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Sustainable Gardening - Micro Gardening

Sustainable Gardening - Micro Gardening

Award-winning garden designer, Joan Mallon, explains how to create a micro garden in your urban space.

Last week, we explained how to bring sack gardening from the GOAL garden at Bloom into your own home. This week, our award-winning designer, Joan Mallon, explains how to create a micro garden in your urban space.

“Micro gardening is a perfect space-saving solution, as well as a good way to incorporate recycled materials into your garden.

"The GOAL garden at Bloom demonstrated how raised micro gardening can help families make the most of uncompromising living environments and showed how they can be an effective way to grow vegetables. When I visited Kenya with GOAL, I witnessed some of the many ways the aid organisation is working with people living in informal settlements to improve healthcare, livelihood opportunities and ultimately, enjoy a better way of life. A lot of the gardening practices in these regions are very transferable to our own back garden, yards, patios, etc.

"Raised beds can be made from recycled wood pallets and can bring you the satisfaction of growing your own vegetables in confined spaces. You can find lots of DIY videos on YouTube showing you how to construct them.

To make your own micro garden, you will need;

• Two wooden pallets prised apart into pieces
• Short nails and a staple gun
• Fertile loamy soil
• Gravel
• Permeable plastic

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"After constructing the raised beds from the pallets (if you are unable to do this yourself, you may need a favour from someone who is reasonably handy with a hammer and saw), secure the plastic to the bottom of the wood using a staple gun.

Line the bottom of the micro garden with a covering of gravel for drainage and pack good quality loamy soil tightly into the beds.

"Pack in vegetables (preferably from plugs or seeds that you have started yourself in pots) like kale, runner beans, spinach, tomatoes and other greens or edibles. Or consider edible flowers such as calendula (marigolds) and nasturtiums, which will tumble over the edges of the ‘garden’.

"Courgettes will flourish in micro gardens but be warned, two courgette plants are enough for any household. Pick them when they are no longer than your thumb and forefinger.

"Keep an eye on the garden in the days following planting to make sure the plants are bedding in. Water or add soil as needed. With fruiting plants such as courgettes and tomatoes, water once a week with a diluted tomato food. Make sure not to wet the leaves of both of these plants as this can spread mould and disease.

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"Finally, enjoy the satisfaction of growing and eating the produce that you have harvested!"

- Joan

If you would like to contact Joan with any garden queries please email her on joanmallon@eircom.net

For tips on making your own sack garden, click here.

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