You may think you’re at the top of experimental ideas in thegarden because you’ve tucked in some lettuce greens amongst your annual pots, but that doesn’teven come close to the weird places to grow vegetables. Sometimes, peoplechoose odd spots for vegetable gardens out of necessity, and sometimes unusualplaces to grow food are chosen for the sake of art. Whatever the reason forgrowing produce in unconventional spots, it’s always a pleasant surprise to seepeople thinking outside of the box.
Growing Vegetables in Strange Places
Let me preface before I dive into growing vegetables instrange places. One person’s strange is another’s normal. Take the Mansfield Farmin Anglesey, North Wales, for example. This Welsh couple grows strawberries indrainpipes. It may seem strange but, as they explain it, not a new concept. Ifyou’ve ever looked at a drainpipe, there is every likelihood that something isgrowing in it, so why not strawberries?
In Australia, people have been growing exotic mushroomsin disused railway tunnels for over 20 years. Again, it might seem like anunusual spot to grow food at first, but when given some thought, it makesperfect sense. Mushrooms such as enoki, oyster,shiitake,and wood ear naturally grow in cool, dim, humid forests of Asia. The empty railtunnels mimic these conditions.
It’s getting more and more common to see urbangardens sprouting atop buildings, in empty lots, parking strips, etc., somuch, in fact, that none of these places are considered weird places to growvegetables anymore. How about in an underground bank vault, though?
Beneath the busy streets of Tokyo, there is a real workingfarm. Not only does it actually grow food, but the farm provides jobs andtraining for unemployed youth. Growing food in abandoned buildings or railways,however, doesn’t even come close to some of the more unusual places to growfood.
More Unusual Places to Grow Food
Another odd choice for a vegetable garden spot is at theballpark. At the AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, you will finda 4,320 square foot (400 sq. m.) coffeeground fertilized garden that uses 95% less water than traditionalirrigation methods. It supplies the concession stands with healthier optionssuch as kumquats,tomatoes,and kale.
Vehicles can also be unique places to grow produce. Busrooftops have become veggie gardens as have the backs of pickup trucks.
A really unusual place to grow food is in your clothes. Thatgives a whole new meaning to take out. There is a designer, Egle Cekanaviciute,who has created a series of garments with pockets that are filled with soiland fertilizerin order for one to grow plants of your choosing right on your person!
Another intrepid designer, Stevie Famulari, who is actuallyan assistant professor at NDSU’s landscape architecture department, createdfive garments that are seeded with living plants. The clothes are lined withwaterproof material and are wearable. Just think, you’ll never have to rememberto pack a lunch!
Never let it be said that you cannot grow a garden due to alack of space. You can grow plants just about anywhere with a little ingenuity.The only thing lacking is imagination.
16 Fast Growing Vegetables That Will Give You a Harvest Quickly
Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.
Would you like to grow a vegetable garden but feel like it just takes way too long? Well, the amazing thing is, it doesn’t have to.
Instead, you can plant some faster-growing veggies and have some great fresh food options to choose from.
So if this sounds great to you, then you’ll want to stay tuned to this post.
One of the most basic, quickest and easy to grow vegetable plants to grow are salad greens.
Believe it or not, with little care they are ready to use in about 3 to 4 weeks! I personally love the crunchy crisp texture of a freshly plucked lettuce leaf. It doesn’t require a lot of space and can even grow well in partially shady area.
Dig over 10 inches of soil and prepare it with good compost, simply broadcast seeds over the soil, water in and you are good to go. You will see little sprouts of lettuce in about 10 days.
Start plucking leaves when your plant is 3 to 4 inches tall. The best way to harvest is to pluck outer leaves and let the inner heart of the plant to keep growing. This way you’ll be able to harvest leaves over several months instead of just harvesting the lettuce heads once.
I strongly recommend getting this Lettuce Lovers Collection which has best lettuce varieties to grow for backyard gardeners. Check it out!
One of the only things I hate about growing backyard lettuce is when sand gets into the leaves. The best way to clean your lettuce and avoid eating dirt in your salad is to use a lettuce spinner like this one.
10 Hardest Vegetables to Grow and Maintain
Grocery store produce departments are filled with fruits and vegetables from countries such as Chile and South Africa, along with varieties from across the United States. Yet, many produce eaters are looking a little closer to home for their vegetables supplies -- their own yards. According to a recent National Gardening Survey, in 2008, an estimated 70 percent of all U.S. households participated in one or more do-it-yourself indoor or outdoor lawn and garden activities one of the most popular was vegetable gardening [source: National Gardening Association].
This trend toward vegetable gardening can also be seen in a transition of residential yard environments. According to a recent survey in American Society of Landscape Architect, nearly one in five residential landscape architects are switching out regular grass for edible gardens [source: American Society of Landscape Architects].
Vegetable gardening may be becoming more popular, but it still takes careful planning and hard work to make it successful. "Vegetable or edible gardening [is] not low maintenance," says Jennifer Bartley, landscape architect, author and owner of American Potager.
For beginning gardeners, and even some seasoned gardeners, there are certain vegetables that can be more difficult to grow than others. In this article, we we'll look at 10 of the hardest vegetables to grow and maintain in your garden.
Cauliflower, a part of the brassica family, which includes broccoli and cabbage, can be a difficult vegetable to grow. "Cauliflower is a little tricky because it has a long growing season, and it prefers it a little cool," says Bartley. Cauliflower doesn't like it too hot or too cold, so you have to start it early enough to have it mature by the hot temperatures of summer, but late enough so that it doesn't get too cold [source: University of Illinois, Urban Extension]. Its ideal temperature range for growing is about 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 26.5 degrees Celsius) [source: Bradley & Courtier]. In order to get a white-headed beauty, cauliflower must have the right temperature, but most plants must also be blanched, or have the stalks bent so that the outer leaves come up and over the top of the head, covering it [source: The Editors of Garden Way Publishing]. The leaves must be tied and stay this way until the head has matured.
