My dad is a row gardener. He plants over a half acre each growing season and I am in awe and overwhelmed when I tour his garden. I admire his self sufficiency and envy the year round bounty of healthy produce.

As a novice, the expertise and back breaking work of row gardening has held me back. With the resurgence of victory, urban and suburban gardens, the science of what one can grow on a window sill, patio and tiny backyard makes it easier than ever for anyone to enter into the gardening foray.

Container and no dig gardening appeals to me. Once you have acquired your plants, soil and containers, your garden can be planted in a few hours.

Last year, I planted a container garden. I had a lot of success with my herbs. The tomatoes and peppers did great until the blackbirds noshed on them just before time to harvest. We were in the middle of installing a raised bed garden when we relocated so I have no idea about how that might have turned out.

This year, I reestablished my containers and am trying my hand at planting directly in soil bags. In my research, I have been astounded at the ingenuity others exhibit growing gardens for very little investment in very little space. If a garden can thrive on a Chicago rooftop or in soda bottles on a dorm balcony, surely the rest of us can find a way to grow nourishing foods for ourselves, neighbors and community.

Take a look at some of the creativity of container and no dig gardens...

Square Foot Box Raised Bed

Plastic Swimming Pool

Soil Bag

Whole Foods Bag

Plastic Bottle

Straw Bale

Re-purposed Containers

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