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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A few more thoughts on growing

I know I said I wanted to post on seed starting, but I had a few ideas floating around in my brain still on yesterday's topic. Firstly, if you have to plant in buckets and you're having trouble finding cheap pots to put plants in, think about those 5 gallon plastic buckets that you can usually get for .25-1.00 at bakeries. Wash them out well, drill some drain holes in the bottom, fill with a good mix of compost and topsoil (the bagged stuff will work fine), and you've got yourself a place to plant! I used these buckets one year to grow potatoes in when I ran out of room in my garden. Don't worry about how they'll look! We're talking about survival here, not landscaping! Survival always looks great!

Another idea I had was to look for a garden plot of someone else's that you can tend. In 1999, when we were living in a rented home, I put an ad in our church's bulletin asking if anyone had a garden plot that I could 'borrow' for the season. One family answered my ad and had a small space I was able to plant. Then, my younger sis talked with her neighbor and found out she had planted a garden (in their neighbor's garden, no less) and was looking for someone to help her as she'd 'bit off more than she could chew'. I jumped at the opportunity! Since she'd already done the planting, I met with her once a week to pull weeds, and when fall came, we harvested and canned together and split the bounty! Not only did I make a great friend that I still have to this day, but I had fun gardening with someone and had jars of security in my cupboard! Something along these lines may happen again this year as younger sis might do some planting in our garden because she has a few too many beautiful trees in her yard! (Trees that drop tasty nuts!)

The idea I'm trying to get across is that it's okay to do something out of the ordinary, something that takes a bit of extra work, something that might not look beautiful in the world's definition of the word, to be able to feed yourself. When those bright red tomatoes, or deep green cukes are growing out of your bakery buckets, you'll think they're the most beautiful things you'd ever seen! When you can go to your yard and grab some free veggies for dinner, you'll be the happiest person alive!

Okay, next time we'll take a look at seed starting as it's almost that time here in IL!! (Is that cheering I hear???)

Prep on!
Gen-IL Homesteader


Aloha2U said...

Great post, there's a lot of excellent ideas here in your post. Around the island there are quite a few community gardens. Growing from 5 gallon buckets is a good idea, I have so many of these that I use for catching water and now I think I'm gonna start using some of them for planting, thank you so much for the tip!

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Glad to help, Aloha! How I'd love to have your growing seasons down there! Community gardens are such a great idea! Do you catch water with the buckets at your downspouts?

upinak said...

Hey there Gen, great read.

Bucket/container gardening is awesome! I have done it with just about every type of plant you can grow in Alaska. I have even done it with old colvert steel tubes, cut down to managable pieces. I still use them as the colvert tubes were 4 ft wide... cut down to 3 ft tall. Filling them is still a pain as I have 10 of them and have only used 6 of them so far. I am going to be filling more of them this next growing season.

Maybe, down the road we could do a container garden "What should you do if" blog together. I have had probelms with which I corrected concerning containers.. like over watering, fertilizer and such.

Maybe you can help me out with corn down the road. In Alaska we have this problem... it is called an over abundance of sunlight! ACK, you can't grow corn up here due to that. ANY hints would be great as i love to garden and eat fresh. You know that feeling!

Almost time to plant.. I can't WAIT!

upinak: Alaska Preppers.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Wow Upinak, your culvert garden sounds SOOO cool! So, the tubes are 4 feet wide? I'll bet you can plant ALOT in them! I would love to see pics! Do you have any on the blog?
Doing a container post together sounds great, although you probably have more experience than me!
You really can't grow corn up there, eh? What a bummer! Too bad there wasn't some way to cover it part of the day. Or plant in a part shade area? Is summertime the time when you guys have something like 24 hrs of sunlight? It seems like that would be such a hard thing to deal with! So, when are you able to plant up there?
Thanks for stopping by today! We'll stay in touch and think about that container post!

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