Along with correct growing conditions, cauliflower is also susceptible to bugs, such as cabbage worms and disease.
A cabbage worm looks like a little green caterpillar, but don't let that fool you. They can quickly eat through the leaves of your cauliflower plant [source: Grupp]. While chemicals can be used to get rid of these pests, you can also pick off the worms or cut off leaves with worm eggs on their undersides [source: Bartley and Bradley & Courtier].
Crunchy, green stalks characterize mature celery, yet for some growers, it can be difficult to get celery to that point. Celery requires a lot of moisture, so it should be planted in a soil that can hold water well [sources: Spencer and The Editors of the Garden Way Publishing]. The moisture requirements can be a burden on some gardeners who might not be used to consistent watering. The plant also has a long growing season of about 120 to 180 days from seed to harvest [source: Bartley]. During the growing season, celery also needs cooler temperatures, making it a difficult plant to grow during the summer in the Midwest or South.
As an alternative to celery, Bartley recommends cutting celery, which has the celery flavor, but is actually grown for its leaves instead of its stalks.
Farmers across the nation grow corn, yet strategic choices are integral to producing a successful crop. When selecting the varieties you're going to plant, be careful about planting certain ones, such as super-sweet and sugar-enhanced plants, together. These can cross pollinate and produce ears with field corn kernels that don't taste that good [source: Coolong and Bradley & Courtier].
You'll also need a good amount of space and correct placement to grow corn properly. "Typically, corn is wind-pollinated," says Timothy Coolong, Ph.D., extension vegetable specialist for the University of Kentucky. "The pollen comes off the tassel at the top of the plant and then goes down to the silks that come off the ear of the corn that's how it's pollinated."
Due to wind pollination, the corn crop needs to be planted in a square shape with at least 15 to 20 plants [source: Coolong and Bradley & Courtier].
If you're a fan of eggplant parmesan, then you might want to grow the deep purple vegetable in your garden. While eggplants are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations, one of their main problems is pests. "My plants (eggplants) usually look like the leaves have been shot with a pellet gun with tiny holes everywhere," says Bartley. "The holes are from the flea beetle."
The flea beetle, along with other pests, can be combated by row covers as well as pesticides [source: Bartley and Coolong]. Organic gardeners can have an especially difficult time with these plants. "They have a lot of insect pests," says Timothy Coolong, Ph.D., extension vegetable specialist for the University of Kentucky. "If someone doesn't want to spray a lot of pesticides, [eggplants are] fairly challenging to grow."
Leaf lettuce can be fairly easy to grow. Yet, if you want one of those nice specimens you can get at the grocery, you're going to have more of a challenge. "If you want a nice attractive head like they sell in the stores, it needs uniform watering and if you have temperature fluctuations, in lettuces, you can have this process called bolting," says Timothy Coolong, Ph.D., extension vegetable specialist for the University of Kentucky.
Bolting is a premature flowering or seed formation of the plant which can make it taste bad [source: Bradley & Courtier, The Editors of Garden Way Publishing]. "I would say that head lettuce (iceberg) has been hardest for me to grow because of the precise sun/shade needs that keep it from bolting," says Jonathan Mueller, landscape architect with Landmark.
Different plants can have different criteria, yet warm temperatures and longer day length can increase the chances for bolting in lettuces [source: Colorado State University Extension and Ellis].
A favorite with rabbits, carrots are a root vegetable that can require special care. The main challenge for carrots is soil preparation. According to Jonathan Mueller, landscape architect with Landmark, carrots don't do well without at least 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) of soil that's well tilled and loosened. You also want to be careful about the type of soil that you choose to use. "If there are any pebbles or anything in the soil, the roots will grow around those pebbles so you'll get very misshapen roots," says Timothy Coolong, Ph.D., extension vegetable specialist for the University of Kentucky.
The type of soil is also crucial. Carrots are very difficult to grow in clay soils. Mineral soils work well, but humus is a better bet. If you don't have the right kind of soil in your yard, try growing carrots in raised beds. This will allow you to have a good deal of oversight related to the soil composition and ground moisture.
#2 – Give Roots Plenty of Room to Grow
I usually start plants in a small container and then transplant them into a larger pot that will accommodate their adult size. Small containers will limit the potential size of the plant and affect the overall health and production.
If you look at the lettuce plants in the photo below you will notice that the plant in the cup is significantly smaller than the plants in the tub. They were started and transplanted at the same time. The only variable is the size of the container. When you give plants adequate space for the roots to grow they will give you higher yields in return.
Learn more about growing greens indoors in our post, How to Grow Fresh Greens Inside Your Home All Year Long.
A rather fun vegetable to grow, the peter pepper is famous for its unusual shape that looks like a penis. With a heat level similar to a jalapeno and a good flavor peter peppers are great for everyday cooking.
Peter peppers grow to about 3-4 inches in length and need the same growing conditions as any other pepper plant. Grow them in a well-drained fertile soil with regular watering. To get hotter peppers, water your plants only when they begin to wilt.
If you want to have an idea of the best vegetables and fruits to grow in small places or in your apartment, check out this article, Vegetables and Fruits You can Grow in Your Apartment.
Last update on 2021-03-05 / Affiliate links / Product Images from Amazon Product Advertising API