So this post (along with all my posts) is long overdue. May 1st I went to a container garden class with Common Good City Farm. It was awesome! I expected it to only be a presentation/lecture but it was a hands on class where they gave us containers, transplants and seeds. They were so generous!!
Common Good City Farm is an urban garden located in the Ledroit Park area of Washington DC.
They have many programs for youth and low-income folks and allow anybody to come and volunteer for any amount of time. How cool is that?! I hope to get over there during my lunch break which is not far from my office. They have a community compost drop off throughout the year (even when they are closed). This is great because once when I went to my garden in the morning it was closed, so I just headed over to Common Good City Farm and dropped off my compost.
The Farm Manger Anita taught the class, and she rocked! She was so knowledgeable, passionate and the most important part nice! She started off the class by indicating that most vegetable plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight. This is basically the only necessity to grow food. How wonderful is that to hear! She went around the class asking what people’s space situation was and was able to offer a suggestion for everyone! I am currently growing four vegetables in my driveway. Window sills, patios, roofs and any itty bit of space you have is sufficient to grow food. Then Anita went into what can be used as a container, which is anything! She suggested using old plastic milk cartons, shoe boxes, boots, plastic bags that the potting soil came with (which is what I am using), garbage cans and anything that is either deep enough or wide enough for what you are planting. She explained that plants are not picky of what they are grow in. The most important factor is the soil and sun.
Here are some tips/learning points that Anita spoke about. Sorry for the random points, but I was writing quickly!
- Clay pots absorb water more quickly
- Black colored containers attract more heat
- You can pack a container with peanuts or beer cans and line with landscaping cloth to save on soil. Which is what we did for my carrot container.
- You only want to water tomatoes in the morning, and never water the seeds
- Fish emulsion is a great fertilizer. Anita remembers to fertilize her plants by ‘Fish Friday!’
- If you have a slug problem, you can make a beer border which will de-attract them. Slugs do not know what they are missing!
- Aphids are green insects that you see often on curled leaves. You can make a basic soap solution and spray directly on the leaves
I was able to take home two container gardens from the class. A tomato plant and a carrot plant. I used seeds for the carrots, and a transplant for the tomato. The two plants fitted perfectly in my bike basket.
Hopefully we will be harvesting soon!