Container Gardening

DGA Nadine Daly 2016/2017 PROJECT

The purpose of this project is to try and help people become a little self sustaining, especially in these trying times of food shortages and minimal water.
The containers I suggest to be used are old tyres – they are readily available, cost nothing and you are doing good by recycling. You can use them singly or doubled up, depending on size and their purpose.

1. COMPOST :
This is a very important first step – making compost ;
– Dig a fairly large and deep hole in the ground, (about 50x50cm) or use a tyre or two depending on the number of people benefiting from the project.
– Add all your vegetable peels, cut offs, egg shells, tea bags, newspaper, etc
– Add some waste water as this stimulates decomposition.
– Add a thin layer of the soil you dug out on top – stops flies and smells.
– Turn the compost once a week to aerate, thereby stimulating decomposition.
– After a few weeks it’s ready for use or it can be added to all through the winter and then dug very well into the soil ready for seed planting. Compost can’t burn so the ratio is not critical – stay away from potting soil as it contains fertilizers which can burn the delicate roots.

2. SOWING THE SEEDS :
– The vegetables I would suggest sowing are carrots, beetroot, onions and sweet potatoes (below ground) and kale,cabbage, spinach, beans and pumpkin (above ground) as they are easy to grow, are nutritious, attract minimal disease and can be harvested fairly quickly. Once the soil has been prepared the seeds can be planted straight into the soil, averaging 1 cm below the surface. They must then be kept moist every day until they start coming up, then water 3 to 4 times a week – full sun most of the day is best and they can be sown any time of the year, but the hottest months are not advised. The time from sewing to eating should be anytime from 6 weeks on.
– The more the spinach is picked the more it grows, also the harvesting of the beans.
– Growing garlic in between also helps keep insects away – can be grown from a clove which is sprouting.

3. BE WATERWISE:
– Educate the people you are helping how to catch rain water in the rainy season – if the club can help with any form of water tanks or other containers it would help.
– Encourage people to use their “grey water” i.e. dish washing water and water that has been used to wash clothing in or bath water – this soapy water also helps minimise disease and pests.