raised beds Gill Wild

Gill Wild

Many people would love to grow their own food, but have tiny gardens, no gardens, a balcony or a small allotment plot. Raised beds are a wonderful idea to grow vegetables and herbs, as if the whole of England bought or built raised beds to grow seasonal weed-free product, it would help stop food poverty and remove profits from big supermarkets that sell imported veggies laden with pesticides. Peaceful politics in action!

No-dig gardening is the gardening way of the future. Not only is it easy and better for your back, but it means no garden forks or spades accidentally harming creatures like earthworms or baby stag beetles (big grubs in soil).

Grow food with natural twine and keep fresh compost away from pets. Make your garden safe for pets (fruit pips & seeds contain cyanide). Use humane ways to prevent slugs/snails, and avoid large-hole netting (traps wildlife – apply fruit protection bags (after pollination). Never face indoor foliage to gardens, to help stop birds flying into windows

If you have hard or weedy soil, a raised bed is like the ‘let’s go bankrupt and start again’. Just fill a raised bed with peat-free compost then plant and harvest. There are no weeds or digging, and you can grow organic from scratch. Raised beds are also good to avoid bending (and also wheelchair-friendly, if set at the correct height). Raised Bed Gardening for beginners is a good book, with plants to build beds with a few common tools, and details on how to build the right soil mix to fill your beds, plus store and harvest your produce.

Marmax Products sells good raised bed kits, made from recycled plastic. Ideal for allotments, gardens and schools, they’re sold with a 25-year guarantee as they won’t rot, corrode or splinter. You can leave these outdoors year-round.

vertical gardening for small spaces

Vertical Gardening offers low-cost and sustainable DIY projects, in a practical guide for growers with small spaces. Whether you’re using wooden pots, burlap sacks or even fabric sacks, you’ll learn how to create privacy screens and foldable storage to grow your own food, using beautiful illustrations, aspirational photos and useful diagrams. Includes tips for gardens with limited light. Martin Staffler is a wildlife photographer and landscape gardener, who lives in Germany.

grow food in layers (like nature)

the layered edible garden

The Layered Edible Garden shows how to create a high-yielding and self-sustaining food garden that saves spaces by growing plants in layers, just as nature intended. Say goodbye to long straight rows of vegetable plants lined up and waiting for attack from disease, and instead say hello to an interplanted polyculture paradise filled with layers of edible plants that outcompete weeds, share resources and grow beautifully together.

Gardening pro Christina Chung introduces a modern approach to home food gardening that follows nature’s lead by growing plants in mixed communities, instead of agriculture-centric monocultures. By intentionally including edible plants from 8 layers (trees, sub-canopy trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, annuals, ground cover and edible roots), you build a ‘mini food forest’ that will produce food for years to come, and require less work and fewer resources.

Meet dozens of plants in each of the 8 layers, and discover the perks of growing perennial food crops that return year after year. Find design and planting advice and learn how to convert a sunny or shady garden into a food-growing paradise. Christina Chung is a trained horticulturalist who lives in Vancouver, Canada.

grow your own food in urban spaces

Alessandro Vitale

Rebel Gardening is by ‘gardening man of the moment’ Alessandro Vitale, who uses Korean natural farming techniques to make simple treatments to nourish soil and easily grow your own food.

Learn how to feed plants to naturally keep disease at bay, and create an odourless composting system and learn how to reuse everything, create a self-watering pot, a mini greenhouse and DIY irrigation system.  An ideal simple fun book for anyone with even a rooftop, balcony, canal boat or shared communal space.

grow bag gardening

Growbag Gardening looks at how to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs (and flowers) in fabric bags, with no weeds, heavy lifting or digging needed. Perfect for small spaces, grow bags fold flat for easy storage and are frostproof, so no need to lug heavy pots indoors for winter. Just set up your bag to reap rewards, with no root circling needed.

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