Sunday, March 16, 2008

Container Gardening in the City

It won't save the world, and it won't save a whole lotta money, but let me extol the virtues of using whatever little space we city-dwellers have for biointensive container gardening.

It's fun.

It's cheap.

It attracts birds, which are also cheap fun.

If you start real early, you can grow from seeds which makes the operation almost free, from a money standpoint. (Time, of course, is another matter.)

The time we spend watering and otherwise nurturing your plants and the soil they grow in is therapeutic. Container gardens are therapists that work for free, and let you hold a beer while working on your mental health!

There are a lot of little corners that are better off with something growing in a pot. Look around! A sunflower need very little space, and yields amazing results.

This year, I'm trying to grow everything from seed (although I did invest in a very nice current bush, which is already rewarding us with blossoms) and trying to build as much soil as possible from existing materials, instead of just buying potting soil (I may have to get a little more potting mix, but so far I've just refreshed last year's soil.) Wish me luck!


Mel said...

Just a thought: you might want to experiment with some store-bought compost mixed (or scratched, with a hand-rake) into the top few inches of soil. It is an organic gardening method for container gardening that will yield bioavailable nutrients from the compost, as well as the physical aeration-ability that the compost provides. It's better than Miracle-Gro! ;)

Another thought is to try compost tea, if you lack the space for a bag of compost. I use compost tea made from worm composters (they sell it at the Ballard Farmer's Market in the summer). Compost tea is basically a liquid fertilizer (you could make it yourself by steeping compost in a bucket of water, too), and it contains many micronutrients that conventional synthetic fertilizers do not contain (because it's easier to make something that only contains N,P & K than to add in all the little bits and pieces that contribute to a well-balanced soil). is a great place to poke around! :)

(PS: it's "currant", with an "a", not "current" :) hehee)

rewinn said...

Good points, Mel, thanks! I'm working my way through a book on biointensive gardening, adapting it to my containers.

I like its idea of building soil. I guess my container garden is my workshop; instead of furniture, I'm building plants ;-)