Greenin’ Up Your Backyard or Deck (Especially Small Spaces)

Would you like to make your tiny city backyard an oasis AND a garden? Would you like to do this with recycling in mind, lessening your carbon footprint, and discover a way to eat organic vegetables, cultivated from your leftovers? We have some simple and effective ideas for you.

If you are doing container planting, make sure you use the following guideposts:

(1) Use a good potting soil, with lots of nutrients.

(2) Put a layer of pebbles or sand at the bottom of your planter, with a drainage hole, so your plants don’t drown when there are heavy rains.

(3) Include on the top glass rocks to reflect light. This also helps shady areas pull in more sunlight for your plants.

(4) Layer seashells or rocks on the top of your planters, to prevent squirrels from digging. This also helps stop water loss by evaporation.

You can use many of the vegetables you use weekly in food preparation and prepare them to plant in either containers or a garden area. It’s easy, and Garden on the Deckwith many of the following vegetables, the harvest is both abundant and replenishes itself. We also included ginger, since this is a spice you can plant in much the same way.

Green Onions: with this tasty veggie, you only need to use the white end of the roots, and submerge in water. Let the roots grow for a few days, then plant in the ground or container. Harvest the green tops only for the best results.

Celery: this is a straightforward process, and you only need to put the celery base in water, until it forms yellow leaves. It is then ready for planting.

Romaine Lettuce: Use the last couple of inches from the base of the plant, and submerge the greens in water. Wait for the roots to extend, and place into soil. You will have tender greens for many weeks to come.

White and New Potatoes: when you see the eyes of new potatoes begin to sprout, cut them up so each piece has a few eyes, and place them in soil, eyes side up. It won’t take long!

Sweet Potatoes: place the entire potato in the soil, a few inches down from the top.

Carrot Tops: Carrot tops can be eaten, and make a pungent addition to salads. First purchase carrots with leafy tops, and cut off at least two inches of the greens. Submerge them into a pan with pebbles and make sure the water covers both the greens and pebbles, until roots form, the plant.

This same technique works with both beets and turnips, as well.

Ginger: Now you can have this lovely spice anytime you wish! Pick the newest buds from a piece of ginger, and put them in potting soil, with the buds facing up. Place in the sun, and you can harvest this root for at least four months.

Garlic: use the sprouts that grow from your garlic, and put the sprout side up in warm, moist soil. As the sprouts emerge, cut them back for the best and most aromatic garlic.

Mushrooms: most people consider mushrooms hard to grow, but the secret is to keep the area in which they grow moist and cool, so seek out that spot in your yard or deck! You need the inside of the mushroom cap and the stalk, and you only need to plant them and keep their conditions consistent to have fresh mushrooms every day of the week!

If you follow our container tips, use your leftover vegetables, and give your vegetables just the minimum of care, you can green up your life and that of your family, saving both your carbon footprint and money, recycling in the best way possible, while eating organically.

For more great ideas visit The Green Register