A Guide to Container Gardens
With inexpensive containers and suitable soil mix, you can create an urban garden virtually anywhere - on roof tops, vacant city lots, borwn fields, and unused portion of parking lots
WESTERVILLE. the new urban sprawl also creates urban wastelands like: roof tops brown fields and unused paved spaces. Migration from rural areas also brings into the urban areas many persons with very little formal education.D. Urban agriculture may be a way to occupy the inner city youth. Ebenezer. Technology for the Poor. Urban agriculture has the potential for creating micro-enterprises that can be owned and operated by the community members without too much of initial capital. Any further encroachment of natural habitat for other creatures may result in serious degradation of the eco-system.com
INTRODUCTION It is estimated that by 2030 AD nearly 50% of the world’s population may live in urban areas.Job S. This may result in unemployment and under employment of a sizable number of people. parolees and persons on welfare. homeless persons. In addition to the loss of farmland. A large amount of the fruits and vegetables consumed by the US population is currently imported. As a consequence of this many millions of acres of productive farmland are expected to be lost to housing and other usage. Idleness and frustration of the masses may result in the increase of crime and other problems.
. Due to the recent terrorist attacks. President. 877 PELHAM COURT. There is no widespread testing of these imported produce for harmful chemicals and biological agents at the border crossings. Ph.43081 technologyforthepoor@yahoo. food security and safety are seriously compromised. parolees and disabled. Inner city churches and community service organizations can use urban agriculture as part of their programs for the seniors. Urban agriculture has the ability to mitigate this problem as the fruits and vegetable grown in the urban areas can be carefully monitored and safeguarded. OHIO .
8. has introduced container garden techniques for impoverished counties like Haiti. Urban gardens provide creative ways to “recycle” old tires and other containers that otherwise would be thrown into landfills. 7. Churches and social service organizations can use urban gardening to “rehabilitate. The hope was that the roof top garden would serve as a role model for creative use of urban space throughout the country. Florida. In 1993. It is easy to practice “intercropping” (planting a variety of plants in one container) which ensures the health of plants due to diversity. 5. Dr. former Director of Environmental Stewardship and Hunger Education at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) established a container garden on the roof of the parking garage of the ELCA offices in Chicago. Each year since 1993. and roof tops) Urban gardening provides “meaningful employment” for persons with limited skills and formal education. brown fields. Job Ebenezer. 3. used tires and feed sacks. urban gardeners at the ELCA offices in Chicago harvested nearly 1. and provide therapy. Establishing and maintaining an urban garden are very “inexpensive”. 4. Ancient cities like Babylon had their hanging gardens and farms in or in the vicinity of urban areas. unused parking lots.”
. During World War II. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF URBAN GARDENS There are several reasons why urban gardens using containers are effective:
1. A few decades ago ECHO (Education Concerns for Hunger Organization) in Fort Myers. They enable us to practice “intensive” gardening method through 2. Urban gardens “make use of urban wasteland” (vacant lots. the US has started to import much of the fruits and vegetables from other countries.HISTORY OF URBAN FARMING Urban farming is not new. create income generation projects. It is possible to “conserve” both soil and water as containers prevent run offs of soil and excessive watering.000 pounds of vegetables from nearly 40 wading pools and a dozen of used tires and feed sacks. Ebenezer proved the feasibility of growing vegetables in plastic wading pools. Only recently. The demonstration garden has proved to be highly successful. 6. Dr.
maximum utilization of limited space. it is estimated that nearly 40% of the fresh vegetables and fruits in this country were produced in the Victory Gardens.
. They are known to last for more than 6 years in harsh climate regions like Chicago. provide a decent size growing area and costs under $10.15 inches deep. The topsoil. and manure that fill the pool can be bought for under $20.WADING POOL GARDENS The plastic wading pool is the most cost-efficient container available. peat moss. A 4 – 6 ft diameter pool of 12 .
Leave about 2 inches space from
.Wading pools can be placed in any area that could not be used for conventional gardens. Locate the pools in a sunny location before filling it with growing medium. Check for exposure to sun (at least 6-8 hours of sunshine is needed for most of the plants). along fences and railroad tracks. These holes will drain excess water and the space above 2 inches from the bottom of the pools will hold excess water and keep the soil moist for a longer period. such as brown fields.
