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Take a peek at an Urban Garden growing food in containers, right in downtown Fort Lauderdale! John from http://www.growingyourgreens.com/ goes on a field trip to downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida to share with you a urban farm who grows food in 100% containers. In this episode, you will learn about Fort Lauderdale Vegetables who grow food in the city and teach about decentralized farming. You will...

You were all happy to start your herb garden. You picked out your location and determined how much sunlight it gets. Your happiness turned to sadness when you realized that you only get 3-4 hours of sun. Those dreams of an herb garden were dashed. At least you thought so. In that shaded space, you can still grow your herb garden. Common herbs that grow well in the shade There are a few dozen herbs...

You’ve scoped out your garden space… …and determined how much direct sunlight it gets. Your garden gets less than 6 hours and you feel hopeless. Sorry to break it to you, but that means you can’t grow tomatoes. Don’t worry there are other vegetables you can successfully grow in that space. Shade loving vegetables The following vegetables will do just well in containers and the shade: The following vegetables will grow in small/medium sized containers¬† — and –¬† they like being in the shade. –...

I was out of town for 10-days around Thanksgiving and filled up the the self-watering containers on my balcony garden the morning that I left. When I came home you would never know that I wasn’t there to water and take care of them. Just check out the pic above and watch the video below. This is partly due to how the self-watering containers work and how the...

Isn’t it mad frustrating and annoying when you start your seeds and they don’t sprout? Generally seeds will take somewhere between 7-14 days to sprout, depending on the seed. Once it hits that 14 day mark with no sprouts, start getting concerned. About six-weeks ago, I started some lemon balm seeds on my balcony garden. They were planted in four parts of the container. I planned on thinning them out when they grew their true leaves so only the strongest stood. Six-weeks later and still nothing. I shouldn’t say nothing,...

People (haters) often bust my balls about how ugly my balcony garden is. They say that it’s beaten up and used 5-gallon containers and not very pretty. I’ve decided to take the challenge of the haters and decorate my self-watering containers. One of my containers was decorated by my girlfriend, Anita, who did a much better job than I could ever do. Since I’m not nearly that artistic I got some inspiration from Life on the Balcony. Her finished containers are more stylish than mine, but I’m working on it. This would...

If you are using manure tea to amend the soil in your there are a couple of different ways that you can use it. Directly in the reservoir container. If you made your self-watering containers with the pipe, you can pour the manure tea into the pipe as you would normally water. If you aren’t using the pipe, then you can remove the planting container and pour...

The one question that I most often get from people is where I get the containers for my garden from. When I posted a question on Facebook asking what posts people would like me to write, it was mentioned again by some friends. The first thing is that I never buy the containers brand new. I don’t for a few reasons. The most important is that I don’t want to use any unnecessary resources...

A common excuse that people often give to not grow their own food is that they don’t know when or how much to water their plant. I was away from my balcony garden for nearly two weeks during the holidays. While on vacation, I did not once travel back home to water my garden. This wasn’t the first time that I was away for an extended period of time without having someone water the containers. That doubt and thought started to creep into my mind as well. Some of the plants I started from seed and weren’t doing too well....

I have about 10 self-watering containers on my balcony garden. In taking care of them, I’ve started to notice that the reservoir containers have been starting to stank and form algae. The reason for this might be because there is no room for the air to circulate. The air can get in through the overflow hole, but no other way to get out. What I’d recommend is to add 2-3 additional drainage holes around the reservoir container to allow the air to freely circulate. ...

We know that you need to feed your plants and amend the soil in your container garden. Here is a quick how to on amending the soil. You’ll need the following: Container that is free of plants Cultivator Compost Water How to amend the soil: Use your cultivator to break up the soil Add some compost to the container Work the compost into the soil Water the container and let it drain through Your container is now ready for the next round of planting. ...

Nearly all of my urban gardens have self-watering containers in them. They work great on a balcony, fire escape or any other space that doesn’t have soil. If you’re still trying to figure out what you can grow in small/medium sized container, check out this site for a list of plants and seeds that grow well in containers. Self-watering containers are different from regular containers that you’d plant in. The main reason is that the water is sucked up by the roots from the bottom of the container. They made up of two containers...

One of the questions that people frequently ask me is revolved around the health concerns of growing in the plastic containers. Is it safe to grow in plastic containers? Is it leaching harmful toxins into the soil, water, plants and eventually my body. I honestly have no clue, nor do I claim to. I think there is a valid concern in those beliefs and generally avoid...

Now that I’ve remembered to amend the soil in my container garden, I’m going to be running a side-by-side test of soil amendments. Here is the test that I’m going to run. I have two cucumber containers on my balcony garden. In one of them, I have amended the soil with straight compost. The other container I have watered with the cow manure tea that I brewed up. The plant that I used the cow manure tea already started out slightly smaller than the other, but I want to test and see if the manure tea help to promote better...

Here’s another creative gardening idea for those of you with limited space. It’s a self-watering container made out of a 2 liter soda bottle. This self-watering container is made out of a soda bottle, an old t-shirt (or cotton string) and some newspaper. That’s it. Hard to get much cheaper than that. I had seen the idea on Instructables a while back and have been wanting to do it since. These are just another option for you to start growing your own food besides the coconut shells, hanging soda bottle planters, cinder...

One of the best parts about making self-watering containers for your garden is that it’s cheap. Most of the supplies needed are either already laying around the house or you can easily get in your neighborhood. The best part is that you can grow a ton of different herbs and vegetables in containers just like this. Here is a list of seeds that grow well using containers. Container Within A Container and No Pipe Tools Drill 1/4″ bit 3 1/2″ hole saw for metal and wood 1 1/4″ hole saw for metal and wood Materials: 2...

The leaves around the base of my kale and lettuce plants are yellowing around the base. I’ve used coffee grinds as a fertilizer to help with this issue. I think two of the main culprits causing the yellowing leaves could be lack of drainage for the soil or nutrients. I don’t think it’s drainage because there are plenty of drainage holes drilled at the bottom of the self-watering containers. That leaves me with lack of nutrients as the reason. Coffee grinds are a simple and cheap way to provide the plant with the nutrition...

When I started my balcony garden this year, I changed up how I was making the self-watering containers. Last year I used vinyl tile to separate the reservoir from the plant and soil. It worked well and served it’s purpose, but I learned my lesson when breaking them down. The containers froze up, and I had to wait three months until I was able to break them down. As I was breaking them down, I noticed that the weight of some of the soil and plants was causing the tile to break. This caused the plants to become to wet and not allow...

My winter container gardening ended in December, so I started to break down the self watering containers at my Grandmother’s. Once the sun went down the cold became freezing and I had to stop. When I woke up the next morning to finish breaking down the containers, they were frozen solid. All of the soil that I had been storing in the wheelbarrow was frozen as well. Unfortunately, I can’t do much until the soil defrosts, which I don’t see happening in the next few weeks. So I’ll have to wait to break down the rest. There...

With this being my last post of the year, I wanted to share with you my favorite moments from UrbanOrganicGardener. This might seem a bit self-serving, but when I first set out and started this project my goal was to get just one salad. It’s turned into a bit more than that. I’ve been able to get that salad (and many more), but I’ve also been able to connect personally with many of you and that’s really been the best part. So I’ll close out this year with some of my faves: Like I said my goal was to get one...