Thursday, November 26, 2015

Container Gardening on Lava Land

Living on a lava rock island, I hear plenty of people whining that they can't grow vegetables because they have no soil. Sorry, but no sympathy from me. Zero! I've had good success using my pallet grow boxes. But on their down side, they require a lot of organic material to fill them. But don't dispair. A friend of mine is proving that you can grow successfully in smaller containers. 

I was just up at my friend's house, and was taken on a tour of her garden. She's been quite creative....and successful. 

She proves that you don't need to go out and buy expensive bags of topsoil. Nor do you need to spend money for containers. Dead coolers and discarded plastic barrels cut in half work just fine. 

Right now she has peas, potatoes, and gourds. She's had success with radishes in the past. In her area she could do well with most cool season crops. 

One thing that I noticed that is an advantage with containers is that you can position them in spots according to the sun. Full sun. Part sun. Morning sun, afternoon shade. That sort of thing. This gives much more flexibility in gardening efforts. 

This friend is a master gourd grower. She grows amazing gourds even though her land is basically just lava with a thin layer of duff. It's all due to container gardening. 

She started out with just a thrown away cooler. Every year she recycles the soil that she's created by adding more organic stuff -- weeds, grass, and pulled up plants. The coarse stuff, such as coconut husks and such, go into the bottom of the containers, with the finer stuff atop that. I see that she has been increasing the number of containers as time goes by. Great! 

1 comment:

  1. It's too bad that straw bales are so expensive in Hawaii. Straw bale gardening would work great there. I've done it when I had a terrible gopher problem and it worked beautifully. (hardware cloth underneath bales and then business as usual).