Starting Your Own Box Garden
This is perhaps the easiest way to get started with a vegetable garden.
You don't even need to have a garden. All you need is a styrofoam
box or other suitable box, some potting mix (or soil), and some seeds.
The box garden is described here in an
extract from Jackie French's book
A small styrofoam box. This
one has holes in the bottom, which are needed for the water
to drain out. The dips in the tops of the sides are annoying
since they reduce the usable depth of the box.
This is a larger box, which is a better size for a box garden unless
you would have trouble with moving it around when full of dirt. This
box did not have holes in the bottom, so I drilled some. I used a
drill for this, although it would be possible to use other tools
if you do not have a drill.
Any box that will not disintegrate when wet (as would an ordinary
cardboard box) will do. This plastic recycling box would be excellent
if some drainage holes were drilled into the bottom.
Some potting mix. The friendly lady at the local nursery said that
this was the best kind to use. And that she grew her own vegies in
a box like this, even though she has her own house and garden. I
used approximately one bag per box. I
imagine that almost any ordinary potting mix would also work. Soil
from your garden would be good too, if it is fertile, meaning that
it has a lot of organic content and nutrients.
You also need some seeds. These are from Eden
Seeds. They are the old traditional open pollinated varieties and have
no chemical treatment, and no genetic engineering.
If you have some old dead potplants, put the soil on the bottom so
you can use less potting mix.
I planted the seeds a lot closer to each other than it said to on the
pack, thinking that I would thin them out later and plant some in
my actual garden. It says on the seed packets how deep to plant them. The
below has been sown with the seeds as illustrated above. Give it
a good water once the seeds go in.
The box garden just after planting, 30 October 2007.
The first sprout coming up through the earth, after five days, on
4 November 2007.
The growing sprouts after 10 days, on 9 November.
The box garden after 10 days, on 9 November.
After 18 days, on 17 November.
After 35 days, on 4 December. The next step is to thin these out
by transferring some to the garden or to another box.
Organic Gardening, Peter Bennett. I found this book to be truly excellent. It is devoted entirely to organic methods of gardening. Almost all of the book (all of it except for about 5-10 pages) is about food plants rather than flowers or other ornamentals. The back cover states that it is the accepted major work on the subject of growing and cultivating plants in Australia and New Zealand using natural methods.
Click here to purchase from Australia $39.95 AUD
Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting, Lyn Bagnall. I just love this book. It's not laid out like a glossy magazine-page-style gardening book, just a plain old fashioned book with plain text. There are no pictures and the paper is nice and thick novel-style book paper, which is not glossy and does not smell of toxic chemicals in the way that colour books do. I find this book really easy to read, I love to pick it up and read bits from it and I have been learning heaps from it since I bought it.
It's not the most basic book so I would not recommend it as your first and only vegie gardening book, but if you have either another basic book (with pictures) or a bit of experience, I would absolutely recommend it. It have added it to this page because it includes a good section on container gardening, going into a lot of depth.
Click here to purchase from Australia $44.49 AUD
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Getting Started With Container Gardening
Starting a Vegetable Garden
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