Buckets o’Veg, Towers o’Toms, Container Growing Anywhere*

by Jack

* almost anywhere where there is good sun, sufficient water, quality soil, a bit of attentive care and some love…

2011 spring is edging up fast – this year – are you going to grow something really good and productive? or just the same old miserable and pathetic droopy tomato plants?

Close your eyes and imagine all those big juicy tomatoes on your deck or in your yard – it’s mid-summer, warm breeze and sunny and you’ve got eggplant, and sweet cukes, crispy lettuce and ripe green zucchini  – mmmmmm!

OK, snap out of it and listen up – Here’s some tips on container gardening that you may or may not get on any of the other multitude of container gardening tutorials that will be lots more complete than I’ll ever have the patience to write.

read here to grow the best organic container veggies

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YIPEE! 18.4 BELOW Zero Outside, 31.6 In!

Challenges of the Solar Greenhouse by Jack

It’s the dead of winter here. No – it’s not like, say, Minnesota, where I spent some time in that un-holy frigid icebox. But the 6500 foot elevation of our high desert plateau is still no tropical island paradise. Last week when the snowstorm gripped the whole of the US and the jet stream dipped into Mexico and swooped across the southern states as well – we got slammed. I thought our rows of bok choi, chard and mizuna were goners.

On the coldest night, the temp slid all the way down to 18.4 degrees BELOW zero Fahrenheit (only 6 degrees short of a century-record low!). The greenhouse is almost 2000 square feet – so we’re talkin’ a pretty big space with only plastic for sides to keep warm. But by morning, when the sunshine happily broke over the far mesa and immediately started relieving the chill inside (it was still 14 below outside till noon), the greenhouse stayed just the tiniest nick under 32 degrees – 31.6.

No big deal, you say? Well YES it is! You see, we’re running a “solar” greenhouse, not a fossil-fuel guzzling heated greenhouse where ya just set the thermostat and close the door (and listen to the dollars wizzing up in smoke…).

warm up by reading about this cozy place in our frigid season