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Just came across this post over at jbbardot.com I think everyone should read.  You can read the full article here.  With the constant onslaught of GMOs, pesticides, and chemicals making their way into the food supply, growing food in your home garden has become less of a hobby and more of a necessity. Many people have now begun to grow a large portion of the fruits and vegetables they consume at...

Let me know if this story sounds familiar to you… You became interested in growing your own food because you want to know where your food is coming from. You wanted to learn more, so you got a stack of books to read and spent hours researching on the internet. All you have to show now is a headache and feel completely overwhelmed. You don’t feel any closer to starting your garden than before all the research. I know it does because you have told me this. There is a better solution. I know this feeling too.. …because...

Spring is here… getting lots of messages about starting your first container garden. You are excited and nervous. And for good reason. You’ve lots to do in the next couple months! Why your garden will fail The 3 reasons your garden will fail this year. 1. You want to grow a farmers market in your small space. You want to grow tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers,...

You want to start container gardening, but there is one thing that’s stopping you? What is it? I’ve been asking for your feedback over the last few weeks through surveys and on the Urban Organic Gardener Facebook page. The reason for asking is because I’m starting to develop an online vegetable container gardening training course for you that will empower you to easily start growing your own food. Based on what you have told me, the hardest part about starting…is just that. It’s starting. Reasons why you...

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. –...

We’ve talked about indoor seed starting and it’s advantages. While it may be advantageous to start some seeds indoors, it’s not wise to do so with all seeds. The general rule of thumb is if it grows underground, plant it directly. Stick with that and you should be good. Save yourself the hassle and plant these seeds directly in your containers. Save yourself the hassle and plant these seeds directly in your containers. — Tweet This Beans Beets Carrots Dill Garlic Onions Peas Radishes Your turn In...

You are getting ready to start your seeds. Or you might be making your wish list of seeds to buy… 3 sources to buy your vegetable seeds. …but you’re not sure how many can fit into a container. That’s exactly what some of you told me that you were going through. You don’t want to have a tray filled with 30 nicely labeled kale seedlings and only three containers to put them in. That would be a waste of your time and money. To help you out, I created a simple to follow chart. Know how many plants per container From...

After getting the news yesterday that the vegetable gardening season already started and some plants should already be out, I need to get moving quicker. I went out to visit the ‘rents place today in Staten Island to make all of the self-watering containers at their crib. All of the materials were there, so it was just a matter of putting everything together. At their spot, I have am going to have two containers and two buckets set up. Each container took about a half hour to put together regardless of the size. There are two...

I took a trip to the Farmers Market at Union Square today to find out when it’s ok to start putting the containers out and how many plants go in each bucket. Yes, it would make sense if I had all of the containers and buckets ready, but I have just about zero complete. Still want to know how much of and what can be grown. Went straight to the Silver Heights Farm stand and spoke to Trina, who was helpful. Much to my shock she told me that it is the season for vegetable gardening. The containers should be out now because there are...

Instead of buying one of them fancy upside hanging planters, I decided to reuse 2 liter soda bottles. Finding them was actually much easier and cleaner than expected. ...

by jamieleto After securing the garden space in Staten Island and sleeping on it the past few days, I came up with a plan to make this more affordable and environmentally friendly. I did as much research as I could into what would be the most affordable, environmentally sound and healthy way to do this project. The first thing that I looked into was which plastics are food safe and environmentally safe? The numbers on the bottom of the containers surely mean something. Sure enough they do. Then came across another site, which spoke about...

I took my first crack at making the insert for the self watering container today. The hardest part was cutting a square into circles that would fit snuggly into the bucket. Yes, I just said snuggly. Tools that I needed: Razor blade Scissor Pen Thumbtack Rope or string Something to measure water Materials: 5-gallon bucket Coin cup to use as my wicking basket 1 12″x12″ vinyl tile Drill with 1/4″ bit Steps in making the insert: Put the cup in the container and fill with water. Stop when the water reached the top of the...

So in a matter of two days I’ve greatly expanded this project from a small garden on my fire escape in Manhattan to a large garden in Brooklyn and my parents in Staten Island. That’s a lot for someone who has zero experience in this, but that’s how I do. When I get involved in something I go full steam ahead. Now that I have all of these spots, the costs drastically increased. I need to let this sink in, figure out what I am going to grow and how. Also going to take another read through the book and catalog to see...

As you can see, by this time I am expert at getting buckets. Once I get my Flip Video camera I’ll have to record and educate you on my ways. For now just be in awe of my splendor. I’ve also been doing more reading into building the self watering containers and what can be used. As of now, I am going to go with the bucket in bucket or the plastic tote in plastic tote approach. Those seem to be the ones that best suit my needs. ...

First off, I scored my first bucket last night. On the way back from the movies (I checked out Anvil and highly recommend to any 80s metalheads out there). I saw one laying out next to a dumpster, so I snagged it. Soaked it over night in some baking soda and vinegar. Like new. My Gram sure is smart. Besides being a ridiculously gorgeous day outside today, it was a productive one as well. Picked up the Incredible Vegetables from Self Watering Containers book from the library. I went to the park, laid out in the grass and started to plow...

I am taking this project beyond my small fire escape garden and back to my Brooklyn roots in Canarsie. Yup, I’ll be growing a vegetable garden in Brooklyn. What? A few weeks ago my grandmother offered up her backyard to grow what I wanted. The offer was turned down because I didn’t think that I’d have the time to tend to it, and I wouldn’t expect my 90-year old grandmother to take care of it. My gram still lives in Canarsie, which is about an hour commute from me. Now that I’ve come across self watering...

by your idea After some research, I got more info on the self watering containers. The Homegrown Evolution had a great resource on Self Irrigating Planters posted on April 5. One site that I checked out, Instructables, had a few different variations. One using 2 liter soda bottles and plastic totes. I like it cheap and green. Fits the criteria. Before I got too far ahead of myself, I had to talk to my roommate to see if he’d let me put these containers out on the fire escape since it’s out of his window. Luckily, he and I...

For the past few days I’ve been lamenting in my stupidity of building a window garden in a spot that gets no sun. Smart move on my part. Good job. But things done changed. I was trolling around on this here internet for what I can possibly grow or do. I came across the idea of self watering planters. Most importantly this video: The basic concept of self watering containers is that the water is on the bottom of the container and the soil above. There is a separator between the two and a small basket that allows the plant to get...

by Tomás Fano Great. Got the compost going and the shelves built. Walked down to the Farmers Market at Union Square today to talk to some of the farmers about what I grow on my newly built window garden. To sum it up real quick – nothing. Yup, that’s right nothing can be grown out there. It gets about two-three hours of indirect sunlight a day on a good day, which doesn’t allow for most vegetables. So the window garden is out of the question. Great planning on my part. Back to square one to figure out what if anything...