|Posted by Geoffrey Lacina on April 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM|
The April speaker was Beth Botts. She is the Senior Editor of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. She gave us a slide presentation on how to grow vegetables in very small or unusual places.
She showed us a slide of a person growing lettuce in gutters placed on the side of her house. She also showed us a picture of the first certified Organic Farm on the Roof of a building! Beth has a thriving vegetable garden on her back porch.
Beth discussed Intensive Gardening practices. This involved sowing two different vegetables in the same space. When the first one is finishing up, the second vegetables are just starting.
Beth also recommended Raised Bed farming using the Lasagna Gardening method. Raised Beds are gardens that are not flat on the ground. They could be dirt built up from the ground and kept in place by wood planks, cement, or rocks. If you use wood, the bottom will eventually rot, Cement walls can cause the garden soil to become more acidic as the cement releases lime in the dirt.
Lasagna Gardening uses layers of organic material and manure to build up the dirt. Leaves, Grass Clippings, and other yard waste can be used. The soil is not tilled or mixed. The new plants and seeds are sowed right into the organic matter. The organic matter slowly decomposes and feeds the plant's roots with its nutrients. The non-decomposed material on the top keeps weeds to a minimum. So does not tilling. When one tills they are bringing the weed seeds to the surface where they quicly start to grow (as I have experienced often!)
Beth talked to us about self watering containers. These containers have a reservoir of water on the bottom with a gap between the water and the soil. They are not entirely self-watering but they do cut down on the amount of watering that is needed. Beth showed us how to make our own and some tips on buying one.
When selecting plants, make sure to select ones that are for containers. They should say Patio, Bush, Dwarf, Container or Short Internodes. Not having this variety can make it difficult to harvest or control your plants.
Beth also showed us a Micro-Sprout garden. Theses gardens have very little space or dirt. The plants are only allowed to sprout before they are harvested.
Categories: Meeting Speakers