If you think you need to have a yard to garden, think again! There are a number of “self-watering container garden boxes” that are the new and improved window box that goes IN your house. One of the more popular ones is called “Earthbox®.” What I love about this tool is that you can grow a lot of food in a very small space and indoors!
While I have a lot of room to grow outdoors, here in New Mexico that means I’m offering those plants to a host of predators including ground squirrels, rabbits, mice, grasshoppers, and any number of critters hungry for some green grub. I also am subjecting those plants to a lot of wind and dry air that can wither a succulent in twenty minutes.
Having tried a number of protected gardens outside, I decided to go with just growing in these types of container gardens indoors because I have plenty of window space. You can grow 6-8 tomatoes or basil plants (or any number of other plants) in an 18” x 24” space. They do have some smaller versions and I’ve use those as well.
The really cool part about this kind of container garden is there is water reservoir space below the soil. You fill that part until a small stream of water comes out the overflow hole (you need to stick a small container to catch the cup of water that comes out). Then the plant is set for 2-4 days without needing to be watered again as the soil and plant roots just wick the water up to the rest of the plant. Some of the bigger versions take about 3 gallons of water.
As you can see from the picture of my latest tomato crop, the biggest challenge is vining the tomatoes and pruning them properly to keep them productive. When the plant isn’t productive anymore, you can just pull the old plants out, replenish and feed the soil, and start with a new crop. It’s great fun for the kids and gives you food and more oxygen in your home.
If you’re the DIY type there are lots of websites with directions on how to make your own container garden. I suggest you get good organic soil from a reliable source to start and use organic amendments. The healthier the soil (full of organisms), the more nutritious your food will be.
We can all be a part of creating a sustainable food system. We all can also use the Holistic Management decision-making process to help make more sustainable decisions that improve our quality of life at the same time. You can learn more about Holistic Management and take the HMI Challenge!
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