Challenges

  • Growing in the wind – three solutions 5 comments

    Strong winds can be a headache if you're trying to grow food in the city. Balconies and roof tops are often exposed. Wind gets funnelled between buildings. Some air movement is good for plants (it helps reduce disease), but persistent or strong winds are not.  It can be difficult to grow successfully in very windy [...]

  • Hidden beauty: natural wood in the city 3 comments

    Sourcing materials to build your vertical allotment can be a headache in urban places. Big garden centres are often expensive or packed with mass produced products shipped thousands of miles. Skips can offer good pickings in more affluent cities if you have time to search them – but can’t be relied on to produce the [...]

  • How do you stop hanging baskets drying out? 12 comments

    If you're looking to fill gaps or take advantage of higher sunny spaces in your growing space, hanging baskets can be a good solution. They can also look great. The big issue with hanging baskets is that they dry out quickly. This is a problem when growing vegetables - as most like plenty of water! [...]

  • Municipal Compost: is it a good thing? 34 comments

      What is municipal compost? How can you use it in your container growing? Is it safe? And is it the answer for the urban grower looking for a good quality, sustainable growing medium? This post will try to answer these questions. My next post will answer more of your questions about municipal compost, posted [...]

  • Can you re-use compost? 10 comments

    One of the challenges with container gardening is what you do with used compost. Replacing it every year seems expensive, labour intensive and not a good use of resources. The good news is that you can reuse it. To re-use it successfully, you need to replace the nutrients used by the previous crop. You can [...]

  • Evidence for the value of good compost! 1 comment

    Just when I thought I'd got the knack of growing tomatoes from seed it all goes badly wrong: The main cause I've been advised by the experienced team up at Hawkwood (see Ru's excellent blog) is lack of nitrogen. As I planted them in fresh, commercially made, organic, peat free compost, I can only guess [...]