The Seed – planting in under-used spaces

This is the beginning of the beginning. Welcome. I’m glad you could witness this, today this blog exists, yesterday it did not. Today I become more accountable to my pledge to live a more sustainable life and today you have witnessed it. It might not be the same today as it is for me, but it is still a today. If you want to know more about this blog or me, check out my “about” page.

Todays are very powerful. They are our immediate access to our lives. They are the beginnings of many things. Today I am making my life more positive than yesterday. I will tell myself this everyday. Today I will grow things and use less and reuse more. I will tell myself this everyday. Welcome to the first day of the rest of my life. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. What seeds will you plant to make your world more positive, beautiful and sustainable? What will you learn from yesterday to make today luminescent? Your life is this moment and this moment and this moment. My life is this moment and this moment and this moment.  What did you do today that you loved, what did you do with your moments? What seeds are you planting?

Today I planted winter seedlings. I’ve been avoiding planting anything new this year because we’re moving in 2 months time, but I hate not having vegetables growing… so I caved and did a little temporary planting. It’s way easier than you would think to grow your own food. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either.

I have used an under-utilised space under my washing-line to plant some chickory, brussel sprouts, sage (my all time favourite herb) and red spring onions.

IMGP1462

You don’t have to use fancy pots, you might even be able to use a container you have lying around or get froma salvage yard (like old olive oil tins, or a bath.) I use these plastic tubs:

IMGP1448

I knocked drainage holes into them with a block splitter (quite a few holes). I checked that they drained adequately by putting water in them.

Place your pots into the position you want BEFORE you start filling them, they can be pretty heavy to move afterwards. I put mine in a line under my washing-line. I can still access the line, but now I’m utilising that sunny position TWICE! Plus if there are any spare drips from the drying clothes, they’ll be watering my veggies.

I put some rubbley rocks on the bottom of the tubs to help with drainage. I just used some of the gravel from around my backyard.

IMGP1465

IMGP1466

Then you need to put some kind of plant matter in for another level of drainage. I just used some grass clippings and some of the pruning off cuts from the garden:

IMGP1467

I used these tubs over summer to grow veggies, so I didn’t want to waste the potting mix I used for them. I broke the roots up that were through the soil and layered this old potting mix with some new potting mix. This meant I didn’t have to buy as much potting mix (finance win!)

IMGP1468

IMGP1469

IMGP1471

There is zero point in using cheap, crappy potting mix. If you’re going to buy potting mix, buy something decent. If it means you can’t buy as much, then grow fewer plants. I can guarantee it’ll ensure that the plants you DO grow are far more likely to produce at an optimum level. I always try to use an organic potting mix. I actually filled my tubs much more than you can see here. This is because the plant matter at the bottom is going to break down and so the soil level will drop.

When you buy pots of veggies they usually come in large clumps. It’s most effective to break these clumps up a bit because as the grow EACH ONE of these little plants could become a plant…

IMGP1472 IMGP1474

Dig a small hole and place your seedling in. Space them apart enough to allow them to grow into plants. Re-fill the hole around the seedling, then press the soil down firmly around the seedling, this encourages water to drain towards the plant’s root system, as well as providing a firm grounding for the roots to grow into.

I watered the seedlings in. You have to really soak the soil, someone told me once this was to get rid of the air around the roots as well as to give the plant a growth boost… it can be pretty shocking to get uprooted and planted somewhere else!

IMGP1475 IMGP1477

Here’s the final product, complete with washing on the line. What do you think? Have you got any under-utilised sunny spots? Have you got any containers that could be turned into an impromptu veggie garden?

IMGP1479

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Seed – planting in under-used spaces

  1. Nice work! I really need to plant stuff for winter in my garden!
    I actually have plants in a purple one of these containers, and it’s a wicking pot. Have you heard of wick gardening? Can be quite easily done with these plastic containers (though wine barrels are awesome, my friend and workmate Harry Wykman puts a fruit tree in the middle and herb seedlings around the edge), here’s some info: http://www.childsplaypermaculture.com.au/wick-gardening.html
    Ahhh, you make me want to blog as well, but I’m procrastinating on a uni assignment (for Sustainability studies), funnily enough, my essay topic is “Can an individual make a change towards a more sustainable way of living and why?” Heh. So reading this blog post was obviously research. If I end up referencing you, I’ll send you the essay! ;D

  2. sounds great. Yeah I’ve heard of wicking, Mum does it… I’ve always been petrified of the fact you seem to have to get it dead level (yeah I know, I’m a loser). I’ll check the site out… maybe we’ll be wicking in the new place, eh?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s