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Recycled compost and container garden

Outside the Growers Ark factory we grow veg in a small garden made from recycled ingredient drums, and an old shipping box. We use either pre-used compost that we re use each year adding some fresh material from our small compost bin or some coco fibre that;s had several years of use.  Potatoes are grown in Coco fibre and after harvesting (June-July) we use the same pots and fibre straight away for a crop of tomatoes. Salad leaves, runner beans, french beans and some tomatoes are grown pre used compost.

Our garden looks a bit scruffy but the point of it is we spend as little on it as possible, just buying seeds if we need to ( we save a lot of our own for salads and beans) or want something different/new, we even use old bits of pallet wrap as plant ties. In a good year, one we are really on the ball, it will provide salad leaves for lunch from May-Sept which was the original idea. The potatoes are a nice bonus and we have runner beans from June. When we refer to feeding the plants below this does not include watering  done due to the plants drying out in hot/windy conditions.

Potatoes planted 23/3 in old Coco fibre, fed once a week with coco grow and root tonic.  Potatoes planted in old containers against south facing wall of factory.

   

24/4                                                                       11/5                                                             7/6

By the start of June started harvesting spuds and planting tomato plants into the Coco

 10/7 Photo to left shows toms getting going in same coco used for spuds.

 

   24/7

last spuds lifted 24/7, 

 

We also grow salad  using an old wooden box.

 

  

Box containing a mix of re used old compost, garden soil and reused coco fibre (approx 60% 20 % 20%) with a mix of lollo rosso, grand rapids, lambs lettuce and others. Runner beans growing in containers in background. We also use containers cut in half length ways for salad, visible in bottom of left photo below, along with the tomatoes now well established in the coco, also right picture. Pics taken 24/7/17

 

 

Tomato were planted into the coco fibre after harvesting the potatoes when the seedlings were at 3-4 leaf stage, all tomato plants used were surplus from greenhouse grown seedlings,varieties grown were Marmande (red) Golden promise (yellow) and Zlatvia (orange ish). Some pics of the tomato plants at various stages shown below.

Tomatoes were fed once a week initially then 2-3 times per week once established /growing fast and back down to one/week when last truss had set. They were fed using Coco Bloom food and  Root Tonic, during the most vigorous growing period we added Boost It as well. 

       

We harvested the toms as they ripened trough September and October, some were eaten straight away but most were put straight into a bag in the freezer and when the harvest was finished we used them to make a batch of Tomato sauce/ Passata, we got about 5ltrs which was frozen in tubs for later use. Most of the fruit ripened on the plant some were harvested slightly green and left to ripen indoors, we lost 5-15% as green/ripening tomatoes due to weather/ mould /wildlife.

Runner Beans

We grow runner beans in old containers (4 to a container) using reused compost we feed them weekly with soil food and root tonic. Varieties grown are Painted Lady(a heritage variety that is very tasty and a good producer right into October)  and new this year Moonlight a self fertile variety with white flowers visible in one of the photos above.