Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 2

After moving house sixteen times, I’ve learned to adapt my gardens to all sorts of spaces – large and small. This is a handy list of plants I’ve found to grow well in containers plus the depth of soil they need.

Some of my edible container gardens

Some of my edible container gardens

 

If you have difficult soil like sand, clay or rocks; limited space or funds, then I suggest you try growing at least some of your food in containers. Pots offer loads of benefits.

 

“Growing your own veggies is the first step to self-sufficiency.” – Clive Blazey, The Diggers Club

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Fast Food! DIY Instant Veggie Garden: Part 1

Do you want to make a quick mini garden? You can grow healthy ‘fast food’ like salad veggies and herbs in a simple box. Best of all, you can make it in about 15 minutes. The bonus is you’ll be eating the rewards in just a few weeks for only a minimal investment of time AND money. Let’s get started!

A wide variety of seasonal herbs, veggies and flowers can be grown in micro gardens and can reap you a rich bounty of food for minimum effort.

A wide variety of seasonal herbs, veggies and flowers can be grown in micro gardens and can reap you a rich bounty of food for minimum effort.

 

This is a system I’ve used for years with great success and it’s so easy. Even if you’re a beginner gardener or on a budget and need a thrifty solution, this is it! An easy container garden with just a few ingredients to get started. (more…)

Garden Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Good design is essential for small space gardens. If you have limited room to grow as many of us do in urban areas, maximising the area you can garden in and wise plant selection are top priorities. These space saving solutions may be just what you need.

 

It's important to use good design principles to make the most of small garden spaces. | The Micro Gardener

Sometimes it just takes a little inspiration to make some simple but creative changes to your space.

 

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Creative Ideas for Portable Gardens

Short of space?  Renting or on the move and need a mobile garden solution?  Or perhaps a health issue means you need a little more flexibility … Get some inspiration from these ‘pick up and grow’ creative ideas for micro gardens.

Edible wheelbarrow garden

If your soil is too poor or difficult to dig, a mobile solution in a compact space might be an easy solution.

 

Wheelbarrows are ready-made gardens on wheels – if yours has seen better days, rusted out or you want to make the most of the sunny spots you have, they are a great idea! (more…)

Sensational Shoe Planters

DIY – Make Your Own Creative Repurposed Shoe Gardens

If you need a little inspiration for your next plant container, the solution might be right at your feet … so to speak!

Don't give your shoes the boot. Repurpose them as decorative planters and sensational shoe gardens

Don’t give your old shoes the boot. Repurpose them as decorative planters.

If you’ve only got space for a micro garden, shoes make easy planters for herbs, shallow rooted leafy vegies and succulents that all do well in small spaces.

 

Repurpose with a purpose - This cute garden is from Lizard’s Home Sweet Home. Photo: Rabbit_mage

One night someone came into this school and broke every single pot in the garden. Instead of tossing it all, the kids picked up the bits, decorated them, and piled them along with some unique shoe planters and succulents, by a tree to make a cozy home for the wild lizards that hang around the school.

 

When your shoes have served their purpose, why not give them a new green life as a planter?  Add a few drainage holes with a screwdriver for soft soled shoes and use a drill for leather ones. If your sole already has a hole worn through, the job may be done for you!  Just fill with potting mix and plant away.  See below for boot-iful DIY shoe planter projects. (more…)

Clever Plant Container Ideas

DIY – Make Your Own Garden Planters

Why buy new when you can DIY and save money?  Need a little inspiration to get your garden started in a container?  Check out what some amazingly creative people around the globe have used to grow a garden in – just about everything!

 

School desk edible planter - just one of many Clever Plant Container Ideas @ www.themicrogardener.com

This old desk school desk has a new life in the garden as an edible planter filled with luscious lettuces, shallots and colourful flowers.

 

Ideas for Repurposed Planters … INCLUDING the Kitchen Sink!

 

Stuck for where to start?  Looking for inspiration for what to grow your next garden in?  Look no further! I hope you like these creative planters as much as I do.

 

Porcelain planters seem to be quite popular in some gardens.