Do not fill the pool with growing medium (mixture of top soil. black tops. On contaminated surfaces. Wading pools should be set on a level ground. This space is needed to have access to the surface of the pools for weeding and harvesting. such as rooftops. Provide space between pools for paths for foot traffic. vacant lots and abandoned industrial sites. peat moss and compost) all the way to the rim of the pool. wading pools can be used to isolate the growing medium from contamination. WADING POOL GARDEN PREPARATION Take any wading pool and carefully drill ¾ to 1 inch holes every 12 to 18 inches around the circumference of the pool 2 inches above the base of the pool.
. Add compost or a reasonable amount of organic or other fertilizers known for their safety periodically. Therefore water the wading pool gardens as often as you see the need. Plants need space to grow and produce good yield and therefore it is necessary to provide sufficient space between various plants. You can use either seeds or seedlings and follow the instruction on the seed packets and seedling containers for distances between the plants. You can stop watering when you see the water dripping from the holes on the side of the pools. As the wading pools are above the ground they tend to dry up quickly.the rims so that water may not overflow and cause soil loss. Weed as you see the need for it is impossible to avoid the growth of undesired plants in the pools. You can add more growing media as the soil starts to settle and the depth decrease over the duration of growing season.
Roof Top Garden
Vacant Lot Garden
. Care should be taken to isolate the tire surface from the growing medium. This is easily accomplished by using a plastic liner as shown in pictures below.USED TIRE GARDENS Used tires are a great resource for creating a container garden in urban areas.
FEED SACK GARDENS Feed sack containers are the least expensive of all the containers described above. Feed sacks come in different forms: burlap bags or woven plastic bags. Lay the feed sack on its side and cut 2”-3” square holes. pour the growing medium into the feed sack and close the open end using a twine or wire. To construct a feed sack container. Due to the pores in them they are quite suited as containers to grow vegetables. Soak the growing medium and plant the seeds or seedlings in the holes. They are good for one season and may have to be replaced every season. The following page contains photographs that illustrate the procedures for setting up a feed sack container garden.
Feed Sack Gardening
Fill Feed Sack with Growing Medium
Make Holes for Planting
Plant Seeds or Seedlings in the Holes
Tending Feed Sack Garden
Feed sacks can be placed along perimeter
VARIOUS CONTAINERS USED IN URBAN GARDENING The previous sections described three types of containers viz. used tires. and feed sacks used in urban agriculture. bricks. There are a number of other containers that could be used in urban gardens. barrels. and plastic pails with holes in them could be used to grow vegetables in urban areas..
. The following photographs show how wooden crates. wading pools.
877 PELHAM COURT.D. you can set a convenient container garden for the disabled and senior citizens.
For further information you can visit www. 3. OHIO .arts4all.43081 technologyforthepoor@yahoo.
A Few Suggestions For Innovative Uses Of Urban Gardens 1. Ebenezer. 2. Ph. You can find relevant literature that suggests such medicinal plants on the Internet or in your library.com/elca/ You may contact us for further information at the following mailing address:
Job S." Comparision of vegetable yield data between ELCA. National Farms* Wisconsin Farms*
17. the productivity of container gardens is quite impressive. Your churches' social ministry groups can grow safe and quality vegetables on the churches' unused spaces and supply them to soup kitchens and homeless shelters.S.867 lbs/acre U. Urban gardens can be used for gowing medicinal plants for HIV/AIDS patients to increase their immunity. pictures and diagrams will be of help to you in creating an urban garden using various containers. By using picnic or elevated platforms. Technology for the Poor. As you can see from the table shown below.We do hope that the narratives.S. U. President. This is due to the fact that the space is used intensively and the growing medium can be made to be of high quality.680 lbs/acre
May God bless you as you obey God's commandment in Genesis 2:15. and Wisconsin Farms
Vegetable Cucumber ELCA RoofTop Equivalent 58. which commands us "To till the land and keep it.527 lbs/acre 12.
Snap Bean Tomatoes Bell Peppers
9.206 lbs/acre 23.725 lbs/acre 25.980 lbs/acre 24.408 lbs/acre 37.600 lbs/acre
6.930 lbs/acre Data N/A Data N/A
*National & Wisconsin data from the United States Department of Agriculture