Hi there and join me on my journey to lower my grocery bill by growing as much of my own food as possible. I live in a townhouse with a back patio, for which I will be growing in containers, and I recently acquired a plot at a local community garden, which I’m very excited about. I started keeping a journal about a month ago, when it occurred to me I should be sharing this information, and meeting new people with the same interests. So, I’m going to give a brief synopsis of what I’ve accomplished so far, along with what I’m currently doing, over the next few days we should be caught up.
I began on April 29 with my first self watering container. You can go here to find more information on those, including how to make your own.http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/self-watering-containers/ I filled it with a mix of equal parts coir, (coconut peat), which is a sustainable alternative to regular sphagnum peat, and mushroom compost. (one brick of coir, and half a bag of compost.) To this I added vermiculite and perlite, approximately 3 cups of each, and about 21 T of greensand. I also added some aged rabbit manure. My grandmother, who keeps everything, has been saving this rabbit manure for probably ten years, in a large garbage can. She was very proud that I came around with a use for it; however, the lid blew off some time ago, and the bucket filled with rain water. So, my grandmother no longer has a large bucket of dry pellets, but a large very wet single pellet of rabbit manure. Fortunately, there were some dry pellets left in the hutch. My grandmother is planning to dry out the remainder, but I’m past wanting it, to be honest.
I planted water cress in this container with green onions around the side to deter pests. The watercress took 5 days to germinate, and the green onions took 17 days. I used a seashell mulch to deter the rampant slugs around here, and it also reflects the light up to the leaves helping them grow. This is great if you have a lot of shade, which I do.
I’ll just leave you now with a few things I have learned at this point:
- self watering containers do not keep the surface moist, you need to mist the top to allow seeds to germinate
- potting mix needs to breathe; don’t keep it in a container with the lid on. It will go mouldy.