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....

So here it is my first post of 2011. It’s been about a month since I lasted posted. It looks like the world continued to exist and get by, which is good. Towards the end of last year I was starting to feel like I wasn’t bringing much value to the blog and internet world. I felt as if my posts and the information that I was providing was stagnant and blah. So I decided to unplug and take a break. During the break I received a bunch of messages and comments from people, which was much appreciated. People were letting me know...

Posted on Dec 6 2010 - 3:38am by Mike Lieberman
#22

This is going to be my last post of 2010. I need to take a break from posting and promoting. I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant lately. I think the posts and blog have suffered because of it. It feels like I’m forcing content and just putting stuff out there. It feels like I’m saying the same things over and over again to the same people. I appreciate those people, but I think I need to take some time off to hopefully rest, refocus and re-energize. Hope everyone has a good holiday and happy new year. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38ZmkCIZ-VM ...

It’s getting close to winter time here in the States. Last year during this time I was wrapping up my growing season on my fire escape garden. This now that I’m on the left coast I can grow on my balcony garden year round. Not everyone is that fortunate when it comes to their growing season. For most of you the season has pretty much ended unless you’ve built a cold frame or hoop house to extend your season. Just because the weather has dropped doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to grow or start to grow...

One of the biggest stories and bills that’s out there right now is the S510 Food Safety Modernization Act that recently passed Senate. There is lots of speculation and to do about this bill because it can have a huge impact on growers both large and small. It’s written in legalese and has a bunch of amendments and additions to it that it’s confusing to follow and understand what’s going on. Grist.org has been covering the bill in more detail. With all of that being said, there is one thing that I definitely don’t...

There have been mysterious sprouts growing in the containers on my balcony garden for months now. At first I thought they were old seeds that I had planted and never sprouted, but then I planted in new containers using new soil and the sprouts appeared again. Some of the sprouts have finally started to mature to the point where they have full leaves. They are dark green in color and hearty like malabar spinach. I cannot identify what they could possibly be. Are they a weed? Edible? Ornamental? I’ve pretty much thinned them out in...

One of the questions that I frequently get asked is what vegetables can be grown in a shady garden. Most of us that grow in an urban environment are faced with this situation. I’ve been growing for about 1.5 years between my fire escape garden and now my balcony garden. Both gardens received at max 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. That didn’t stop me from attempting to grow veggies that required more sun. Those attempts were unsuccessful. I now know that tomatoes and cucumbers won’t do well given my current environment. Besides...

Most people only give thanks for their food during their Thanksgiving (or other holiday) meals. It’s usually done as an afterthought. My question is why is being thankful for the food on our plate part of our daily routines? Why is it something reserved for Thanksgiving? To me this is another example of how disconnected we’ve become from our food source. Thanksgiving is usually a time when friends and families congregate together to be thankful for each other. Giving thanks for the food is done as a, “Oh yea thanks for...

On the surface this question is gonna seem stupid, but I think it has just caused to be asked – Do you need to add seeds to potting soil in order for something to grow? A few weeks back I wrote about mysterious sprouts growing my containers. I thought I had solved the mystery and that they were old seeds that never sprouted. Since that time I’ve planted four new containers. They were started using brand new bags of potting soil and the same sprouts are emerging. When I planted the seeds in the containers, I definitely did...

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. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Bkaytx2zE ...

It’s been over a month since I started the shipping palette herb garden. It didn’t take long for the containers to sprout, but there is a slight problem. Initially I thought there would be a problem with the second and third rows because of the way that the water was draining down. That has not been an issue. I’ve been applying a small amount of compost every other week and reusing the water to help keep the plants nourished. The problem that I am encountering is that the containers in the top row aren’t doing well....

Posted on Nov 8 2010 - 3:55am by Mike Lieberman
#0

There were a total of 13 comments left to enter the hydroculture contest. To select a winner, I used Random.org to randomly select a number between 1-13. The number generated was…7. Counting from the top, the seventh comment was from Risa whose comment was, “Hey (PCOStherealdeal here)Been following your channel on YT since before you made the big move and I love watching your channel grow and change. Iv got a small jerry riged system half way put together with optional fish and tank it actually really could be cool. I plan...

Since I’ve shown you what it’s like feeding my worms, they have gone a mating spree. They have been reproducing like crazy. I assume that this means that they are really comfortable with their environment. Not sure that my words could do much justice for how many there are, so hopefully this video can: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU9X8RGSL6U ...

I want to brag a little bit in this post. It’s been about 7-months since I left NYC for LA. In terms of growing food and gardening, it’s starting to settle in now. It hit me when Colleen Vanderlinden wrote 10 Things to Do Now for a Better Garden Next Spring on Planet Green. Last year during this time, I was fussing around and attempting to build small plastic greenhouses on my fire escape garden and in my Grandmother’s backyard. I eventually scrapped those ideas. I actually just planted two containers with kale and collard...

Wanted to give a glimpse into what it’s like feeding my worms. Since I’m using a Worm Factory 360, I needed to start a new tray. Here’s what I did: Added some blended food scraps to the bottom. Covered them with some browned fallen leaves. Topped that with shredded newspaper that I sprayed down with a water bottle. Covered everything with a sheet of newspaper that I sprayed down as well. It’s quick and easy. Here’s a video to see what it’s like. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7xCkWDXM8A ...

Susan Reimer wrote a piece on the Garden Variety blog of the Baltimore Sun about the objections that people have when it comes to school gardens. I’m pretty sure that the mentions were specific to the Chicago area. In my humble opinion the reasons that people gave were ridiculous. Before we get to the reasons I want to express my beef with the fact that the food grown in the school gardens can’t be used in the cafeteria’s to feed the kids. According to the article: Monica Eng of the Chicago Tribune describes the garden...

The thing that I think needs to be communicated more often is that my balcony garden ain’t perfect And you know what…who cares? Everything that I plant, grow, sprout, whatever doesn’t look great and doesn’t always work. I’ve been having problems with my cucumber containers. I think this needs to be said and said more often for a few reasons. The first, and most important, is that one of the biggest excuses that I hear from people is that they always fail when attempting to grow things. I have three containers...

I noticed that there were mysterious sprouts growing in some of the containers on my balcony garden. Unsure as to what they were, I posted a picture on Between the Posts and asked. No one could identify them. They started off showing up sporadically in a few containers, but they’ve since started to grow more densely. Then I realized it. Before I left for Costa Rica, I dumped out all of the soil (and seeds) that were in the coconut shell planters. There were about 20 in total and only three or four had sprouted. The soil was put into...

Organic. It’s a terms that’s thrown around like crazy, but what the hell does it mean? What is organic gardening? What is organic food? There is the USDA definition of organic, which you can try to decipher and understand because it’s as useful as the last Juvenile album. I do know what organic, living organically and gardening organically mean to me. To me there are many things that factor into being organic. Some we have more control and access to than others. We can’t really decide that we don’t like...

I am going to restart my experiment in starting seeds using hydroculture. After the first week, there was nothing. No sprouts. Nada. I thought, and from what people were saying, it could’ve been because they were getting too dry. So I put a tray under them and kept that filled with water. Still nothing. It was then suggested that it could be too dry for them being outdoors. I’m not one to give up easily and want to get this to work. They have now been brought back indoors to pretty much start from the beginning again. I took...