if you live in a tiny city apartment, you can grow something. Get
containers and put them by the windows. Go down to your local recycling
center, or check out your neighbors' recycling bins on recycling days,
for containers. Plastic gallon milk jugs can be cut with scissors to
make suitable containers. Use cinder blocks (from a home improvement
store) and wood planks (from a lumber store) to build sturdy shelves
under the windows. Use the shelf space for storage and put your plant
containers on the top shelf. South-facing windows are the most
grow things in
will need compost and a small amount of garden soil (about 10% of the
total amount of potting material to be used.) Buy potting mix with
organic components and peat moss.
to Make a Container Garden:
• Move container to its final
• Put 2 sheets of wet newspaper
in the bottom
a small amount of soil in it: soil will be heavy and will be difficult
to move later on, so if you want to move the container around, just use
a small amount of soil and a larger amount of lighter composting
material. If the pot is in a secure place and will be stable and you
don't have to worry about it needing weight to keep it from being
knocked over by the cat, you can eliminate the soil altogether and only
use the lightweight composting material.
• Cover the bottom layer, either
soil or lightweight filler, with shredded newspaper and then add 2
inches of peat moss
• Add chopped leaves or grass clippings
• If you
need good drainage, add some sand at this point.
• Add another 2" of potting mix, and
then another 2" of compost
• Repeat layers of potting mix, compost and sand, and chopped
leaves and grass clippings if adding.
• When pot is full, scoop out a hole in the material and set
your plant inside it along with some extra
compost or potting mix
• Water container thoroughly
with grass clippings or chopped leaves or bark (to mulch is to cover
the top area around the stem of the plant(s) with something that weeds
cannot get through. You can also use wet newspaper for mulch and add woodchips or dry leaves on top of it to make it look more
Make sure drainage trenches
around the garden are kept clear.
Use mulch to help keep the soil and beds raised
Make a fermented fertilizer like EM/compost tea or bokashi to help
improve the soil and break down the mulch.
Keep an access route through the center.
Add a new bed each year if space permits.
you don't have a
composter for all your leftover kitchen waste, put your leftovers in a
blender half way, cover with water and blend on high until if forms a
slurry. Then pour this directly onto the soil outside or, if you have
time, space and equipment, add some kefir whey, yeast starter or EM and
let it ferment for awhile and then pour it in the soil.
Simple Fertilizer Recipe
2 ounces of apple cider vinegar
2 ounces of clear ammonia
2 ounces of molasses
1/2 cup of hot water
When they are all blended together, add to a gallon of water
Goat Tea Fertilizer
Put approximately 2" of goat or sheep dung into the bottom of a
5-gallon bucket. Cover with water and let set 2-3 days. Pour on plants,
indoors or out.
Growing potatoes in a stack of tires
Put down a tire flat on the ground.
Fill with dirt.
Put another tire on top of it, fill
with dirt and plant your potatoes in it.
the potatoes have put up shoots at least 6 inches high or as high as
the tire, put another tire on top and fill with straw -- not hay --
around the shoots. (Hay has seeds attached to it, straw does not.)
During the growing season, you can
reach into the straw and harvest small potatoes in the straw.
When the season is over and the stalks
have turned yellow and fallen over, turn over the tires and remove all
do not use
tires whose rubber is worn down so much that it exposes metal, as the
metal could leach into the soil in wet conditions. The rubber in the
tire is fairly stable and not as harmful as the metals used in making
started to grow green sprouts can be returned to the soil to grow a new
garlic bulb. Plant in late September to middle October. When the plants
break ground, mulch with leaves. Garlic will grow awhile and then stop
during winter. When spring arrives, it will take up where it left off.
Harvest when the base of the stems starts to turn dry and papery, or
the bottom leaf is brown and dry. In
hot weather, the stalks may fall over, in which case you will need to
harvest it then and not wait until later.To harvest: pull up the bulbs,
shake off the excess dirt off, and lay them out to dry in a non-sunny
place with good air circulation for a week or two. When dry, clip the
roots off close to the bulb and the tops back to
an inch or so, hang in net bags and store in a cool dry place.
Raised beds. Dig up your lawn and plant food.
you own a lawn, dig it up and plant food. Unless
you have a goat (who can eat the grass and convert it to food for you eventually).
If you don't have a yard, hang baskets to hold several items. Anything
that will hold soil and can have drain holes drilled in the bottom will
Make raised beds in your lawn:
the Autumn, pick a sunny spot
the shape of your bed in the ground. Use a half-moon soil cutting tool
if you have one.
Lay the four scaffolding boards out,
Use rough cut lumber -- pressure treated boards
or railroad ties will have unacceptable chemicals in them. Use a trowel to dig up soil if boards aren't level.
Screw together or nail blocks to the inside of the scaffolding boards or screw
corner brackets to the outside to secure the shape.
trellis stakes into the ground outside the bed to brace up the
scaffolding boards for when the soil is pressing against them.
then soil, compost and manure. (Soil can be dug up from the woods), and
then a heavy mulch of rotted straw.
you can't build a
greenhouse, lean an old window against the side of the house or
building on the south facing side, preferably, or east-facing side if
that's all you've got, pack hay bales on either side to secure an
insulate. Can even be used in a city high-rise balcony.
Make a home for
bees do not
produce honey, but they do just as good a job of pollinating our food
as honeybees. They don't live in colonies so they aren't subject to
colony collapse, and they are immune to the verroa mites that attack
honeybees. If you're worried about the loss of honeybees, or if you
feel your garden didn't produce as much as it should have last year,
why not build a home for these hard-working, peaceful, non-stinging
pollinators? It's easy -- just drill 5/16" wide holes 6" deep into
lumber.or tie together a bunch of bamboo tubes that are 8 inches long
with an inner dimension of 5/16", and secure it to a safe location. All
bees like lemon balm (bee balm) so plant some around your garden to
show the bees you appreciate their hard work.
to Grow More Vegetables: Than You Ever Thought Possible by
Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long
by Eliot Coleman