My crusade for the new year is get everyone growing their own fruit and veg. I know that everyone is not lucky enough to have an allotment, a garden or even a patio. Now that I have moved to Italy, I only have a balcony where I will use every available space to grow things!
Growing in the smallest places
However, you can still grow your own food in even the smallest space. This is why I came up with the idea for my campaign – “Grow One Pot.” I want everyone to make a pledge to grow one thing this year. Then tell me what it is by leaving a comment below. Also tweet about it using the hashtag ‘#growonepot’
“Grow One Pot” came from the idea that you can using one pot or one container can produce a lot more fruit or veg than most people think.
Common things that people use are:
– A window box to grow herbs, or ‘cut and come again’ salads.
– A hanging basket to grow tumbling tomatoes
– A dustbin to grow your own potatoes
– Three canes to form a wigwam shape which can be used for all climbing plants such as peas, beans, etc to scramble up.
Why grow veg in your garden?
There are many wonderful reasons to garden partially or exclusively in containers. Growing crops in containers also gives you much more control over your plants. You can usually move them indoors if you are faced with an unexpected frost. Move them to another position if they do not appear happy where they are. Perhaps getting too much sunlight? You can even grow some vegetables indoors if you have a suitable sunny or bright area where you can sit some pots. So it can be easy to have a fresh, year round supply of flowers, vegetables and herbs.
The great thing about container vegetable gardening is that it is simple. You need a few essentials, like good quality compost. It can be done on a low budget and is extremely versatile. You can grow plants in virtually anything that holds some soil and has holes in the bottom for drainage. It’s only bounded by your imagination. A chance for some really creative recycling! I’ve used old bathtubs, 20-litre plastic containers with the tops cut off, baskets of various sizes lined with bin bags to hold the water in, milk cartons for seedlings, anything that comes to hand. I almost used some dumped toilet bowls. Only I didn’t like the colour as they were pink!
Low maintenance gardening
Using containers makes it possible to grow food in areas where it would otherwise be impossible. By employing some simple and innovative methods covered in more detail in future blog posts, such as vertical gardening, raised bed gardening, and square foot gardening, you can extract some excellent, and money-saving crop yields from just a tiny amount of space.
I’ll also be resurrecting a previous monthly blog post of what to do in your garden each month, I’ll alsoinclude tips on what to grow in your ‘container garden’ that month.
So, start the new year by making a pledge to get your fingernails dirty and growing at least one crop this year. Don’t forget to tell me what it is by leaving a comment below, and by tweeting me (@ourlivesinitaly) on Twitter, and using the hashtag #growonepot. I’ll retweet every one I see!