A new meaning for ‘potted’ plants! These old toilet cisterns have also been given a new life as planters. Porcelain is long lasting and with built in drainage, their prior lives could be concealed behind other plants or a bamboo screen around the base.

 

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Repurposed Container Gardens – Turn Trash into Treasure

Ever wonder why some people’s gardens look so beautiful, full of character and have that special charm?  If you look closely at pictures in garden magazines or visit open gardens and nurseries, you’ll notice one of the clever design tricks they use is adding interesting features, repurposed containers and collections.

Small courtyard garden with good design creates an appealing space to enjoy.

This small courtyard garden is a good example of clever design and use of a collection of new and old pots. A seating area, water fountain, screening plants and coordinated colours also help unify this tiny space.

These little touches help to:

  • unify a garden
  • give it focus
  • create a theme
  • reflect your personality
  • add character

and enhance the visual appeal so you want to spend time in that special space.

 

“Designing your garden space is even more important if you have a micro garden.”

 

With a limited space and budget, it’s not always possible to buy new plant containers or garden art but you can still achieve a dream look and great functional growing spaces by ‘turning old into new.’  You don’t need special skills – just a little inspiration … and perhaps a little time to hunt around for the right object.

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Revitalising & Re-using Old Potting Mix

Do you garden in containers? If so, revitalising old potting mix and checking your pots on a regular basis are essential routine maintenance activities for ongoing plant health. If you are starting to see problems in your plants, it’s probably time to check what they’re growing in!

This is a trouble shooting article to help you improve your potting mix and solve some common problems.

Revitalising and re-using old potting mix

 

Can you Reuse Old Potting Mix? If so, HOW?

One of the principles of Frugal Gardening involves RE-USING materials = less waste and reduces our footprint on the planet. It also has the added benefit of saving us money!

Bags of commercial potting mix can be quite expensive particularly if you have lots of pots. It also dries out fast and your plants suffer.

Making your own homemade potting mix make sense (and cents)! Why? Because it lasts longer, provides all your plant needs and contains no nasty chemical additives like water crystals and soil wetters. Re-using your old potting mix definitely is more satisfying, sustainable and cost-effective. (more…)

How to Restore Waterlogged Pot Plants

Are your plants or soil waterlogged? There are many ways this can happen, but you CAN avoid losing your precious plants!

How to restore waterlogged pot plants + Solutions to save your plants from drowning, disease and contamination

Solutions to save your plants from drowning, disease and contamination

 

What is waterlogging and why does it occur?

Waterlogging is when the soil and root zone around plants becomes saturated. Basically, the water can’t drain away fast enough. This occurs when more rain falls than the soil can absorb or evaporate into the air.

This can happen with an intense period of rainfall such as summer storms. You may live in a heavy rainfall area and have a seasonal problem. If you live on a slope and have neighbouring properties above you, you literally may have water flowing through your garden.

Gardens and plants don’t only suffer from waterlogging as a result of extreme weather events. Overwatering especially in pots, poor drainage and heavy clay soils can also contribute to this problem.

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Choosing a Pot Plant Container – The Pros and Cons

All Pots Aren’t Created Equal!

Looking at micro gardening in a container?  If you are confused about what kind of pot or planter to choose, you’re not alone!  There are the good, the bad and the ugly out there. I’ve done the research for you and created a Comparison Chart to help you make the best decision on which is the best pot or container for you. Dig in!

 

A few points to consider:

  • Financial Cost: There are lots of options on the market if you are looking to buy – from cheap and cheerful to decorative and expensive.

  • Product Life: Think about the longevity of the pot you require. Is it for a short term project? If so, looks may not be important. Or is it something you’re prepared to invest in, as a design feature?  Extended durability can mean less consumption of resources.
  • Environmental Impact: Some planter materials and construction processes drain our natural resources. Others have a smaller environmental footprint using less resources. Processes used in manufacture and transport often require significant use of fossil fuels. As a ‘conscious consumer,’ is this important to you? If so, consider making your own pots where possible. Choose pots made from sustainable materials or reuse containers creatively to grow your plants.

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